Khao Lampi–Hat Thai Mueang National Park
|Khao Lampi–Hat Thai Mueang National Park|
|Nearest city||Phang Nga|
|Area||72 km2 (28 sq mi)|
|Governing body||Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation|
Khao Lampi–Hat Thai Mueang National Park (Thai: อุทยานแห่งชาติเขาลำปี-หาดท้ายเหมือง) is a national park in Phang Nga Province, Thailand. The park is named for its two separate sections: Khao Lampi named for the park section containing Lampi mountain range and Hat Thai Mueang, the beach section of the park.
Khao Lampi–Hat Thai Mueang National Park is located in Thai Mueang district, 75 kilometres (47 mi) north of Phuket city and about 60 kilometres (37 mi) west of Phang Nga town. The park lies just off Route 4 (Phetkasem Road).
Previously known as Lampi Waterfall and Lampi Forest Park, Khao Lampi–Hat Thai Mueang became Thailand's 52nd national park on 14 April 1986.
The park is best known for its large waterfalls located in the mountainous eastern section. The largest of these is Ton Phrai Waterfall, 40 metres (130 ft) high and best seen during the rainy season. The park's namesake waterfall, Lampi, is of similar height but lesser volume and falls in numerous tiers.
The Hat Thai Meuang section consists of a pristine 13 kilometres (10 mi) white sand Andaman Sea beach backed by a mangrove forest. A distinguishing feature of the beach (and a prime reason for its protected status) is that it is a sea turtle nesting area. Between November and February sea turtles come to this stretch of beach to lay eggs. In March, a local festival marks when many of the newly hatched baby turtles make their way to the sea.
Flora and fauna
The park's eastern section is covered in tropical rainforest, including such tree species as Dipterocarpus, Anisoptera costata, Hopea odorata and bullet wood. Bamboo and rattan are found at lower levels.
In the park's beach section, mangrove forests are found along brackish canals which feed from higher ground into the sea. The mangroves play a protective ecological role in numerous respects including filtration of water from higher ground and providing a sea life nursery. Additionally, the wave energy of the 2004 tsunami was dissipated somewhat by the mangroves in this area.
Swamp forest is also present in this area and is one of the few areas on the Andaman sea coast featuring such an ecosystem.
Turtle species include leatherback, green and hawksbill. Pythons and Malayan pit vipers are also present. Leatherback sea turtles swim seasonally to lay eggs on Thai Mueang Beach in the park. Thailand was once a sanctuary for leatherback turtles. Monitoring between 2003–2013 at Thai Mueang Beach found turtles laid 2,678 eggs there and 1,574, or 58.7 percent survived. The species is disappearing. Irresponsible trawler fishing is one of the factors to blame. Property development on the beach has kept the turtles away. Another factor is the traditional belief that consuming turtle eggs boost one's sexual prowess. There have been reports of villagers selling leatherback eggs for up to 150 baht each.
Freshwater fish include rare species such as non-local Nile tilapia, saltwater eel and Hemibagrus wyckii species of catfish. Less rare species such as Nieuhof's walking catfish and blue panchax are also found here.
- "Khao Lampi - Hat Thai Mueang National Park". Department of National Parks (Thailand). Archived from the original on 22 May 2013. Retrieved 13 April 2013.
- "Khao Lampi-Hat Thai Mueang National Park". Tourism Authority of Thailand. Retrieved 13 April 2013.
- Nam, Suzanne (February 2012). Moon Handbooks Thailand (5th ed.). Avalon Travel. p. 217. ISBN 978-1-59880-969-5.
- Wipatayotin, Apinya (4 December 2017). "Turtle power on wane as trawlers take toll". Bangkok Post. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
- Khao Lampi-Hat Thai Mueang National Park travel guide from Wikivoyage