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  1. #1
    Mmmm, Bowling...... mobs00's Avatar
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    A photo expedition to one of Thailandís greatest National Parks - Part 2

    I know about the title and have been corrected plenty of times. Huai Kha Khaeng and Thung Yai Naresuan are "protected areas/wildlife sanctuaries" and not national parks, but to keep with the old thread I left the title the same.

    Part 1 is here:

    http://teakdoor.com/thailands-nation...-greatest.html (A photo expedition to one of Thailandís greatest National Parks)



    Thungyai-Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuaries - UNESCO World Heritage Centre
    Brief Description

    Stretching over more than 600,000 ha along the Myanmar border, the sanctuaries, which are relatively intact, contain examples of almost all the forest types of continental South-East Asia. They are home to a very diverse array of animals, including 77% of the large mammals (especially elephants and tigers), 50% of the large birds and 33% of the land vertebrates to be found in this region.

  2. #2
    Mmmm, Bowling...... mobs00's Avatar
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    That's about it for this thread. I'm sitting outside the park just now writing on Teakdoor and waiting for L. Bruce Kekule to arrive and then we will head in to the sanctuary for about 5-6 days.

    Isn't technology amazing?

  3. #3
    splendid and tremendous
    somtamslap's Avatar
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    Looking forward to it, dude..

  4. #4
    Mmmm, Bowling...... mobs00's Avatar
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    ^ I'll post the rest if I make it back. We'll be sleeping a few nights out in the forest in an elevated blind where tigers are known to dine.

  5. #5
    Mmmm, Bowling...... mobs00's Avatar
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    Myself, my brother, Bruce, and teakdoor member pangsida, just got out of the forest yesterday. I am back home now and I'll update this when I get a chance.

    In the meantime checkout pangsida's website on Thailand and it's natural beauty. This was the first time I met him and can say he is a top bloke and the causes he supports through his site and endeavors are commendable.

    Welcome to Exploring Natural Thailand

  6. #6
    Mmmm, Bowling...... mobs00's Avatar
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    Here is some more info on Paul's (pangsida) work and supporting his cause:

    EnviroSEA's aim is to utilize the photography of Thailand based photographer Paul Thompson in a sustainable manner.

    Paul's photographs, normally available through select photographic agencies such as Getty, NHPA and SeaPics, detail off the beaten track travel and nature locations throughout Thailand as well as the country’s fauna and flora.

    Paul is offering his images directly through this site with all proceeds (yes, 100%!) to be donated to non-profit organizations working on the conservation and protection of Thailand's forests and forest inhabitants. So that they may help conserve the tremendous gift that geography and nature has bestowed on the Thai people.

    If you order a print or license and image through this site you will be provided with details of the project/s that your remittances support so that you may be secure in the knowledge that good causes are served.
    Thailand Wildlife Stock Photography | Paul Whitehead's Thailand

  7. #7
    Mmmm, Bowling...... mobs00's Avatar
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    We arrived at the HQ in Huai Kha Kaeng Wildlife Sanctuary in the afternoon at around 4pm. The HQ is on the other side of a stream and is as far into the park as you can go without special permission.

    Our first stop was to pay our respects to Sueb Nakhasathien. Sueb was the Superintendent of Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary who took his own life in the name wildlife conservation.

    A true hero of a man.

    sueb.or.th

    Seub Nakhasathien


    This is the statue of Sueb in front of his house at the HKK headquarters.


  8. #8
    Mmmm, Bowling...... mobs00's Avatar
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    There are many of these plaques detailing Sueb’s life.




  9. #9
    Mmmm, Bowling...... mobs00's Avatar
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    Next to Sueb’s house we saw these deer. Two of them are wearing collars.

    Many animals including many species of birds can be found at the HQ’s and is well worth a look.


  10. #10
    Mmmm, Bowling...... mobs00's Avatar
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    From the HQ’s we drove into the sanctuary for about 10-15km’s to a ranger station where we would stay for the next few days. This station is where we spent our first night.

    The next day Bruce and I were driven another 10km’s further in to stay the night in an elevated platform overlooking a mineral lick where Bruce had previously photographed a large tiger.

    At this spot he has seen many animals including Bantaeng, Gaur, and elephants.

    The platform is about 3 meters from the ground and accessible by a ladder made from small trees. Bruce would be sleeping in a hammock and I would be sleeping on the wooden/bamboo floor.





  11. #11
    Mmmm, Bowling...... mobs00's Avatar
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    We had to hike for an hour through the jungle down game trails carrying all of our camera gear, sleeping gear, food and water. A long, hot and humid time that was.

    We got to the platform at around 2 pm and the ranger and my brother dropped off the supplies they were carrying and headed back to the station.

    We were now completely alone and readied ourselves for the night ahead.


    This is the mineral lick the platform overlooks. The photo was taken from the point in the platform where I was set up.


  12. #12
    Mmmm, Bowling...... mobs00's Avatar
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    The first animal that came in was a water monitor lizard at about 4:30pm. We had previously seen a large black monitor lizard of about 2 meters on the drive out.




    At around 6:30pm a wild pig came in to have a drink. He would run off and come back a few more times before dark.


  13. #13
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    sunsetter's Avatar
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    nice one mate, keep em coming

  14. #14
    Mmmm, Bowling...... mobs00's Avatar
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    We heard some elephants trumpeting off in the distance but unfortunately that was all we saw that night. We prepared for bed and little did I know but the fun was just beginning.

    I’ll describe the platform in more detail first. It is rectangular at about 2.5 meters across and 3.5 meters long. The platform itself is only about 2.5 meters square which leaves a large opening to the back where the ladder comes up. The sides are made from the black sun shade material commonly seen around Thailand. The platform floor is made of 1 piece of plywood in the middle and a few strips of split bamboo on each side left and right. The floors high point is at the ladder side and slopes gently towards the front of the blind. This is all held together with nails and wire attached to 2 living trees on one side and 2 posts on the other.

    Now that you have an idea of what the inside looks like I can describe the big scary hole where the ladder comes up. This side has no protection from the outside world around us. I am not really sure why it was designed like this but it was and that is where I would be sleeping that night. As I mentioned the floor has a slope. It is not a great slope but enough that if you are sleeping on the floor you need to sleep with the direction of the slope otherwise the blood would rush to your head and you’d get no sleep at all.

    Bruce is such a kind soul that to put my mind at ease he decided to tell me a bedtime story. Bruce saw a tiger. Bruce saw this tiger at the exact same spot we are now camped out at. This is the tiger he saw.


    I had previously seen this picture but had no idea it was at this spot.

    http://brucekekule.com/photo-gallery/



    Just behind the tiger you can see the large tree that is in the mineral lick photo in the above left corner in the above post.


    So it is now dark and I have this huge open area inches away from my head. Bruce laughs himself to sleep and I stay up putting a little metal chair in front of my head so that maybe the tiger goes for the chair instead of me.

    To say I slept uneasy is an understatement. A few times Bruce shuffled his feet in his hammock and I jumped up out of bed pumped full of adrenaline ready to run.

    This uneasiness subsided though when the black ants started to attack me. I first felt some pain in my feet and woke up to see what’s the matter. A few ants so I just brushed them off and went back to bed. 20 minutes later the same thing happened so I decided to get up and see where they were. They looked like they were coming through the underside of my bug net around my feet. I cleaned them up and looked under my sleeping pad. I was completely surrounded. They were everywhere. All under the mat and all around the perimeter of my net. 100’s and 100’s of them. I didn’t think I would get any sleep at all. Bruce woke up because of my flashlight and told me to toughen up and use bug spray around the perimeter of my bug net. The wall of deet worked and after getting out the last few stragglers I went back to sleep till morning no longer worrying about the big creatures of the forest when the small ones can be so much more troublesome.

  15. #15
    Mmmm, Bowling...... mobs00's Avatar
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    The elephants trumpeted a few more times but we survived the night and the ranger came out to get us at around noon. Unfortunately we didn’t get to see much more than that. The rains had now started and the animals have plenty of places to drink from so don't need to come to the mineral lick.

    On the way out I did take some photos with my macro lens.






  16. #16
    Mmmm, Bowling...... mobs00's Avatar
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    We hiked out and drove back to the station where we spent one more night.

    That night it rained and as we were driving back the HQ’s there were frogs everywhere. It was mating season and the puddles along the road was full of them.

    Some were fighting over a female and rolling around in a big glob of 5-6 frogs all fighting to fertilize the eggs she was releasing.


    I got a few pictures including this lucky couple who had a puddle all to themselves.


  17. #17
    Mmmm, Bowling...... mobs00's Avatar
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    This male was tired from all the excitement like all guys get after a good romp.


  18. #18
    Mmmm, Bowling...... mobs00's Avatar
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    We stopped back at the HQ’s and then took another road heading up into the mountains to stay at a station there.

    This road was rougher and wetter than the first and had about 6 bridges made of large logs laid lengthwise above the streams.

    We would be staying at this station for 2 nights and tomorrow would be going further in to spend the morning at a large open area where animals come to drink from a hotspring.


    At this station I used my macro lens to get these photos of mushrooms.







    Spiders






    A caterpillar molting




    And a lantern bug


  19. #19
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by mobs00 View Post
    This uneasiness subsided though when the black ants started to attack me. . .They looked like they were coming through the underside of my bug net around my feet. I cleaned them up and looked under my sleeping pad. . . Bruce woke up because of my flashlight and told me to toughen up and use bug spray around the perimeter of my bug net.
    Hmmm, I think we know why Bruce chose the hammock. Might want to bring one of those next time. . . "the small ones can be so much more troublesome," indeed.

  20. #20
    Mmmm, Bowling...... mobs00's Avatar
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    The next morning we got up at 4am and headed down an even rougher road. Lots of mud and fallen trees.
    We had a short hike of about 300 meters to our photo blind. Elephant, gaur, bantaeng, tapir and the big cats can all be seen here.

    Here is the view from where we would be taking photos.




    To the top right of the photo above is a hot spring that comes out from between some large rocks and flows down the hill through the smaller stones and eventually meeting up with other small streams on the far end.




  21. #21
    Mmmm, Bowling...... mobs00's Avatar
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    ^^ I had a hammock but the platform was so small only 1 could be set up.

  22. #22
    Mmmm, Bowling...... mobs00's Avatar
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    No animals came in due to the rain but I did get a picture of these lizards on the way out.


  23. #23
    Mmmm, Bowling...... mobs00's Avatar
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    It was a great trip and we all had a good time. The next morning my brother and I drove out and on the way saw a green pea fowl like this one from Bruce’s website. It was too fast though and ran across the road before we could take any photos.


  24. #24
    loob lor geezer
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    Very interesting thread. Thanks for posting Mobs.

  25. #25
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    Great thread mobs. Let's see if I can green you.

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