× The Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary is located in Uthai Thani and Tak Provinces, Thailand. The sanctuary was established in 1974, and is one of the largest and most important protected wildlife areas in Southeast Asia. The wildlife sanctuary was declared a World Heritage Site by the United Nations in 1991. The protected area is home to a diverse range of animals including large mammals, birds, and reptiles. It is Thailand's premier Wildlife research sanctuary.

Huai Kha Kaeng info

29 Apr 2014 17:16 - 29 Apr 2014 18:44 #1919 by wildambience
wildambience created the topic: Huai Kha Kaeng info
I've enjoyed reading through some of the older posts and trip reports from Huai Kha Kaeng & it's really whet my appetite for an upcoming trip! My wife & I will be hiring a 4WD & heading up to this reserve at the end of next month and I've got a few questions I hope someone can help us with.

Primarily the trip will be for sound recording of the forest & wildlife, but I'll also be taking photos & video footage. No specific target species although cats are always on my 'most-wanted' list, so I'll no doubt be spending a lot of time sitting and waiting....

1) Where to stay?

We've had one suggestion to try Hup Patad Homestay, about 40km's from park HQ, but we're not 100% sure which town/village this place is located in. Does anyone have any other recommendations closer to the park?

Depending on what type of 4wd they give us, we may have the option of sleeping in the back of the car if there is enough space (Toyota Fortuner - I doubt the 7 seat version will do it but maybe if we get a 5 seater....!)

2) If we do end up camping or sleeping in the car - nearest shop to buy to buy food/water?

3) Which section of Huai Kha Kaeng would you spend 4 days to maximize chances at wildlife? With a 4WD, can we access deeper into the reserve?


Thanks in advance!


Marc Anderson
www.wildambience.com
www.marcanderson.com.au

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29 Apr 2014 17:35 #1921 by Bagheera
Bagheera replied the topic: Huai Kha Kaeng info
I am pretty sure that you can go no further into the park than the HQ unless you have written prior permission from the Department of National Parks in Bangkok. To get to just the HQ it is not necessary to have a 4x4 so If there are only 4x2 trucks available then that wouldn't be an issue.

I think Onflipflops has a pretty decent post covering what you can do in and around the HQ as there are still numerous walking trails and watching towers you can visit. And there's also a Black Leopard in that area so definitely enough to keep you interested!

Happy to be corrected on any info given and apologies if it is off the mark, but I believe it to be true!

Good Luck!
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29 Apr 2014 18:26 - 29 Apr 2014 19:33 #1922 by Paul TW
Paul TW replied the topic: Huai Kha Kaeng info
Of the 3 entrances, I would only only consider the HQ, as Cyber is just a small weekender waterfall area and Huai Mae Dee is quite remote and the publicly accessible area is small and on the boundary of the sanctuary.

I would camp, there is basic food at the HQ area and you can stock up on "essentials and goodies" at Lan Sak which is the biggest town in the area and has stores, a market and 2 x 7/11s. Am not sure if the camp site rents tents? Maybe another poster can help with that? I think Jonathan and Jos have stayed at the campsite most recently?

Last time I was there .... closest hotel (bungalows) is on the main road at the entrance to Lan Sak, about 500 meters before the hospital - I have stayed there, more than acceptable. Hup Pha Tad Homestay is good but another 15 mins drive away, heres a map of its location ("hotel") . You can't miss it, it has dinosaurs in the front garden. From Lan Sak the entrance gate is about 20 minutes and then its a 10-15 minute drive to HQ.

As Bagheera mentions, you need Willy Wonka's Golden Ticket to get further in.
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29 Apr 2014 22:44 - 29 Apr 2014 22:59 #1923 by onflipflops
onflipflops replied the topic: Huai Kha Kaeng info
Hey Marc,

The nearest accommodation to the entrance (about 2kms) is a ranger-owned place with about 10 bungalows/ rooms. The bathroom in the connected rooms is larger than in the little pink concrete bungalows. Rate is 550 baht per night if I remember correctly. And last time they even installed wifi, but don't rely on it, haha.
Sometimes it is referred to as Baan 808, if I remember correctly. It's on a small side-road with some more houses. ( www.google.com/maps/place/15%C2%B034%275...b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0x0 not sure if this is the exact location but it is on that stretch of road on your left. You'll see the pink buildings.)
These are the phone numbers, though as far as I know the owners don't speak English.
0857341190, 0821624744
An option is to just go the the park entrance and ask for a room and then I think they will contact the ranger who owns this place. Normally no need to book in advance, especially this time of year I don't expect it will be busy.

Though, actually it might be better to camp to get early (and late) access to the few parts open for visitors. The best trail is Khao Hin Daeng. Enough cat evidence, but seeing any would require a lot of luck. Hiding and waiting might be a better option.

On the camping ground is a restaurant which only opens for large groups at the river bank. My experience is that there is electricity there if you need to charge batteries.
Near the head quarters (near the monument of Mr. Seub) is a restaurant where you can get Thai food. Make sure to order your dinner on time, because I think they won't be there after about 17:00 - 18:00.
But it is possible for them to leave your dinner in a box at the gate.

Outside the park there are a couple of food stalls, but these also close early, dont expect to get food after 18:00.
Bring some bread and spreads from a 7-eleven just in case.

The new toilet building behind the visitor centre at the camp ground has nice toilets though seems like there won't be light at night, and sadly they did not make showers in this new building. The old restrooms are not great, I don't mind, but some people might... the usual Thai bucket showers.

Enjoy your stay!
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30 Apr 2014 15:37 #1926 by wildambience
wildambience replied the topic: Huai Kha Kaeng info
Thanks so much for all your helpful responses. I think we'll stay in town the first night as we'll be arriving quite late, then try & camp for the next two or three nights.

Cat evidence is enough to keep us happy (it's all we usually see anyway!) - just knowing they are around and seeing/smelling sign is always exciting.

I'll do some more reading on the forum again to go over the trails & maps.

Has anyone got GPS coordinates for the park HQ?

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14 May 2014 18:48 #1984 by Jos-
Jos- replied the topic: Huai Kha Kaeng info
Highly recommend camping, so you'll have access to the main road before anyone else does. Try early morning / late afternoon drives. Drive slowly and keep your fingers crossed. According to my understanding they have regular sightings of leopards around the headquarter. You might even hear a tiger roar during the night! :woohoo: Amazing place, hope you'll have a good one.
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15 May 2014 00:02 #1985 by onflipflops
onflipflops replied the topic: Huai Kha Kaeng info
I don't have the GPS coordinates with me, but the following coordinates I got from google maps which shows the location if you enter them in google maps. These are not coordinates that you can put directly in your GPS...

HQ building
15.607381, 99.317662

Main gate near HQ
15.608644, 99.320283

Camping ground
15.612228, 99.318695

Restaurant near HQ
15.606729, 99.318609

Main park entrance
15.588951, 99.387174

The road between the main park entrance and the gate near the HQ is the road Jos is referring to. Only with a permit you can go deeper (apart from visiting the camp ground, of course).

And follow the advice of Jos. It worked out for him.
Enjoy!
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16 May 2014 06:20 #1993 by wildambience
wildambience replied the topic: Huai Kha Kaeng info
Thanks to everyone for your helpful info on HKK. We will spend the first night at Hup Pha Tad Homestay as we arrive after dark, but will camp the following 2-3 nights.

My Bushnell Trophy Cam HD has just arrived so I'll be testing that out, as well as recording audio of the forest soundscapes (& taking plenty of photos of course!) - looking forward to exploring this reserve for the first time.

One final question - if someone gave you the challenge of recording the sounds of browsing elephants at night, where would you leave your recorder? I'm thinking to ask the rangers if the elephants are frequenting a particular salt lick or browsing area at night & placing my mics & recorder high in a tree & leaving it overnight (with a raincover). Any suggestions?!

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16 May 2014 06:22 #1994 by wildambience
wildambience replied the topic: Huai Kha Kaeng info

Jos- wrote: Highly recommend camping, so you'll have access to the main road before anyone else does. Try early morning / late afternoon drives. Drive slowly and keep your fingers crossed. According to my understanding they have regular sightings of leopards around the headquarter. You might even hear a tiger roar during the night! :woohoo: Amazing place, hope you'll have a good one.


Jos, your Leopard image is killing me! I'll be taking my Tamron 150-600mm and if I can get any shots/video footage of large mammals I'll be happy....

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16 May 2014 16:28 #1997 by onflipflops
onflipflops replied the topic: Huai Kha Kaeng info

One final question - if someone gave you the challenge of recording the sounds of browsing elephants at night, where would you leave your recorder?


Difficult question. (I would not try it in HKK in the first place, it is easier in Khao Yai)
In the non-permit area of HKK I have yet to find a place where the elephants visit often enough to make it worthwhile to put up a recorder. Large parts of the area are dry forest which might not be the optimal place to look for elephants. Stick to the rivers, there is more green vegetation and bamboo.
Ask a ranger to lead you to a saltlick about 1km north-northeast of the camp ground, near the river, in bamboo forest. Not sure if he will (or knows?), it is off-trail... but to answer your question I would try it there.
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17 Jul 2014 22:15 #2111 by wildambience
wildambience replied the topic: Huai Kha Kaeng info
We didn't end up visiting Huai Kha Kaeng in May after all - due to the military coup our trip was re-routed. However, we will be heading to Thailand and HKK next week so hoping the weather is decent and we can record some wildlife. Thanks again for the information and looking forward to hitting some of the trails!

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20 Jul 2014 16:07 - 20 Jul 2014 16:12 #2121 by onflipflops
onflipflops replied the topic: Huai Kha Kaeng info
Just to make sure you don't get too excited, don't expect too much of the hiking trails. Khao Hin Daeng is great and a good area to see wildlife (macaques, langurs, gibbons, deer; though most are very shy, and there are always lots of other wildlife tracks to find), but I am not too excited about the other trails that are open for visitors. But who knows, there is always the possibility that you have a sighting of a lifetime.

Last week it has rained a little, but not much. The river is still at a normal level.
Probably the best tip I can give is to make friends with the rangers. Might not always be easy if you're visiting for the first time. But if you meet the right ones, they can be helpful. And you need luck not too many others are visiting. Even though the park sees very few visitors, even if there is just one other group and they have 'booked' the observation tower, you will have to change your plans. Plan ahead and discuss your plans with the rangers. I used to avoid that, but I've now learned it makes things much easier.
Enjoy your stay!
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21 Jul 2014 01:41 #2122 by wildambience
wildambience replied the topic: Huai Kha Kaeng info
Thanks for the tips - I'm especially looking forward to exploring the Khao Hin Daeng trail.
I'll post some photos and sounds after the trip.

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21 Jul 2014 11:01 #2123 by onflipflops
onflipflops replied the topic: Huai Kha Kaeng info
Looking forward to see the results of your trip. How many days are you going to spend there?

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21 Jul 2014 16:06 #2126 by wildambience
wildambience replied the topic: Huai Kha Kaeng info
We'll be there for four nights from Wednesday to Sunday, then head down to Kaeng Krachan for three nights. I thought we'd do it that way around to avoid the weekend at KK.

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21 Jul 2014 19:31 #2127 by onflipflops
onflipflops replied the topic: Huai Kha Kaeng info
Sounds good. Indeed better to spend the weekend at HKK , and visit KK only on weekdays.
Wish you good luck!

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13 Aug 2015 21:00 #3031 by marcnus
marcnus replied the topic: Huai Kha Kaeng info
Hello everyone,
I am planning to go to huay ka kaeng tomorrow.
I would like to know if it is possible to go from the bang rai entrance to the uthai thani entrance staying in the park.
Any good spot you recommend to go and try to see wildlife.
Thank you

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13 Aug 2015 21:19 #3032 by onflipflops
onflipflops replied the topic: Huai Kha Kaeng info
Hi Marc, only place you can enter (unless you have special permits) will be at the Lan Sak area (HQ). You can move freely along the 13km dirt road between the entrance gate and the gate near HQ area.
There is a camp ground at HQ area, but you'll have to bring your own camping gear.
There are a few trails which you are allowed to walk. Home of the Tiger Trail, Khao Hin Daeng trail and
Officially, for visiting the watchtowers you will have to ask permission and get a ranger to accompany you (except for the third tower few hundred metres from the camp.).

Enjoy your stay!

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23 Dec 2015 09:13 #3284 by bootly66
bootly66 replied the topic: Huai Kha Kaeng info
Does anyone know how/where to book the bungalows inside the park... I was there a couple of weeks ago and the rangers told me i could only book online.. but i cant find anything...any ideas???

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24 Dec 2015 11:10 #3289 by Paul TW
Paul TW replied the topic: Huai Kha Kaeng info
There is an online booking system but only for the NPs not the sanctuaries as far as I know. Some sanctuaries allow use of the research accommodation on an "as available" basis (i.e. Phu Khieo). Never heard of a system for HKK - but in honesty I rarely go there.

www.dnp.go.th/parkreserve/reservation.asp?lg=1
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24 Dec 2015 11:21 #3290 by bootly66
bootly66 replied the topic: Huai Kha Kaeng info
Yes, I had checked the DNP page... I will probably go there again next week and will try for more info.. If not it will be tent again.

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25 Dec 2015 00:58 #3291 by onflipflops
onflipflops replied the topic: Huai Kha Kaeng info
Hi Bootly,

From what I have heard, the bungalows are only available for those that have special permission to visit the park, which generally means access to parts a bit deeper inside.
I have never tried to get permission to go deeper, nor to book these bungalows, but if you do find out, I would love to hear about it.

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03 Jan 2016 11:13 #3322 by bootly66
bootly66 replied the topic: Huai Kha Kaeng info
Woodpeckers from Huai Kha Kaeng. Unfortuneately I dipped on the Great slatey....a good excuse to go back..




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