Welcome to the Jungle

We woke up early but well rested after a good night’s sleep. Today we were going on a full day tour at the Khao Yai National Park. We started off with the normal american style breakfast (God we are going to be tired of it soon). Our hotel also had a similar tour and we found an inspiring picture of the tourist specimen, both male and female in full gear, with leach socks and everything! We knew that we were going to fit right in 😉

With the same group as yesterday but with new guides we headed out in our songthaew (a pickup truck with sit places in the back).
As soon as we had entered the park we saw the first wildlife in the form of monkeys on the road.
All of a sudden our driver began to speed up and soon we pulled into a parking lot. A very excited guide told us that a friend of his had just called and that we had a chance of sighting a wild elephant. We made a short but beautiful trek to a watchtower from where we spotted a big male elephant.
We stopped by a nice viewpoint where we also saw more monkeys.
At our next stop the real jungle trek began. Through a dense rainforest where roots on the ground, low hanging branches, steep elevation proved to be a challenge and at the same time avoid spiderwebs… We didn’t see much wildlife except insects but we could hear plenty.
Almost from the start our guide had anxiously been watching the treetops and after awhile we got the answer… He was looking for gibbons and he had found them. We basically ran around trees to get the slightest glimpses of them. It was not easy to spot them so high up in the tree tops but with our guides help and his monocular on a tripod we could see them.
Finally our trek through the rainforest took us back to the watchtower where we saw the male elephant. On the way we saw a nice landscape and some more wildlife.
On the way to the waterfall we saw more elephants. This time it was a big heard of females and young ones.
The waterfall was nice but it was also very touristic… On the top before the main fall there was a much more quiet place with very nice surroundings.
Our next stop was on the more dangerous side with warning signs and everything…
After the crocodile we had our next encounter of dangerous animals… Our driver made all of a sudden a sharp evasive maneuver and we thought he had hit or run over something (or someone). Our guide ran back and picked up a big scorpion that had tried and crossed the road! To everybody’s big delight our guide showed us his find inside the songthaew…
Last but not least we were going to watch the sunset at… …wait for it… …yes, we were going to the watchtower once again! This time our guide wanted to show us hornbill birds. After a lot of searching of the distance treetops with binoculars the guide finally found a family of hornbills. Fredde mostly watched the sunset (well, it was not much of a sunset according to Fredde’s standards…) while Margreet got Mr Hornbill captured on the mobile (with the help of our guide’s monocular). Fredde at least managed to capture the birds flying away…
Our day ended after a very much wanted (and needed) shower and a simple but delicious dinner.