Khao Phra Thaeo Wildlife Conservation Development and Extension Center
22.28 square kilometers of virgin forest are coverd by this park, which also actively conserves a number of wild animals; they would otherwise be extinct in fast-growing Phuket. It is a center for study of the environment. Forest vegetation is spectacular : Giant trees supported by huge buttresses are thick with creepers and climbers of every description.
One species of palm found, the Governor’s Palm or White Back Palm (palm lang khao in Thai) is especially rare. Langurs, barking deer, mouse deer, deer, bear, wild boar, monkeys, gibbons, and many species of birds inhabit the forest. Khao Phra Thaeo serves also as one of Phuket’s most important water sources. There are two waterfalls of note:
A small falls over which pours a great volume of water during the rainy season. The trees, watercourses, and pools nearby provide one of Phuket’s loveliest scenes. The park headquarter and a small restaurant with an excellent view are also at Ton Sai. Located near Thalang Town, 22 kms. from Phuket Town
Best known now as the site of the Gibbon Fund, a project to return domesticated gibbons to the forest, Bang Pae is a small waterfall with a shady forest and thick foliage surrounding. To get there go to the Two Heroines Monument and take the road running east, the Pakhlok Rd., 7 kms. to Bang Pae. Look for the posted signs.
Situated in Sirinat National Park near Ta Chatchai on Phuket’s northern tip, the mangroves–saltwater swamps with unique eco-systems much prized by scientists searching for clues about adaptation and evolution–cover about 800 rai. Anyone with an interest in horticulture will be interested in the many unusual perennial plants found here: mountain ebony (kong kang bai lek), red cycas (prong daeng), black myrsina (samae dam), the Lady’s Nails quisqualis (leb mue nang), and various creepers and climbers are among the more significant. There are also many mongrove-dwelling animals with unique evolutionary characteristics. A nature trail has been cleared for the convenience of visitors with signs indicating and explaining the various species.