Sai Yok National Park

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Sai Yok National Park
IUCN category II (national park)
River Khwae View - Sai Yok National Park.jpg
Khwae Noi river in Sai Yok National Park
Map showing the location of Sai Yok National Park
Map showing the location of Sai Yok National Park
Park location in Thailand
Location Kanchanaburi Province, Thailand
Nearest city Kanchanaburi
Coordinates 14°25′4″N 98°44′50″E / 14.41778°N 98.74722°E / 14.41778; 98.74722Coordinates: 14°25′4″N 98°44′50″E / 14.41778°N 98.74722°E / 14.41778; 98.74722
Area 500 km2 (190 sq mi)
Established October 1980
Governing body Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation

Sai Yok National Park (Thai: อุทยานแห่งชาติไทรโยค) is a national park in Sai Yok district, Kanchanaburi Province, Thailand. The park, home to mountains, waterfalls and caves, is part of the Western Forest Complex protected area.


Sai Yok National Park is in the Tenasserim Hills mountain chain, 100 kilometres (62 mi) northwest of Kanchanaburi town. The park's area is 500 square kilometres (190 sq mi).[1] The Khwae Noi river ("River Kwai") runs through the park.


Temperatures in the park area have a wide annual range from 8 °C (46 °F) to 45 °C (113 °F). The driest time of the year here is from December to February, while the rainiest time is from May to October.[1][2]


Within the park are remains of a bridge on the Burma Railway and also of a camp used by Japanese troops during World War II.[3]

In 1978, the Russian roulette scenes of the film The Deer Hunter were filmed in the park.[1]

On 27 October 1980, Sai Yok became Thailand's 11th national park.[2]


Sai Yok Yai Lek waterfall

The park's major attractions are its waterfalls, including Sai Yok Yai waterfall which flows into the Khwae Noi river. The waterfall is near a rope suspension bridge across the river.[4] Sai Yok Yai Lek waterfall lies 500 metres (1,600 ft) south of Sai Yok Yai along the Khwae Noi.[2]

The park also contains numerous caves, the largest of which is Tham Lawa with a length of 500 metres (1,600 ft). This cave complex consists of five large caverns, each containing large stalactites and stalagmites.[1] Another cave system, Tham Daowadung, is 100 metres (330 ft) long and was discovered in 1972. Tham Daowadung consists of eight chambers of stalactites and stalagmites.[2]

Flora and fauna[edit]

Sai Yok's forest is primarily teak forest. During the Japanese occupation of Thailand, teak trees were felled for use as railway sleepers on the Burma Railway. The teak forest was replanted in 1954.[5]

Animal species include tiger, barking deer, sambar deer, wild pig, gibbon, Malayan porcupine, slow loris and serow.[1][2] Wild elephants, whose range extends into neighbouring Burma, are also found in the park.[3] A species of queen crab—coloured red, white and blue—was discovered in the park in 1983.[1]

Sai Yok is home to Kitti's hog-nosed bat, a rare bat species considered to be the world's smallest mammal (weighing around 2 grams). The bat was first spotted in 1973 and is found only in some limestone caves of the park and surrounding areas in Kanchanaburi Province and nearby Burma.[1][2]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Williams, China; Beales, Mark; Bewer, Tim (February 2012). Lonely Planet Thailand (14th ed.). Lonely Planet Publications. p. 184. ISBN 978-1-74179-714-5. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Sai Yok National Park". Department of National Parks (Thailand). Retrieved 16 May 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "Sai Yok National Park". Lonely Planet. Retrieved 16 May 2013. 
  4. ^ "Sai Yok National Park". Tourism Authority of Thailand. Retrieved 16 May 2013. 
  5. ^ Gray, Paul; Ridout, Lucy (1995). Thailand - The Rough Guide (2nd ed.). Rough Guides Limited. p. 159. ISBN 1-85828-140-7.