Located in the west of Thai Gulf, in the territory of Kuiburi District, Sam Roi Yot Sub District, Prachuap Khiri Khan Province. Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park is Thailandís first coastal National Park in 1996, covering the area of approximately 98.8 sq.km. The landscape is high steep limestone mountains by the beautiful coast, matching with plain area stand by the sea, which are marshy beach and shallow sea pond. There are limestones islands nearby the coast e.g., Sattakut Island, Kho Ram Island, Nom Sao Island, Rawing Island, Rawang Island and Khi Nok Island. The flat area with stagnant water through the year on the west of the park is Thung Sam Roi Yot, which is the large freshwater marsh, covering around 36.8 sq.km.
The name Khao Sam Roi Yot can be translated into "The Mountain With Three Hundred Peaks", a series of magnificent grey limestone mountains, which rise dramatically from the Gulf of Thailand and adjacent coastal marsh to a maximum height of 605 m.
The wooded mountains make it a site of outstanding natural beauty, but it is the freshwater marsh and coastal habitats (an important stopover and breeding area for birds), that gives the park great ecological significance. Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park also has great recreational and educational value. It offers the visitor a tremendous variety of attractions. These include fine sandy beaches, spectacular caves, superb mountain viewpoints, offshore islands, forest trails, boat.
excursions, and estuarine and mangrove habitats, all within a relatively small area. This unparalleled variety of habitats makes it one of the most interesting national parks in Thailand.
Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park contains a diverse array of habitats: ten distinctive habitat zones in all. One of the most interesting is the dry limestone mountains. These are sparsely covered by dwarf evergreen and deciduous trees and shrubs which grow in the thin soils and on the barren rock. The average rainfall is just over a metre, falling mainly between August and November. This quickly drains away so plants have had to adapt to this unique environment. A mixed deciduous forest, including areas of secondary growth and bamboo grows on the foothills and in the valleys.
Thung Sam Roi Yot, the largest freshwater marsh in Thailand, provides an important environment for a large number of birds, amphibians, reptiles, and small mammals. The World Conservation Union (IUCN) has recognized these fragile wetlands as a site of global importance. Other areas of habitat include scrub, salt pan, cultivated areas, mudflats, brackish waters, mangroves, sand beaches, offshore islets, and open sea.
The geological characteristic here is very high steep limestone that becomes the high steep cliffs as well as the deep abyss. The highest peak of the hills is 605 meters above the mean sea level. The most fascinating are Khao Yai, Khao Tham Prathun, Khao Daeng, Khao Khan Ban Dai and etc. The limestone land had been worn away by natural impact till became caves or abyss such as Tam Kaeo, Tam Sai, Tam Phraya Nakhon Cave and etc.
Khao Sam Roi Yot has a variety of ecology system, composing of sea, beaches, mangrove forests, freshwater, marsh land, and limestone mountain, which make the areas are appropriated to be living place of any kind of animals, particularly birds.
Plant community found are beach forests, mangrove forests, limestone-hill forests and hydropholic plant social. General plants found in the park are Casuaria equisetifolia (Sea oak), Theapesia populnea, Calophyllum inophyllum, Manilkara hexandra, Diospyros mollis (Ebony tree), Wrightia tomentosa (Ivory), Dracaena loureiri, Diospyros bejaudii, Afzelia xylocarpa, Rhizophora mucronata (Red mangrone), Rhizophora apiculata, Ceriops decandra, Xylocarpus granatum, Avicennia marina; whereas social plants found in fresh pond are Cyperus spp., Neyraudia reynaudiana, Arundo donax, Themeda arundinacea, Hymenachne pseudointerrupta, Leersia hexandra, Nymphaea spp., Marsilea creuata (Water clover) Alocasia sp., Water chestnuts and etc.
Due to the steep and relatively inaccessible nature of its mountainous interior, the park still supports a population of Serow, a blackish goat-antelope now rare in Thailand. To catch a glimpse of the Serow, try scanning the rugged mountain crags with a pair of binoculars in the early morning, or evening when it is active.
The park also supports populations of three species of primate: Dusky, or Spectacled Langur, Crab-eating, or Long-tailed Macaque, and the Slow Lorris. The visitor is virtually guaranteed views of the delightful Dusky Langur as the park is one of the best spots in the world to observe this amusing primate, which is easily recognized by its distinctive spectacle eye patches.
The Dusky Langur and the less retiring Crab-eating Macaque are often seen in the vicinity of the park bungalows at the headquarters or the forested sloped behind. More difficult to see is the shy, nocturnal Slow Lorris. To see the Slow Loris try searching the tree canopy at night with a flashlight which will pick up its'eye reflection.
Other mammals found here are the Barking Deer, Malayan Pangolin, Fishing Cat, Common Palm-Civet, Malayan Porcupine, Javan Mongoose, Siamese Hare, & the Grey-bellied Squirrel. Dolphins can occasionally be observed in the coastal waters.
Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park has become a popular spot with bird watchers due to the approximately 300 recorded species found here and the park's accessibility. The large number of species found within a relatively small area can be attributed to the unique diversity of habitat, and because the park is located on the East Asian/Australian Flyway. Migratory visitors account for half of all the listed species.
The park is reportedly one of the best locations in Thailand to observe shorebirds. Between September and November hundreds of migratory shorebirds from Siberia, China, and Northern Europe arrive at the mudflats to feed and rest, before continuing their southern journey. Some will spend the winter months (November to March) here. These birds will begin the long return journey to their northern breeding grounds between March and May.
The freshwater marsh near the village of Rong Jay provides a good opportunity to view a number of large waterbirds, songbirds and raptors. The marsh is one of only two sites in Thailand where the Purple Heron breeds. The area around the headquarters also makes an ideal location to see birds associated with deciduous woodland, scrubland, and mangrove. Persons interested in birds can pick-up a "Check List and Guide to Bird Finding" available for a small fee, from the Visitors' Center at the Headquarters.