× 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 Khaeng - Headquarters trails

31 Jul 2010 13:02 - 17 May 2013 13:54 #189 by
created the topic: Huai Kha Khaeng - Headquarters trails
Work commitments have been keeping me from the trails lately but I managed to get up to the headquarters area of Huai Kha Khaeng in Lan Sak last week.

Conditions were good and there was not many people about for a long weekend. A pair of jackals and a family of wild boar were seen on the mammal front, signs of elephant, banteng and deer were all about. The trails in this area are quite easy and well maintained although the "view" route was hard to distinguish at points and had no markers.


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31 Jul 2010 13:02 - 02 Jan 2014 11:18 #190 by
replied the topic: Huai Kha Khaeng - Headquarters trails
Khai Hin Daneg Trail - this is the main trail at the headquarters, its easy to follow, well established and marked throughout. It takes one through both evergreen and bamboo forests.

Important facts

Length of trail :: 4.9 km (round trip)
Hiking time :: 1 to 2 hours
Difficulty level :: easy (scale : easy, moderate, hard, ouch)
Terrain :: Mixed Evergreen forest and bamboo forest
Minimum essentials :: 0.5 L water


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31 Jul 2010 14:06 - 15 Oct 2012 17:34 #191 by Trekker
Trekker replied the topic: Huai Kha Khaeng - Headquarters trails
The second two trails, namely "home of the tiger" and "Khao Pak Dee viewpoint" can be walked as a single trail setting off from the "home of the tiger" start point (it is well marked). The "tiger" trail is super easy but not much to shout about, it is evergreen forest and has a nice resting point by a bend in the river.

The Khao Pak Dee (stay [or rest] well mountain) is much more interesting as its through dry dipterocarp forest and the climb gave my lungs a good blow out after week of inactivity.
The two trails are connected (point A leads to point B) but it seems this route is not maintained as was experienced in our walking the bottom half of the (the point A leg on the diagram) route leg.

The total walk was around 5 kilos but you can do anything you want, the tracks are well marked except for the Khao Pak Dee viewpoint trail.

Important facts

Length of trail :: 1 to 5.5 (round trip) say average of 3km
Hiking time :: 2 to 3 hours
Difficulty level :: easy/moderate (depends how far you want to go)
Terrain :: Mixed Evergreen forest and Dry Dipterocarp forest
Minimum essentials :: 1 L water and a snack








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31 Jul 2010 14:24 #192 by Trekker
Trekker replied the topic: Huai Kha Khaeng - Headquarters trails
BTW there is a "guide booth" next to the visitors car-park and you can request a guide there if you wish to take any of the routes guided.

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26 May 2013 17:46 - 28 May 2013 08:15 #1048 by onflipflops
onflipflops replied the topic: from Kui Buri National Park thread
Moved from another thread...


@Onflipflops wrote.....

Seeing loads of tracks when I visited HKK HW area, but I guess I should have spend some more time at the watching towers there. Discovered the towers (2, not sure of there are more...) only on the last day of the trip...

____________________________________________


@Trekker wrote.....

Onflipflops - are they open to the public? B4 you needed permission to access them. Always wanted to go to them.
_____________________________________________

@Onflipflops wrote.....

@Trekker, That's a good question.
Well, there is a road sign telling about the Pong Chang Puak trail. And a small parking area, and no sign saying you need permission, though on the sign they don't mention the tower. The best way to get directly to the tower is to walk from the parking area back along the road in the direction of the park entrance and turn right into the dirt road. You'll pass a little ranger station and continue along the track to the tower. It's a short walk.

We met the ranger that was staying in this small station along the trail and he did not mention that we were not allowed to go, nor did he ask if we had permission. We asked why the tower was not mentioned on the road sign. He told it used to be a popular spot, but now the park management tries to reduce the number of visitors by simply not showing the tower on the map.
While at the tower we saw several Green Peafowls, macaques (they were far in the distance, not sure which species...), Indian Muntjac and Sambar. Quite a lot of tracks of elephant and Banteng.

However, the other tower (closer to the camping area), is more hidden away. It's quite a walk, but actually most of the track can be done by car. 2 Thai Photographers had parked along this track, and walked the last few hundred meters or so to the tower. However they set up 2 little hides near the tower. I did not want to bother them, so not sure what they were after.
They were the only other visitors on the days that we were there.

Though, when we passed the gate before reaching the camp, a ranger (the only one that was not very welcoming to us) first started interrogating us where we had been. We told we had visited the first tower, but did not mention the second tower as I was not sure if that was allowed. And then he wanted to know if we had seen the 2 photographers. The ranger had not seen their car. In my opinion the photographers were not doing anything wrong, and the way he asked we certainly did not want to tell him where they were, so we told we did not have a clue.

So, in other words, it seems like visiting the first tower is fine. The second one is still a question.

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27 May 2013 15:21 - 28 May 2013 08:16 #1049 by Paul TW
Paul TW replied the topic: from Kui Buri National Park thread
Interesting, the routes that come off the main road into the HQ have always puzzled me and have never fully got my head around them (public, non public, drivable, non drivable) and the last time I was there,there was a host of new parallel tracks that were being maintained with a drag sled (so you can see new animal tracks clearly). If you find out more, pls do let us know. Theres a watch tower behind the first gate on the left which is usually locked (the gate) but last time I was there it was open in the evening. Did not venture down though. Intrigued.

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30 May 2013 11:01 #1059 by onflipflops
onflipflops replied the topic: from Kui Buri National Park thread
Yes the one behind that gate is the first tower (for as far as I know) and that's where we met the ranger. We had actually parked the car close to that gate (it was locked), leaving enough space for others to pass, but the ranger told us we had to park on the other parking lot further down the road. But as I wrote, he did not tell us that we were not allowed to visit.

I tried to do another walk that is signposted, called the Pa Teng Rang nature trail. 1.2km according to the sign. However, I couldn't find the trail. The start is clear but soon I ended up walking on one of those parallel trails you mentioned and not finding the loop back to the start. It soon got too hot, and I decided to turn around. There was a local walking around collecting mushrooms.
Next time when I visit the area I'll check it out.

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10 Nov 2013 12:00 - 17 Dec 2013 19:52 #1470 by admin
admin replied the topic: Huai Kha Kaeng signs
Going through my hard disk, here are the signs for "Pa Teng Rang" and "Pong Chang Puak" trails...






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02 Jan 2014 09:19 - 02 Jan 2014 09:23 #1580 by jonathanbkk
jonathanbkk replied the topic: Huai Kha Khaeng - Headquarters trails
Well this is a bit of a trip review and update for information on HKK

I was there for two days near the end of the year and as this being my second trip there decided to check out some of the other sites.

I walked the road that runs parallel the Khao Hin Daeng trail as there were many interesting tracks and ended up pushing in 9km into some very interesting territory and obviously heavily used forests by animals. A few cars passed me, one driver saying that I was in "heavy elephant territory" and to be careful, most just waving and driving on.

At about the 9km mark down the road I found an area that looked to be marked for a Blue Pita so I waited patiently for it to possibly return, hearing elephants in the distance was a bit nerve racking but I continued. A ranger came in a car and I explained what I was doing and he turned his truck around and signaled for me to get in and returned me to headquarters. He didnt seem too bothered for where I had walked, only that I was returned safely. I offered to buy him lunch as a nice gesture but he politely declined

Afternoon I headed down to the 2km mark as I saw that the gate was open and was hoping to get to Tower 1. I parked near the Pak Chang Puak marker and walked in at about 3pm, excited that it seemed I was on my way to see it (usually the gate is closed). Upon reaching the ranger station I was met by 2 rangers and 2 workers who said the big boss was coming to stay there and for the next two days the tower was not open, bah just my luck. They did confirm that it was available for viewing though and to park and walk in.

Second day was spent along the river near the Headquarters, lots of tracks and interesting marks but didnt go very far.

Afternoon I took the "Home of the Tiger" trail and staying left following the road roughly 300 meters, stumbled upon the tower. As there were herds of Eld's Deer and Hog Deer using the grasslands around it I thought it a good place to wait for evening and to see interactions with the species. (iPhone picture attached)



Nothing too eventful ended up happening, but you could see the stress build in the herds as dusk approached and off in the distance Sambar deers gave off alarm calls here and there.

the late evening drive out I tried unsuccessfully to film/photograph 3 absolutely massive wild boar but light conditions didnt favor me.
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02 Jan 2014 16:39 - 02 Jan 2014 16:45 #1584 by Paul TW
Paul TW replied the topic: Huai Kha Khaeng - Headquarters trails
Cool! Cheers Jonathan! At the mention of pigs heres a couple from my last sit on that river. Its an idyllic little spot and I like to practice my favourite pastime there - sitting doing nothing. Both are big males but not same animal. Nikon 80-400 with full frame body, handheld, comfy camping chair, my dosing hat and not a care in the world.




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03 Jan 2014 00:13 - 03 Jan 2014 00:14 #1589 by onflipflops
onflipflops replied the topic: Huai Kha Khaeng - Headquarters trails
@ Jonathan: I believe it's been a while since you've last posted here. Good to see you are still out there ;) !
Thanks for sharing your experience.

Unlucky for you to be there when the big boss was there.
I remember on my last visit that the ranger at the HQ gate told me when I went out for a late afternoon drive to look out because the boss' assistent was on his way from the entrance to the HQ.
I asked if I was not allowed to be out there. But he said he warned me because the guy tends to drive like crazy, haha.

@ Trekker: I like the top picture of the wild boar in its environment. Nice shot!

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04 Jan 2014 08:49 #1595 by jonathanbkk
jonathanbkk replied the topic: Huai Kha Khaeng - Headquarters trails
Thanks Ton, work had kept me busy for a few months and was unable to get out into the jungle. This year I will have to plan more long weekend holidays so I can ensure I get around a bit more

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10 Jan 2017 22:52 - 10 Jan 2017 23:00 #4177 by onflipflops
onflipflops replied the topic: Huai Kha Khaeng - Headquarters trails
Today I walked the Khao Hin Daeng trail in Huai Kha Khaeng, and thought I should report that it has become impossible to walk the big loop without GPS.

The loop via the shortcut half way, is still ok. Still reasonably well worn, but the bigger loop has become impossible to follow unless you have the original GPS track, and even then...
I have walked the big loop often, and dare to say I know that trail pretty well, but had not walked it for maybe a year, and it seemed like nobody else has walked it in that whole year, haha.
It was not just a fallen tree here and there, no the actual path was just so fully grown with fast growing vegetation that there was simply no trail in places. Only if you know the area, know the trees, you might know where you are, but even then you would get confused.
It seemed like the extreme drought of 2016 also helped the forest fires go deeper than ever which has changed the landscape quite a bit.

A shame the rangers have given up on this part of the trail. If they would just walk these areas every two months or so and do minor cutting it would not be that much work, but now it is an immense job to clear it.

In other words, I strongly discourage anyone to walk this trail unless you know it very well and have the GPS plus extra batteries and a compass just in case.
Anyway, even those that think they want to give it a try anyhow just for the adventure, luckily it is impossible for most to even just find where the longer loop actually branches off from the better worn short loop, haha, so I guess we do not have to worry about people getting lost ;-)

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11 Jan 2017 21:17 #4178 by Paul TW
Paul TW replied the topic: Huai Kha Khaeng - Headquarters trails
Good to know flip-flops, thanks for sharing this. It seems the regular trails are getting less and less due to lack of maintenance everywhere.

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