Tat Mok National Park, is located at the northern end of Phetchabun province. It is one of the lesser known national parks in Thailand and gets few visitors. Those who do visit are mostly locals who head up the 19km long access road to visit the impressive waterfall. The park is virtually deserted during the week, which allows safe birding along the length of the access road.
Bird and Animal Life in Tat Mok National Park
The park contains a good selection of common forest birds and perhaps a few less common ones given the fact it adjoins the prolific Nam Nao NP. Birds are frequently heard and seen at distance but like many locations in Thailand getting near to subjects can be tricky given limited access to trails. Photography can also be a challenge given the heavy shade under the forest canopy where most avian visitors hang out.
To date(May 2019) around 110 species of bird have been seen in the park. Not a huge list but it does contain a few less common birds.
Animal life also abounds in the park with Sambar and Muntjac Deer often seen. Asian Elephants are also present but rarely seen. Wild Boar, Macaques and Golden Jackal have also been observed. Several smaller mammals are also present and a fleeting glimpse of a mongoose can sometimes be the reward for sitting quietly in the shade.
Like many Thai national parks there are very few maintained trails to explore the primary forest.
The two nature trails that are maintained, in the first case, allow access to a viewpoint with extensive and breathtaking views over the Pa Sak River valley and the distant Khao Kho(West Phetchabun Mountains). While a second trail climbs up the valley side to give access to a distant waterfall and Buddhist shrine.
The first trail allows vehicle access to the viewpoint(Lam Chom Dao) where there is also a campground. This is OK in the dry season, but it is an unsealed road and might present problems to non-4WD vehicles in the wet. The second trail is again unsealed and a vehicle could get up it but there are no turning points. Probably best explored on foot!
Although not strictly a trail, the area around the visitor centre(about 9km from entrance) does include two campgrounds and some open space. Here you might well find some opportunities for photography in decent light with some forest birds feeding on the various fruiting trees in the area.
A stream fed by the still distant waterfall(another 10km) can be accessed here too.
There is a fair bit of work taking place in the park(May 2019) especially on the upper section of the access road after the HQ building. The DNP is constructing a small dam and electricity generating house. This has destroyed a fair bit of habitat near the road but hopefully this will grow back as it previously provided some fairly close views of a good selection of birds.
At the end of the access road there is a parking area that gives access to the track that leads to the waterfall(2km distant).
You can view a selection of bird photographs from Tat Mok NP here.
Directions to Tat Mok National Park Phetchabun Thailand
Tat Mok National Park is easily accessed from both the north & south using Highway 21 to Phetchabun City and then Rural Route 2271 and a short distance on Rural Route 2275. If you expand the Google map above it is easy to see the relevant routes.
Entrance fees for foreigners are 100 Baht with 30 Baht charged per vehicle.Thai nationals pay 20 Baht.
If you would like any more information or help in visiting Tat Mok National Park, Phetchabun, Thailand please contact the author. Or if you would enjoy a day or two with the author birding the park please read this article.