By Komchai Tawanchaui
The 19th national park opened on October 27, 1980. Covering 312,500 rai, or around 500 square kilometres, it extends all the way to the Myanmar border.
Entry ticket is priced at Bt100. The first place worth visiting is "Lava Cave". This site is famous for its beautiful patterns of stalactites and stalagmites. Visitors can drive from the park’s entrance to this cave.
The park’s highlight is the "Sai Yok Waterfalls", which is located near the main street and train station. The railway was constructed in the WWII period, when under Japanese occupation.
The rich pine garden offers a cool shade for visitors. The park also provides accommodation and hiking routes for tourists. Along the routes, there is evidence displayed of Japanese soldiers having lived around the park area in the past.
Sai Yok Waterfalls consist of big and small falls, situated far from each other. They share the same origin from the nearby mountain, flowing to Khwae Noi River. And since the source is not far from the waterfalls, they do not dry up in summer as many other waterfalls in the country.
Throughout the year, visitors come here to take part in water activities. Besides, the park is very convenient for camping, with electricity, local restaurants and telephone signals.
Before Sai Yok was declared as a national park, King Rama V had visited the waterfalls. His bust stands there as a testimony to his visit while a replica of his boat also is displayed in the park.