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Declared as a national park on October 27, 1980, Thale Ban National Park is located in Ban Wang Prachan, Tambon Wang Prachan, 40 kilometers from the town of Satun. The park has an area of 49,000 acres, covering the Kupang Pulot and Hua Kraming National Forest Reserves and the Pa Khuan Bo Nam Puyu Forest Area.
The word “Thale Ban” was changed from “Loet Roeban” in Malay, which refers to a subsiding sea or a sea which is a result of the subsidence of earth between Khao (Mount) Chin and Khao (Mount) Mot Daeng. Thale Ban is a large lake covering an area of around 25,000 acres. Most of the areas are a complex of mountains and dense woods. Wild animals found here include serow, elephant, tapir, common wild pig, monkey, gibbon, and Khiat Wak, or Ma Nam (Giant Asiatic toad or Malayan giant toad). The toad is considered as a symbol of Thale Ban. It looks like a combination of a frog and a toad, with a tail. But its sound is like a puppy. The lakeside, particularly in the rainy season, teems with this unique animal. For bird-watchers, this place offers an opportunity that should not be missed. There are various species of bird, such as whiskered treeswift, stripe-throated bulbul, chestnut-naped forktail, woodpecker, etc.
Attractions in the Thale Ban National Park
Bueang Thale Ban is a freshwater lake located in the middle of a valley flanked by the Chin and the Wang Pra Ranges. There is an abundance of freshwater fish and shellfish. Around the lake are Bakong plants (Hanguana malayana), which grow densely. The park provides lakeside pavilions as well as a wooden path around the lake for visitor.
Namtok Ya Roi originates from a source in the Hua Kraming Forest. The waterfall has nine tiers and visitors can swim in a pool at each tier. Getting there: Follow Highway 4184 (Khuan Sato – Wang Prachan) from Km14–15 for around 6 kilometers, and go on for another 700 meters on a lane off the main road.
Namtok Ton Plio originates from Mount Chin. This large and beautiful multi-tiered waterfall flows from a high cliff. Getting there: Take Highway 4184 (Khuan Sato – Wang Prachan) from Km9–10 or the park’s headquarters for around 10 kilometers and follow a dirt lane off the main road for another 3 kilometers.
The park offers houses and tents for visitors.
Opening hours: 8am-6pm
Admission: 200 baht for adult and 100 baht for children
Contact: Thale Ban National Park 074-722-736/7
By care: Take Highway 406 for 80 kilometers. See a direction sign on the left at the Khuan Don T-junction and turn left to Highway 4184 for another 20 kilometers.
By bus: Get on a bus (Hat Yai – Satun) at the Hat Yai’s Clock Tower and get off at the Khuan Sato T-junction. Take a further trip by mini-bus (Satun–Wang Prachan). One bus leaves every hour. A fare is 20 baht per person.