Good place to work remotely and enjoy the tropical rainforest

02 Dec 2021 00:22 #5701 by Max
Hi all,

I'm new to this forum so some background info: I'm from the Netherlands but addicted to visiting tropical rainforests. I've been to Khao Sok, Gunung Leuser (Sumatra), Pacaia Samiria (Peru) and Dominica so far. I'm not especially interested in one particular kind of animal (maybe hornbills :)), but love mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians equally.

I haven't visited any rainforests recently and am suffering from withdrawal symptoms. So I'm looking into working abroad for a while. Not too long as my wife won't be joining. Probably 1-3 months. I'm looking for any tips about good locations to stay in Thailand, preferably a relaxed town/village, not too expensive, but not too basic either and with decent internet. I would like to at least one multi-day trek, but it seems that might be difficult in Thailand. I've only found pretty touristy tours up to around 3 days online. In Peru for example I could book a private tour into the Amazon for 7 days with the most reputable company for about 45 dollars a day, same for Sumatra. If you know of a place where I could join actual biologists, that would be even better as most guides I've met just know the name of the animal, they know the area very well, but don't have a ton of interesting things to say about the flora and fauna.

I don't have a particular period in mind, somewhere in the next years.

Thanks in advance,

PS. I'm looking into Thailand because of it's beautiful nature, easy access, safety, affordability, excellent food, timezone shared with colleagues

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02 Dec 2021 12:38 - 02 Dec 2021 15:33 #5702 by Paul T
I think your requirement may be a bit generic to get any detailed recommendations. If the tropical forest is secondary to working online then you would have to stick with the major parks as they only really have the external infrastructure to support you. The time of year would be critical to know as well as that can affect whats available. 

I don't think you will find a professional guide at 1500 baht (45 USD) a day (not in Central Thailand anyway), but you used to be able to approach the rangers in some of the parks for trips, but that would not be viable unless you speak Thai. I have noticed that making arrangements with rangers has completely stopped in some parks though so not sure if this still viable. These were always ad hoc and could not be made in advance as the rangers don't know what their weekly assignments are. And of course no English and the rangers don't always know a lot :+)

Multi-day treks within the borders of a national park. Very difficult IMHO. If you read through the other post you will see even people living here have difficulty tracking down people to arrange these.

What would I recommend, well I am probably not too experienced in this type of recommendation but you could try to dig deeper on: Khao Yai (lots of local infrastructure, bags of animals, great forest, reputable and experienced guides); Khao Luang (you could stay on the coast and do Khao Luang plus if you search theres some details on here about a potential multiday within the park); The North, anywhere in Chiang Rai Province - no megafauna but seriously beautiful high elevation forest, and lots of local support, lots of multi day treks by locals in places like Pai); Kaeng Krachan/Kui Buri lots of animals, megafauna, dont think multi-day possible though). 

If you wanted really good forest with masses of wildlife and great external infrastructure and accommodation opportunities then you should consider Khao Yai seriously.

Going with projects/researchers. Not viable IMHO. Researchers/Projects work under very strict MOUs with the DNP. I have had a project permit for quite a few years and the admin, bureaucracy and control around them would not make me risk taking anyone not cleared under the project documents or parks's approval under any circumstances.

The north may suit your requirements better, lovely forests and biodiversity, not many mammals buts lots of birds, trails, etc. 

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02 Dec 2021 17:17 #5703 by Max
Thanks Paul for taking the time to write such an extensive reply. I will manage my expectations about multi-day treks, which is fine as just staying in or near the rainforest and doing day trips will also give me plenty of joy. About finding a biologist. Sometimes there are (retired) biologists that run a company giving tours, maybe someone on this forum knows one, if not that's fine too. I'm mainly looking for guides that can go more in depth about species, behaviour etc.

Khao Yai does seem the most convenient, especially being so close to Bangkok, although maybe a bit more expensive than most. I haven't really considered the north yet. to my knowledge it's not true tropical rainforest, however maybe I should look into it more as that could not be a blocker if it comes close to the same experience. I have heard good things about the northern parts of Thailand in general.

I heven't heard much about Khao Luang so will look into that as well.

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03 Dec 2021 02:04 #5705 by onflipflops
As Paul recommended I think Khao Yai is one of the best spots to just visit on your own. One of the best trail networks in the country, even though these days fewer trails are open to the public than in the past. Perhaps nice to do a guided tour at the beginning of your trip to get to know the place/animals a bit. But then you could just rent a car/motorbike and enter the park by yourself.

Kaeng Krachan is great too. Check out Baan Maka nature lodge if you are looking for a place to stay for a long period. The lodge grounds will give you a jungle feeling. You will have Oriental Pied Hornbills flying around your bungalow, and a wide variety of other birds, small mammals, and herpetofauna on the lodge's premises. And a constant stream of naturalists staying there, so a great place to meet like-minded people and get tips where to go. To my knowledge, it is the best lodge in the country for this specific purpose.
But you would need a car to visit the park, in Kaeng Krachan they do not allow motorbikes (except the staff). And best to rent a 4x4 vehicle so you can also visit the higher elevation area.

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05 Dec 2021 00:42 #5706 by wvwv
The multi-day treks are difficult to organise if you don't speak thai or have a thai friend to help. Theres a lot of faffing around with registering and they usually call you to check if youre still going. Also a lot of them are north thailand where the forest has been pillaged quite a bit - good views but not many animals left. Khun chae national park has a good 4/5-day one. Khao laem national park a 1-2 day trek. I've wrote about many multi-day treks on this forum if you do a search.

have a look at koh chang. Its an island so again not going to find many large mammals, but very good for reptiles and snakes and insects and its a good blend between civilisation and rainforest. I really rate the valleys and rivers in koh chang, crystal clear water and lots of waterfalls.

I also second khao yai but if you stay inside the park its a bit isolated if you want to work. And if you stay outside and travel inside every day its 400 baht everytime plus car fee which adds up quick.

one thing to remember with the trekking, if you are after viewpoints, avoid the burning/winter season - haze greys out photos and makes them look crap.

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06 Dec 2021 15:16 #5707 by Max
Thanks for the replies and the tips. I think I have a good idea of the best possibilities. I've seen quite a lot of nice places to stay not far from Khao Yai, but I'll have to look into the cost of going into the park like you said @wvwv. @onflipflops thanks for the accommodation tip, it looks really nice and has good wifi which is a must have for me. Thanks for the Koh Chang tip as well, it looks well worth a visit, but will probably not be my main destination due to the more limited wildlife.
Let's hope I can go soon.

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14 Jan 2022 13:14 #5732 by NN
Prachinburi or Nakhon Nayok are both on the southern edge of Khao Yai. They are also close to Pang Sida and Thap Lan NPs. Also there is good birding in the area, particularly  around Pak Phli. In Chachensao there's a large wild life sanctuary, but access is limited. It's common to see elephants on the park edge in many parts of Nakhon Nayok. Also Wang Bon and a few other areas give access to park boundary without entering the park, which can get expensive.

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"Each species is a masterpiece, a creation assembled with extreme care and genius." > Edward O. Wilson

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