Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Kaeng Krachan National Park Day 1 - 23rd May 2010

Kaeng Krachan Birding Holiday Day 1

Kaeng Krachan National Park in Petchaburi Province is about 3+ hrs drive southwest from Bangkok. It covers an area of 2,915 square km. It is the largest national park in Thailand. Kaeng Krachan National Park’s vegetation consist of tropical rainforest, dipterocarp forest and deciduous forest. Kaeng Krachan National Park geographically situated at midway on the southern Thai Peninsula spanning to the border of Myanmar. Due to this, it is in the zones of biodiversity mix Malaysia and Burmese.

More info about this largest Thailand national park I have share earlier in my previous posting.
As the day approaching nearer to the day of our travel from Malaysia, Bangkok political issue between the red-tshirt group with the existing government is getting more chaotic. Peaceful streets demonstration that has prolong since last year has up-turn to a tense un-control situation. Tourist are being advice to delayed their travelling plan to Bangkok until the un-control situation subside.

Due to safety reasons 3 of my other friends initially agreed to visit this largest Thailand National Park together with me decided to called off their plan. My parents who is keeping themselves closely with news update of Bangkok situation, have a heavy heart as I had set my mind to proceed for this trip. I keep assured them that my travel literary will bypass Bangkok city centre. I will also keep my focus right not to land myself in any shopping mall.

Mr Lam too having the same thought as mine. Once we land at Bangkok’s airport we will travel to outskirt. The news update of Red-t-shirt gang decided to step backed a day before our flight schedule to Bangkok has indeed lifted the worries of Mrs Lam on her husband safety. With this it seems that the chaotic situation at Bangkok will subside very soon.

Our Air Asia flight AKxxx take off from Kuala Lumpur LCCT as per schedule. We realised that there are a number of seats are empty. Hmmm maybe some tourist decided to called off there travelling to Bangkok with the political uncertainty situation.

After stepping our from Bangkok airport custom checkpoint the surrounding indicate that life are as usual in this part of Thailand. Unlike my previous visit during winter where people wears extra to keep warm, this period of my travel is summer. Some days temperature may soar to 39 Celsius. It is humid just the same in Malaysia, however Malaysia have yet to experience temperature gone beyond 37 celcius.

Our friend Mam picked us up from airport to continue our journey to Kaeng Krachan by car. In my replied to her question of what is expectation of this birding trip, I indicate to her that I only aimed to have 2 lifers (Brown Hornbill and Rachet-Tailed Treepie).

The land of smile greeted us with the scene of many Cassia bakeriana trees full bloom along our journey is indeed an eye-opener.

With the smooth traffic situation combine with heavy conversation of old friends catching with each other, the 4+ hrs journey inclusive of a meal and fuel top-up break seems to past very swiftly.

We stopped a little while at KaengKrachan National Park VISITOR CENTER.

This time there aren’t any single camping tent unlike during my 1st visit in last year Jan. The water level is also shallow. Water dam management at Thailand was well managed, if the same condition of water level in Malaysia we surely have water rationing.
We decided to have dinner cum watching the sunset before we checked in to our accommodation.

This meal of Thailand fragrant white rice, seafood tom-yam soup, squid salad and deep fried local freshwater fish cost us approximately 600 Baht.

After this yummy dinner we continue our journey to Barn Soong Nok.

Birds heard/seen
At Visitor Center – Copersmith Barbet, Black-Collared Starling,
At Restaurant – Red-Waltted Lapwing, Egret spp
On the way to Ban Soong Nok we encounter countless of large tailed nightjar.