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Ruth's Travel Blog

Khao Yai And Phi Mai. And Leo's ACTUAL waterfall :)

THAILAND | Tuesday, 18 June 2013 | Views [1251]

Last weekend a bunch of us travelled by minivan to a province called Nakhon Ratchasima where there is a famous world heritage sight called Khao Yai National Park, which is meant to have elephants, leopards, tigers, bears, monkeys, gibbons, hornbills etc etc dot dot dot.It was meant to take us 4 hours at the very maximum to get there but it actually took well over seven meaning by the time we arrived at the national park we had only two or three hours before dark.  The trek to the waterfall that we all wanted to see (because it was the waterfall in the move "The Beach") was 8km through thick jungle, so probably about two hours, so we started it from behind the visitors centre (where it said the trek started) and we walked for maybe fifteen minutes, then realised we had gone in a circle, we had leeches on our legs, and we had no idea how to get to this waterfall except by the van, so we asked the drivers to take us but they said the waterfall closed at 5pm, at that moment in time we had five minutes till then. Eventually we persuaded them to take us as far as they could by road (the lonely planet book said the road goes as far as the waterfall... So we did) we drove for maybe 15 minutes and then came to a barrier, where the road was closed off. We walked past the barrier (it wasn't locked or chained or anything) and walked along the closed road up and down very steep hills through the rainforest for maybe half an hour until we came to the waterfall... FINALLY!!! We'd left Surin at 845am and arrived at the waterfall at about 6pm, a long haul for a waterfall!! It was SO worth it though. It was fantastic. It was a bit of a struggle to get onto the rocks in the middle to look down over it, but the bottom of the river wasn't TOO slippery though quite deep and a strong flow over the edge. It was amazing to think what had been going on at the waterfall, all the stunt work etc and the filming in such a remote location. We didn't see any of the animals, well, some people saw a couple of monkeys, I missed that but I did see some weird spider/crab thing and a millipede that can't have been less than a foot long and an inch thick. YUCK! 

We got a call from someone in Surin who we'd arranged the minivan through really worried about us because the reason they closed the waterfall was because they let off bombs there to scare away the wild animals from the camping areas. Like, actually RIGHT there, at the top of the waterfall. Right where we were sitting taking in the remoteness of the rainforest and having water-fights. She said we had to get ourselves back to the van quick sharp. We slowly headed back in the quickly getting dark jungle. There were lots of fireflies which was cool!! I don't like the dark too much and it was pretty creepy when all you could see were the fireflies. The thought of a snake or anything else being close by was scaring me a fair bit! 
Once we got back to the van we heard out of the national park, which was probably about a half hour/forty minute drive just to the entrance gate from where we were. The national park is massive, covering 2168 square kilometres apparently. Once we were properly on the road we all realised how hungry we were, we saw a food place at the side of the road which was an Italian. PERFECT!!! I had pizza which I have been dying on since, well, I always want pizza. I was still soaking wet. The pizza was amazing :) we rang our hotel in Nakhon Ratchasima town to let the, know we were going to be quite late which was when they informed us that there was no booking for us and that there were no beds for us either, just great. Luckily the drivers were fairly easily persuaded by one of the waitresses to take us a bit further afield to the place we were going the next day, and we found a hotel there which had space for all of us. So off we headed...
We arrived at the hotel in the early hours, it was gone 2am. We had a few hours sleep then in the morning we went to Phimai Historical Park which was on the ancient road to Ankor Wat in Cambodia. It was another temple ruin site similar to Prasat Muang Tam and Phanom Rung where we visited when we went to Burirum. It was brilliant though, and a really nice day. 
We were on the road back to Surin by lunchtime, and got back about half three which was early enough for an early night :)
Teaching is going well still. My class can be spoilt little brats on most days, and the school don't make our life easy, especially in EP (English Program) where there is a massive pressure for the kids to be amazing because the parents pay extortionate fees (for Thailand) for their kids to study on this program. There are many days I want to walk out and get another TEFL job that is not part of the agency or that school. My co-teacher Ni, and my Thai Teacher Laead, are great though. If they weren't I seriously don't think I'd still be at Anubarn Surin School. I think in future I would work with older kids, like primary rather than kindergarten, it's too young to be learning English, and FAR too young for some of the kids to be having tutoring 4 nights a week. I tutor on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Monday and Wednesday are fine but the kid I tutor on Tuesday is a complete nightmare and if it wasn't for the 300Baht I wouldn't be doing it.
People are still quitting the internship. Two left yesterday morning to TEFL in South Korea. as gutted to see them go, and also a bit jealous. There were 60 altogether on the internship all around Thailand at the start, I think there is only about 40 left. I look at jobs regularly. I could be doing exactly the same job somewhere else for 3 times the money.... So tempting.

Tags: temple ruins, the beach, water fights, waterfall



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