Done the South so now a start on the North

23 Nov 2016 08:59 - 23 Nov 2016 09:00 #4075 by WT admin
Replied by WT admin on topic Done the South so now a start on the North
Thung Salaeng Luang is indeed a strange place and not worth the 500 baht IMHO as well. Out of season they let you camp at the visitor centre building at HQ with no charge but then theres a booth that cops the 500 baht when going into the park. Its famous for essentially 3 things.........

a) at this time of year there are some large open fields of very small meadow flowers - but you cannot go in a day, you have to arrange guides and go overnight. I have not been.

b) 99% of visitors go to take one particular beautiful photo - the one from lookout point that has golden layers of hills in front, the extinct volcano at the top and sunrise over the volcano. The place to take this photo (but whats the point when everyone has taken the same photo) is about 500 meters from the HQ as the crow flies or 2 minute drive.

c) The track continues for about 15 or so kms, and the mixed evergreen forest clears to become a pine forest with open fields. Its a nice place to camp in season and it also has some pitcher plants in the wet season. To be honest I went hoping for strange insects due to the pine forest (as had been my experience with Phu Toei's small pine forest in Suphanburi) but I saw nothing of interest.

At 200 baht it would be a nice diversion but at 500 I will not go back either.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

27 Nov 2016 11:11 #4086 by rushenb
Replied by rushenb on topic Done the South so now a start on the North
Because I had to update the entrance fee at TNP website, we had to give a call to Nam Nao National Park and confirm the entrance fee. Mai called, they said the entrance fee is still 200 Baht for foreigners and 100 Baht for children (Mai didn't ask why Robby had to pay 400 Baht). It is very odd that they charged 400 Baht back then.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

11 Dec 2016 12:17 #4095 by Robby L
Replied by Robby L on topic Done the South so now a start on the North
Staying a couple of nights at Yings friends place t Mae Chaem on the way from Mae Tho NP to Doi Inthanon where I have internet access so another report.

First stop this trip was Khlong Wang Chao National Park 23-26 November 2016.


.
Entry 200b spacious camping grounds on both sides of the river with one toilet block on either side with western and Thai toilets and cold showers, several houses for rent on both sides of the river, no vehicle access to the far side only a swing bridge. The whole place is well kept and clean. On mains power with the place lit up at night and plenty of plugs for charging batteries.

Road goes for around 35km up through both forest and agricultural land to a waterfall and research center where there are 3 chalets and a camping ground which looks to be a great place to camp although the road leaves something to be desired, definitely not suitable for a car, pickup or RTV needed preferably 4WD and not for a faint hearted driver.



Local version of a 2 lane highway with log bridge.

There are 3 villages up the road with 2 schools and the last village has a health clinic, school and 3 small shops as well as several new looking houses although most of the other houses are built of bamboo.



Research station camp

There is a waterfall a few KM up the road from the camping area it is a short walk down from a parking area, no bird activity there at all. Farther up the road gets within sight of the river and I went down to the river and walked down stream a bit where there was buffalo wallowing in the river but no birds unfortunately.



Indian Rollar

The most birds I saw were up around the visitor center and helicopter pad in the morning and on a fruiting tree by the swing bridge, not a lot of birdlife but a very pleasant place to spend a few days.

General
This park is the northern end of the western forest complex with the accessible part well populated with villages along the road. It is steep and mountainous and should hold animals in the more remote parts. I was surprised to see Common Myna about 30km up the road into the park, suppose they have followed humans.

Birds

Asian Brown Flycatcher
Black Drongo
Black-naped Oriole
Common Myna
Coppersmith Barbet
Black Crested Bulbul
Greater Racket-tailed Drongo
Hill Myna
Indian Rollar
Liniated Barbet
Spangled Drongo
Yellow-vented Flowerpecker

RIP 2018 - Robby will always be remembered for his sharing of his trips and knowledge. Missed by all.
Attachments:

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

11 Dec 2016 16:26 #4096 by Robby L
Replied by Robby L on topic Done the South so now a start on the North
Lan Sang NP 27 to 29 November 2016.



Entry 200b another clean and well-kept park with good toilets. After driving up to the visitor center close to the bottom waterfall which is as far as you can drive we set up camp by a toilet block close to the entry gate then I had a walk down a nature path from the waterfall to the youth camp, a branch off this trail to the right is supposed to continue on to a bridge over the stream close to our camp however the bridge has been washed out in floods and the track is almost non-existent.



Hainan-blue Flycatcher

First morning it started to rain at 5am and continued for an hour and a half so no early start. It cleared to a misty overcast morning so I headed up the track to the waterfalls, this is an easy to follow popular track up a steep stream which levels out to a small basin after the Pa Noi waterfall. The track to the top waterfall heads up the hill before this basin is reached so to find it you must continue on up the stream. There has been a recent flood in the stream and a lot of debris has come down, there was a little animal sign in the basin area but the morning rain had washed most of it out. There is said to be Serow in the park so it is possible they may be in that area, also a bit of bird activity so worth having a look again on a better day.

On the second day instead of attempting to find the track off the nature trail I Went up a small stream which the old track should cross and followed old animal tracks, no fresh sign but a few old tracks still visible. A lot of bird activity up there but mostly in the canopy of high trees and with an understory of bamboo it was almost impossible to see anything and even harder to get photos. I did get a couple of photos of woodpeckers which were with a mixed flock including drongos and laughingthrush
.


Thick-billed Green Pigeon

Day 3 I headed up the waterfalls again on another overcast day, this time I planned to go right to the top and got there no problem. The track leaves the stream about a kilometer and a half up and goes up to a ridge where there are high altitude trees and grasses as well as a few pine trees. It then sidles around above the stream to the Pha Te Waterfall. There was a flock of Spangled Drongos on the way up but again almost impossible to get photos or see if there were other birds with them.



Pha Te Waterfall.

General

Mains power, phone and internet access, plenty of lighting and plugs for charging batteries and connecting my laptop, Hot water in the showers although the heater in the men’s toilet did not work, I showered in the woman’s on the nights we were the only ones camping. The usual houses for rent and there is a restaurant 2km down the road from the visitor center and another by the waterfall parking area, never ate at either so can’t say what the food is like, also a gift, snack, shop at the visitor center. It is also possible to camp close to the waterfall across the road from the visitor center. Another pleasant place, the hot water showers are real nice after cold water everywhere else.

Birds.

Black-headed Bulbul
Black-crested Bulbul
Black-naped Monarch
Black-naped Oriole
Coppersmith Barbet
Golden-fronted Leafbird
Greater Yellownape
Grey Wagtail
Hainan Blue Flycatcher
Hill Myna
Large-billed Crow
Olive-backed Sunbird
Spangled Drongo
Thick-billed Green Pigeon

RIP 2018 - Robby will always be remembered for his sharing of his trips and knowledge. Missed by all.
Attachments:

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

19 Dec 2016 11:24 #4116 by Robby L
Replied by Robby L on topic Done the South so now a start on the North


Entry 200B, good looking camping ground with individual bays each with water and lighting and power points that were not working, good toilets with western and Thai toilets, cold water showers and disabled toilets. Was late when we arrived so set up camp ate and into bed.
Next morning I walked up the road a short way till it started to dive downhill and as I didn’t feel like waking up again I headed back to another camping ground above the road where there were birds in some trees and I managed to get a couple of photos but nothing exotic.

Ying wanted to visit a King project at the end of one of the branch roads so we set off up what started off as a good road where a lot of work is being done. The road which is being upgraded and sealed up to the first village got progressively worse the farther past that village we went, after passing through several villages and steep farmed areas 44km later we arrived where they are growing non-traditional crops in an attempt to get the farmers to change to higher value crops for the corn they now grow barely makes a profit for what is a hell of a lot of hard work on steep country. A slow trip and another late arrival back in camp.



Next morning I was on my own to explore some of the places we had seen on the trip up the road, first stop was a lookout at around 15km from camp. I arrived just before a family with twins and a van load of chattering tourists so no birds to be seen. Down the road at 11km from camp there is a sign in Thai saying it is a place where birds can be seen with another about a kilometer farther down. This is where an uncommon bird is said to be present the Rufous-headed Parrotbill but it didn’t put in an appearance for me. I did see a number of other species and got photos of 2 that are new to me. In the afternoon Ying wanted to go to the first village up the road to look for something which turned out to be sold out, we then went for a walk to a waterfall.



Vernal Hanging Parrot

Next day I went back to the bird signs where I concentrated my efforts for most of the rest of our stay. There is a lot of bird activity around that part of the road which is strange considering the amount of traffic which creates a lot of noise and dust. With many square KM’s of undisturbed forest to forage in the birds have plenty of scope and every reason to avoid the road.



Pale-blue Flycatcher

There is a steep track goes up the hill from the top camping area and I climbed up just to see where it went, at the top there is a Chedi and a place where a monk stays but he wasn’t at home when I visited, on the last afternoon I walked about a kilometer up the nature trail without seeing much.



Streaked Spiderhunter

General.

Well cared for camping area and clean new toilets with wheelchair access and the usual houses to rent, a lot of dogs around so food security important. Power is from solar panel supplemented by a generator from dark till 9.30. Food is available and as with most parks no English is spoken and farther up the road very little Thai also for the hill tribe people have their own language(s). The kids who have been to school speak Thai but use their own language at home. This park is a long way from anywhere so a full tank of fuel is essential before you get there. A place well worth the visit and more time than we spent there with 3 new bird species for me and many others as well although that special bird was not to be found.

Birds

2 Barred Warbler
Ashy Minivet
Ashy Drongo
Bar-winged Flycatchershrike
Black-crested Bulbul
Black-naped Oriole
Bronzed Drongo
Brown-cheeked Fulvetta
Chestnut-flanked White-eye
Common Green Magpie
Eastern-crowned Warbler
Flavescent Bulbul
Greater Racket-tailed Drongo
Grey Wagtail
Grey-eyed Bulbul
Pale-blue Flycatcher
Pied Bushchat
Spangled Drongo
Streaked Spiderhunter
Vernal Hanging Parrot
White-bellied Epornis
Yellow-vented Flowerpecker

RIP 2018 - Robby will always be remembered for his sharing of his trips and knowledge. Missed by all.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

20 Dec 2016 11:29 #4117 by Robby L
Replied by Robby L on topic Done the South so now a start on the North


After a slight technical hitch we arrived just on dark and set up the tent for the night. Next morning dawned with a heavy mist down to bootlace level just as well for nobody could see that it looked like the tent had been pitched by a drunk so after straightening it up we set up the rest of the camp. By that time the mist had lifted and I went for an explore around the camp area.

I then drove up a road through the park that is supposed to go right through to the Salawin River which is the border with Burma but unless there is another road it would not be possible to go that far on the road from the camp area. I drove up to a small village on a branch road about 18km up the road then carried on up the main road till the road deteriorated to a rutted track and after a close encounter with a buffalo that left a dent in a back door I turned around and headed back stopping at a couple of places where I heard bird calls.



Olive-backed Pipit

Next morning I again drove up the road which is in the process of being graded and is very dusty. I stopped at about 6km where the road levels off on a ridge top where I had heard some birds the day before, yes there were birds there and I got my first photos. There are several tracks branching off the road leading to villages deep in the forest, I went about 2 kilometers down one which is on a long ridge without coming to any habitation but it was obvious someone lived farther down for there were motorbike tracks. These people will live down in the gullies where there is water which is well away from the road in isolated places.



Golden-fronted Leafbird, male.

On the last morning before packing up I walked up the nature trail, after an initial steep climb it was an easy enough track both to follow and to walk. A fair bit of bird life with Drongos flying around and woodpeckers easy to hear, I managed to get photos of Black-headed Woodpeckers and a Crested Serpent Eagle, a bit of pig sign so there are animals about



Black-headed Woodpecker
General
Another well cared for camping and HQ area with new toilets, western and Thai, a disabled toilet and shower cold water again unfortunately. Camp ground is beside a lake where a flock of birds came down to drink one afternoon. They achieved this by diving into the water then flying up to a handy tree. I arrived back at camp in time to see the tail end this display but had little luck in getting good photos. Dogs are present hoping for handouts and are not averse to attempting to steal food at night

Birds

Ashy Drongo
Black Drongo
Black-headed Woodpecker
Black-hooded Oriole
Crested Serpent Eagle
Eurasian Jay
Golden-fronted Leafbird
Greater Racket-tailed Drongo
Olive-backed Pipit
Large Cuckooshrike

RIP 2018 - Robby will always be remembered for his sharing of his trips and knowledge. Missed by all.
Attachments:

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

21 Dec 2016 17:51 #4121 by onflipflops
Replied by onflipflops on topic Done the South so now a start on the North
Thanks for sharing all this valuable information about all these places. By now, you are probably the most widely traveled member on this forum, haha.
And it reminds me of how many places I still need to go and see.

And don't forget to share any snakes you see in all these places ;-)

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

21 Dec 2016 18:20 #4122 by Robby L
Replied by Robby L on topic Done the South so now a start on the North
I wont go looking for snakes but if I see any I will try to get a photo for you.

Meanwhile next on the list was :

Mae Tho National Park. 7th to 10th December 2016



Entry 100b.The road in to this park may deter some for it is a few hundred meters of rough dirt road but for birds it was to prove well worth the effort. Small camping ground a couple of houses for rent and what they call the Log Cabin which has 4 bedrooms with 3 beds in each and a large common area, each bedroom has its own western style toilet. Outside is a small toilet and shower block again western style.

Had a bit of a wander round after setting up camp and worked out where to look the next day which dawned cold and overcast meaning the birds didn’t appear till fairly late but when they did there were plenty of them and over 20 different species including both male and female of the beautiful Scarlet Minivet.



Scarlet Minivet, male



Scarlet Minivet, female

Best places for birds were in front of the rental houses looking down past the HQ building and down the road to the staff accommodation. I never left the camp ground area that morning and got photos of 19 different species. Afternoon I went for a walk or climb round the Nature Trail which went up through pine trees and then round and down a steep gully, a few birds around but difficult to get photos.



Grey Bushchat, female

There were people staying overnight in the rental houses and a group in 3 of the rooms of the Log Cabin that night so next day which was cold again, well cold by Thai standards at 15c, the birds didn’t put in an appearance in the same numbers but I did manage to get another 3 species.



Rosy Minivet, female

Afternoon I went for a drive up the road to Mae-Ab Waterfall which is located 6 kilometers from the National Park’s office. Turn right on leaving the park road on to Rte. 1270 drive until reaching Baan Mae-Ab and then take a branch road on the left which is marked by a sign. This is a steep concrete road which branches at some houses, take the right branch which soon deteriorates into a dirt road which would be impassable in the wet, at another branch go left to a small bridge over the waterfall stream there is a small place to park beside the stream and It is a further few hundred meters walk to the Waterfall. Got a photo of a Slaty-backed Forktail in the stream which made the trip worthwhile for me.



Mae Ab Waterfall.

Last morning I again looked down from in front of the rental houses then around the camp ground while packing up and got shots of both male and female Scarlet Minivet and a Banded Bay Cuckoo, a new species for me.



Banded Bay Cuckoo

General

This would have to be the easiest place I have been to so far to see a good variety and number of birds, it would be a great place for someone who is less mobile for it is possible to sit in one or two places and see a great variety of bird species. No problem with dogs or any other camp raiders and no large animals in this part of the park.

Birds

Ashy Bulbul
Asian Brown Flycatcher
Banded Bay Cuckoo
Bar-winged Flycatcher shrike
Black-crested Bulbul
Blue-throated Barbet
Bronzed Drongo
Brown Shrike
Brown-cheeked Fulvetta
Common Lora
Emerald Cuckoo
Green-billed Malkoha
Frey-eyed Bulbul
Indochinese Cuckooshrike
Little Pied Flycatcher
Magpie Robin
Olive-backed Pipit
Rosy Minivet
Scarlet Minivet
Slaty-backed Forktail
Slender-billed Oriole
Sooty-headed Bulbul
Streaked Spiderhunter
Stripe-breasted Woodpecker
Verditer Flycatcher
Grey Bushchat

RIP 2018 - Robby will always be remembered for his sharing of his trips and knowledge. Missed by all.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

21 Dec 2016 21:44 #4123 by rushenb
Replied by rushenb on topic Done the South so now a start on the North
Thank you very much for all the info you are posting here! Much appreciated. :)

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

22 Dec 2016 10:42 #4124 by Paul T
Replied by Paul T on topic Done the South so now a start on the North
I third that as well - its brilliant!

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

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

"An understanding of the Natural World and whats in it is a source of not only a great curiosity but great fulfillment." > Sir David Attenborough

“Climb up on some hill at sunrise.  Everybody needs perspective once in a while, and you’ll find it there.” > Robb Sagendorph

©2020 wildlifethailand.com