Koh Samae San
With the increases in National Park fees and the inability to get in at Thai prices I decided to give Petchabun a miss as there were four parks the missus wanted to visit and would have cost me alone 2000 baht. Not to mention accommodation and fuel costs.
Anyway I let her talk me into visiting the Navy island of Samae San "it looks great on facebook".
It's local so there was no accom. charge and minimal travel costs, however there is a big charge to get there. 600 baht for me (no concession) 300 for Thais and 220 for kids. This did include the boat trip to and from the island and a visit to the museum on the hill if you wish.
The beach they take you to is nothing special but there is another beach they take you to by baht bus (no charge) which is much nicer. You can rent bicycles if you wish at the first beach (small charge) we didn't. The second beach has a reef just off the beach and another at the island a little further out. The Navy take you there, mask and snorkel included 50 baht each. This wasn't bad as the visibility was good and there were plenty of fish though the reef wasn't varied in coral species, it was healthy though. The Navy don't like you wandering around as it's supposed to be a conservation area shame they didn't clean the beach outside of the tourist areas.
Wife wanted to go snorkeling at the first beach and we had to take a large boat out in a group
as its some distance away (50 baht each again kit inc.) however it was like pea soup this time and you could barely see your feet a total waste of time and money. After that we decided to head off home, we did pop into the museum on the way out as it was included in the price and we were not in a rush.
Deck chair cost was 20 baht and the free facilities were poor.
All in all I wouldn't go back and I recommend other people keep their hard earned cash for better things even at the Thai rate it was overpriced.
I would be interested in hearing other peoples experiences at the National parks and the costs of entry, as I will be heading south next April and it looks like I will have to cut right back on any National parks I wish to visit.
Called into Thap Lan National Park , Kabin Buri District , Prachinburi Province (April) which was free , but not a lot there , its opposite The Verona ...
Not a National Park in May went to Prasat Hin Muang Tam and Prasat Hin Phanom Rung (Phanom Rung Historical Park) in Buriram Province , Mrs and her sisters got in Thai price I had to pay Farang price ....
Couple of years ago we went to Phu Pha Thoep National Park (Mukdahan Province) I paid same as Mrs , she cannot remember the amount .
Next month will go to Ramkhamhaeng National Park and Sukhothai Historical Park (Sukhothai Province)
In Dec were going to Khao Sok National Park (Surat Thani Province) and Ao Phang Nga National Park (Phang Nga) all being well .
Last Feb Mrs was working abroad so I had a solo trip to The Erawan Museum in Samut Prakam , I went to buy a ticket they wanted 400 baht but got in for 200 baht after getting out my Thai driving ID , after 5pm it is half price.
Last edited by sisaket; 22nd Oct 2015 at 19:24.
Did Phang Nga national park a couple of years ago and had to pay the higher cost 200 baht at the time, not sure what the current cost is as it all seems rather difficult to find out without phoning the park direct. I guess that's what the government want, confusion and turning up to find the cost is now much more than before. Having made the journey with family it is unlikely people will turn away, or maybe I'm just being a bit cynical. It would be nice if people posted their experiences on the forum as the park charges are definitely changing.
Not only national parks. We went to Nong Nooch yesterday and they wanted to charge my 8 month old son Farang price to get in. We turned round and went to Khao Keow. Far better place and a lot cheaper.
I have taken many people to Nong Nooch over the years and always got in at Thai prices, glad you turned around and left, wish more people did. There is a slightly higher price for falangs at Khao keow but I bet they didn't rip you off for the little one. Like you say, a nice place too.
On another note we are planning our holiday in the south for April. We wanted to go to Rachaprapa dam as part of the holiday and stay overnight at government accom on the lake. However on phoning them it appeared the accom cost is 1800/night and very basic, food extra, cost to get there from the dam 2500 baht (not sure if this a single or return) by long tailed boat and the icing on the cake for each day in the national park (Khao Sok) it will cost 300 baht for falang, a daily price not a one off admission price. I would still like to visit but definitely not staying overnight. I will be prepared to walk away on the day if there are any more rip offs, but like most people don't want to spoil the holiday for the others.
Missus said late yesterday having thought about she has decided it's too much of a rip off so we are going to give the whole Khao Sok area a miss and go straight on to Trang province.