A boat trip and a stunning viewpoint: Why Khao Daeng in Sam Roi Yot is a great day trip from Hua Hin

Image: Patrick Jacobs

Just a stone’s throw from Hua Hin, Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park is packed full of interesting and spectacular places to visit.

The park covers over 90 square kilometres across Sam Roi Yot and Kuiburi districts in Prachuap Khiri Khan Province and is an area rich in both natural beauty and wildlife.

From hidden temples to panoramic viewpoints and beachside camping – there are some wonderful places to explore.

Some of the most popular points of interest in the national park include Phraya Nakhon Cave, Samphraya Beach, Sai Cave, Kheo Cave, Laem Sala Beach and Thung Sam Roi Yot.

Image: Patrick Jacobs

But there is one activity that is suitable for everyone and which is ideal for a day trip out from Hua Hin.

The Khao Daeng Canal Boat Trip lets you take in the unique and interesting scenery along the waterway, which flows from the national park and out to the Gulf of Thailand.

During the trip you will be able to see a number of unusual rock formations along the way, one of which is said to look like a crocodile climbing up the side of a cliff, while others are said to look like a monkey’s face and the head of a whale.

Image: Patrick Jacobs

The route along the waterway is also teeming with wildlife and you can expect to see a wide variety of animals such as cormorants, egrets, mudskippers, swordfish, macaques, and spectacled langurs.

The latter part of the boat trip will take you out towards the Gulf of Thailand and offers spectacular views along the coastline.

Boats are rented from the pier in front of Wat Khao Daeng, with the 3-4 kilometre cruise taking between 50 minutes to an hour.

The rental of the boat costs 500 baht, with each boat able to seat a maximum of six people.

Image: Patrick Jacobs

The boat trips operate between 8.00 – 16.30 every day but can be dependent on the weather and will not operate during heavy rain.

Previously, the boat trips were operated by villagers from the nearby Khlong Khao Daeng community.

However, the national park later stepped in to take over management of the boat tours. While locals still operate the tours, park officials provide assistance aimed at boosting the safety and performance of the service, as well helping locals with promotional campaigns and activities.

According to Supranee Seesang, an officer at Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park, the boat trips have become increasingly popular with tourists in recent months, particularly following the easing of COVID-19 restrictions.

During the week, approximately 100-150 Thai and foreign will take a boat trip, while on weekends or public holidays there can be double the number of tourists.

Image: Patrick Jacobs

During the weekends, students from the local nieghbourhood take part in a program which sees them work as tour guides for people taking a boat trip.

The students help to explain the different cultural aspects of Khlong Khao Daeng, providing information about the local area during the boat trip.

The aim of the program is to help students improve their communication skills and boost their confidence, as well as earn a small supplementary income.

There is no set fee for the student guides, with fees determined by the generosity of the tourists taking the boat trips.

After taking a boat trip, the nearby Khao Daeng Viewpoint, which offers spectacular views of the surrounding area, is a must visit.

The viewpoint can be reached by climbing 480 metres to the summit. The climb is challenging in places and suitable footwear is recommended.

Image: Patrick Jacobs

However, once at the top, you get a stunning 360-degree view of the sea, mountains, rice fields, and local villages and much more.

The Khao Daeng viewpoint is open from 8am to 3pm daily.

However, if you want to climb to the viewpoint to watch the sunrise, you need to contact the national park office 1-2 days in advance and they will send navigation staff to assist you.

Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park entrance fee:
Thais pay 40 baht for adults and 20 baht for children, while foreigners pay 200 baht for adults and 100 baht for children. This fee is only paid once per visit, but it allows you to visit all attractions or interesting sights throughout the entire national park.

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