we left bangkok to head to pak chong (khao yai national park). this wasnt so straight forward as the bus terminal is out of town. had to catch a sky train and then get a taxi, who couldnt understand us and had to find someone to translate for us where we wanted to go! once at the bus station it took 3 attempts to find the right place to buy the tickets and found out that the next bus was leaving straight away, so was a bit of a mad rush! we were catching a 3rd class bus so was pretty basic and they cram as many people on as possible. luckily we still managed to find a seat, even though they were not next to each other. (better than standing for the whole 3 hour trip like some of the people were!!) what do you expect for paying just over 2 pounds! i sat next to an older thai guy who insisted on talking to me in thai the whole way there, expecting me to answer him even though i kept telling him i dont understand! sarah found it pretty amusing!! he even got out his driving license to show me his photo haha! and the other side of me i had someones armpit in my face from where they were standing - didnt know which way to turn!
eventually we reached our stop.. well we assumed we reached our stop.. we didnt actually know! there are no signs up anywhere and no one says anything. we noticed two other girls on the bus and they were getting off too so if it was wrong we would all be stuck together! luckily it was the right stop. i had to ring up the guesthouse to let them know we had arrived so they could pick us up. we got talking to two other girls who decided to come with us.
our guesthouse is lovely, a little basic but very friendly and pretty surroundings. we are only paying 3 pounds a night each for a double room with cold water shower and fan. (later discovered cold water shower was like icy water and took me quite a while to get under! sarah found it pretty funny at the screaming i made!)
we booked a tour for the following day around khao yai national park and sat out at the bar area talking to the two girls. they are both working in thailand as teachers but lorraine is originally from the phillipines and marianka is from south africa. they are also coming on the trip tomorrow so should be good fun.
khao yai national park
we got up early for our trip, having some breakfast and leaving at 8am. there were 10 of us in total sat in an open air truck. it took us about half hour to reach the park, with beautiful scenery along the way - jungle mountains. we stopped off at a viewpoint to take photos and put on our leech socks!!! very attractive! i got a fit of giggles! they come up to your knees. very glad we had them though as later we discovered there are many leeches! they were everywhere. we would stop in the truck every so often if we saw any animals or birds, then we went for a walk in the jungle, spotting a green pit viper snake! was pretty cool to see. most of the snakes here are poisonous. we got up close to him for photos though! our guide took our cameras from us as he gets up really close to them and takes some good snaps.
we continued along the track and stopped to watch the gibbons playing in the trees. they were very noisy! then saw lots of monkeys on the road hunting for food, jumping up on our truck! it was then time for a longer trek through the jungle finding a bull horned spider, lots more snakes ( our guide picked them up and tried to scare us with them! was quite funny! think the snake got his own back by doing a poo on him!)
we stopped off for lunch in the middle of the jungle for tofu, vegetables and rice, also had fruit for snacks, before heading off again.
our guide lured out a large scorpion from its hole and then placed it on us!! we were all pretty scared to start off with but didnt want to miss out on the opportunity. i had it placed on my neck and i could feel it crawling down, was a bit scary!! sarah had it placed on her hand and it nipped her!! thought we were very brave though.
went to haew suwat waterfall (the one used in the film the beach where they jump from the top) was quite pretty but the water was murky. not quite what i expected - not like in the film!
lastly we went on the hunt for elephants.. and found some!! i loved our guide and driver - they took us right past all the cars parked to the side of the road to the front up close to them! was amazing. a big group of them including a baby one! the elephants got a bit uncomfortable though and one of them turned around and charged at us!!!! was pretty scary!! he looked and sounded very angry!! sarah got a video of it which is pretty funny to watch. lorraine ducked for cover haha! we were all crying with laughter after.
we got back to the guesthouse at 7pm, after a fantastic day out - was amazing! we sat with lorraine and marianka, and also maaike and inge from belgium who were on our trip for an evening meal and laughing about the days adventure. the trip cost us just over 20 pounds, so was well worth it.