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National Parks & Marine Reserves
Mae Charim National Park (white-water rafting along the Wa R
tourism authority of thailand
Mae Charim, Nan
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The national park is in Mae Charim district, 60 kilometres from Mueang Nan along Highway 1168 and 1243, covering an area of 270,000 rai or 432 square kilometres. Geographically, they are undulating mountain ranges, an origin of a tributary flowing into the Nan River at Wiang Sa district. It comprises hill evergreen forest, deciduous dipterocarp forest, and mixed deciduous forest, as well as, various kinds of wildlife. 

Interesting Attractions within the National Park are as follows: 

Rock Paintings at Pha No The trip starts at Ban Nam Pu. In the first part, visitors will have to cross the Wa River and walk along the mountain ridge, passing the deciduous dipterocarp forest and the mixed deciduous forest, and later climb the steep limestone mountain. The most appropriate season to visit is winter. The rainy season might be too dangerous due to a collapse of soil and very slippery route. Contact the National Park officers for a leader. The total distance is 8.7 kilometres and takes 8 - 9 hours. 

The Trekking Route along the Paeng River is a route connecting Ban Rom Klao – Ban Huai Sai. It is a local route for gathering wild products from the forest, starting from Ban Rom Klao – Pak Nam Paeng at the Kaeng Luang area. Visitors will pass through various kinds of forest for a distance of 9 kilometres, taking approximately 4 hours. 

The Route to Admire the Sea of Fog of Ban Nam Phang – Ban Rom Klao is on Highway No. 1259 between the Nam Phang and Rom Klao villages. It is suitable for mountain biking or driving and sightseeing the scenery on both sides of the route, especially in winter when there is a sea of fog and sunrise to be admired. The first 10 kilometres is an asphalt road, while the rest is a laterite one cutting across the steep shoulders of the mountains. 

Ban Rom Klao Trekking Route Visitors have to walk for 3.8 kilometres, starting from Ban Nam Phang. Then they have to walk along the shortcut up to the mountain ridge, passing through many forests at different levels from the sea; namely, deciduous dipterocarp forest, a mixture of deciduous dipterocarp forest and pine forest, hill evergreen forest, and mixed deciduous forest. The condition of the forests along the route is still perfect. The total distance from Ban Nam Phang to Ban Rom Klao is 9.6 kilometres or takes 5 hours. However, it takes only 3 - 4 hours if using a car to the crossroad into the forest. The route is not very difficult to access, but visitors have to be healthy. The most appropriate seasons are winter and summer. Contact the National Park officers for a leader. 

Various activities to experience the nature at the Mae Charim National Park are as follows: 

White-water Rafting along the Middle Part of the Wa River The rapids are of level 3 to 5 difficulty with a length of 100 kilometres. It takes 3 days and 2 nights passing the Doi Phu Kha National Park and the Mae Charim National Park. 

White-water Rafting along the Lower Part of the Wa River It was originally a transporting route for teakwood, which was illegally cut from the forest in Mae Charim and Wiang Sa districts. The Wa River runs through the valleys. On both sides are high undulating mountains, and more than 22 rapids. The level of difficulty is at level 3 - 5 (level 3 is medium, level 4 is difficult, and level 5 is very difficult). The biggest and the most difficult one is Kaeng Luang. Some parts of the stream are sandy beach where a raft can be stopped, and it is suitable for swimming. Some parts are the location of elephant camps where visitors can take an elephant to Ban Hat Rai. The period when the tide is the highest is during August, while the lowest one is in April. The most suitable time for white-water rafting is from November to January. 

There are 2 routes for rafting along the Wa River as follows: 
- Sailing route by inflatable rubber dinghy
: It starts from Ban Nam Pu, Nam Phang sub-district, Mae Charim district, and ends at Ban Hat Rai, San Na Nong sub-district, Wiang Sa district, being a total distance of 19.2 kilometres or takes 4 hours. However, if visitors start in front of the Office of the National Park , the total distance will be only 15 kilometres. 

- Bamboo rafting route: It starts from Ban Nam Wa up to Ban Nam Pu for a distance of 4 kilometres or takes approximately 4 hours. Contact the Nan Pang Chang Company, Tel. 0 5478 1316, the River Raft Company, Tel. 0 5471 0940, 08 9835 1506, and the Inter Tour, Tel. 0 5471 0195 for information of the Wa River Tour and elephant riding. 

Mountain Bike – Trekking along the Paeng River – White-water Rafting along the Wa River The trip starts at the Mae Charim National Park Ranger Station (Ban Mai) in the area of Ban Nam Phang. Cycle along Highway No. 1259 to Ban Rom Klao for 2 hours and walk along the Paeng River to the Wa River in the area of Kaeng Luang, taking 4 hours. Then, take a raft from Kaeng Luang to Ban Hat Rai for a distance of 15 kilometres or 2 hours. The total trip can take 1 day or visitors can stay overnight at Ban Rom Klao and start trekking along the Paeng River early in the morning and do white-water rafting along the Wa River in the afternoon. 

Sightseeing – Trekking along the Paeng River – White-water Rafting along the Wa River The starting point is at the Mae Charim National Park Ranger Station (Ban Mai) within the area of Ban Nam Phang. A sightseeing tour can be done along Highway 1259 to Ban Rom Klao for 1 hour. Then, walk along the Paeng River to the Wa River in the Kaeng Luang area. The total time is 4 hours. Then take a raft from Kaeng Luang to Ban Hat Rai for15 kilometres or 2 hours. The total time estimated for this trip is 7 hours. 

Trekking from Ban Nam Phang to Ban Rom Klao – Trekking along the Paeng River – White-water Rafting along the Wa River The starting point is at the Mae Charim National Park Ranger Station ( Ban Mai) in the area of Ban Nam Phang. Take Highway 1259 to Ban Rom Klao for a distance of 3.8 kilometres or 5 hours. Then, walk along the Paeng River to the Wa River in the Kaeng Luang area, which takes 4 hours. Then, continue by rafting from Kaeng Luang to Ban Hat Rai for 2 hours. The total time estimated for the trip is 11 hours. This activity takes 2 days and 1 night. 

Climbing at Pha No – Admiring the Rock Paintings – White-water Rafting along the Wa River The starting point is at Ban Nam Pu to the No Cliff. Then, walk to the Kaeng Luang for 8 hours and do rafting along Kaeng Nam Wa to Ban Hat Rai, which takes 2 hours. The total time might be 1 day or visitors can stay overnight in the forest area of Ban Huai Hat Khom at the foot of the No Cliff. 

Accommodation and Facilities: Contact Mae Charim National Park, 35 Mu 5, Ban Huai Sai Mun, Nam Pai Sub-district, Mae Charim District, Nan 55170, Tel. 0 5477 9402-3 or e-mail: reserve@dnp.go.th