× The park is the third largest in Thailand. It covers an area of 300 square kilometers, including tropical seasonal forests and grasslands. Its altitude mostly ranges from 400–1,000 m above sea level. There are 3,000 species of plants, 320 species of birds, and 67 species of mammals, recording in this, Thailand's most famous National Park.

Change of opening hours in Khao Yai

3 years 5 months ago #2668 by onflipflops
Got to see an official letter today that states that the opening hours of the entrance gates in Khao Yai national park will change.
Starting from 05 February 2015 the gates (both Pak Chong & Prachinburi side) will close at 18:00PM instead of 21:00PM for incoming traffic.
This has to do with the elephant-stepping-on-cars incidents. Yes, unbelievable but true this is apparently still news, and seems to be bigger news than the woman that got killed recently in Kaeng Krachan. Not sure if any of you have seen the footage, but you can see that the elephant displays no aggression, and is just being a playful naughty and curious male.

The measure itself is fine in my opinion, only it makes little sense in regards to these incidents as these happened in day light. But I guess they just want to do something to show that they do something :P
Still no park official seems to dare to say that visitors enter at their own risk. Visiting a national park in Thailand brings the risk your car gets crushed, or you even get injured or loose your life due to the attack of a wild animal.
Place this on a big sign at the entrance gate. Or even ask everybody to sign a form. I'm willing to risk my life, and the last thing I would do is blame the animal or the local authorities if anything happens to my car or myself.

Earlier this week I heard the new measure was only planned for the Southern Prachin Buri entrance. But the new letter states it is also for the Northern Pak Chong side. Night safaris are still offered for as far as I know, and that likely means that you can still leave the park till 21:00 or even a bit later. Only no incoming traffic after 18:00. Earlier this week I heard that they will try this for 2 - 3 months, and if 'problems' continue it might change to 15:00PM, haha.
We will see how it goes.

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3 years 5 months ago #2669 by Paul T
Elephants aside but on the same subject of entering Khao Yai. I spent 7 hours in a hide over there last week - did not see anything special but thats normal for me 8 times out of 10 with a hide. Anyway I digress. What really annoyed me was the way low frequency road noise really penetrates through the forest. In particular, on that day, were the "culprits":

1) Large motorbikes (hey I am a bike enthusiast but its a National Park for god's sake)
2) Off road vehicles with MT (Mud) tires (who needs MTs for KY? its just posing)
3) Speeding utility vehicles (i.e. local traffic heading through the park)

If a ban is too difficult to enforce I would like to see KY look at a series of additional charges for vehicle types and time/in out to penalize noise pollution.

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3 years 5 months ago #2671 by onflipflops
Totally agree on that!
For as far as I know rules don't allow noisy vehicles, but they never enforce this. It's a difficult problem to handle, though.
How to check every vehicle if it doesn't exceed a permitted sound level? Blocking all motorbike traffic would be an option, they do this in Kaeng Krachan. Surprisingly they even don't allow bicycles into Kaeng Krachan, don't know for what reason.
However that means that also those that rent a more quiet scooter and self-guide themselves in KY, would not be able to enter. But anyway hitch-hiking is a reasonable alternative in KY.
Another solution would be to up the entrance fees for Thais and make them equal with the current foreigner fee ;)
But honestly in my opinion nature should be affordable for anybody.

I do not drive a motorbike, but I understand the roads are great for cruising. But indeed it is a national park, not a motorbike cirquit.
Speeding is a big problem, but the only thing that has been fined for are the guided tour vehicles that are not speeding but stopping on the side of the road to watch for gibbons, hornbills or other animals. They are slowing the traffic down, so why not fine them :S The world upside down.

Even further off topic...
Sunday morning in Kaeng Krachan was pretty crazy too! the rise of the entrance fee to 100 baht for Thais seemed to have tripled the visitor number compared to the weekend before, haha. So that doesn't seem to be a solution. I wonder if the people knew beforehand that the fees had increased...
Every time again it surprises me that the Thais are able to get up so early for the long bumpy ride up to Panoen Thung for watching the sea of mist before turning back home again. But for sure they think the same about those who get up early to see some animals that could be much easier viewed in the zoo.

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3 years 5 months ago #2672 by Paul T

onflipflops wrote:
Even further off topic...
Sunday morning in Kaeng Krachan was pretty crazy too! the rise of the entrance fee to 100 baht for Thais seemed to have tripled the visitor number compared to the weekend before, haha. So that doesn't seem to be a solution. I wonder if the people knew beforehand that the fees had increased...


I know, I was there Friday - bliss, about 5 people in total at Baan Krang and not many going up the top. Spent Saturday morn in the forest and when I drove out, through Baan Krang I was shocked at the number of people, even if a little down on the past few weeks. The weather was much warmer though so I think the end of the cool season is on us and the hot season is here, hopefully that's it for this years camping season and things can back to "normal" for all the parks.

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