Khun Dan Prakarn Chon Dam – the longest dam in Thailand (2.5 km)
January 3, 2024
What to see for free in Nakhon Nayok
In some post I mentioned that I love going to mango forests because every mangrove forest in Thailand has free entry. In fact, there is another place that is always free to visit in Thailand – the dams.
Large dams are very spectacular objects. Moreover, access to the dams is not only not prohibited, quite often it is a very comfortable place, implying and stimulating the arrival of visitors. The dams have beautiful signage and places for memorable photos.
Since dams are usually built in places with a characteristic topography, you can usually admire the mountains along with the expanse of water.
Dams (as well as other colossal industrial structures) fascinate me. When I think that on one side there is a huge body of water, and on the other side of the wall there is just emptiness, a strange sensation arises, as if there was a slight tickling under the skin.
Instead of a lot of words, watch the following very short video. I walk from one side of the dam to the other and you can see a high wall with a spillway and river outlet, and on the other side a huge reservoir right at the edge of the road.
This is the Khun Dan Prakarn Chon Dam. It is the longest in Thailand (2.5 km). You can approach both the foot of the dam and climb the dam itself. This building is located in Nakhon Nayok province.
The main attraction of Nakhon Nayok province is, of course, Khao Yai National Park. And I ended up in this province precisely because of it. A visit to the park requires at least a whole day, and therefore, having checked into the hotel, in the evening I decided to see something that would not be too time-consuming. I chose the Khun Dan Prakarn Chon Dam.
In fact, I really liked this dam and my wife and I even seriously considered the idea of returning here a second time to enjoy the views at a different time of day (we were there during sunset) and also to go on a boat ride. I'll tell you about boating below.
First we came to the foot of the dam, here is the spillway and the outlet of the river.
To understand the enormity of this structure, you need to be there yourself. Although this applies to mountains, abysses and almost everything – you can look at as many photographs and videos as you like, but you can truly feel the grandeur of these objects only by visiting them yourself. Photos and videos do not convey the fullness of the sensations.
This short video shows the part of the dam called the Spillway and River Outlet.
Here is a diagram of the dam.
Then we climbed up to the dam itself. There are parking lots for cars, buses, and motorcycles.
There we saw mountain peaks protruding from the water and the reservoir itself.
This is part of a dam called Saddle Dam.
Photo of the spillway from the top of the dam.
This is Saddle Dam, the view from the dam is very picturesque.
The reservoir is quite large and hidden behind the mountains.
Only a tiny part of the dam is open to free passage: from Saddle Dam to the part indicated on the diagram as “Spillway and River Outlet”, and not including them.
This is only 1/10 of the entire dam, if not less.
There are six viewpoints along the rest of the dam, offering views of the park in front of the dam, as well as other views of the reservoir and mountains. It is possible that the rest of the dam can be accessed by paying for a golf cart tour. I saw golf carts, but I didn’t think to ask about a tour of the dam, and besides, we came just before closing.
Note: I read the reviews of other visitors, there is a “sightseeing tour” on a golf cart along the dam. It is definitely worth buying as the full length of the dam is about 2.5 km and there is a lot to see. There is a cafe at the very end of the dam.
But at least I thought to ask about the boat excursion. The excursion costs 200 baht per person, provided there is a full boat (8 people). If you don’t want to wait for others who want to swim, then renting a boat with a sailor will cost 1,500 baht. To purchase an excursion, you need to go to the information booths next to the parking lot. There you will also learn about a sightseeing tour on a golf cart.
This dam does not generate electricity, meaning it is not a hydroelectric power plant. The dam was built to balance the flow of water. Before the construction of the dam, local residents suffered from water flows during the rainy season, which also caused the soil to become more acidic. In the dry season, on the contrary, they suffered from drought. The dam helped solve this problem and also provided a source of fish.
Is Khun Dan Prakarn Chon Dam worth visiting?
If you are somewhere nearby, then this dam is definitely worth a visit. I don't even mind going back there a second time. Imagine a trip through a 2.5 km long structure on one side of which there is a huge reservoir of water, and on the other there is emptiness and somewhere below there is a park. Boating also seems quite interesting.
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