Well if you’ve been wondering what we have been up to the last few days, we have been very busy stalking hornbills in Khao Yai. If you have ever been there you would know that they are not that easy to see let alone get good photos off even though they are such an enormous bird they can still be very hard to spot as they are normally near the tops of the trees where the best fruit is and the trees are very very tall.
Anthony managed to capture them just beautifully with some fantastic in flight shots from the lookout, I wasn’t so lucky with the video but did manage to get a few snippets here and there but would have liked more of their honking sounds, they truly are something to see and the sound of their enormous wing beats is straight out of Jurassic Park.
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View Hornbill Video here
We have also been walking and driving around the park like crazy, getting very badly leeched a few times, we are still wondering why we haven’t invested in some leech socks…..we really are slow learners. We didn’t see any bird storms this trip, in fact it was very quiet even driving around slowly we really didn’t stop much at all but did still managed to get some great photos and video so would definitely pay Khao Yai another visit in the future.
View ‘other critters’ Video here
Some birds of Khao Yai
I have to apologise for mistaking the scorpion in the video for some type of fresh water crab???? Honestly when I saw those big nippers I just thought of a crab and wasn’t really looking at his ginormous scorpion tail…..good thing I didn’t try to help him on his way to fresh water🙄🙄🙄🙄
Some mammals of Khao Yai
We couldn’t believe we also saw the gibbons, you hear them a lot but so hard to spot and usually they sound real close but are quite far away. Anthony also got some nice photos considering the distance they were away. So we had a great time here though very tiring at times. The next few days we will be transitioning to Borneo so you might not hear much but we are desperate to see orangutans in the wild so please keep your fingers crossed.
Wow, what a day, we got up early and got out to the Khao Yai National Park nice and early around 7am. It was such a great feeling revisiting this park as we had spent 4 days here last year.
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We already had a heads up as to the best places to see birds and where some of the fruiting trees are, though we are a month early this year and those particular trees aren’t fruiting just yet. But it didn’t matter as the best way to see birds is to just drive around slowly with your windows down and if you hear anything different or lots of bird chatter you just pull over a bit and put your hazard lights on and people here are very obliging and they go around you. Everyone does it here and it’s a great way to see birds as it’s more open on the roads than trying to spot them in the dense rainforest.
You get these bird storms here where all of a sudden a whole bunch of birds will just arrive and there would be maybe 6 or 8 different species of birds all hanging out together. It’s crazy and hard for Anthony to know where to point the camera because I’m so excited too and telling him what I am seeing through my binoculars so it gets a bit confusing. Of course males are the best colours so we try to focus on them( sorry girls). But this didn’t happen today but we probably weren’t in the right spot.
The Sights and sounds of Khao Yai
It’s a fantastic park with so much variety, there’s waterfalls, rivers, lakes, open grasslands too. Their wildlife list is incredible. Anyway the photos and video speak for themselves, we are really tired now and want to get up there just a little bit earlier as the sun was already pesky at 7 am, Enjoy.
Hello everyone, we had a good transition day, a leisurely taxi ride to the airport, not much traffic as it’s Sunday, what a great day to leave Bangkok. We picked up the car, no problems, we were there early but they still had the car ready for us. We arrived at our new abode the Arantakiri Resort which is only about 5 kms from the gates into the Khao Yai National Park. It’s nice surrounds here, apart from lots of dogs over the other side of the river barking alot, it is quite peaceful. We had a quick walk around, found some new dragonflies and that beautiful extra large grasshopper, what a beauty the pattern on its body is amazing, it screeched because Anthony put his hand on it and he couldn’t see what he touched,he thought there was a frog in that bush. It’s actually called a Giant False-Leaf Katydid and we always feel so lucky to stumble across these amazing creatures. I hope we never lose that feeling of awe and excitement and respect for all the critters we see, we wish that others could look at them the same way.
A short video of our new digs and surrounds
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Female Scarlet Skimmer at Khao Yai
Some critters to greet us
On the entry road to the park there is loads of restaurants and cafes so looks like we have quite a choice for meals though our lunches we will have in the park, there is also a good array of food stalls there. We will get up early to spend as much time as we can in the park over the next 5 days, we are so excited, can’t wait,
Well it’s our last day in Bangers, it all turned out not too badly after all. We thought we had some major catastrophe happening with the bone grafting in my implant not taking, but more grafting was done today, actually injected in which I had never heard off, but we have got a whiz bang dentist that also teaches at the University in Bangkok. He has a practice in Koh Samui and one here in Bangkok.
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We have been able to easily walk to the Benjakiti Park and what a surprise it was, as you can see by the photos we saw many birds , dragonflies, butterflies, lizards and that beautiful snake. It was quite busy there this morning being Saturday so we caused a little bit of interest from people probably curious as to what were taking photos of, being the only people with a huge camera. Of course we didn’t point the snake out, he was so well camouflaged and anyway ( Most people are so terrified of snakes they miss the sheer beauty of their movement). We didn’t want to cause a panic or worst case the snake gets hurt, better off to be hidden, he was just gorgeous.
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The Golden Tree Snake or AKA Flying Snake and a couple of Lizards
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A collection of Dragonflies from the Park
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And we got some Birds
We are so glad the park is there, it kept us occupied in this sprawling concrete jungle, though we have adapted quite well, have found great eateries and good cuppachino’s, but still will be very exited to head out to our favourite national park -Khao Yai tomorrow.
We will get a taxi to the airport and pick up a hire car from there again, we probably won’t get out to the park till late afternoon but have got 5 nights there.
The day began with a calm Dragonfly hunt before heading to the big smoke
Well the trip to Bangers was quite eventful, all went well till we were about 70 kms away then it just got more and more congested. We think we did manage to get the best route to the airport though when going through a toll road booth we got stopped by a policeman, he wasn’t very happy with us. As you can imagine it’s not the best place to stop and they wanted Anthony out of the car, we were really distressed as we didn’t know what we had done wrong. The policeman couldn’t speak a word of English but Anthony slowly worked out that we had crossed a solid white line in the lanes leading up to the toll booths…..a very big no no. I mean what tourist would be looking at the road anyway in that absolute schamozzle coming up to toll booths, the traffic is crazy and we really have to shuffle to get in the right lane. He wanted to fine us so we were happy to pay but you could only do it at a police station, and then it either seemed too hard or maybe we will get a bill later through the hire car company but thankfully he let us go. Phew what a relief I can tell you. I took a little video as I was left in the car twiddling my thumbs,quite stressed couldn’t think of anything else to do.
Our Drive to Bangkok and Digs
Shortly thereafter we had an absolute torrential downpour with thunder and lighting, couldn’t see a thing, would have taken a video but really had to be co driver, last thing we want is to be a statistic on a Bangkok highway.
Our purpose to go to the airport actually is to drop the hire car there instead of driving into the city, we had picked it up from there and it’s much better just getting a taxi into the city to our hotel for 4 days for dental treatment.
Last year we had been to Koh Samui and saw a fantastic dentist there for major dental work and an implant each….for some bizarre reasoning we thought it would be easier having things finished off in Bangkok. When Anthony looked at the maps he thought this dental surgery was quite far from the city not realising that the city goes for ever, so don’t worry , we have learnt our mistake and any future treatment will be back in Koh Samui.🙄🙄
Our hotel tower is 32 floors and we are on floor 18, I hate high rises and not much choice, I just won’t look out the window and everything is around us so just have to chill till we can get back to nature on Sunday, all going well of course.
We had a good day, a nice breakfast at the palace and then we decided to just walk up the side road here as we could see that most of it was bushland. Well we found lots of dragonflies and a bit further up we’re heaps of ponds with some bird life so Anthony managed to get some nice photos just in our backyard really. He was quite happy to hang out there for a while but I was already sweating so I decided it was a good time to check out the pool, have a nice swim and relax a bit which was really nice.
Dragonfly pics for the day
We then decided to drive up to the Kui Buri National Park about 1 hours drive, to try and see some elephants. It’s renowned for being the easiest place to spot them and boast a 99% success rate. The drive out there was really nice, good road hardly any traffic and beautiful countryside. Quite a few pineapple plantations and rubber tree plantations too.
They are very strict at the National Park, no walking through only by safari, we had already done some research and knew roughly what to expect.
We headed off just after 2 pm and only one other safari Ute going, it seems there aren’t many people around, maybe it’s just crazy busy on the weekends..
We saw the Gaur very quickly I wasn’t really prepared so didn’t get much of a look at him really. Bizarre looking animal though, I guess half bison and maybe half buffalo.
We saw the elephants very soon thereafter which was fantastic, we did get off the back of the Ute and got quite close about 40 mtrs so Anthony got some really nice photos. What a beautiful animal, so peaceful, they don’t really seem to do much, just eat and swish their tails.
A moving experience up close with Asian Elephants
We stopped at another viewpoint and you could see them in the distance and we must have sat on these logs for about an hour, we were under the impression that the guy on the motorbike who had been spotting the elephants and radioing through to our driver was out spotting other animals for us….but since our guide or the driver couldn’t speak English we didn’t realise this was the end of the safari……everyone had gone home except for us dim wits sitting there absolutely bored shitless fo quite sometime. The safari finishes around 6 pm but because we were so lucky seeing the elephants so quickly we had a lot of time to kill so they were quite happy for us to sit there twiddling our thumbs, funny hey?? Lucky Anthony made some snappy sign language and we went home early. Honestly we love elephants but after a period of time it’s like watching a cat sleeping, you just want to go to sleep too.
You can watch a short Video of the Elephants here
Still it was great to see them but the safari utes only go to about 3 viewpoints so I guess there’s not that much chance of seeing anything else. They’ve got an impressive wildlife list so we were quite a bit disappointed not to see anything else.
Well this was our last day down this neck of the woods, back to the big smoke Bangkok tomorrow shock horror, we will just have to remember to breathe.
Well our day started off quite sedately, a nice breakfast here at the palace which didn’t start till after 8 am so we didn’t even hit the road till around 9 ish. Our excitement for seeing new birds turned sour pretty quickly, we paid to get into the national park and were then told that the one spot we were really keen to visit, a freshwater marshland, was closed. We drove around some of the hundreds of shrimp ponds and did see quite a few normal sort of birds I guess, like the stilts, herons, egrets, plovers, terns etc but Anthony has so many really good photos of these already and the light was too bright against the shallow murky brown water and didn’t come up too good in the photos.
Our first stop which included a rewarded climb at Khao Daeng
You can watch our short Video of Khao Daeng here
So we decided to play Tommy Tourists instead, which must sound quite relaxing but it involved hiking which we love of course but climbing very steep terrain in the tropical heat has knobs on it, I was so glad to do it but thought about the pool back at the palace quite a few times, we were so hot and bothered and absolutely drenched by the end of the day.
Watch our short Video of Phraya Nakhon Cave and surrounds here
The view from Khao Daeng was fantastic, you can see the hundreds of shrimp ponds in the area. Also the temple in the cave was truly a mystical experience, I am so glad we were the only ones there, it was so still and peaceful and such a beautiful spiritual aura about the place, it would have been ruined by noisy tourists.The history is very interesting so you can read a bit further about it Here.
We love seeing all the monkeys on the way, they are quite used to humans but do keep a wary eye on us so we were quite amazed when a mummy macaque carrying her baby brushed so close past Anthony ,maybe they can sense that we mean them no harm.
So we had a fantastic though very tiring day, not sure what we are doing tomorrow yet, probably will start with a sleep in. Enjoy the pics and videos.
What else can I say? Check out our new digs!! Palace more like it with Palace gardens, this little mini resort should be on the cover of a glossy travel magazine, absolutely stunning. It’s called Stella Resort just up the road from Dolphin Bay where all the fancy resorts are. Our room is beautiful too and spotless, really when I looked at that pool I just wanted to get my bikini on and lounge around it for the rest of the afternoon, the lady here does meals and even massages, what a beautiful relaxing place and check out the mountains in the distance.
We really wanted to check out the area as we only have 3 nights here….tick tock tick tock, so no time to relax just yet, plus we hadn’t had lunch, looks like we might be combining lunch and dinner. The surrounds here are amazing, that mountain range is awesome and the coast is pretty good too. We found a nice restaurant by the beach , fantastic Thai food, there’s restaurants and bars most of the way along Dolphin Bay.
The fishing village of Bang Pu was so colourful, all those brightly painted boats made for great photos, oh yes and look at the Hoopoes almost at arms reach on the lawn of a resort after we spent quite sometime stalking them at the dam this morning.
A couple of snaps from around SamRoiYod
A quick look a SamRoiYod including Dolphin Bay and Bang Pu
Anyway enjoy the video and pics, we are really excited to do more exploring tomorrow,
Well our morning started really well, we were lying in bed doing our iPad thing and Anthony spotted a Blue winged Pita hopping around in the garden at the Rivercreek Estate. Of course I didn’t believe him at first till I got a look myself, they are such an elusive gorgeous little bird, I quickly got my video recorder going through the window so it’s a bit grainy, Anthony was clicking madly just outside the door but the photos didn’t turn out that good as it was so dark. Such a good feeling to see a bird like that. I suppose we could have done nothing for the rest of the morning but we didn’t have to check out till 12 am and couldn’t check into our next place till 2 pm so decided to zip back out to the dam and see what it was like in the morning light.
A short Video of the elusive Blue-winged Pitta
Well it’s a fantastic place in the morning, saw heaps of herons and kingfishers, saw the amazing Hoopoe, what a crazy looking bird that walks like a chicken, I never thought we would get to see one. In the distance I could hear miaowing and this gorgeous little cat found me and then wouldn’t leave, I felt so sorry for her, she obviously has some kittens as well so must be having a pretty tough life. There is a restaurant there and she is very very friendly so probably does ok, but anyway if there was a magic geenie ….she would be mine, with her babies of course.
A video featuring the Hoopoe and Kaeng Krachan Dam
Birds spotted on our last morning at Kaeng Krachan
On the way back we did a quick circuit of our frontage road and took some photos of the Weaver bird nests so high up in the palm tree. We spotted quite a few other birds, this was a fantastic place to stay.
Baya Weavers and their Nests
It’s time to head to our new digs so please enjoy the last pics and videos.
We had a nice relaxing day today, had a nice breakfast down here on the landing, walked up and down the road looking for birds but it was already hot at 7.30 am and not much shade on the road also it is a public road with other farms and houses and it seems everyone has a dog or 5. Most are ok with us walking past but others go to town so we try not to disturb them too much. There is a lot of birds we see but then again hard for photos as we don’t want to follow the birds into people’s private gardens and farms though really everyone is so friendly here they probably wouldn’t mind. They really stare at us as they drive past as if we had just dropped down from Mars, I don’t think they get any western tourists walking around with cameras and binoculars. We certainly must be a sight.
A couple of Pics waking around Rivercreek
A short Video of Rivercreek Estate
We took the kayak for a paddle in the little river here but we should have gone early not at midday, honestly we are such Wally’s sometimes, it was nice but ridiculously hot and really uncomfortable with the life jackets on camera , hats etc so we only went for an hour, still got some nice photos.
A couple of pics paddling around Rivercreek
We then went for a drive to the big dam, Kaeng Kra Chan which is part of the National Park, just beautiful there, finally got there a bit earlier to get some photos and walk around a bit.Theres this huge suspension bridge going over to an island, we just got there and all these macaques were sauntering along coming our way quite funny to see.
A couple of pics from around Lake Kaeng Kra Chan
Some other tourists had small bags of food and started walking on the bridge and these macaques are so clever …..the people never suspected that they had only one thing on their mind and they reached up and grabbed the food bags so quick I wish I had my video camera going. One lady had the food tucked in her handbag and had turned to have her photo taken by hubby and this macaque just snuck up and grabbed her bag and wrenched out the food and took off along the bridge. Would have been a great video.😁😁
You can’t walk over, it’s all wired up, I think maybe the macaques on the other end got too aggressive and were attacking the tourists. I guess this is a classic case of what happens when you feed wildlife.
These macaques are quite amazing, they swim and dive to catch crabs in the lake, and wouldn’t we love to capture that.
We found a great little restaurant that makes amazing fish cakes absolutely yum.