The Thai Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has proposed the transformation of Khao Nang Phanthurat Forest Park in Cha Am into a geological tourist destination.
The aim of the development is to encourage geological education and preserve the natural resources.
Dr. Yuthapol Angkinan, an advisor to the minister, recently announced that geologists from the Department of Mineral Resources have uncovered numerous fossilized marine life forms within the park’s limestone mountain.
These findings are believed to date back to the Permian period, approximately 250 million years ago. The fossils include bivalves, single-shell mollusks, and corals.
Meanwhile, Phoobet Sakha, a geological expert, stated that the limestone mountain in the park was formed by the substantial buildup of calcium carbonate sediments, over 250 million years ago.
Some of the fossilized corals, known as Rugose corals, bear a resemblance to tree branches or horns and became extinct approximately 250 million years ago.
If you have never been to Khao Nang Phanthurat Forest Park it is well worth checking out.
Located just a 30 minute drive from Hua Hin in nearby Cha Am, the park boasts a beautifully landscaped and maintained greenspace, a number of hiking trails, and viewpoints with stunning vistas of Cha Am and the surrounding area.
There are two fairly easy hiking trails that would be suitable for most people.
The shortest trail and the most accessible is the 150 metre climb up recently refurbished concrete steps to the Phanthurat Mirror viewpoint, which once at the summit offers great views out towards Cha Am beach.
The short jaunt takes no more than 15 minutes to reach the summit, as you pass the Nang Phanturat Shrine and Crematorium along the way.
At the front of the park is a large and beautifully landscaped and maintained area set in front of stunning limestone cliffs which make for a spectacular backdrop.
Khao Nang Phanthurat Forest Park also includes a small coffee shop, visitors centre and plant nursery. There is also the option to camp overnight, provided you contact park officials first and bring your own tent.
Located just outside the entrance to the park is a 10 kilometre bicycle route that circles the perimeter of the park and which is also suitable for runners and walkers.