Remember the book ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ by Maurice Sendak? In Kui Buri National Park in Thailand, we felt a bit like the hero of this beautiful book. Everything was magical, albeit somewhat scary too. Finally, we could see wild, enormous elephants with our own eyes! There are only a few places left in the world where you can observe elephants in their natural habitat.
See how to organize a trip to Kui Buri National Park and how much it all costs.
O tym przeczytasz
- 1 Kui Buri National Park – how to get there?
- 2 Why is Kui Buri National Park so special?
- 3 Wild nature within reach
- 4 Safari in Kui Buri National Park – are we guaranteed to see elephants there?
- 5 What other animals did we see besides elephants?
- 6 How much does a trip to Kui Buri National Park cost?
- 7 Stay with us!
Kui Buri National Park – how to get there?
Kui Buri National Park is located on the eastern coast of Thailand, near the Gulf of Thailand. It covers an area of 969 square kilometers, right on the border with Myanmar (Burma). It takes about two hours to get there from Hua Hin and around four hours from Bangkok. A visit to Kui Buri can be combined with a trip to the surrounding area: trekking in Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park, where the Phraya Nakhon cave houses one of the most picturesque Buddhist buildings in Thailand, the royal pavilion Phra Thinang Khuha Kharuhat. We recommend staying in Prachuap Khiri Khan, a small colorful town on the coast, about 2 hours south of Hua Hin.
Why is Kui Buri National Park so special?
Kui Buri Park is one of the few places in Asia where we have a chance to encounter wild elephants in their natural environment. The park is home to around three hundred elephants. When our guide pointed us in the direction to look, and we suddenly saw three large females with two calves calmly munching on leaves, we were all amazed.
It was a completely different experience from what we had encountered before in sanctuaries with tamed and rescued elephants in Chiang Mai and on our Koh Lanta. Those encounters were extraordinary too. After all, it’s not every day you get the chance to touch a massive elephant, feel its warmth, and hug it.
Wild nature within reach
Here, it was something entirely different. The opportunity to experience wild nature firsthand, without any engineering interfering with the natural rhythm of the animals, no fences or barriers – it all had a magical dimension. Of course, for safety reasons, we observed the animals from the jeep or designated spots on the hill. However, we didn’t feel like we were interfering in their lives. They were just doing what elephants usually do – wandering in search of food, eating, and moving on. And we could simply watch them.
Safari in Kui Buri National Park – are we guaranteed to see elephants there?
However, the fact that we are invited into the world of these animals doesn’t automatically mean that they will definitely show themselves to us. Sometimes you may see more of them, sometimes less. But as the guides from the park say, the chances are quite good. Although they can never give a hundred percent guarantee. You can read more about it on the websites of Thailand’s national parks. There is also an accurate map of the area where the tours start.
We were incredibly lucky to see 15 elephants, including 2 elephant calves. Un-be-liev-able!
What other animals did we see besides elephants?
Apart from elephants, we saw huge Indian gaurs (massive bison-like animals) and hornbills. There is also a chance to see deer, jackals, and Burmese hares. However, we didn’t spot them.
How much does a trip to Kui Buri National Park cost?
You cannot freely move around the park. You can only enter with a park employee’s jeep. The driver operates the vehicle, and a guide stands with us at the back of the jeep. The cost of a two-hour jeep ride for our 5-person family is 1550 baht (approximately 180 złotys): park entrance fee: 200 baht per adult / 100 baht per child + jeep rental cost: 850 baht.
The tours are organized between 14:30 and 18:00. Just drive to the Elephant Observatory Site (type ‘Elephant Observatory Site, Kui Buri National Park’ into Google Maps) and purchase the ticket there. We waited about 20 minutes for our jeep to be arranged.