Thung Salaeng Luang National Park is an ideal destination for recreation, about 90 km from Phitsanulok. Here, you’ll get to see the largest waterfall of Phitsanulok – Kaeng Sopha. Also known as Thailand’s Niagara Falls because of its similar aesthetics, the waterfall roars dramatically in September and October over a couple of broad cliffs. While it’s worth watching from June to August and also in November/December, Kaeng Sopha remains pretty dried up from January to May. From the parking area located a few kilometers past the main visitor center at Highway 12, it takes just a 300 m stroll to get to the viewing platform.
A Great Place for Bird-lovers
Thung Salaeng Luang National Park boasts beautiful bird-rich grasslands. The 1,262 sq km park also features several limestone hills, caves and expansive Savannah grasslands towards the south. Most of this area is a solid 40-70 km drive from the park’s headquarters. However, you can reach the grasslands more easily from Nong Mae Na located in Phetchabun province, a rather long drive from Phitsanulok. But if you’re a serious bird-watcher, it would be worth the extra effort. Thung Salaeng Luang is home to a total of 190 bird species including the rare Siamese Fireback Pheasant. During November and December, the grasslands get painted with rich colors by the wildflowers. Also, a handful of salt licks lure a variety of fauna to the park throughout the year.
Getting to Thung Salaeng Luang National Park
The easiest way to get to the northern visitor center (at km market 80) as well as Kaeng Sopha Waterfall is by car. You can rent a car in Phitsanulok city and reach Thung Salaeng Luang National Park with ease by driving straight along Highway 12 for about 70 km. On your way to the park, you’ll find an elephant camp, some privately owned resorts and a few small waterfalls. Entrance to Thung Salaeng Luang costs around 200 Baht per head for tourists, even if it means just visiting the Kaeng Sopha Waterfall.