Travel Diary: September 12, 2012
Our tour to Khao Yai National Park left at 7:00am. Good thing our room didn’t have hot water - that cold water shower was a great wake up! This morning there were two full pickups instead of just the one from the previous evening. Some of our friends were back for another day though! We piled in and headed into Khao Yai National Park!
After about an hour of driving through a jungly park road, we arrived at the top of a very high mountain overlook.
Our guides handed out stylish leech socks and began looking for wildlife.
One guide spotted a green pit viper while looking for a spot to pee in the jungle! They also spotted some hornbills far off in the distance and some monkeys up the road.
While driving deeper into the jungle, they also found a lizard, giant squirrel, green scorpion, more monkeys, and some deer. What a morning for wildlife spotting, eh?
Just South of the park’s visitor’s center, our truck stopped by the side of the road. Time for the trekking to begin! Our guide simply picked a spot and walked into the foliage. The path was muddy and covered in leaves.
The jungle wasn’t terribly thick since I expect loads of tourists head through these paths. We filed along and took in the nature.
There were giant trees, many green plants, and a TON of bugs. The trek wasn’t strenuous or hard, it was just buggy. Turns out I’m not really a jungle-trekking type of person, sadly.
We must’ve trekked for a few hours before sitting down for a snack of sticky rice and custard. The food was edible, but I was ready for a full meal! We still had several more kilometers of trekking before stopping for lunch, our guide said. Maybe this is the reason why I’m not usually an outdoorsy person?
Anyways, we trudged forwards and found some gibbons, so that was a nice break. With about a half kilometer to lunch, we left the jungle and started walking through fields.
It felt very Lion King to me! We squinted into the distance trying to spot elephants, but no luck. Our guide hadn’t seen any in 10 days, so he didn’t think it was likely to see them today.
Lunch of steamed rice and tomatos & tofu was served atop a jungle outpost in the fields. It gave us great views of the fields and jungles, but we didn’t see more wildlife. Being completely trekked out from several hours of walking, I was hoping our walk would end soon. Luckily, it only took an hour to reach the trucks.
We drove an hour deeper into the jungle and stopped to view a small waterfall and then Haew Narok, the tallest waterfall in Khao Yai. It was a nice stop and the waterfall was definitely beautiful; however, once you’ve been to Niagara Falls, all others seem tiny in comparison, eh? We headed back up a few hundred steep stairs and then drove on in hopes of finding some elephants. They must’ve been hiding because we didn’t see a single one!
Our guides gave up when the sun started to set and we drove back to the guesthouse for the night. We enjoyed some tasty noodles while watching traffic pass on the highway and then it was an early bedtime. We had to be up to catch an 7:00am bus back to Bangkok!