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Khao Chamao National Park near Klaeng, Rayong, Thailand

Mae Phim beach near Klaeng in the Rayong province is a lovely area for a family beach holiday in Thailand with it’s fine sandy gently sloping beach which is safe for swimming, an abundance of seaside seafood restaurants, and reasonable Thai prices in the shops, and such factors also make it a good value for money coastal area to retire to, but excursions help to break the monotony of any holiday or long term stay in the area.

Khao Chamao Slideshow

SPT Google Map

You can click on the Map Sat Ter or Earth buttons (top right) for Map View, Satellite View, Terrain View and Google Earth View respectively, and use the + – zoom buttons (top left) to zoom in and out for more or less detail. You can also use your mouse to drag the map around, allowing you to pan in any direction, which is usually easier than using the arrow buttons (top left).
(Note that in Earth mode you will need the Google Earth plugin for your browser, but it’s quick to install and will allow you to zoom much more quickly and display popup information much better too)

View Khao Chamao Map in Google Maps

View SPT tourist map (inc. Khao Chamao Map Area) in Google Earth

Just 35 minutes drive away from your holiday condo apartment or beach house holiday home in the popular tourist area of Mae Phim beach is the wonderful tropical rain forest paradise of Khao Chamao National Park. At Khao Chamao the natural flora and fauna of Thailand’s rainforest is conserved and preserved for the public to enjoy. It’s a wonderful place to get away from it all and escape the modern day world by relaxing amongst the trees and waterfalls. The air is cooled by the tall trees which provide natural shade from the burning hot sun, and which also fill the air with a plentiful supply of oxygen, which is one reason why is smells so fresh. It’s not far up the nature trail before you meet the river, which has an abundance of fresh water fish, but if you’re feeling up to it the trail takes you up the hillside alongside the river for a few kilometers past several waterfalls.

If the trek makes you too hot you can cool off by taking a cool refreshing dip in one of the crystal clear pools of water beneath a waterfall, as long as you don’t mind sharing the river with hundreds of tame fresh water fish.

Children love to visit Khao Chamao and feed the fish in the river

Children love to visit Khao Chamao and feed the fish in the river

One of the waterfalls

One of the waterfalls

Feeding the fish is great fun for everyone, especially the kids, as you watch the fish swimming on top of one another in an effort to get to the pellet fish food that you throw into the river for them. Take a mask or goggles and you can swim amongst them in the crystal clear water of the river, watching them underwater in their natural environment – like being immersed in a giant fish tank.

Khao Chamao National Park is home to a wide variety of animals, including many insects and bird life, but some of the other animals in the park are quite shy and also well camouflaged and are rarely noticed by the public. If you go midweek when the park is not so busy with people then you stand a better chance of seeing something special if you keep your eyes peeled. In the park there are monkeys, owls, and even large lizards such as the Thai Water Dragon which like the habitat of a quiet spot near the river. Stick to the well trodden nature trail and you should be safe from snakes and dangerous spiders, of which there are several species in the park, and you may also spot the monkeys which sometimes hang around in the large tree at the start of the trail near the car park.

Thai Water Dragon

Thai Water Dragon

This large lizard, which looks a bit like an Iguana, is about 3 feet long and is a Thai Water Dragon, Physignathus cocincinus, also known as Asian Water Dragon, Chinese Water Dragon, or Green Water Dragon. A related species, P. lesuerurii, is often called the Eastern or Australian Water Dragon. When I took this photo on 8/8/2012 it was the first time I’ve ever seen one of these at Khao Chamao – they’re a shy creature in general so you stand more chance of seeing him basking on a rock on a day during the week when not too many people visit the park, which is also the time that I prefer to visit the park too, to relax and soak up the wonderful ambiance and tranquility of this natural tropical paradise, an experience not to be missed when coming to this lovely area of Thailand.