× 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.

Krok I Dok Waterfall Trek and some animal sightings.

14 Aug 2020 18:37 - 17 Aug 2020 15:34 #5469 by wvwv
On the western edge of Khao Yai forest, not anywhere near the main checkpoints/visitor centre, there are a few trails and waterfalls which are in close proximity to Bangkok. You can be in the jungle within two hours, by car.



Chet Kod Nature Study area is more popular than the waterfall of the same name. It is basically a large campsite around a picturesque lake. There can be almost as many tents here as the main campsite in Khao Yai. There is a dirt road trail between the lake and the waterfall, and also a less maintained trail along the stream. The lake itself also has a circular trail around it. If not daytripping, the entrance gate closes at 8pm, after which you would have to drive to the waterfall area to camp for the night. From the waterfall, there are some unmarked trails heading into the centre of Khao Yai jungle - definitely man-made to begin with but after a while it becomes hard to distinguish between the trail and animal tracks. There is elephant activity as well as annoying horseflies that only seem to live where large mammals are present. You can also hear gibbons more often as you start to venture into the centre of the forest.

I wonder if this is the start point for a trek to the centre of Khao Yai. I have read about multi-day treks starting from this north western edge e.g. www.ourweb.info/01/photos/thailand/021/index.shtml but almost certainly the path will not be maintained and you would need a ranger with machete and other gear to lead the way.


edit: Javan caecilian in the rain on the road near the camping area.








Krok I Dok Waterfall is my kind of trail because there's nobody around and it's quite a long walk, about 4-5km each way. When you arrive at the end of the road at the start of the trail there is just a sign pointing you in the direction of the waterfall, and a block of derelict toilets. You expect more when you arrive because it is quite heavily signposted on the way.


this is the end of the road...

Despite the lack of infrastructure, the trail is fairly obvious. I think enough people are walking this year round to keep the trail passable. If in doubt, stay close to the river. I don't remember being more than 50m or so from the river course at any time. The trail is not really properly marked but there are some plastic direction markers now and then at things like stream crossings.

I think the water flow might be disappointing in dry season because even in rainy season it was not spectacular, but the walk through the jungle is the main draw imo.




view from the main waterfall looking back towards where you just walked

Here is the GPS track for this trek:

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14 Aug 2020 19:56 - 14 Aug 2020 20:01 #5470 by wvwv
After that I went onto to the main Khao Yai area via Pak Chong, just for 1 night.

Had a drive around at night, there were lots of golden jackals near the road, I saw 3 different over the space of 30 minutes, definitely not the same one. Also 2 porcupine, a cat snake and a glowworm... Can anybody ID the hawk?












In the morning I did the Khao Laem grasslands walk starting from Huai Suwat Waterfall car park. Last time I walked this a few years ago it was a trail, now it is a dirt road until you get to the grassland (about 4km to walk through the forest).









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14 Aug 2020 20:30 #5471 by wvwv


To do the grassland walk, head to Haew Suwat Waterfall carpark and make your way 100m to the river and the wire bridge at approx coordinates 14.433532, 101.415481 I think a ranger is supposed to guide on this trail.



On the way back to Bangkok this 3 metre python was dead on the road. It's scary to think they get twice this big.

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15 Aug 2020 11:17 #5473 by onflipflops
Great write-up as usual. I remember finding the Krok I Dok area on google maps, but never got to visit. Didn't expect it to have a long trail from there. still it looked nice to explore the stream a bit. Will check it out someday.

The 'Yellow Bellied water snake' is actually not a snake. It is an Ichtyophis bannanicus, commonly known as Indochinese Caecilian/ Bannan Caecilian. A legless amphibian.

And the 'hawk' is a nightjar species. I am no bird expert, so I won't be able to help narrow it down to species level.

Did they mess up a lot at Khao Laem grassland? I heard they have been working with tractors there, but haven't been for a long time.

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17 Aug 2020 15:33 #5474 by wvwv
Thanks for the correction. No not really, the trail is just a little wider than before, which means fewer leeches... In a couple of places where there is an incline, the motorbikes the rangers use have taken different routes through the forest to get out of the mud, which has widened the trail even more, but that's probably just a rainy season thing. I'm not sure the various ranger stations in the forests, (like this one and the Klong E-Taw Station) are occupied during the nights; they seem to be commuted to every day, because when I arrive there early morning they are always empty and on my way back the rangers usually come past me on their bikes, on their way to the station. And when sitting at Nong Pak Chi I see the ranger on his bike come back from Klong E-Taw direction each evening. I wonder what they actually do all day at those remote ranger stations.

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