National Parks close to Bangkok

26 Aug 2012 02:24 - 17 May 2013 13:46 #526 by
I was considering all the options for trail walking, nature photography, etc in proximity to Bangkok

I know Khao Yai and Kaeng Krachan are about the same 2.5 hours distance, are there National Parks closer than this worth checking out?

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27 Aug 2012 17:19 - 28 Aug 2012 19:42 #530 by trekker
Replied by trekker on topic National Parks close to Bangkok
Of similar quality is Pang Sida, the Lanhintard and Pha Takian trails are very good at this time of year. Just call in the visitor centre and ask for a guide (all trails are guided in Pang Sida).

Chaloem Prakiat in Ratchaburi is interesting - no guides available yet but some clear trails through bamboo secondary forest. Not a great forest but it has something about it.

There are a few locations close to Bangkok but not very good for walking or for nature photog (unless you like insects or birds) such as Khao Kieo/Chompoo and Bang Phra.

Khao ang Rue Nai is good but as a Sanctuary there are some complications for getting in. Better in dry season as well as lots of horse flies right now.

Hope this helps

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28 Aug 2012 03:56 #531 by
Replied by on topic National Parks close to Bangkok
I love Pang Sida but for some reason I thought it was more like 3 hours to get there door to door.

I plan to go there in 2 weeks time to stay over night in the jungle 1-2 days as I have done before on the trails you discussed (first time for this route).

Last time was a no trail trek from the main road to the crocodile release area, one night stay then back out (with 2 rangers).

I am definitely interested to get into bugs, have to pull the trigger on a new Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens for that but my pocket book is still stinging from the last EF 300mm f/2.8 IS purchase. Love that lens though even it being a heavy item for a trail trek

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31 Aug 2012 22:23 #532 by trekker
Replied by trekker on topic National Parks close to Bangkok
Jonathan,

Keep an eye out for a beaten up old black Toyota, I will be there the first two weekends in September, after I get back to Thailand next week. Would be good to say hello.

Paul

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01 Sep 2012 14:42 - 02 Sep 2012 17:24 #533 by
Replied by on topic National Parks close to Bangkok
I am shooting for the second weekend in Sept to visit there again so that would be great to meet up and share stories. I am still rather new compared to you but learning the ways of the jungle quickly and have been studying the animals and plants of the jungle all my life.

I just returned yesterday, went to Pang Sida for 1.5 days and its definitely a great time of year to be there. My last visit was April so it was a stark contrast to go in the rain season.

Arrived Thursday morning at 8am from BKK, took me almost exactly 3 hours door to door which I figured wasnt bad. As I expected I was alone and had the park to myself which is always a treat.

They are very strict in Pang Sida which I like, they had many questions about what my plan was inside and I stated I would keep it to the car until the afternoon when I would use a ranger to guide me to the look out point. Pang Sida's roads arent good for collecting tracks (like KK is) so it was hard to determine places of road crossings and with water everywhere I would imagine some animals arent moving very much?

Spent 3 quiet hours waiting for animals at the top of the tower from 3-6:30pm at Bue Tapod but saw nothing :(

Here is a brief of the animals sited
-crab eating mongoose
-siamese fireback
-marbled cat (mother and older cubs, dropped a rat on the road in the process) very far off gone before I could arm a camera, I could see the long tails)
-muntjac
-water monitor
-unidentified large lizard with slightly yellow head (will attach photo for ID)
-red junglefowl
-unidentified hawk





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02 Sep 2012 17:35 #535 by trekker
Replied by trekker on topic National Parks close to Bangkok
Wow! A marbled cat - I know someone who will be very interested in that sighting, I understand they are very rare, in Thailand, these days.

Cool crab eating mongoose pics.

Paul

(PS the forum system for adding of pics is not very intuitive but just click on the small button/box labelled "insert" once the photo has uploaded)

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02 Sep 2012 18:34 #536 by
Replied by on topic National Parks close to Bangkok
I really wish I had armed the camera at that time, even the most fuzzy picture would have at least allowed for confirmation that it was.

I know its somewhat common to see the Asiatic golden cat there but what struck me in the sighting was how long the tail was in correlation to the body and their movement with this tail. Color patterns for both cats are somewhat similar, especially at a distance so I would not be able to be 100% accurate in my observation.

Also may have been possible it was a clouded leopard as I know they are local to that area as well

Looking back at it and after seeing the rat "playtoy" covered in saliva they dropped I should have stuck it out for much longer in hopes they would return for their meal.

For certainty there were 3 total cats with one leading the walk and two following, body sizes were quite similar so I suspected mother and two cubs. The two followers stayed exposed much longer than the leader.

I guess as always its just amazing to see ANY cat in Thailand for me and day dreaming about the diversity of them in pang endemic to pang sida will keep my eyes always open for their tracks and presence.

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02 Sep 2012 23:50 - 02 Sep 2012 23:58 #537 by trekker
Replied by trekker on topic National Parks close to Bangkok

jonathanbkk wrote: ......

I guess as always its just amazing to see ANY cat in Thailand......


Too true, on the vast majority of my trips I see nada, never mind cats. Indeed, I think I have only ever seen two cats whilst out on the trails (a dead clouded leopard and a live T!). I have had no luck with the watchtower either. Have spent about 7 afternoons up there, and theres always a "sighting" the day before or the day after!! The only info I have been able to glean is there is a better chance if the day is not too warm and sunny. The rangers reckon the gaur come out later on warm and sunny days. Of course I don't know how much actual truth there is to that or if it is just to lessen the disappointment of my failures. Still its great to be sat there alone without any disturbances, that is my favourite forest time, just sitting there and drinking up the atmosphere of being in nature.

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03 Sep 2012 01:50 #538 by
Replied by on topic National Parks close to Bangkok
Interesting to note about your experience with the watchtower, it just seems like the perfect place to see wildlife, the daily elephants and guar, the deer, a pack of dhole roaming through,and I could even see how the local tiger for that range might make itself seen yet seems not much. Its too bad being how perfect it is all situated on the hill.

I did note that there were quite a few tracks guar tracks going directly into the thick jungle right behind the tower using that as their entrance/exit as well as a fair bit of grass knocked over just below the tower, wonder if they are mostly nocturnal now. My day was a full moon day so I wouldn't be surprised if they made their entrance later just as dusk turns to night. It has been my experience with guar like this at khao yai, they show up just as you can barely see them anymore.

One of the older Rangers working the gate chatted me up about how so many of the animals have gone away with the recent construction projects and road work they have done. He said that when work went on last year he had not seen the guar return hardly at all, nor many of the other animals he would normally site around the park. He felt it might be a lot longer for the grazing animals to trust the watchtower and road area and be seen there in numbers again.

My second day I used the same slow car approach and started at 6am hoping to repeat my success of the day before. I did this for nearly 3 hours (up to the top and back down) with a couple of stops on the long stretches hoping to see action. No bigger animals for this day.

And as for your cat sighting, well getting the big T must have been so amazing. I have shared your story and photograph/video with so many people. It is at the top of my list to see one although I know the odds of it being in Thailand are stacked against me :)

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04 Sep 2012 12:43 #539 by
Replied by on topic National Parks close to Bangkok
Looks like I will be able to escape from work to get to Pang Sida Fri/Sat/Sun of this week. If your around let me know

Jon

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