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Elephant Head Rock (Hin Pousar) - Similan islands


Estaries and visits to Mangrove forest

At Thap Lamu pier you can catch a long-tail boat to visit the nearby Mangrove Forest.

long tail boats at Thap Lamu pier
long-tail boats at Thap Lamu pier

Interesting long-tail boat trips will take you around the coast to the nearby picturesque Khlong Thap Liang estuary, which branches into the smaller estuaries of Khlong Thung Maphrao and Khlong Hin Lad, to view mangrove forests, with their fascinating root system extending well above the normal water-line, and also to observe communities of crab-eating macques, which usually venture from the forest at low tide in search of molluscs.

These estuaries ('Khlong ' or 'klong ' ) are immediately south of Thap Lamu and are just outside the southwest tips of KhaoLak-Lamru national park. The smaller estuaries border the extreme northern stretches of Thai Muang national park.


Elephants are the very symbol of Thailand. The Thai elephant has been an integral part of Thai culture for centuries. The elephant is regarded as the symbol of prosperity and power, and grace, befitting that of a monarch. Revered by ancient kings, the majestic Thai elephant held a respected place in Thai history and is prominently featured in Thai legend, literature, Buddhist folklore, art and architecture.

The Thai elephant belongs to the mainland subspecies of the Asian elephant, Elephas maximus. It is a graceful creature of great intelligence, known for its unwavering loyalty, and a remarkable ability to learn. It is capable of forging friendships and life long bonds with its mahout - the individual who cares for it. In daily life, mahout and elephant depend on each other and the elephant is treated as part of the 'family'. From the beginning of Thai history, elephants have nobly and faithfully served both kings and commoners in war and in commerce.

Sadly the majestic wild Asian elephants, that roam the forests of Thailand, have dwindled in numbers. It is notable that at the start of the 20th century over 100,000 elephants graced the Thai countryside. Today only 3,000 - 4,000 Asian Elephants are left in Thailand. Around half of this number are domesticated, the remainder living wild in National Parks Reserves.

thai elephants

Tourism provides one of the few legal ways for captive elephants and their owners or mahouts (handlers) to earn a living in Thailand today. Due to a ban on logging ten years ago, the elephants lost their traditional source of support. A good proportion of Thailand's captive elephants are in full or part time use in the tourism industry.

It probably comes as no surprise to learn that an average adult Asian elephant, weighing between three to five tons, consumes a lot of food and drink on a daily basis - 250 kg of vegetation and 200 litres of water.

Children enjoy watching the mahouts feed, bathe and care for the elephants.



The beautiful, impressive and natural environment of Thai Muang and it's surroundings, including land and nearby marine based national parks, offer a wide range of interesting and varied activities for everyone to enjoy including rafting, diving, elephant trekking, and of course the hiking potential is excellent.

Hiking trips, whether to view flora, fauna, bird watching or visit waterfalls will no doubt be centered around the nearby national parks:-

Khao LamPi - Thai Muang
Similan islands

Khaolak-Lamru national park partly encompasses Khao Lak, and is ideal for hiking, forest walks and viewing wildlife.

It offers tropical evergreen forest, granite mountains, hills, beaches and sea cliffs, and a fairly varied selection of flora and fauna considering it's size.

Four waterfalls are popular. There are also coastal trails, near the Park HQ, on the picturesque headland of Leam Hin Chang.

The national park of Khao Lampi - Thai Muang lies about 24km south of Khao Lak, and covers two distinct regions. Thai Muang is a long narrow coastal and mainly beach section, famous for turtle conservation.
Tropical evergreen forests cover the hilly and fairly mountainous regions of Khao Lam Pi. Here, there are several hiking opportunities and two interesting waterfalls.

The Similan Islands in the Andaman Sea are world renowned for excellent diving and picturesque sandy beaches.

Inland, the nine islands are mostly relatively low lying formations with some thick forest and a few hiking trails.
In particular, Ko Similan (the largest island) is good for hiking, and exhibits the largest granite outcrop; this distinctive formation offers sweeping views from the top.

Elephant Treking

Elephant treks are easily arranged in Phang Nga province courtesy of local travel agencies. Trek routes and lengths vary, making it wise to choose a trek that suits your comfort level and availability. Heading inland from the Phang Nga bay and the Andaman coast, this region of Thailand is forested and mountainous, with terrain that is ideal for an excursion on elephant-back.

The most popular destination for elephant treking is Khao Lak-Lamru National Park:-
At Ton Patiwat there is a Wildlife Preservation Centre, which encompasses a forested area with brooks and small waterfalls.

Elephant treking is one of the highlights of tour programs at Ton Patiwat. Several local travel companies offer fun eco-tourism trips here, for all age groups. The Centre is located in Tambon Song Praek, between the route from Phangnga Town to Amphoe Kapong.

The elephants, guided by a professional handler (mahoot), follow small trails in the jungle. Needless to say, they will take you to places that are virtually inaccessible by any other means.

Elephant treking

Bamboo Rafting

Many tour operators offer bamboo rafting at Khao Lak National Park. Usually the activity is combined with elephant treking.

Bamboo Rafting

Again, this activity usually takes place on the Khlong Song Praek river at Ton Pariwat wildlife conservation area, which is situated on the south east extremities of the KhaoLak LamRu national park.

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