Wooded mountain peaks rise over sandy beaches and mangrove swamps that are home to many rare bird species at this spectacular coastal reserve.
Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park covers an area of approximately 61 square miles (99 square kilometers) in the Gulf of Thailand. The name Khao Sam Roi Yot means "The Mountain with Three Hundred Peaks." This refers to the series of magnificent gray limestone mountains that rise dramatically over the park’s marshland and coastline, starting about 25 miles (40 kilometers) south of Hua Hin.
The mountain views make this a site of outstanding natural beauty, but the freshwater marshes and coastal wildlife habitats are what give the park its ecological significance. They are an important breeding area for several species of rare birds.
Take a boat excursion to watch wild birds on one of the many limestone islands near the coast, or follow the forest trails into the mountains to enjoy a view over the park.
The Hat Laem Sala beach can be reached by boat, or by walking over a hill from Bang Pu, a village within the park. There is a well-known cave here named Tham Phraya Nakhon, which has a large hole allowing sunlight to shine in and vegetation to grow inside the cave. There are several other caves in the park to be explored. The most visited include Tham Sai and Tham Kaeo, which has an abundance of stalactites and stalagmites. If you plan to explore the caves, rent oil lamps at a nearby village.
If one day isn’t enough to explore the national park, there is accommodation available at Hat Sam Phraya, a calm beach lined with pine trees within the park.
Khao Sam Roi Yot is best reached by car from Hua Hin. It’s also possible to catch a bus or train to Pranburi and then take a form of local transport called a sǎwngthǎew, a type of bus. These run to Bang Pu village every half an hour from morning until afternoon.