Hello again everyone, thanks for all your help it has been much appreciated. Just another couple of questions on some places in thailand. Im making my way from bangkok and plan to head north to vientiene. Im stopping at kachanaburi but was wondering if the 3 pagodas pass is worth the trip. Also i was thinking of spending some time around the Khao Yai nat'l park has anybody been there and what kind of wildlife can you spot. Also is it best to stay in Pak Chong or inside the park itself. Out of curiosity is Surin worth the stop, i have read about it and im in two minds really. Can anyone tell me if its worth stopping at sang Khom and chiang khan and how long you would suggest staying at all of these places mentioned. If anybody has any suggestions on other places to visit on the route to vientiene please let me know and also if you think any of the places i have mentioned should maybe be given a miss. thanks for your time reading this
#1 Gordon_M has been a member since 11/7/2006. Posts: 5
Can anyone tell me how can I go to Koh Kho Khao resort (near khaolak) from Phuket Airport/ town? I cannot drive.
-any car/ taxi hire in airport? how much?
-any agents had the transfer service?
#2 wailing1 has been a member since 29/6/2006. Posts: 12
Sorry, I post the wrong place.
#3 wailing1 has been a member since 29/6/2006. Posts: 12
Three Pagodas Pass is interesting. Nice landscape. Certainly not a place that I would "not" say "don't go" to.
I used to live in Prachinburi, about 20 minutes south of Khao Yai, and used to go to Khao Yai now and then for work, as well as to camp with my neighbours. During the drives into the park we used to see wild elephants on the sides of the road, and lots of gibbons. We had an open-top jeep and would go out driving at night and would turn the floodlamp onto open areas along the road and there would always be a lot of deer. There are also lots of great birds, bats, butterflies and moths. Some great jungle areas.
I can't comment on where to stay as we always camped. If you camp try to avoid going on a weekend or Thai holiday.
Personally, I really like Surin. It's a long way from Kanchanaburi. You could break the trip at Phimai, then from Surin you could travel over to the Mekong and follow it up to Nong Khai instead of going through the interior part of Issan. It's flat, hot, and there is a lot of Khmer culture, as well as excellent food. There are some very important temples in the area that are worth making the effort to see (if you're into temples).
I stayed in Khao Yai National Park in October 2005. Staying in the park was one of the highlights of my trip so I recommend it.
Accommodation options in the park are bungalows or camping. The bungalows are about 8km from the main restaurant (closes about 6pm) and visitor centre so you need your own transport. You can book them through the national parks website - http://www.dnp.go.th/parkreserve/nature.asp?lg=2. I did this and it worked fine for me.
You can hire tents and sleeping bags from the visitor centre if you want to camp. There are several campgrounds you can choose from. Don't go on a public holiday as the place is packed. Also, if you decide to camp, be very careful of your belongings as the monkeys can get into them and do damage. There are restaurants/snack places near the campgrounds and showers and water.
The other alternative is to do a tour from one of the operators. I met an American man who had done a tour with the Green Leaf Guesthouse (I think it was this outfit). He said it was very good. The guide was knowledgeable and could identify birds from a glance etc. The Green Leaf Guesthouse is on the Pak Chong side of the park.
When I biked through the park I saw monitor lizards (sunning themselves on the road), squirrels, monkeys, a wild dog, deer (right outside the visitor's centre) and elephant tracks. I also saw gibbons and hornbills. You can see a lot of these animals (incl. gibbons) right near the VC if you are there early and you can hear the gibbons whooping in the morning. Very cool.
Spotlighting is a fun thing to do and can be booked inside the park. Trekking is good. Leech socks look silly but are important as some will attach themselves to you.
About Sangkhom and Chiang Khan - I stayed at both these places for one night. One night is all you need. Sangkhom is quite small and there is nothing to do but if you stay at the Bouy Guesthouse you can join Mr Toi on his daily constitutional and see some interesting sights (charcoal ovens etc) and beautiful scenery. The bungalows are basic but the food is delicious.