Pang Sida National Park
Sa Kaew Province


Thailand


World

 

Overview

Pang Sida National Park is comprised of several forest blocks in both Sa Kaew and Prachin Buri provinces. Together with nearby Khao Yai National Park it forms the Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex and is declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The Pang Sida area comprises 844 square kilometre of deciduous dipterocarp, mixed deciduous and hill evergreen forests. Although best known for its butterflies, the habitat harbours a number of interesting forest birds including Eared Pitta and Siamese Fireback. Information on this page verified/accurate as of 27 Apr 2016.

Pang Sida map

Access

The park HQ, and main visitor area, lies about 22 kilometres north of Sa Kaew. Unfortunately, finding the park entrance is not straightforward. Coming from the west from Bangkok and Prachin on Highway 33, turn off northward on Highway 3462 a few kilometres before Sa Kaew. From here it's about 25 km to the park entrance, but it's only indicated by one small sign and Highway 3462 does not appear to be well numbered, with several unsigned junctions en route. It will undoubtedly be necessary to ask along the way or come prepared with a GPS. The park entrance and HQ are one kilometre north of the junction with Highway 3485.

Accommodation and Facilities

The park has bungalows and a couple of campsites. Helpfully there is also the small Blue Mountain Resort and a Home Stay a few hundred metres from the park gate/checkpoint. Both places are clean with cold showers but only two or three rooms. A couple of restaurants nearby are open early till late. The park itself has a small restaurant. Finding a well stocked store will require a drive back to Sa Kaew.

Birding

From the checkpoint, a well-maintained road runs 25 km to the viewpoint. According to both the park map and Thai road maps, this main road continues across the mountain to Khon Buri. However, in reality it ends at the parking area at the viewpoint. From here it is possible to continue, on foot, along the old, now overgrown, road but for how far is not known. This continuation however could be interesting, and undisturbed for birding. From the entrance, only the first 3-4 km of this road are paved – the remainder being dirt. Forest is good along most of this road, and roadside birding could be very rewarding. However, as the road is dirt it is extremely dusty from passing cars and probably only good for roadside birding in the wet season when the rain would damp down the dust. Altitude varies from 80 - 400 metres.

Butterflies
Butterfly puddling area

Gaur Grasslands
Gaur grasslands

Green Imperial Pigeon
Green Imperial Pigeon

Viewpoint at 25 Km
Viewpoint at km 25

HQ and Campsite Area

The larger trees and open areas around the Visitor Centre and lower campsite are probably good early morning.

Nature Trail and Butterfly Area

About 3.5 km from the entrance, at the second checkpoint, is the main butterfly puddling area, where a host of butterflies can be studied and photographed. From here the loop Nature Trail runs for 1.8 km through some excellent-looking evergreen forest, along small streams, that has Banded Kingfisher and Dusky Broadbill. The habitat looks excellent for pittas in the wet season as well as leeches. However, in 2016 this trail was, as usual in Thai parks, in a total state of disrepair and difficult to follow, and all sign boards had collapsed. Officially a ranger is required to walk the trail.

Butapot Nature Trail and the Gaur Grasslands

Starting at 6 km along the road is a wide track - not drivable as a locked gate crosses the track - signed as the Butapot Nature Trail. The forest along the first kilometre of this track is good, with Van Hasselt's Sunbird, Siamese Fireback, Collared Owlet and Heart-spotted Woodpecker. After a kilometre a trail leads off left to an observation tower with an excellent view across a sizeable area of grassland. This tower was obviously designed by someone in an office who had never actually observed wildlife in the field as all the seating faces inward to the centre of the tower.

The open grassland is good for Green Imperial Pigeon, Red-breasted Parakeet, Golden-headed Cisticola, Chestnut-capped Babbler and probably a whole host of other birds given time. Gaur can sometimes be found early and late in the day.

Por Dor 5 Substation

At 22 km is the Por Dor Ha campsite and ranger substation. The open areas and trees around the campsite should be worthy of checking. Radde’s Warbler is present in areas next to the pond behind the campsite. A waterfall can be accessed on the opposite side of the road, via a 500 m trail.

Viewpoint

The viewpoint at 25 km provides excellent views over the surrounding hills, and should be a good place for hornbills at the appropriate time of day. Forest along the road here can have Moustached Barbet and Green-eared Barbet. Birding any of the forest along the road is likely to be productive.

Checklist

Checklist of species.

Sunrise and Sunset

Detailed sunrise and sunset times.