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Rain and rainforests

Posted: 2007-05-13 14:35:49, Categories: Travel, Thailand, 583 words (permalink)

Looking up in a rainforest at Ang Pak Nam, Thailand. It has been rather rainy during the last two weeks, with showers every day and a couple of days of more continuous rain. It seems that the rainy season has started a few weeks earlier than normally, at least that's what my Thai friend Phisit says. The good news is that there's not much risk of getting a cold after becoming wet. A good alternative for raingear is to simply wear light clothes and sandals — they'll get dry later. Just after rain is also the best time to go for a walk in a rainforest.

Phisit's brother took me about 50 kilometers east from Phanatnikhom to Khao Sha An cave and Ang Pak Nam waterfall. Neither of them are likely to be prominently mentioned in most travel guides, so there were few other people around.

The cave consisted of two large halls, one with a small shrine and another, darker one which had thousands of bats hanging from the roof. Even during daytime there was constant traffic around a hole leading to the open air, at night it must be quite a busy place! Fortunately all the activity concentrated near the top so it was safe to observe the bats from the floor.

The waterfall wasn't very spectacular, but the narrow path leading there through the rainforest was fascinating. I walked slowly admiring the amazing variety of vegetation around. There were large trees with lianes and other plants hanging from the branches, wild bananas and other treelike plants with large leaves, and of course many smaller plants filling the remaining space. When the rain stopped and sunlight entered where it found its way through the trees, butterflies woke up and were flying all around. The picture of this blog entry is from Ang Pak Nam and you can also take a look at a short video (about 5 MB) of walking through the forest. The section in the video is an easy one, in some places the path was quite slippery and you had to push through the bushes.

A few days later we went to Khao Yai national park, which is the most famous national park in Thailand. There the waterfalls were larger and we saw more animals. The most numerous were leeches, which tried to climb up our feet and legs to find a place where to suck blood. Fortunately they weren't too difficult to cast off. We saw also many other insects and worms, plenty of deer, a leguan and a fox, but no specialities such as big cats and wild elephants which also live in the park. It was interesting just to stop somewhere in the middle of the path and listen to the concert of animal sounds, some of them quite loud. However, for the plants I think Ang Pak Nam boasted a larger number of species in a small area. Besides, it didn't cost anything whereas at Khao Yai they charged a hefty 400 baht (9 euros) foreigner fee.

After two weeks of mainly sightseeing by car and staying at Phanatnikhom I finally resumed cycling on Saturday 12.5. The roads in Thailand are generally in good condition and I was able to travel 200 km easily in two days. However, that may change soon as I'm posting this in Aranyaprathet which is only six kilometers from the Cambodian border. According to Tales of Asia the road to Siem Reap and further to Phnom Penh should be in reasonable condition now, but there might be some muddy detours or other surprises on the way.


Comment from: Golan  
Moi Arto. Milloin tuut takas Suomeen? Meillä olisi hyvät bileet PE 1.6:tta, Entropyn naamiaisbileet :)
2007-05-18 @ 17:38
Comment from:
Varmasti hyvät bileet mutta tällä kertaa valitettavasti missaan. Varasin itse asiassa jo paluumatkan, tulen Suomeen 10.6.
2007-05-18 @ 18:30

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