Khao Yai National Park, possibly, the best natural park in Thailand
Two days tour in Khao Yai
Khao Yai National Park is possibly the best nature park in Thailand. Only 3 hours from Bangkok, the park is located in the northeast of Thailand. With an area of 2,168 square kilometers it has the privilege of being the third largest park in Thailand. It is so extensive, that it covers 4 Thai provinces: Nakhon Ratchasima (mostly), Saraburi, Prachinburi and Nakhon Nayok.
It is estimated that within the park there are 3,000 species of plants, 320 species of birds, 67 species of mammals; where among them stand out the Asian elephant, the Asian black bear, the gaur, the tiger and the gibbon.
After a long journey from Sukhothai to Khao Yai National Park we were finally ready to go on a jungle adventure. Just to get to Pak Chong, the city where the park is located, we stayed at Greenleef Guest House. Right there we signed up for a day and a half tour that they offered for about 50 euros in total. The tour was included:
- An afternoon visit to the surroundings of Khao Yai National Park.
- One day of visit inside the Khao Yai National Park.
- Ticket to Khao Yai National Park.
- Transportation and guide during the two days of tour.
- Breakfast, lunch and dinner.
First day, the surroundings of the park
At 3 o’clock in the afternoon we went with a guide around the Khao Yai National Park and stayed until nightfall walking around:
- First we were taken to some beautiful natural hot springs where the locals bathed and we also took the opportunity to bathe for a while.
- Then we went to see some caves where, we were told, the Buddhist monks go to meditate for hours surrounded by spiders and bats. The place was a mixture between spectacular and scary.
- To end the day, just before sunset, we could see a line in the sky of thousands of bats coming out of a cave. They were all going off to find their food.
The next day we woke up wanting more. Early in the morning, we started the next tour. We were going to spend the day inside the Khao Yai National Park, according to Lonely Planet, one of the best in the world.
Second day, inside Khao Yai National Park
Going into the jungle
We were two groups of tourists with two guides and two Jeeps. First we stopped in the middle of the road to see different species of birds and gibbons jumping through the trees. After a while, we split up and went into the jungle with our guide.
Only when we get inside we meet a whole family of monkeys. They started to follow us and the guide had to scare them off with a laser as they were approaching without shame. They probably wanted to see if we had any food in our backpacks. Our guide was a “last survivor”. While we were walking, he encountered scorpions, spiders and snakes.
When it started raining the tour became even more authentic. Little leeches were trying to get into our shoes and you had to keep them off your feet.
The Waterfall of the film The Beach
Then, for lunch, they took us to the waterfall in the movie “The Beach“. Actually, that waterfall is in this park. We went there right after the monsoon season so there was a lot more water than in the movie, where Leonardo di Caprio can even lean out to see the fall.
Finally, we turned to the Jeeps and went in search of wild elephants. While we were in the car, we heard from a few meters away how something was breaking trees and crushing them in its path. Suddenly his head popped out. We took a little bit of time and watched him cross the road quietly until he disappeared again as suddenly as he had appeared.
These two days at Khao Yai have undoubtedly been some of the most rewarding and surprising of the trip. Now we leave the adventure behind, it’s time to relax on the beaches… towards Phuket!
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