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.
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.
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.
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).
Is this the park where you camped with a lady boy? Love your Thailand posts!
Leslie recently posted..Caribbean adventure: Hiking Mt Christoffel in Curacao (photos)
It is Leslie, I should have posted a picture of the ladyboy here and called the post Khao Yai wildlife instead of nature. I would consider ladyboys wildlife.
Excellent verbal and image account of your Thailand adventure…
Charles Higgins recently posted..Las Vegas and Nevada cash in on Super Bowl XLVI
Your travel post constantly, remind me, it’s a beautiful world. Thanks for the awesome pictures from afar.
Robb714 recently posted..Handling The Holidays
Ted, great pictures and good information. I really hope more people start to appreciate nature and join in practicing repsonsible tourism. Thailand has some amazing natural parks…
Asia Travel Fan recently posted..Cathay Pacific Flights and DragonAir Flights Offer Mobile Boarding Pass
Thanks Asia Travel fan,
I wish more people would stop destroying nature like the sad story in the last comment about poachers.
Great post! Happy to read that we’re not the only ones excited by this great national park! And you’ve been very lucky seeing the Dholes (wild dogs).
I read your caption under one of the last images asking who could identify this bird. Well, that’s a Red-wattled Lapwing. Quite common in Khao Yai, especially in the open grass areas. They tend to alarm all other wildlife when you are walking by. I recently even walked into the bird, it started calling and out of nowhere two poachers appeared in the tall grass in front of me. They were looking at the bird, probably interested in what was scaring this little bird. It took quite a while before they actually noticed me standing just 10-15 meters behind them, and when they noticed me they ran off into the nearby forest as if they had seen a ghost, haha. Sadly they’re still around, and especially when you explore the areas where tourists don’t go, you’ll see the traces and have the chance to walk into poachers.
Thank you so much for identifying the bird. I will change the caption. I was just in Trinidad earlier this year, and I identified a southern lapwing.
Very sad to hear the story of the poachers. It angers me every time I hear that word.