Khao Yai National ParkJuly 17, 2019 in Thailand ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C
I'm getting so sick of the alarm. Today it went off at 6:30 as we got up and headed downstairs for our 7am pickup to head out to Khao Yai National Park, a few hours east of Bangkok. Since we were leaving early, we couldn't have the breakfast we'd optionally pre-paid for which was a bit frustrating!
At least the tour was just four people - us and a pair of young American girls. It was another long drive out there in a van - 4 hours with only a single stop, but eventually we arrived. This WHS is a series of national parks in the east of Thailand. Mostly rugged mountainous areas, but we had chosen the most easily accessible. The national parks are home to a lot of plants and animals, particularly some endangered species, so we were hoping to see a few cool things.
First stop was a hike of about an hour or so, partly through jungle but mostly through evergreen forest and not particularly interesting. The biggest highlight was an enormous banyan type tree, though we were a bit dismayed at how many people were climbing on it to get their sick Insta shots. Not much wildlife on display other than insects, though we did see a few elephant poos. They roam wild in the national park, but I wasn't especially hopeful of seeing any - it was midday and the worst time for animal spotting tends to be the middle of the day, particularly when it's hot.
Back to the van where we drove to the park restaurant and had lunch. Chuckled slightly at how hesitant the American girls were with the food, but once we'd pointed out how busy the place was and that it was likely fresh cooked food, they started to eat. Didn't touch the fruit though! The golden rule with fruit is easy: just don't eat the skin, and if it's something where you wouldn't eat the skin anyway (banana, mango, pineapple etc) it's going to be fine.
Back in the van where we drove to a famous waterfall which was used in the movie The Beach. This movie really put Thailand on the tourist map, since it was a cult hit and starred Titanic-era Leonardo DiCaprio. This waterfall was short but powerful and wide, though very crowded as well with lots of people since it was only a short walk from the carpark.
Last stop in the NP was another waterfall, this time a tall thundering cascade. It was about a 2km walk from the carpark so nowhere near as many people, and there was a steep staircase of a few hundred stairs too which really sorted wheat from chaff. Got plenty of good footage and so on before heading back to the van and commencing the long drive back to Bangkok.
Finally back to the hotel around 7pm, making it our fourth successive 12+ hour day. When you're offline for that long and still trying to organise a trip, it gets really frustrating, and we spent the first hour at the hotel sorting out train tickets for tomorrow (and then bus tickets for a few days later). And we still haven't planned a few things for Indonesia which is rapidly approaching!
At last we finished then wandered to nearby Khao San Road for more cheap street pad thai, followed by mango sticky rice and banana pancakes. But no beer again - last day of this Buddhist holiday!Read more