Wildlife in the north of Thailand

30 Aug 2013 00:25 #1344 by onflipflops
Replied by onflipflops on topic Wildlife in the north of Thailand
I agree with Trekker.
Don't expect to see anything. But if you go to any of the parks mentioned by Trekker you will surely find tracks of large wildlife. And that's exciting in itself. Elephant tracks, bear claw marks, wild boar tracks are easily found, and every now and then there are foot prints of carnivores or e.g. porcupines. It shows you're on the right spot, even though it's not so likely that you get to see any of these animals.
I do a LOT of hiking in Khao Yai, but can still pretty much remember every single elephant encounter on the trails in the forest. While I definitely can't count how often I've seen elephants on the roads/ in the open areas in Khao Yai. I think the encounters in the forest are less than 5% of all sightings.
The road heading to Haew Narok waterfall is probably the best for elephants. Especially around the two saltlicks. Though, they are seen throughout the whole park. A late afternoon drive could be successfull. December - February elephants seem to be seen a bit more frequently.
Gaur is not so easy, though if you visit in the months April - May they can be found almost daily in the more quiet grasslands (Usually after 17:30). In the wet season I haven't had much luck with Gaur. Tracks show they seem to spread more through the forest and seem to be less dependent on the open grasslands.
Though Kui Buri might offer a better chance for both elephant and gaur, but I can't confirm that; haven't been there yet.

Gibbons (especially White-handed Gibbon) and Black Giant squirrels are often seen on the hikes and even in the taller forest along the roads (especially the stretch between the first viewpoint (on Pak Chong side) and the visitor center. A local guide will definitely make a big difference as they know the gibbon territories, fruiting trees, sounds of the jungle. But if you're like me, finding the animals is half the fun. If somebody else points it out to you, it's still great to see the animal, but it can't beat your own findings.

Don't neccessarily avoid the popular trails. E.g. for gibbons, if you stick to trails that are often visited by people, the gibbon family groups are quite used to seeing people. They are not tame as the macaques on the roads, but at least they might give you a chance to take a picture. The deeper you go in the forest the more shy the animals are. They will often be gone before you can actually see them. And all wildlife including the more exciting stuff like bears, elephants, and even some of the cats are seen on even the most popular trails.

Sambar, Indian Muntjac, and Northern Pig-tail Macaques are quaranteed in Khao Yai, but therefore not the most exciting. Though I always enjoy it if I encounter any of these species on a trail in the forest. Actually I might have seen more elephants on the trails than Sambar deer, haha...

Malayan Porcupine, Small Indian Civet and Asian Palm Civet are often seen on the night safari (though you need luck to get a good (slow) driver and a dedicated spotlighter). Costs are 500 baht for a private car, which is definitely a better option than the 50 baht join-in truck that often doesn't seem to stop for anything small like a civet...

Visit for as many days as you can. Time is the key to success!
Good luck!

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01 Sep 2013 07:06 #1347 by WT admin
Replied by WT admin on topic Wildlife in the north of Thailand
Some great points and info there, onflipflops.

Very good idea to point out that one would see lots of signs and tracks

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01 Sep 2013 12:06 #1354 by john floth
Replied by john floth on topic Wildlife in the north of Thailand
Hi guys

Thaks a lot for taking the time to write me those helpful Responses.
I think im going to try and get a couple of days in Koh yai in Novemeber to see what i can find .
In the meantime ive found another snake hanging out on the steps of my building. It was almost black and had some stripes and a red neck, i looked it up and i think ist a red necked keelback. Coolest looking snake ive ever seen in the wild for sure!

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01 Sep 2013 22:56 #1360 by onflipflops
Replied by onflipflops on topic Wildlife in the north of Thailand
A Red-necked Keelback is indeed a cool looking snake. The specimens I've seen were not really black though, but it could vary in different locations, or it might have been close to shedding...

As far as I know only one person died from it's venom, but reason enough to watch out a bit. They are rear-fanged so therefore not considered too dangerous, but when it gets the chance to chew a bit it could cause serious trouble.

And even though I presume it's just a minor spelling mistake, I just want to make sure you don't end up on an island called Koh Yai, which might be disappointing if you're expecting wildlife. The national park's name is Khao Yai ;).

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05 Sep 2013 11:59 #1373 by Painted Jezebel
Replied by Painted Jezebel on topic Wildlife in the north of Thailand
Sorry to intrude on someone else's thread, but it is relevent, I think.

It now appears that myself, and at least two friends, will be spending 3 days at Fang in the beginning of November, primarily to go to Doi Pha Hom Pok, which has a very high species record regarding our interests (butterflies).

Is the poaching/drug running in that area still dangerous? Are there other, safer, suitably forested areas in the nearby area? None of us have ever been in that area before.

Thanks, in advance.

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07 Sep 2013 00:03 #1377 by john floth
Replied by john floth on topic Wildlife in the north of Thailand
Ive now hiked up there (doi pha hom pok area) a bit but never see anything dangerous other than various snake species that only move just as your about to accidently step on them , from time to time. It is clear that in Tha ton and the surrounding hilltribe villages that there is a bit of a drug Problem but I havent heard of any violence while ive been here. It is however not unusual to see People sniffing stuff and Walking around drunk in the middle of the day, when you walk the the Lahu villages but as Long as you go about your own Business im sure nothing will happen. As for the border Ive never had any Problems there either, they might ask u questions but ist pretty hard to actually walk to the border itself. I would recommend you stay on the paths because its easier to get rescued from if something should happen. Theres loads of Butterflys around here thats for certain!.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Painted Jezebel

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07 Sep 2013 07:07 #1378 by Painted Jezebel
Replied by Painted Jezebel on topic Wildlife in the north of Thailand
Thank you, John. My concerns have gone!

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