hello, thank you for all! two questions how do i post a new thread? and is there a place on the site where i could peruse national parks by country? i have read some great individual reports on the main page over time. i will be traveling in Thailand and hoping to visit multiple NPs and would like to research some of them abit as to where and what about each. thanx
#1 sapote has been a member since 12/10/2009. Posts: 27
wow thanx. i will be perusing each site.
#3 sapote has been a member since 12/10/2009. Posts: 27
A lot of them aren't worth the trouble. Khao Sok is supposed to be the best.
#4 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148
Enjoy paying 400 baht while the Thais pay 40 baht ? Agree most of the parks are not worth it. But hey go ahead pay 400 baht. There is a law already on the books that states everyone pays the same price. (Gra Ka Yoo Tee Tomm)
#5 theloner has been a member since 7/10/2013. Posts: 116
@sapote - National Park entry fees vary -- from 100 baht, with 400 baht being the highest (I think). Regardless of the fee level you'll pay more than locals, but all parks are not 400 baht to enter.
I believe only Khao Yai is 400 baht. Then there are many at 200 (Khao Sok, Erawan, Khlong Lan, Pang Sida, to name a few), and the lesser ones are 100. In any case we're talking US $3 to $6 or $12 for Khao Yai -- not like it's a huge investment. And if you have a Thai work permit / ID card you get the local price.
theloner, sounds like you need to find a new country to go explore. All your posts are negative ripping on government and tourism... Maybe try and be helpful instead scaring people off(maybe that is what you are trying to do?), lots of people still enjoy many of these areas and just because they charge tourists more(far less then you would pay for anything back home still) doesn't mean you won't enjoy them.
OP, Khao Sok is a great place, I didn't explore the trails as I was short on time but the lake tour is a must do if you are in the area. Was right up in the top 3 experiences on my 4 month trip.
I love this country lived here 15 years, i,am not going anywhere. Do you live here ? likely not. As far as tourism there are two points of view. In case you have not noticed there are many who can do without mass tourism. fine if you wish to follow the herds please be my guest. guess your also unable to read well, i have different point of view than you. big deal if you wish to be over charged go right ahead. I was saying the puddle is not worth 400 baht to visit. Far better places to go and see for free. Go after Leonard ( a lot of them are,nt worth the trouble) guess you missed that one. Seems like your just looking for a fight. Many believe Pai is toast as do i. Just another typical party town now. Lost its charm long ago as did Vang Vieng in Lao.
#10 theloner has been a member since 7/10/2013. Posts: 116
A lot of them likely aren't worth the trouble, I have been to the area and was disappointed at times but I am sure there are some really nice ones, Khao Sok definitely was.
I also agree with mass tourism issues and avoided certain areas because of it. Some people like those situations though, just not my cup of tea.
All my point was is that you don't have to always be so negative, as you said some people see things differently. Not all people believe Phuket and Phi Phi are hell, that national parks are not worth it, enjoy paying inflated prices, Pai is toast, many taxis at airport have rigged meters, the government and mass tourism is ruining Thailand, most tourists are lazy and drunks etc...
This forum is meant to try and help people not to constantly post opinions that make Thailand seem like an undesirable location. Any way take from this whatever you will, I just think you could be a little less cynical.
Khao Yai wasn't worth the 400 baht. Not sure it was even worth 40 baht. Erawan is worth 200 baht though cause the waterfalls are great for a swim.
If you want value for money do as many boat and kayaking trips around Phang Nga as you can.
#12 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148
@theloner while I haven't bothered to read through all your posts, those that I have are, by and large, overly negative and not representative of the experiences most visitors to Thailand have. If they were, Thailand would be having a lot more problems attracting tourists than they currently are.
When you're not warning others of the perils of pad thai, guesthouse food, drinking, renting a motorbike, using a travel agent or catching a taxi you seem to mostly spend your time denigrating the places they visit in Thailand while not actually giving constructive advice on where they should be going instead.
If you're not able or willing to give constructive advice, please don't feel under any obligation to post.
Sorry ! I did not realize warning others of some of the pitfalls here was considered negative. I was just trying to be helpful and honest from my point of view from experiences i and others have had. In the future i will make a valid attempt to sugar coat my opinion. An example: Pai is a lovely city most not all tourists enjoy visiting there. If you wish you can visit the shallow hot springs for 400 baht do not expect to get wet so make sure you bring some extra water. The fee for Thais is 40 baht.
#14 theloner has been a member since 7/10/2013. Posts: 116
You don't have to "sugar coat" things. Just be more selective on your posts, the OP didn't ask about Pai hot springs or Pai. He just wanted a few more links to do more research and pretty much already had everything he was asking for. Your comment on Pai was only slightly applicable to the subject much like your original reply which comes off as why the hell would you want to go to a NP in Thailand, they just rip you off compared to what locals pay.
If you feel a comment is necessary then say something like Pai hot springs isn't worth the 400 baht entry fee but such and such other location nearby is quite nice. There are lots of ways you can warn others of pitfalls without making the majority of your posts look like angry rants.
A balanced approach is helpful. Destination A not so good due to x,y and z while destination B is good due to h, i and j.
Just bagging places and not offering alternatives doesn't help people.
#16 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148
I haven't been to theloner's puddle in Pai, but for what it's worth, there isn't a single national park I've visited in Thailand (25+ of varying sizes) that I felt wasn't worth the entry fee. I agree they're not all worth going out of your way for, but even the minor ones that cost 100 baht have all been perfectly pleasant for a short hike and a half hour sitting at a little waterfall or viewpoint. Again, 100 baht is US $3. That's half what I'd pay to drive a car into a little lakeside picnic area back in my home town.
Griping about being charged more than locals as a matter of principle is one thing, but when I really look at the money spent and the experiences I had, the only negative thing I have to say is that Ko Samet "national park" is a joke. It's also worth mentioning that many of the free natural attractions I've been to were excellent.
Can see national park fees here (maybe a bit outdated but gives you approximate cost). Most are 100-200b for foreigners (some parks e.g. Doi Suthep are actually free) and a select few are 400b. Agree the 2-tier pricing is unfair (Thais get in at 10-20%). Resident expats with a Thai driver's license and some language skills usually get the local price.
I visit Thailand mainly for the national parks. You'll find much more wildlife in Thailand's parks than you will in Cambodia, Laos, or Vietnam. I camped in Thap Lan National Park back in July and we heard a tiger roaring in the night just 100-150 meters from where we stayed, which was a ranger sub-station which had been partially destroyed by wild elephants. I've been visiting national parks throughout Southeast Asia for about 10 years and that's the first time I ever heard that. It was unforgettable, and I have photos of its footprints that I took the following morning. Thap Lan is not easy to access, but if you can get there you will be richly rewarded. Elephant poop all over the place, tiger tracks on the main dirt road that leads all the way to end of the park (best chance of seeing pugmarks is way deep inside near the border with Pang Sida National Park). Saw a monitor lizard, flocks of hornbills, a pig-tailed macaque, heard pileated gibbons singing in the morning. And that was all in abou 36 hours.
You can hear gibbons in Khao Sok and you'll probably see old elephant footprints and dung, good chance of seeing hornbills there as well, and almost certainly macaques. Kaeng Krachan is another beauty. Again, signs of elephant are common, lots of hornbills. Saw 3 dusky langurs there, a Giant Black Squirell, and scratch marks on trees made by Sun bears. I've also been to Khao Luang NP, Khao Phnom Bencha NP, Pang Sida NP, Sri Phang Nga NP (gibbons there too), and other forest parks and protected areas.
There's nothing like swimming in a river in one of these places, or just sitting on a rock and taking it all in. The rain forests of Southern Thailand and Peninsular Malaysia are the oldest on the planet, and a few days spent in and around them will be memorable. Hire a local guide and camp in the jungle!
Some books to read: "Chasing the Dragon's Tail" (about Huai Kha Kaeng) by Alan Rabinowitz, "Waterfalls and Gibbon Calls" (about Khao Sok) by Thom Henley, "Krabi: Caught in the Spell" (Krabi's parks) by Thom Henley, "Wild Rivers" by L. Bruce Kekule about all of Thailand's parks (Bruce has several stupendous books of wildlife photography about Thailand). "Tracks of an Intruder" (northern Thailand) by Gordon Young (check abebooks.com, because it's out of print).
Considering a change of route now that the train line to Chiang Mai is not going to be fixed for a while - taking in Mae Ping national park. Can anyone recommend things to do / places to stay in that area?
I typed up an exerpt from Tracks of an Intruder about an encounter with aggressive Pigtailed Macaques in the mountains north of Chiang Mail. You can read it here for free -just 3 pages long and a very nice diversion.