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Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park Information Guide

Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park Thailand

Hua Hin's major attraction is the 98-square-km national pari< in Prachuap Khiri Khan Province, 65 km south of Hua Hin. Khao Sam Roi Yot ("Three Hundred Peaks") is a geological wonderland of limestone caves, secluded beaches, dozens of strangely disfigured mountains that resemble the angular humps of a sea dragon, and endangered wildlife such as serow mountain goats and crabeating macaques. Some 237 species of birds have been identified here, best seen during the birdwatching season Nov.-February.

The following information was provided by Jim Enright, a Canadian volunteer who worked in the park for almost three years and wrote the most reliable description of the park and its surrounding regions, Thanks, Jim.

Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park (KSRY) was declared Thailand's first coastal park in June 1966, to protect the environment and bring at tention to the magnificent gray limestone mountains that rise dramatically from the Gulf of Thailand to heights above 600 meters. Although the natural surroundings have since made it among the most popular parks in the nation, the chief ecological draws are the freshwater marshes and rich coastal tidewaters that provide an im portant stopover and breeding grounds for Asia/Pacific birdlife.

The park also supports three types of primates: the dusky langur, crab-eating macaque, and the slow Ions. Khao Sam Roi Yot is considered one of the best places in Asia to see the dusky langur, easily recognizable by its distinctive eye patches that resemble aviator goggles. Another primate living around park headquarters is the crab-eating macaque, named after its unique ability to pull apart crabs and survive on a diet of shellfish and other sealife. Few visitors see the shy and extremely retiring slow loris, which lives among the trees but can sometimes be spotted late at night with the aid of a strong flashlight.

Despite the interesting wildlife, it is birdlife that re mains the chief attraction of Khao Sam Roi Yot. Birdwatcherปhave counted 237 species of birds in this relatively small park, an amazing concentration credited to the park's primary location on the Asian/Australian flyway. About 60% of the bird population are migratory species mov ing down from Siberia Sept.-Nov., or flying north

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