Exploring Pak Chong / Khao Yai National Park
Getting from Bangkok to Pak Chong / Khao Yai National Park:
In order to see Khao Yai without staying in the park itself, I planned my stay in Pak Chong.In order to get to Pak Chong I thought that going to Mo Chit BTS would be straighforward. However, the bus station and the BTS are not close together and difficult to do with luggage. Instead, I book my ride from Petchaburi MRT to Mo Chit bus station and paid 110 Baht.
At the bus station, using a toilet costs 3 Baht, and tissues are extra – about 12 Baht depending on the type you want. Asking anyone for a tissue at the toilet, no matter how large a stack of rolls they have is likely to be a firm and long, “Noo, Noooooooo, Noooooooo”.
At the station the times on different clocks could vary by upto 10 minutes, and it’s impossible to tell what the official time the bus stations follows is.
The tickets for North are on the 3rd floor and cost 150 Baht (luggage is free on large buses). It’ll drop you near the giraffes from where you can use prebooked arrangements with your hotel or grab a taxi.
Exploring Khao Yai National Park (Part 1: Waterfall, Cave, Bats):
Arriving late afternoon, I had my first real taste of Thai food, Pad Thai with Tofu, while my wife had Rice with Ginger Tofu.
The half day out started with having a look at a color changing Whip snake – white when afraid and dark grey when angry. I held it in my arms and if felt like soft leather.
Spring wasn’t spectacular and had a lot of tourists. I found a quiet spot to enjoy the water.
Exploring the cave was interesting as there were a lot of unique insects including flying spiders. Monks come here to meditate for 6-12 hours at a time. We also learned that Bat poo contains high potassium which could be used to make explosives. The tour guide didn’t seem bothered handling it, and handing out forks (for fruits) without washing his hands.
The highlight was seeing 2 million bats fly out the cave at sunset. Cupping hands around the ears in the direction of the bats, I felt I could hear each of their flaps. Photos of fast moving objects in poor light conditions is a challenge though.
Nights outside Bangkok are chilly, which I discovered waking up at 2am, shivering.