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He only went out for some milk A blurb of monstrous proportions - it was only supposed to be a couple of lines and the odd photo.

Pak Chong, Khao Yai National Park and bats

THAILAND | Sunday, 28 January 2007 | Views [2505]

Me!

Me!

My guide book says 26 baht (40 pence) from Ayutthaya to Pak Chong, i get charged 175 baht...hmmmm.  i feel i may have been ripped off here.  There's a guest house owner at the station who tempts me with stories of swimming pools and hot and cold running water, so i take the easy option and get a ride to a guest house situated half way between Khao Yai National Park and Pak Chong.  It's a bit pricey but it has organised tours to the park - that will make two organised tours in two days...i don't do tours remember!  It turns out to be a fantastic, albeit long day, walking, and being driven around a beautiful park with an enthusiastic guide called M (not his real name).  With James Bond in my mind we head for the 'jungle' and encounter crocodiles, spiders, gibbons, deer, bear tracks and lots of elephant poo. 

Alas we don't see and tigers, elephants or clouded leopards :(

Its a great day with a nice bunch of people - Swiss, Dutch, German and a French Canadian and we spend as much time laughing together as we do sightseeing.  A highlight is supposed to be 'that waterfall' from the film 'The Beach'.  You look at the pictures and tell me if it's how you remember it!

The day ends with a night 'safari' - driving on jeeps through the forest disturbing all animals for miles with our powerful spotlights, noisy cars, and never-ending chatter.  Amazingly, we do see what must be a deaf civet (type of wild cat in case you didn't know).  A great day...

In the morning i decide to stay another day and go on a half-day tour (yes...another tour).  This time it's to see caves and bats with a guide who is literally batty.  Wow am i glad i did, the cave complex we visit is impressive enough.  We see so many bats and baby bats, stalactites and stalagmites - yes i do know the difference :) and have to bend over backwards to get from cave to cave in this natural Buddhist temple.  It makes a change from a wat anyway.  I get poo'd on by a bat while in the cave - i understandably tell no-one and hide in a corner to clean-up.  So far on this trip: Birds 2, Bats 1, Shane 0 - it's been on my head every time too   grrrr.

We head outside to another cave system just as it's getting dark to watch what must be at least 2 million bats pour out into the darkening sky.  They fly right over our heads - the noise is amazing!  Birds of prey wheel and dive plucking an unlucky few out of the air.  The sky darkens to a nice shade of pink and still the bats keep coming...fantastic. 

Tags: trekking, wildlife

 

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