Kaeng Krachan, first time

09 Feb 2022 08:28 #5743 by curlywombat
Kaeng Krachan, first time was created by curlywombat
I am hoping to get to Kaeng Krachan NP in early March. Apologies if my questions are found elsewhere.
Overall, once we have managed to get to a campsite, how much would we need a car?
Is access to Phanoen Thung still limited to 1-3pm? Is the 4WD only rule strictly enforced? (I have mistreated a number of 2WDs in Australian parks, I confess.) How far along that road is a 2WD allowed?
Is theThor Thip Waterfall trail presently closed?
Can guides be arranged at the camp sites or only HQ?
Is there much to be gained from a side trip to Pa La-U Waterfall?
Are there limits on how many days people can stay, and are visitor numbers capped?
What's the story with the no cooking rules I have seen? If we boil up some package jok and coffee for breakfast, are we going to run into trouble? Will elephants and monkeys raid our tent?
 Any other advice do's & don'ts would be welcome.

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09 Feb 2022 14:51 - 09 Feb 2022 14:52 #5744 by Paul T
Replied by Paul T on topic Kaeng Krachan, first time
I can answer some of those but as I have not been for quite a while, hopefully the others can offer more detail and/or info on the bits I don't know or am out of date on ........


Overall, once we have managed to get to a campsite, how much would we need a car? Without a car you would be limited to the Ban Krang environs which is the main area and the main draw really for some. I am not sure how one gets transport in the park (i.e. entrance to BK or BK to PT) as I have always taken my car.
Is access to Phanoen Thung still limited to 1-3pm? Is the 4WD only rule strictly enforced? (I have mistreated a number of 2WDs in Australian parks, I confess.) How far along that road is a 2WD allowed? Not sure as I have not been since the new rules came in. 
Is theThor Thip Waterfall trail presently closed? Not sure as I have not been since the new rules came in. Not heard of anyone going as its a major walk just to get to the trailhead.
Can guides be arranged at the camp sites or only HQ? You will need a private guide (i.e. book on internet before) I am unaware of any rangers doing guiding or being available for such anymore. 
Is there much to be gained from a side trip to Pa La-U Waterfall? For animals? No.
Are there limits on how many days people can stay, and are visitor numbers capped? Not that I have ever been aware of for BK. After a week I am so soggy I need warm showers and a soft bed.
What's the story with the no cooking rules I have seen? If we boil up some package jok and coffee for breakfast, are we going to run into trouble? Will elephants and monkeys raid our tent? Is this a rule? I don't think thats enforced, Thais would go mad. Animal encounters are always on the cards but just follow simple rules re food and sealing your tent as you would anywhere else.
 Any other advice do's & don'ts would be welcome. You never said what your targets were? Birds? Mammals, Arthropods, Herps, general? If its birds or arthropods then Ban Krang (BK) may suffice, if its mammals, and thats the time for cats by water, then you are going to need transport or a guide. If herps you may need a guide as its night oriented. If its birds, then either a friendly expat or a guide will get better results. Depends on what you want th chance of seeing.

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10 Feb 2022 06:51 #5745 by curlywombat
Replied by curlywombat on topic Kaeng Krachan, first time
Thanks for the information.
 I had read, somewhere, that cooking was not allowed, which, like you said, struck me as unacceptable to Thais!
Targets? General wildlife, if I may be so vague. Do enjoy a good twitch, but would also hope to see some primates, elephants, squirrels, bears, dhole, gaur etc. Snakes and butterflies etc not high priorities. Cats? Allow me to dream, but how much hiking is involved in getting to the more likely spots?
On guides, I was under the impression that National Park staff could be hired as guides. That is not the case? How/where/who can I find guides? And without them, how much hiking/trail walking can we do?
Again, thanks for the help.

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12 Feb 2022 18:12 #5746 by onflipflops
Replied by onflipflops on topic Kaeng Krachan, first time
I will try to answer some questions that Paul did not answer.

Is access to Phanoen Thung still limited to 1-3pm?
For private vehicles yes you can only drive up in the afternoon. But I have heard that you can now also drive back to Baan Krang that same afternoon (that would be between 4 - 5 PM). If you book a registered vehicle with driver then you can drive up in the morning.  
Is the 4WD only rule strictly enforced? Kind of. If the rangers are at the km18 gate from where the drive up starts then you risk being refused. Though, often nobody is there...
High clearance is kind of a necessity, but you actually do not really need 4x4 to make it up that road (at least if you are a bit of an experienced driver).
How far along that road is a 2WD allowed? Till km18. There is a gate (this is roughly 3kms past Baan Krang camp.) But this includes 3 stream crossings which are best also done with a high clearance vehicle.
Is theThor Thip Waterfall trail presently closed?
Yes this trail is closed. But you can walk the road from Panoen Thung to the trail head, and I guess there's nobody to stop you from walking further. But from what I understand it is not allowed.

The cooking thing I am not sure about either. I have heard the same thing for Panoen Thung camp. I suppose they wish to make some money with the restaurant there.

Only thing I would add to the Pala-u answer from Paul. Yes the waterfall itself is usually not really that interesting for wildlife. But the road to the Pala-U area goes through a forested area where most last afternoons and evenings elephants are hanging around. Chances to see elephants there is definitely higher than in the Baan Krang/Panoen Thung part of the park. 

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13 Feb 2022 15:35 #5747 by curlywombat
Replied by curlywombat on topic Kaeng Krachan, first time
Thanks very much for the information.
Do you have advice on guides, how and where and who to hire for trails in KK?

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14 Feb 2022 12:07 #5748 by onflipflops
Replied by onflipflops on topic Kaeng Krachan, first time
I have always tried to avoid advertising too much, but since you keep asking... ;)
The links in the 'signature' under my posts will get you in the right direction.

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14 Feb 2022 18:08 #5749 by Paul T
Replied by Paul T on topic Kaeng Krachan, first time
I will personally vouch for onflipflops recommendation as well. You will not find more knowledgable.
The following user(s) said Thank You: onflipflops

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14 Feb 2022 19:09 #5750 by curlywombat
Replied by curlywombat on topic Kaeng Krachan, first time
The links in the 'signature' under my posts will get you in the right direction.
 Hopefully I'll do better at spotting wildlife than clues like that! Thanks. I had planned to contact them. My life story that is, "had planned to...."

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23 Feb 2022 13:59 - 23 Feb 2022 14:06 #5758 by wvwv
Replied by wvwv on topic Kaeng Krachan, first time
About the cooking...  since an elephant attack in Khao Yai last year they had an overhaul of the rules of how you should cook, where you should cook, and what you should cook.  Not just in Khao Yai but in many of the parks where there are elephants etc.

www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/general/208...mals-wild-park-chief

"He said the ban has no clauses relating to simple meals being cooked, and boiling instant noodles or brewing coffee are still permitted under the rules, which target pungent odours."

In Khao Yai they set up a zone where you had to cook which was maybe 50 metres away from where you were camping.  What difference they expected this to make I am not sure.  Maybe it was done to make it easier to monitor what people were cooking?  The elephant attack which prompted the changes was actually related to fruit anyway, not barbecued meat.

The main problem I have found is deer and monkeys raiding tents.  And zipping up the tent does not work, the deer will rip through the material to get inside by standing on it and forcing their neck in, and the monkeys will bite and tear to get inside.  I've seen some tents completely destroyed by deer.  So you not only lose your food but also your place to sleep.  I always leave my tent wide open so any hungry monkeys and deer can have a look inside without damaging anything.  But it means you can't carry too much food with you if riding bicycle or scooter.  Many times I have been woken up at night by deer trying to push their neck through the side of my tent.  I think the difference with the deer and the monkeys is the deer have really powerful noses so they know you have food in your tent.  The monkeys are looking for picnic boxes and anything that looks like a food wrapper.  But this is Khao Yai, not sure Kaeng Krachan has a deer problem at the campsites there.

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