Traveling Ted is a blog that takes readers along on my adventures hiking, canoeing, skiing, and international backpacking. Many blogs focus on one aspect of backpacking, but I tackle both the outdoor adventure side and international exploration as well.

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Wild dog Khao Yai

Wild dog crossing the road

When I visited Thailand, it quickly became one of my favorite countries, but one aspect of it turned out to be very disappointing. I had watched the movie The Bridge Over the River Kwai before arriving, and the footage of hundreds of birds flying in the jungle making crazy sounds really made my mouth water.

This scene alluded me for my first month in Thailand. I saw some cool outdoor places like Doi Inthanon and took the obligatory Chiang Mai adventure travel tour, and I had seen some wildlife, but nothing what I imagined from what I expected when watching the World War II movie classic.

Hornbill Thailand

The majestic hornbill in the Khao Yai National Park

Then I visited Khao Yai National Park and everything changed as you can see. The minute I stepped foot in this park, I noticed hundreds, thousands of butterflies hovering around every tree. A couple of monkeys sashayed away from our camp into the forest. I knew this place was going to be different from the rest of Thailand that I had seen. I still cannot believe the masses choose trained elephants and bamboo rafting in Chiang Mai over this remote beautiful park.

In two days, I saw all of the animals pictured in this essay. I also spotted two very large porcupines in our first night’s camp and two civets on a night safari. On the night safari we also spotted three wild elephants in a salt lick, but it was beyond my camera’s flash range in the night.

Plummed hawk Thailand

Crested hawk-eagle high in a dead tree

Monkey Thailand

Macaque chilling in a tree in Khao Yai

Deer in Thailand

Deer were everywhere

Monitor lizard Thailand

Monitor lizard near our second night’s campsite

Giant Black Squirrel

Getting the stare down from a giant black squirrel

Asian fairy bluebird Khao Yai

An Asian fairy bluebird in the Khao Yai jungle

Snake devouring horned lizard

Snake devouring horned lizard – Better him than me

Khao Yai bird

Red-wattled lapwing – Thank you Khao Yai visitor for the identification help

Khao Yai is easily accessible from the Mo Chit bus station in Bangkok. The closest bus stop is Pak Chong. Grab a Sǎwngthǎew from the 7-11 in Pak Chong to the park gates. From there you will have to hitchhike to the park ranger station or arrange a ride ahead of time. It is not necessary to procure a guide inside the park, but the rates are so reasonable that you might as well have a local expert along.

Stay tuned,


The goal of Traveling Ted is to inspire people to outdoor adventure travel and then provide tips on where and how to go. If you liked this post then enter your email in the box to get email notifications for each new entry. Daily travel photos are excluded from your email in order to not flood you with posts. There is no spam and email information will not be shared. Other e-follow options include Facebook (click on the like box to the right) or twitter (click on the pretty bird on the rainbow above).