Khao Luang (Mountain) Massive is a landscape on the Malay Peninsula in the south of Thailand, some 30km north of Nakhon Si Thammarat. It's named after the hightest mountain in south Thailand, Khao Luang (1835m). A 570km2 large mountainous area around Khao Luang's peak received the status as a national park in 1974.
Khao Luang Mountain Massive. Image by Asienreisender, 2005
Khao Luang is part of the Nakhon Si Thammarat Mountain Range, what is itself a subrange of the Tenasserim Mountain Range which forms the geological backbone of the Malay Peninsula. The core of the mountains consists of granite, most of it hidden under a layer of fertile soil on which dense tropical vegetation grows.
The mountainous scenery is coined by tropical rainforest of different kinds, from lowland forest up to highland forests. Additionally to namegiving Khao Luang (khao= Thai for mountain) there is a number of more tall peaks around here. In the higher regions the temperatures are significant lower than in the tropical lowlands. The different altitudes grant seldom species special habitats. Khao Luang Massive is exposed to plenty of rain practically all over the year coming with the southwest and the northeast monsoon. Rainy season is during the long nine month from May to January, with the most rain in October, November and December. The plenty of water makes the mountain massive also a watershed, draining water in streams and rivers into the vicinity. There are also many waterfalls in the region, some of an impressing size.
Khao Luang National Park is inhabited by a great number of animals, some of them are seldom. Allegedly there are still a few Indochinese tigers living here together with leopards and Asian elephants, but I am not sure if that is still so nowadays. Alltogether are 90 different mammals living in the park and at least 200 different kinds of birds.
Among the many plants in the park some are unique. There are about 300 different kinds of orchids growing here.
Unavoidably, despite the protected status of the area, rubber plantations made their way into parts of the surroundings. It would be naive to believe that there is no poaching going on here.
Inside Khao Luang National Park
The tropical nature is rich in live. Plenty of fish appear in Khao Luang's rivers and streams. The toad bottom left is of a considerable size, almost as big as a football. It appeared together with many others after sunset. Images and photocomposition by Asienreisender, 2005, 2015