PHANG-NGA - KHAO LAMPI & HAT TAI MUANG NATIONAL PARK
Khao Lampi - Hat Thai Muaeng National Park, formerly known as "Lampi Waterfall" and "Lampi Forest Park" was assigned to be managed and controlled by the National Park Division of The Royal Forest Department on April 14, 1986. It is the 52nd national park of Thailand and covers an area of 72 square kilometers or 45,000 rais.
Lampi Mountain -Thai Mueang Beach National Park is on the eastern Andaman coast of Thailand.
It consists of first, the Thai Mueang beach and second, the Lampi mountain range.
To the west, the Thai Mueang beach ends at the Kham Bay Peninsula (Na Yak or ‘Giant Face’ mountain), and to the east there is a brackish water canal which feeds from the Lampi mountain range, covered by a fertile tropical rainforest.
The Lampi range is comprised of several mountains with heights ranging between 40-100 meters above sea level.
The highest mountain is Kanim mountain, located on the northern part of the park with a height of 622 meters above sea level.
The park’s climate is defined by the southwestern monsoon wind which is strong between May and October.
This wind brings moisture from the Indian Ocean and frequent rain during the green season.
The park is not affected by the northeastern monsoon wind because the mountain range acts as a protective barrier reducing the wind speed.
However, in November, the strong currents of the northeastern monsoon wind occasionally bring about unseasonable rain.
From December until April the park experiences a dry season with few clouds, little rain, and higher temperatures.
The best time to visit the park is between December and April.
1. Sandy beach:
The main element of the sandy beach ecosystem is the shoal area which serves as the primary habitat for several small marine animals, such as sea slugs and sand worms.
These animals are essential to the ecosystem serving as a primary food source in the local food chain as well as to migratory birds, which flock to the area during the migration season (December to April).
Cover plants critical to the area include Goat’s foot creeper, Aeluropus lagopoides; some of the bush plants include Scaevola taccada and Pandanus.
2. Mangrove forest:
The mangrove forests can be found along the brackish canals feeding the Andaman Sea.
These forests connect many different ecosystems, providing a high production of biomass and supporting an abundance of life forms.
These forests act as a barrier between the open sea and the inland, exhibiting this protective role during the 2004 tsunami by dissipating wave energy.
Furthermore, they filter water that comes from higher ground, providing a safe nursery for sea life and preventing significant amounts of silt and nutrients from making it to the open sea.
This protects both the sea from algae blooms and the coral reefs from silt damage.
Several plant species include Rhizophora mucronata, Rhizophora apiculata, Parviflora, and Bruguiera cylindrica.
3. Beach forest:
The beach forest ecosystem develops from the sandy beach eastwards, from the park headquarters to Na Yak Mountain.
The forest thrives on the sea shore in the non-salty soil behind the high tide line and on sea-side hills that have slightly salty soil due to sea spray.
Most plants growing in this area are salt-tolerant and shaped by the force of the wind.
The forest helps reduce the amount of salty spray reaching the inland.
The variety and composition of species and habitats occupying this ecosystem is unique.
Many plants grow here, examples of which are: Cassuarina equisetifolia, Terminalia catappa, Derris indica, and Barringtonia.
4. Swamp forest:
Behind Thai Mueang beach, swamp forests extend inland along the old sand dunes at the coastline.
Thai Mueang is one of the few places along the Andaman coast with this type of ecosystem.
The specific physical features and chemical substances in the swamp have forced the indigenous flora and fauna to make interesting adaptations in order to survive, giving rise to several rare and unique species.
5. Coral Reef:
The extensive coral reef system off the coast of Thai Mueang beach is a newly discovered natural resource.
The reef lies 400 - 700 meters from the shore in 6 - 10 meters of water.
There are two distinct sections, the first measuring 1.7 square kilometers, and the second 1 square kilometer.
The vast reef supports a diverse selection of over 100 types of coral, including species that have never been discovered elsewhere in Thailand.
Some of the more prevalent species of coral found in the area are Acropora and Porites.
6. Tropical rainforest:
This rainforest is found in the mountainous areas of the park, where the waterfalls are located.
It houses a diversity of flora and fauna and has created a number of economic opportunities for the people of the area, contributing to their sustainable ways of life.
Several plant varieties include Dipterocarpus, Anisoptera costata, Hopea odorata, Bullet wood, Rattan, and Bamboo.
Lam Pee Mountain -Tai Muang Beach National Park is the eastern area of Andaman coast, consisting of two parts, the first part is Tai Muang beach and the second is Lam Pee mountain.
The Tai Muang is located on the coast of Andaman sea, the end of beach is the Kham Bay Peninsula (Giant Face mountain), the eastern part of this area has a big brackish water canal getting fresh water from Lam Pee mountain which still has the fertile primary rainforest.
Lam Pee comprises of a lot of mountains which laid from north to south with getting higher about 40-100 meters above the average sea level.
The highest mountain is Kanim mountain, located in the northern part area with height of 622 meters from the average sea level.
It has got an influence from the southwestern monsoon wind which has a strong wind during May and October.
This wind brings some moisture from Indian ocean which induces to have frequently raining.
This area does not affect from the northeastern monsoon wind because the mountain laid in the north-south direction is the barrier and redues the wind speed.
However, in November, the strong wind of northeastern monsoon wind could induce to have raining here.
While during December and April is the dry season with has a little bit cloud, rain and higher temperature.
Thus, the suitable duration of travel is December-April.
FAUNA AND FLORA
From study of Lam Pee Mountain -Tai Muang Beach National Park found that society of plants could be classify into 4 groups as follows:
1/- Primary rainforest could be found in the steeply high mountains such as Kanim mountain, Lam Pee mountain and some eastern part of Tai Muang beach. The forest on the Lam Pee mountains is very fertile and can find many kinds of plant such as Dipterocarpus, Anisoptera costata Korth, Hopea odorata Roxb., Bullet Wood while the low level plants consist of Rattan and Bamboo.
2/- Mangrove forest could be found in the mud area and mounth of a big river, here you can find it in the coconut field mud beach and Hin Lad canal along the eastern part of Tai Muang beach which has some mud creek that suitable for growing of mangrove woods. Kinds of plant that you could find here are Rhizophora mucronata, Rhizophora apiculata, B. parviflora ,Bruguiera cylindrica, etc.
3/- Beach forest could be found as the tall forest along the Tai Muang beach. The found plants are Cassuarina equisetifolia, Terminalia catappa, Derris indica, and Barringtonia, etc.
4/- Swamp forest of Phru forest is the plant society that found in the year-round contained water area. You can find it at the center area of Tai Muang beach which has a white sand soil. The outstanding plant society here is a pure samed forest.
Could be classified as follows:
Birds has been found totally 188 types such as Black-thighed Falconet, Oriental Honey-Buzzard, etc.
Mammal animals could be found totally 64 types including 2 types of conserved animals, namely Malayan Tapir and Serow while the others are Hylobates lar, Malayan sun bear etc.
Reptiles, totally found 57 types including 26 types of conserved animals and 31 types that not under conservation. There are 2 types which are severely going to be gone; Leather-backed turtle, Leathery turtle and Lepidochelys olivacea and the other two types which also would be gone; Green Turtle and Siamese Hawksbill Turtle while 4 types of reptiles; Giant Asiatic Tortoise, Spiny Terrapin, Python curtus and Malayan pit viper or Siamese pit viper, Wirot's pit viper at present, have tendly to be gone.
Amphibians, from survey found totally 16 types consisting of 2 types which under the official conservation while the other 14 types are not under conservation such as frog etc.
Fresh water fish was found 31 types. Only one types, namely Nile tilapia have trend to be gone.
Nile tilapia is the only non-local fresh water fish which could be found in the natural water sources here.
The rare fishes are Mystus wykii and saltwater eel while others fishes are Nieuhof's walking catfish and Blue panchax, etc.
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