Greater Khao Yai

Crossing Roads (from left to right): 3222, 2090/3077, 304, 3462, 348, 3308

R 3222
The Series 1501 (1st ed., 1967) only partially shows this road (5km from Kaeng Khoi on R 2, 15km from Ban Na on R 33).
Other than the deduction that the road must have been constructed after 1967, its historical details are unknown to the author.

R 2090/3077
The Series 1501 (1st ed., 1967) only shows upper half of this road, and describes it as R 121.
The construction of this road started from R 2, after the designation of Khao Yai National Park in 1962. It was completed sometime after 1967, but the precise year is unknown to the author.

The road cuts through the Khao Yai National Park, and there are toll gates both at the northern entrance to the National Park (on R 2090) and at the southern entrance (on R 3077).

Khao Yai was proclaimed a national park on September 10th,1962. The first road was constructed. It is 40 km away from Highway no.2 and ends at the Haew Suwat Waterfall. They named it "Thanarat road". The tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) built the Khao Yai hotel and goft course.
Most of the existing roads and trails were migratory paths followed by elephants.
In the beginning of the century there was 30 families living in the area. Since bandits started to occupy the area it was emptied in 1950s by military forces. Nowadays there are no villages inside the area which in the beginning made it ideal to establish a national park.
KHAO YAI: Concrete Jungle

R 304
The Series 1501 (1st ed., 1967) shows this road, and notes as "Construction 1966."
The construction of this road started in 1966 and was completed in 1969.

The decisive moment for this development was the extension of National Highway 304, which connected the American military bases on the Khorat plateau to the back-up port of Sattahip on the Gulf of Thailand. The building of this new road took over three years and was completed in 1969. This date coincided with the boom of maize in Thailand as an export to Japan. During these three years and the following two years until 1971, large areas of the region changed from forest into a mono-cultivation landscape for maize. Just five years later the central market place, Km 79, had sprung up near a former road-building camp.
Plans are under way to restore the Dong Phaya Yen forest by abandoning the highway which created three separate forests, a senior environment official said.

Suvat Singhapant, deputy permanent secretary for natural resources and environment, said officials were considering alternatives to the stretch of Kabin Buri-Pak Thong Chai highway that cuts through Khao Yai, Thap Lan and Pang Sida national parks, with the aim of restoring the forest's complex ecology ruined by development. A decision would be made early next month whether to build a flyover or a tunnel.

R 3462 (restricted)
The Series 1501 (3rd ed., 1974) doesn't show this road (upper part from Khon Buri).
The Series 1501 (4th ed., 1980) doesn't show this road (lower part from Sa Kaeo).
This road cuts through the Thap Lan National Park (in the north) and Pang Sida National Park (in the south). It is deduced that the road was constructed after 1980, but the precise year is unknown to the author.

The core section of this road, cutting through the Dangrek Mountain Range, is restricted and it may very well be impassable with its degenerated road condition. On the southern side, if you enter Pang Sida National Park (with an entrance fee), you can follow R 3462 for some 20km into the mountain range (mostly dirt road) until you reach a barricade. On the northern side, R 3462 brings you to a Thap Lan National Park checkpoint, beyond which the road turns into dirt. Unlike National Park toll gates, where you can easily pass as long as you pay the entrance fee, you need a good reason to pass through this checkpoint.

R 348
The Series 1501 (3rd ed., 1974) only partially shows this road, and describes it as R 2118 (near Nang Rong) and R 3068 (near Ta Phraya).
The road construction started in 1975 and was completed in 1979.

The core section of this road which crosses the mountain range (succession of steep, twisty corners) is only about 2.5km.

Officially opened on August 26, 1980 by H.M. the King, the "Rao Su" (we fight) monument was constructed to commemorate the nation's heroes--police, soldiers and volunteers who fought the communist terrorists during the construction of the highway connecting Lahansai to Ta Phraya between 1975 and 1979. A hundred and ten people were killed and 91 injured during the highway's construction.
-- Signboard at the Rao Su Monument
Dong Yai is a fertile forest of 631,250 rai, located at the border of Thailand and Cambodia.In 1963 it was proclaimed a national forest reserve. When the government decided to construct the strategic road-- Lahansai-Ta Phraya, the forest on each side of the road was cleared for 2 km for security reasons.

R 3308 (restricted)
The Series 1501 (3rd ed., 1976) doesn't show this road, but it shows a "cart track" along this route.
The historical details of this road are unknown to the author. It is assumed that this road was constructed not before the completion of R 348.

The core section of this road which crosses the mountain range is restricted with barricades at both ends, though the road is paved all the way and it poses no physical difficulties as in the case of R 3462. Passage may be granted upon request at the Border Patrol Police station adjacent to each barricade, but this is rather an exception than a rule. Even local residents living near the restricted section must make a detour on R 348.

The road post in the restricted section reads R 3308, but its covered with white paint, probably meaning cancellation as a national highway under the jurisdiction of the Department of Highways. Thus, technically, R 3308 consists of two discontinuous sections.

A road sign at the north end of R 3308 reads [Khok Pek 48, Ta Phraya 53]. This may be an indication that, at some time in the past, this road was open to the public. Or else, it may be another case of administrative inconsistency between different government agencies, and the road was never open to the public.

Protected Area
Khao Yai National Park (1962) . 2168 km2
Thap Lan National Park (1981) . 2241 km2
Pang Sida National Park (1982) . 844 km2
Ta Phraya National Park (?, after 2001) . 594 km2
Dong Yai Wildlife Sanctuary (1996) . ? km2

Boundary lines of protected areas on the left map is estimated from various sources, and may not be accurate.

The forest area not designated as a National Park or Wildlife Sanctuary is still mostly designated as a "National Forest Reserve."

All national parks listed above now have toll gates, collecting 200B from foreigners.

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