Pah Hin Ngam National Park - Thailand

Pah Hin Ngam (Thai: ป่าหินงาม) is a National Park in Chaiyaphum province in Thailand. The name Hin Ngam means beautiful stone, where Pa means forest.

In 1985, the Tep Satit Forestry Department first surveyed the area, long popular with the locals, and recommended its protection. In October 1986, the Pah Hin Ngam Park was created, covering 10 km² around the strange rock formations which gave the park its name. In 1993, the Forestry Department of Thailand conducted a more thorough survey including the surrounding area, and recommended that it become a national park. The national park covering 112 km² was created on September 19, 1994, which was officially gazetted in 2007.

The park is located at the boundary of the Phetchabun mountain range with the Korat Plateau. The steep cliff at the 846 m high Sut Phan Din viewpoint allows a great view into a valley of the Sonthi River and the Sap Langka Wildlife Sanctuary. The name Sut Phan Din (Thai: สุดแผ่นดิน) means end of land, reflecting the steepness of the cliff. This cliff also marks the watershed between the Chao Phraya and the Mekong rivers.
Near the viewpoint is one of the fields of the Siam Tulip (Curcuma alismatifolia), called Dok Kra Jiao ดอกกระเจียว in Thai. The dipterocarp forests bloom with the purple flowers at the beginning of the raining season in July.

The park got its name from the strange rock formations in the Hin Ngam Rock Ground, located at the western end of the park. Erosion has carved several large rocks into striking and unusual shapes.

The forest is semi-evergreen forest mixed with deciduous forest. The main plants are Siamese sal, ingyin, Burmese ebony, Lithocarpus collettii A. Camus, Payom (a kind of Dipterocarpaceae), pride of India, San (a kind of Dilleniaceae) etc. Animals found are barking deer, wild boar, hare, pangolin, porcupine, bamboo rat, palm civet, squirrel, monkey etc.

The best time to visit the fields of Dok Kra Jiao, over 1000 rai, is in the early mornings as there is quite a difference in the display according to the time of day. You can park your vehicle at the wide-open parking space on the left of the national park and then ride in the local “Song-taew”. You can be dropped off anywhere along the route at recognized vantage points and back again right where you got on.

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