The sharper edge to traveling in Asia

A memorable day in Thailand’s Khao Yai National Park

Written By: shanecorbin - Apr• 27•10

This friendly Macaque insisted on receiving a park fee

Just over 200 km east of Bangkok and spanning over four provinces is Thailand’s Khao Yai National Park. Khao Yai became Thailand’s first National Park in the fall of 1962 and is part of the larger Dong Phayayen forest complex. At more than 2,165 square km, Khao Yai is the third largest National Park world wide. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Khao Yai’s diversity of flora and fauna, and the seemingly endless network of trails and campgrounds, offer a nice change from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok. Entrance fees for the park range from 40 baht to 400 baht, depending on whether or not you’re Thai. The information center proved most helpful to us in explaining where we would find camping, rented tents and sleeping bags, and even making an appointment for us to meet a guide the following day for an afternoon of trekking.

Before our trek began, our guide pointed out what we should be aware of on the trail including the necessity for pants and long sleeves to keep out any unwanted hitchhikers such as leeches and ticks, and the importance of not approaching the wide variety of wildlife. He then humored us with stories of the dozens of stubborn tourists he has had to rescue, who insist on hiking alone. Our suggestion is to hire a guide and save yourself the grief. Our guide was very knowledgeable, and knew a great deal about the vegetation of the jungle. As we passed Scarlet Orchids and Wild Galanga root, he was quick to point them out. Further down the trail we were caught in a very heavy tropical rain. The weather is a bit cooler here in Khao Yai, but you should prepare for the unexpected.

Although we decided to camp, there are several resorts and guest houses just outside the park, and bungalows and houses can be rented within the park as well. Restaurants and concessions are plentiful in Khao Yai, as are showers for those who choose to rough it. The presence of wildlife is a constant here. Several signs along the roads read ”Cobra Crossing”, and “Beware of Elephants”. We were greeted by a friendly Macaque while driving down the main road, who once he had established that we were no threat, decided to bring the whole family out and stare at the humans. We also encountered Wild pigs, deer, and porcupine while sleeping in our tents. We stayed for two nights, but all agreed that we could have spent several more days. With White Water rafting,Bike rental’s, Night safari’s, Waterfall’s and Bird watching, a one or two day trip simply won’t do.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.