Phitsanalok trip.

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1 year 1 month ago - 1 year 1 month ago #4668 by Robby L
Phitsanalok trip. was created by Robby L
Had to do the taxi thing again this time to Phitsanulok with a pick up 9 days later so rather than do the trip back home and wait I used the time to visit some places I had never been and one I know fairly well.

I had planned to stay the first night at a park close to where I had dropped my passenger but as it was raining I decided to head further north to Phu Suan Sai NP a place I have been several times that always produces some good sights. 100b entry plus 30b for the vehicle and 30b per night for camping with the rain stopping just as I arrived a good omen.



There are 2 hides there one at a bathing spot beneath a culvert and another down in a gully where a very special bird has been seen. I had planned to visit this one and spend a fair bit of time there but when I looked for the access track it was not to be found.
I knew about where the track should be so scrambled, slid and almost fell down the steep slippery slope to the stream at the bottom where I arrived close to the hide only to find it had not been used for some time and after 3 hours without a sight of a bird of any sort I headed up what was left of the track. Didn’t take long to find out why the hide was unused for there is a large tree that has fallen across and along the track meaning another scramble up a slippery slope.
The Bathing spot is usually good in the afternoon or evening but that first day after rain it was quiet with just a few birds present. Next day I planned to climb the hill as I had never seen anyone mention going up there so no idea of what birds may be higher up.




Morning was clear but when I had gone about a kilometer up the track mist moved in and leaches started to make their presence felt so it was back down again only for rain to start when I arrived at the bottom. Once again the bathing spot was quiet in the evening so I decided that next day I would move on to Phu Rua NP a place I had never seen any information on what birds may be present.



200b entry but no charge for the vehicle and nobody asked for a camping fee so I didn’t offer. Went to the top camping ground and walked the tracks to the waterfalls and had a general look round to plan the next day.



There are souvenir shops at the parking place at the top check point and toilets with a new toilet block in the process of being built. Three restaurants are at the top camp ground with 2 open when I was there, both were serving a good feed for between 40 and 100b, there is also a visitor center and rooms to rent.
The last few hundred meters of the road to the top is blocked to vehicles except a group of songtau waiting to take punters up to the high point, not for me for I still have the use of my legs and want to see what I can see on the way up not get there quickly.



Away from the chattering selfie crowd on the far side of the summit are a series of roads and tracks that lead to a fish pond. It was in this area that I saw most of the birdlife including a noisy flock of what I first thought were crows then after getting a look at one in a tree found they were Eurasian Jay’s. I wandered around in this area for a while before heading back to the camp ground and a feed at one of the restaurants. That was about when the rain started.



Fortunately it didn’t last long and I was able to have a look down a track by the restaurants that after a fair bit of up and down and round about led to a road that goes from the road junction area to the top. This road has signs in Thai not to use it but as I had joined it part way along I walked out then down to the camp ground for the night. Next morning the fog was so thick it was hard to see to tie the boot laces so not much point in hanging around.



Some notes on Phu Rua NP.

5km before the top road junction is a visitor center containing very little, a not very auspicious camp ground, rental houses and a restaurant that was closed. At the Road Junction the songtaus are parked and there are shops selling souvenirs. The camp ground is 2km down the road from the junction where as well as the restaurants there is another visitor center. From there there are 3 tracks one which leads to waterfalls, a second on the visitor center side of the camp ground leads to a rock area and the third is the one I have already described.
Good toilets at the camp ground and junction with another new toilet block under construction. Another almost complete toilet block is being built just down from the summit lookout which overlooks a cliff and the populated valley below.



Next stop was to be Phu Luang Wildlife Sanctuary where I have never been before, as there is no overnight stopping there I planned to get there early then move on. The fog had cleared as I got down to the main road so I carried on as planned. When I arrived there was nobody at the gate the barrier was up and a sign saying ‘drive on with care’ I did just that and care is needed for the sanctuary has a large population of Elephants which are often on the road. Not having been there before I didn’t really know where I was going so when I came to this side road that lead steeply up I took it and came to the end of the concrete after 1.5KM.



I stopped there for a look round seeing several birds and a lot of elephant sign a few deer tracks and a lot of leeches whenever I stepped of the concrete. Rain started after about an hour so I moved on again back to Phu Suan Sai NP. Not enough time to explore the place properly but I have learnt something about it for a future visit.

Rain stopped just as I arrived at Phu Suan Sai NP and after a very basic feed of fried rice at the restaurant I again sat in the bathing place hide but not much activity after the rain. Next morning the weather was clear so I walked the road up past the second bridge and back till around mid-day then after lunch again sat in the hide. This time the birds performed for me and I had some great sights of Common Green magpie, Collared Babbler and Red-billed Scimitar Babbler as well as the more common visitors.



Notes on Phu Suan Sai NP.

A known birding place with plenty of camping space with one good toilet block and others very basic, houses and huts for rent a basic restaurant and snack shop, the mens toilet behind the restaurant has a gas hot water shower, very nice. A bird watching trail which I haven’t attempted and a track to the top of a hill (mountain), lots of leeches in the wet season.


Visitor center Nam Tok Chat Trakan NP

Next morning after a stop on the road out at the old incinerator which usually has good bird activity it was on the road to Nam Tok Chat Trakarn National Park where it was 300b plus 30b for the vehicle to get in, they seem to charge more where there are waterfalls as these are considered to be a great tourist attraction.


No1 waterfall 2 for the price of one

I knew very little about this place so it was off to explore starting with a nature trail that I soon managed to miss and ended up at the waterfalls where there are 7 levels. A lot of cattle tracks up there of domestic cattle and after reaching the seventh level I continued up the hill on one of the tracks to the top of a ridge where I came across the top part of the nature trail. There are good signs up there and information boards which are only in Thai. A lot of birdlife as well as a lot of cattle, a place with potential to produce some good bird sightings.
I again managed to go off the nature trail on the way down and ended up at the waterfalls where all tracks seem to lead. After a night at the car park next to the toilets I again had a go at finding the nature trail, several early morning birds on the way but once again I arrived at the waterfalls so back down and on to the next and last place on my list Kaeng Chet Khwae National Park.
This was to be my last day and night before picking up my passenger for the trip back home

Notes on Nam Tok Chat Trakan NP
Camping space and houses to rent, shops selling food snacks and souvenirs, a visitor center with not much inside and a good toilet block alongside. The waterfalls are good if you like waterfalls they were in full flow when I was there due to the rain and the river should hold birds in the dry season. Nature trail needs more exploring so I may return some day.



At Kaeng Chet Khawe NP there was what appeared to be a HQ building which was deserted, a couple of rental houses and what is called a conservation camp accessed by rotten bridges, a dirty toilet block where I turned on a tap to be rewarded by a spurt of mud. I later learnt that the HQ had been moved to a dam about 50 KM away so nothing to report on that place.

Birds

Phu Suan sai NP
White-throated fantail
Brown-cheeked Fulvetta
Grey-throated Babbler
Hill Blue Flycatcher
Siberian Blue Robin
Blue Rock Thrush
Thick-billed Green Pigeon
Oriental Magpie Robin
Flavescent Bulbul
Grey-eyed Bulbul
White-rumped Sharma
White-bellied Erpornis
Back-naped Monarch
White-browed piculet
Ashy Bulbul
Oriental White-eye
Purple-naped Sunbird (now considered to be a Spiderhunter)
Large Cuckooshrike
White-browed Scimitar Babbler
Pinstripe Tit Babbler
Rufecent Prinia
Great Barbet
Dark-sided Flycatcher
Bronzed Drongo
Black-crested Bulbul
Red-billed Scimitar Babbler
Common Green Magpie
Collard babbler
Grey-cheeked Fulvetta

Phu Rua NP
Blue Rock Thrush
Lessor Coucal
Pinstripe Tit Babbler
Brown Shrike
Scarlet Minivet
Eurasian Jay
Flavescent Bulbul
Sotty-headed Bulbul
Stripe-throated Bulbul

Phu Luang Wildlife sanctuary
Red-eared Bulbul
Grey-backed Shrike
Long-tailed Shrike
Flavescent Bulbul
Ashy Bulbul
Verditer Flycatcher

Nam Tok Chet Trakan NP
Blue-throated Bee-eater
Puff-throated Bulbul
Black-crested bulbul
Hill Myna
Black-headed Bulbul
Black-naped Oriole

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

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1 year 1 month ago - 1 year 1 month ago #4669 by rushenb
Replied by rushenb on topic Phitsanalok trip.
Thanks for all info Robby.. :)

We are expecting our baby to born around 10th December, so we decided him to born in Phetchabun on the wife's hometown. Couple of weeks after I need to cross the border at Ban Na Kra Seng Border to stamp out/in, a bit northeast, and was actually planning to stop by at a park for one night. Phu Ruea National Park was one option, the border crossing is right north from there so, I may just get there and see how reptiles/amphibians doing there. Leeches are deffo a good sign. :)

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1 year 1 month ago - 1 year 1 month ago #4671 by Paul T
Replied by Paul T on topic Phitsanalok trip.
Phu Suan Sai sounds very interesting (I like the idea of rare .... anything) - I could add that to my Phu Khieo trip in the new year.

Rushen .......congratulations!!
The following user(s) said Thank You: rushenb

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