Raman Forest Park

raman

Raman Waterfall is one of two forest parks found in Phang Nga. While it is offered protection by the forestry department it is by no means on par with that of a national park. At under 100 square kilometers the area was merely granted its status in order to prevent the waterfall and its surrounding land from falling into the hands of the private sector, since water sources and waterfalls (like beaches) are deemed public property by law. The park is a popular destination for foreigners and locals alike, who visit the waterfall to swim, relax, have a picnic or just enjoy a fun afternoon out in nature.


Birding

Main Attractions: – none –
Other Attractions: Crimson breasted Flowerpecker, Scarlet backed Flowerpecker, Orange breasted Flowerpecker

Extirpated: Chestnut naped Forktail

The waterfall was once a well-known stakeout for Chestnut naped Forktail, but due to the site’s increased popularity among locals the bird has long been extirpated from its former haunts.

Down in the car park and among the fruiting trees near the toilets is a good place to start birding. Little Spiderhunter, Orange breasted and Crimson breasted Flowerpecker are two species which can be easily found foraging among the shrubs and often will allow a birder to get up close and personal with them. Birds of prey such as Crested Serpent Eagle, Rufous-bellied Eagle and Crested Goshawk can sometimes be found soaring in the open skies above the park.

The trail to the upper levels of the falls is paved and offers a hiker or birder easy access into the source of the waterfalls. This was once the home of the famed Chestnut naped Forktail. Although it hasn’t been recorded here in the last decade, there is a possibility it could be around on a quiet day. Start by keeping your eyes glued to the waterfall while walking up the trail. The birds are very shy and often notice the birder long before the birder can find them! Many times the only view one will get of the bird is while it is in flight. Listen for its shrill call as you work your way up the trail.

Other birds seen here include Crimson Sunbird, Vernal hanging Parrot, Thick billed Pigeon, Little Heron, Hill Myna, Blue winged Pitta, Hooded Pitta, Black naped Monarch, Red throated Barbet, Striped Tit-Babbler, Green billed Malkoha, Black capped Kingfisher and a wide variety of bulbuls.


Directions to Raman Waterfall Forest Park

To get a better idea of the surrounding area, please zoom out by pressing Ctrl on your keyboard and scrolling with your mouse.

Drive northeast on Highway 4 towards the town of Phang Nga. About 10 kilometers before reaching the town, there will be a polytechnic college on you left. The entrance to Raman Waterfall is located shortly after the college and marked by a large temple archway. Signs are posted along the way as well.

The waterfall is about three or four kilometers off the main road. The road is narrow but the way is clearly marked with signs in English.


Personal Opinion

Pros: Path paved most of the way, easy on the feet; no leeches or biting insects of any kind; free entry.

Cons: Low diversity of birdlife; noisy and full of locals on most days; any birding must be done far up the trail; no resident “specials” to attract serious birders; severely encroached by rubber plantation on all sides.

It’s a pity this site doesn’t have much to offer. It’s located in a very accessible area and the trail is well-marked and pretty easy on the feet. It will appeal to the casual hiker or a tourist who wants to visit a waterfall and go for a swim. -But birdwatchers? -I hardly think so. The site earned fame a decade ago as a stakeout for the Chestnut naped Forktail but with the bird a no-show for the past 10 years and nothing else of interest in the park, who would want to take the risk?

This page was last updated in January, 2018.

Useful Links

Department of National Parks: Raman Waterfall Information and Datasheet