Khao Yai National Park. Day One.

Trip Start Nov 12, 2009
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Trip End Dec 26, 2009


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Flag of Thailand  , Nakhon Ratchasima,
Tuesday, December 22, 2009

It is BIG. Khao Yai (Big Mountain) National Park, about 120 km from Bangkok, extends into four provinces. From South gate to North gate is about 40 km.

The Waterfalls:
I drove into the park though the South gate, and to Haew Narok Waterfall, made famous by the movie "The Beach". The walking path to the waterfall from the car park was only 1km but the last leg was steep, it was like a stairmaster session. The waterfall was not as impressive, probably because it was the dry season.

20 km North of that, I checked in at the Visitor Center and drove 14 km East to see Haew Suwat Weterfall. This one was close to the parking, and I liked it better. It was beautiful.

No swimming was allowed anywhere in the park. Leave ur swimsuit at home.

That was all the daylight I had on day one. I arrived after lunch.

Night Safari?
At night u can sign up for Night Safari. They'll  take u on the back of a pick up truck with someone holding a powerful flash light to spot wild animals. I did it on my own in my SUV with a small flash light. I saw 3 deers in about 30 minutes before decided to turn around.

High up in the mountains in late December, warm clothing came handy at night. Who needs a/c.. zzzzzzzzzz.

Tomorrow morning: Jungle trekking..
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Sleep:
There were  accommodations of varying amenities offered by the park authority. U can book them online and pay at Krung Thai Bank into their account. Remember the bank insisted u print out the reservation and bring it in. There were also open campgrounds where u can bring ur own gears, or rent almost everything. At Pla Kluai Mai campground, u can rent: tents, mattresses, blankets, pillows, stoves..that is camping.

I stayed at a cabin with basic facility: bedding, electric fan, hot shower. No other furniture, no TV, no fridge, and no a/c. I bought my own ice box and camping chairs finally, which I had relied on my friends in the past. (Thanks Andy, thanks Dave...and the premixed cocktail in Tupperware was brilliant.)

Eat:
Cooking at the campground where u can rent stoves and buy charcoal was allowed, but not at the cabins. There were only one dinning hall, selling cinema snacks and drinks, with food vendors right outside, like those by the roadside, very sloppy. Eat in or takeout. I had takeout  flame broiled chicken and cold beer both nights, in front of the cabin, with a broom to fend off the invading monkeys.
                     





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