It is well noted that the Khao Yai National Park is one of the oldest national parks in Thailand. However, to the inexperienced eye it would be just another forest with trees and the sounds of birds and insects. A tour to Khao Yai is never complete without a well guided tour of the national park where everything is highlighted to you so that to the untrained eye, you get to experience and appreciate the beauty of this wonderful national park.
Thaitourismguide now offers complete eco-tourism adventure in Thailand with the inclusion of Khaoyai Nature Life and Tours Resort that comes complete with full package tours to various attractions in and around the Khao Yai, Pak Chong area. One would be most delighted with some of these tours of which there are many choices to fit various levels of tourist stamina and abilities.
A stay at the Khaoyai Nature Life and Tours Resort in Pak Chong, Nakhon Ratchasima is one of the great places you can stay where not only the guides are experienced but also the owners themselves. The dynamic duo of Khun Tony and Khun Siraphat are both avid wildlife observers and their knowledge as well as very sharp eyes are what keep the standard of wildlife observation very high in Khaoyai. Taking one of their tours into the Khaoyai National Park will almost guarantee you a first-hand observation reward of the wildlife in the national park before any others on the same route.
A tour of the khaoyai National Park starts early in the morning, after breakfast at the resort. An open 4×4 will be waiting to take you on the wildlife adventure of a lifetime. This tour is easy going and suitable for all age groups even the elderly. Once into the national park, first stop along the way was the lookout point where one could see part of the valley within the national park. Here visitors are given leech socks (not that there are any leeches in the dry season as seldom would one encounter any at all but the socks do help to keep from getting scratched by the foliage and protruding twigs in the underbrush). At this point if you are lucky, you will be able to see some really funny antics with the residential monkeys who are more curious for a snack from the visitors, but feeding of the wildlife is not encouraged in the national park. These denizens of the park are a curious lot, often found peeking into the vehicles and asking for handouts.
A typical tour of the actual wildlife search and observe would be to go on to look for gibbons and at the time of this review we were successful in getting to see three of them high up on a tree. These are the white hand gibbons and we saw two black and a white one. It is not easy to see gibbons but the sharp eyes of our guides and Khun Siraphat plus maybe our luck, granted us a great viewing of these rare primates. We also stopped at the park information centre where you can learn all about the types of wildlife, have a drink at the coffee shop or just wander around. We managed to see a turtle basking on a fallen log in the river beside the parking lot, oblivious to us gawking at it and snapping photos.
Moving along, the tour includes a 4km trail hike (this is an easy hike because it is a very gradual downhill walk and the transport is waiting to pick you up at the end of the trail!) It did not seem like 4kms because every step of the way was something interesting. You will get to see huge fungi called a “monkey seat” which looked something like a white version of the Lingtze mushroom and the guide will explain to you that it is a genus of the same species. You will also get to see some very rare plants like a sandal wood tree that is reputedly more than 100 years old. The ultimate reward of the hike was getting to see the Thai National Bird, the Siamese Fireback which was a very rare occurrence and one that was well worth the hike!
You will get a chance to see the waterfall where Leonardo DiCaprio shot the scene from “The Beach” and another waterfall which is one of the highest in the park. All along the way we saw two species of hornbills, an eagle, quite a number of species of birds and the other highlight of the whole trip ….we got to see elephants twice! The first time we managed to see one hiding in a small clearing, feeding quietly in the brush. It was a very close encounter and we were very lucky because by the time the next group of tourist came along, the elephant had already moved back into the jungle! On the way back, we again saw another elephant walking along the savannah grass heading to a salt lick. It spent almost an hour playing in the salt lick and was a truly awesome sight.
The entire trip organized by Khaoyai Nature Life and Tours Resort was one of the most rewarding experiences. You will also be very well fed with drinks and food all along the way. Lunch will be a nice choice of what you want to eat at the R&R centre near the ranger station and mostly will have plenty of fruits in supply to keep you munching.
If you want one of the most unusual and unique experience of exploring the Khaoyai National Park, make it a point to try the tours offered by Khaoyai Nature Life and Tours Resort from Thaitourismguide as they have really good guides to bring you around and chances of wildlife spotting are very high with them as we ourselves experienced. Our guides were also very knowledgeable, funny and can speak excellent English as well as German. Do have a camera with you and at least a reasonable long range lens so that you can get some of those great pictures of the animals in the wild!