Facts and Data

Official Unesco Page
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Basis Data:
Unesco World heritage since: 2005
Size of heritage: 615,500 ha

Longitude: 102,050°
Latitude: 14,330°


The Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex spans 230 km between Ta Phraya National Park on the Cambodian border in the east, and Khao Yai National Park in the west. The site is home to more than 800 species of fauna, including 112 mammal species (among them two species of gibbon), 392 bird species and 200 reptile and amphibian species. It is internationally important for the conservation of globally threatened and endangered mammal, bird and reptile species, among them 19 that are vulnerable, four that are endangered, and one that is critically endangered. The area contains substantial and important tropical forest ecosystems, which can provide a viable habitat for the long-term survival of these species.

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The Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex: A Natural Wonder in Thailand

The Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex, located in the provinces of Saraburi, Nakhon Nayok, Nakhon Rachisima, Prachinburi, Srakaew, and Burirum in Thailand, is a UNESCO World Heritage site that showcases the country's rich biodiversity and natural beauty. Spanning over 615,500 hectares, this complex is a remarkable example of a tropical forest ecosystem.


The history of the Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex dates back to 1962 when Khao Yai National Park was established as Thailand's first national park. Recognizing the importance of preserving this unique ecosystem, the Thai government expanded the protected area over the years, leading to the inclusion of the Dong Phayayen Forest Reserve in 1984.

In 2005, the complex was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage site due to its outstanding universal value. It was recognized for its exceptional biodiversity, including globally threatened species such as the Asian elephant, tiger, and gaur. The site also holds cultural significance as it is home to several indigenous communities who have lived in harmony with nature for generations.

Current State

The Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex is a haven for wildlife and a paradise for nature enthusiasts. Its diverse ecosystems encompass evergreen forests, grasslands, and waterfalls, providing a habitat for over 800 species of fauna and flora.

The complex is renowned for its rich birdlife, with more than 380 species recorded. Birdwatchers can spot rare and colorful species such as the great hornbill, Siamese fireback, and silver pheasant. The forests are also home to elusive mammals like the clouded leopard, Asiatic black bear, and barking deer.

Visitors to the complex can explore its natural wonders through various activities. Hiking trails lead to breathtaking viewpoints, where one can admire the vastness of the forest and its cascading waterfalls. The Haew Narok Waterfall, with its 150-meter drop, is a particularly awe-inspiring sight.

Efforts are being made to protect and sustain the Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex. The Thai government, in collaboration with local communities and international organizations, has implemented conservation programs to combat illegal logging, poaching, and habitat destruction. These initiatives aim to preserve the delicate balance of the ecosystem and ensure the survival of endangered species.

Furthermore, ecotourism plays a crucial role in raising awareness and generating funds for conservation efforts. Responsible tourism practices are encouraged, such as guided tours that educate visitors about the importance of preserving the natural heritage of the complex.


The Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex stands as a testament to Thailand's commitment to preserving its natural heritage. With its remarkable biodiversity and stunning landscapes, it offers a unique opportunity to experience the wonders of nature. As a UNESCO World Heritage site, it serves as a reminder of the importance of conservation and sustainable practices for the benefit of future generations.