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Thailands National Parks The Parks of Thailand, Post your stories and pictures here.

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Old 22-12-2016, 11:28 AM   #51 (permalink)
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After a slight technical hitch we arrived just on dark and set up the tent for the night. Next morning dawned with a heavy mist down to bootlace level just as well for nobody could see that it looked like the tent had been pitched by a drunk so after straightening it up we set up the rest of the camp. By that time the mist had lifted and I went for an explore around the camp area.

I then drove up a road through the park that is supposed to go right through to the Salawin River which is the border with Burma but unless there is another road it would not be possible to go that far on the road from the camp area. I drove up to a small village on a branch road about 18km up the road then carried on up the main road till the road deteriorated to a rutted track and after a close encounter with a buffalo that left a dent in a back door I turned around and headed back stopping at a couple of places where I heard bird calls.



Golden-fronted Leafbird, male

Next morning I again drove up the road which is in the process of being graded and is very dusty. I stopped at about 6km where the road levels off on a ridge top where I had heard some birds the day before, yes there were birds there and I got my first photos. There are several tracks branching off the road leading to villages deep in the forest, I went about 2 kilometers down one which is on a long ridge without coming to any habitation but it was obvious someone lived farther down for there were motorbike tracks. These people will live down in the gullies where there is water which is well away from the road in isolated places


Olive-backed Pipit.

On the last morning before packing up I walked up the nature trail, after an initial steep climb it was an easy enough track both to follow and to walk. A fair bit of bird life with Drongos flying around and woodpeckers easy to hear, I managed to get photos of Black-headed Woodpeckers and a Crested Serpent Eagle, a bit of pig sign so there are animals about.


Black-headed Woodpecker.

General
Another well cared for camping and HQ area with new toilets, western and Thai, a disabled toilet and shower cold water again unfortunately. Camp ground is beside a lake where a flock of birds came down to drink one afternoon. They achieved this by diving into the water then flying up to a handy tree. I arrived back at camp in time to see the tail end this display but had little luck in getting good photos. Dogs are present hoping for handouts and are not averse to attempting to steal food at night
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Old 22-12-2016, 12:32 PM   #52 (permalink)
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Wonderful photos, birding. Great info also on facilities available in each of the parks.




Sorta makes me want to get out there in the wilderness again and....nah.
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Old 22-12-2016, 02:09 PM   #53 (permalink)
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Nice thread and photos mate. Makes a change from threads about road carnage,murders and suicide!
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Old 22-12-2016, 06:05 PM   #54 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by misskit View Post
Wonderful photos, birding. Great info also on facilities available in each of the parks.




Sorta makes me want to get out there in the wilderness again and....nah.
I tell you mate it sure beats the wilderness of BKK and other big cities with their traffic, crowds and pollution and Pattaya with its wilderness of bars bargirls and ladyboys.

Get out there and find out what fresh air really is.
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Old 24-12-2016, 06:37 PM   #55 (permalink)
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7 to 10 December 2016

Entry 100b.The road in to this park may deter some for it is a few hundred meters of rough dirt road but for birds it was to prove well worth the effort. Small camping ground a couple of houses for rent and what they call the Log Cabin which has 4 bedrooms with 3 beds in each and a large common area, each bedroom has its own western style toilet. Outside is a small toilet and shower block again western style.


Had a bit of a wander round after setting up camp and worked out where to look the next day which dawned cold and overcast meaning the birds didnít appear till fairly late but when they did there were plenty of them and over 20 different species including both male and female of the beautiful Scarlet Minivet.


Female Rosy Minivet.


Best places for birds were in front of the rental houses looking down past the HQ building and down the road to the staff accommodation. I never left the camp ground area that morning and got photos of 19 different species. Afternoon I went for a walk or climb round the Nature Trail which went up through pine trees and then round and down a steep gully, a few birds around but difficult to get photos
There were people staying overnight in the rental houses and a group in 3 of the rooms of the Log Cabin that night so next day which was cold again, well cold by Thai standards at 15c, the birds didnít put in an appearance in the same numbers but I did manage to get another 3 species.




Male Scarlet Minivet.


Afternoon I went for a drive up the road to Mae-Ab Waterfall which is located 6 kilometers from the National Parkís office. Turn right on leaving the park road on to Rte. 1270 drive until reaching Baan Mae-Ab and then take a branch road on the left which is marked by a sign. This is a steep concrete road which branches at some houses, take the right branch which soon deteriorates into a dirt road which would be impassable in the wet, at another branch go left to a small bridge over the waterfall stream there is a small place to park beside the stream and It is a further few hundred meters walk to the Waterfall. Got a photo of a Slaty-backed Forktail in the stream which made the trip worthwhile for me.



Mae Ab Waterfall.

Last morning I again looked down from in front of the rental houses then around the camp ground while packing up and got shots of both male and female Scarlet Minivet and a Banded Bay Cuckoo, a new species for me.


Banded-bay Cuckoo.

General

This would have to be the easiest place I have been to so far to see a good variety and number of birds, it would be a great place for someone who is less mobile for it is possible to sit in one or two places and see a great variety of bird species. No problem with dogs or any other camp raiders and no large animals in this part of the park.
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Old 24-12-2016, 08:24 PM   #56 (permalink)
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Another splendid recount. Thank you.
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Old 29-12-2016, 09:06 AM   #57 (permalink)
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Doi Inthanon NP 12/12/16




Arrived early afternoon on a Monday which was a holiday, waved through the checkpoint and told to pay at the HQ where they only wanted payment for the nights we camped and the vehicle , in the camp ground there is mostly unoccupied tents everywhere and nearby shops selling about everything you could want, very commercial and people milling about.


Setup camp in what is the caravan area which has separate bays with power, lights and water, toilets across the road have both western and Thai style toilets with hot water in the wheelchair toilet (donít tell the babbling mob).

Set off to do a bit of exploring first off up the road from camp ground to the accommodation then for a couple of kilometers up the road to the Karan Village then back down the main road to the checkpoint where I was asked for the tickets they didnít give us on the way in. Turned back a short distance up the summit road and walked a short distance up a dirt road 4.5 kilometers from the camp, a place that needs farther exploration.




Next day I went back down the road we had come up to the Huai Sai Luang and Mae Pan Waterfalls. First I had a look at the Huai sai Luang fall which is only about 50 meters from a parking place, nothing of interest there but when I walked back to the road there were flocks of Scarlet Minivet in the trees over the road.





Mae Pan Waterfall


The parking place for the Mae Pan Waterfall is about 300 meters farther up a narrow road then there is another 500 meters walk down a not very good track to the fall. A bit of birdlife on the way down and 2 species of Redstart in the stream unfortunately I only got photos of a Plumbeous Redstart and missed out on a White-capped Water redstart.



Plumbeous Redstart.


It was still early so I decided to have a look at the summit where there were hundreds of cars and what looked like thousands of people milling about, to many people for me so I turned around without getting out of the car and headed back down to the to the road I had prospected yesterday.

I drove to the end where there is what appears to be a ranger station and had a wander around seeing very little. There is a branch road heading up hill from this road and I parked close to the fork and walked up the branch which leads to what was once cultivated land and continues for some way. Quite a bit of bird-life up there and I got my first photos of White-headed Bulbul. When I got back to the car there was a mixed flock of birds moving fast high in the trees, saw Maroon Oriole and Long-tailed Broadbill but the only birds that would stay still for a photo were Drongos.




White-headed Bulbul.


Day the next I went on down the main road towards Chaing Mai to the Wachirathon Waterfall first thing in the morning to beat the sightseers. First bird I saw was a Slaty-backed Forktail then a male Plumbeous Redstart then a Grey wagtail and Blue-whistling Thrush. The tourists had then started to arrive so I headed back to the previous days road seeing more birds including White-headed Bulbul and an uncommon Mrs Goulds Sunbird.




Slaty-backed Forktail.


Back to camp for lunch then a look at what is called a nature trail but a sign said it could only be walked with a local guide no doubt for a price so I gave that a miss and wandered around close to camp where I got photos of more birds.
Next day it was back to the dirt road and along the fork that goes to the reverting once cultivated land getting photos of more birds on the way.




Oriental Turtle Dove.


General
We were not asked for an entrance fee when we entered from the Mae Chaem (West, check point 2) side but when I exited there they wanted to see the tickets, we only had camping tickets but they let me go through. It would appear that if you have not paid an entry fee you are supposed to pay when you leave. When we left the park by the East entrance (check point 1 Chaing Mai side) we expected to pay an entry (exit) fee but were waved through. Result we did not pay an entry fee. Conclusion, an entry fee is charged when you enter from the West and if you have not paid an entry fee is charged when you exit in the East.

For what little its worth this is what I would do if I were to visit this park again.
Approach the park from the Mea Chaem or western side and spend 2 or 3 nights at the camp ground at Huai Sai Luang Waterfall, to stay there you donít enter the park at the second checkpoint. In the morning there should be lots of birds in the trees around the camping area including flocks of Minivet. Head up the road to the parking area for the Mae Pan Waterfall and walk down to the waterfall, there should be birds on the way down and below the fall Redstarts, both Plumbeous and White-capped, and possibly Forktail in the stream.
Next day early, like 4.30 to 5am, head for the summit, to get there I donít have to pass a checkpoint and as the checkpoint sign says it opens at 6am I should be able to beat the main influx of tourists who have been staying in the park or coming in from the east. Next morning pack up and enter the second checkpoint and camp at the caravan area at HQ area camping ground for another 2 or 3 nights. Then back to the dirt road at 34.5 KM which is probably the best bet for getting away from the crowds and seeing a good range of birds. In the evenings there should be birds in the trees between the camping area and the rental houses so I would have a wandering up the road.
In the morning head back to the dirt road park at the bottom and walk up, there is a clear area on the right about a hundred meters up where I will be able to look out at some tall trees where birds often perch early in the morning. Farther up the road take the left branch and follow as far as I want. I should start to see birds when I get to the first pine trees then farther on there is a tall tree down on the right where birds like to perch, I should see White-headed Bulbul there as well as other birds. Carrying on down the road there is a dip into a sort of gully where birds seem to congregate, I would stop there and watch, the main visitor will be Flavescent Bulbul but other more desirable species like Mrs Goulds Sunbirds and Rusty-cheeked Scimitar Babbler may appear. From there the road rises to the start of forest then heads downhill into the forest and up to me how far I feel like walking.
I would also have a look for what is called Ďthe jeep trackí which I failed to find, but then I didnít ask.
On the way home head out the other way towards Chaing mai and stop at Wachirathon Waterfall where I should see Forktail and Redstart.
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Old 15-01-2017, 04:52 PM   #58 (permalink)
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We included this park as a break in the long trip home and only stayed for 2 nights, it is mainly known as a place where it is possible to climb and camp overnight on top of a hill (mountain to those who have never seen a real one) and on weekends there are a large number of people who camp up there, about 1000 on the Saturday when we were there and we were told 1700 the long weekend before. When we arrived there was a very noisy group of school children in the youth camp area so we set up out tent as far away from them as possible in a Sala close to the staff accommodation.




Common Flameback.

Next morning I had a wander around first to a small lake with an island in the middle then to where I could hear birds in tall trees close to the staff houses, they sounded like parakeets but no way could I see them instead I got some good photos of a Banded Broadbill an emerald Cuckoo and a Vernal Hanging Parrot.



Banded Broadbill.

Afternoon the lady boss wanted to go to the Sukhothai Historic Park which is at the north-east end of the park, after we had been to the historic park here was still time in the afternoon for a look at a parking spot about half way from the entrance gate to the camp ground, there I found a monk had a tent by a stream and on the other side of the stream there were lots of tracks through the forest, birds in there as well so I followed a track which eventually led me back to the road. Next morning it was pack up early for the long trip home.



Part of the big temple at the historic park.

General

Entry fee 200b, this park is in a convenient place for an overnight or longer stop to break up what is about a 600km trip from northern parks to our home or Bangkok I will include it in future trips and may then climb the hill as there are probably different higher altitude birds to be seen.

.................................................. .................................................. .................................................. ............................

Thats the last park from that trip, planning is complete for the next one which will take in 13 national parks in the north right up to the Burma border. The plan is to leave on the 7th February and be home around the 20th March, more reports then.
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