See more photos here: https://flic.kr/s/aHskPoLLDw
Barb and I decided to hire a taxi for the day for 3,400 baht to drive to Kaoh Yao National Park. This was cheaper per person than doing a tour and we could do whatever we wanted when we arrived. We also didn’t have to succumb to the awful scheduled elephant riding, oxen riding, etc that the one day tour offered from Bangkok.
We got into the taxi around 6:30am after taking some tidbits from the buffet. Our van driver was okay, he got us to the park in under two hours. When we arrived at the visitor centre, we saw some people petting a deer… not cool.
Anyways, we headed inside and grabbed a map. We wanted to do some hiking trails to see elephants. However, after getting lost on the first one, we turned back and tried another trail. The second trail we tried started at a lookout over a savanna, however we didn’t see any animals. We continued along the trail and stopped, we felt we weren’t going in the right direction. Luckily, two park rangers happen to walk along the same path and told us how to get back. Just then, we heard a rustling in the bushes and a giant gibbon ran out in front of us and stopped two meters away. It looked at us and then disappeared into the jungle. I was so shocked I didn’t even take a photo.
After failing at following two trails due to lack of signage, we decided to get a guide for Trail #5 (a 3 hour hike). Our guide had over 20 years of experience and was very knowledgeable. He picked certain leaves off trees and let us eat them. One tasted like sour mango. He also carved a whistle out of bamboo for my mom. With the help of our guide, we saw much more wildlife including: a barking deer, hornbill, elephant footprints, a beautiful bird that looked like a colourful chicken, monkeys, and about five gibbons (my goodness they are noisy).
After the tour, my mom and I tried to visit a waterfall but unfortunately it had already closed, so we headed back to Bangkok. It took about four hours with the traffic. I believe this was longer than normal because two lanes were blocked off to transport the late king’s daughter. Her entourage included about twenty police vehicles.