Khao Yai National Park December 18 – 19

DSC_0028

There are those places that everyone reads and knows about before traveling to Thailand like Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Phuket.  Then there are those places that you hear about once you get to Thailand that you just have to go to like Pai and Koh Chang.  Every country have those.. well, secret places that very few tourists go to and are gems of the land.  Khao Yai National Park is one of those gems that most travelers do not have on their itinerary when traveling through Thailand.

Myself and the rest of EP teachers were informed about three weeks ago that we were going to Khao Yai for some kind of camp with the 4, 5, and 6 students.  4, 5, and 6 is equivalent to 10th, 11th, and 12th graders in the States.  The coolest thing about this trip was that we were going to be camping in the park.  Actual tent and sleeping bag, so I was pretty excited to be doing something like this in Thailand.  I was a little upset at first because I only teach the 1, 2, and 3 students.  1, 2, and 3 is equivalent to 7th, 8th, and 9th graders in the States.  I wanted to go to a camp where I would know the students because I have so much fun with my 1, 2, and 3 students in class.  We were set to leave on Friday the 18th.  I could not leave until 12 O’clock because I had to teach in the morning.  Everyone else left at 7 in the morning to get to Khao Yai.

It was about a three hour bus ride from Suphanburi to Khao Yai.  Brett, Ally, and I had some interesting dialogue on our trip.  It ranged from the “King of Thailand” to “How did Christianity become so prevalent in South Korea?” to “Improving our students’ English.”  The most fascinating thing about Thailand to me is the love of the King.  It is really hard to put into words, but the King means so much to the people of Thailand.  It is one of the few things that keeps the people of Thailand all connected along with Buddhism.  It will be a scary day when the King passes.  I think their will be more uproar when the King passes than the Coup back in 2006.

We finally arrived at our first destination in the park which was Haew Suwat Waterfall.  It was not a far walk, but you had to walk down 80 steps to get to the waterfall.  It felt like the mountain was cut into a little basin for this waterfall.  You felt like you were much farther from the main road than actuality.  It was a beautiful site and one of the best waterfalls I have seen.

DSC_0002After the waterfall, we went to our campsite for the first time.  We went to an area where there was about 75 tents set up.  Many Thai people come here to camp out for weekends.  It was really cool to be there.  That night our school had an animal sighting activity planned.  We hopped on the back of a pickup truck and off we went.  We had a little kid shining a light around the forest to spot the animals.  In the beginning, we did not see anything.  The stars were gorgeous, but no animals.  There were a couple of trucks in front of us that had slowed down and had their lights on something in a field to the left.  There were about three huge deer walking along.  They had antlers and everything.  Uncle Teddy, you could have tried to go for one of these.  Deer was the main animal that we saw on the rest of the trip.  There was one point where we noticed these two small creatures scurrying, but could not tell what they were.  The light finally got to them and it was two porcupines.  If you have not seen a porcupine, they are an interesting looking.  They can be described as two halves: the half towards their back is covered in their needles and the other half is an animal that resembles a possum.  That was the first time I saw a porcupine and I was happy to see one.  We got back to our site and passed out.  Just to let everyone know.  It got real cold at night.  It did not rain, but the grass was wet.  Their was definite frost, so you might think that Thailand is hot and it is, but high in the mountains it is cold.

We had to get up at 6 in the morning the next day for bird watching.  We walked along the road in search of some birds.  The foreign teachers were not really into it along with the students.  We got to talk to some of the students which was the highlight of the morning.  We packed up our gear and headed off.  We first stopped at the gift shop before we left Khao Yai.  Here is a picture of some of the students in the sixes.  I don’t teach them, but Annie does.  Lately, we have been teaching them sign language which includes some bad words.

DSC_0042

On the way back home, we stopped at a place called, “ChokChai Ranch Resort.”  If you are craving some Steak when traveling in Thailand than this is the place to go visit.  Steak is rare in Thailand because their cows are not fat like the ones in the state.  At, “ChokChai Ranch Resort,”  there are legit American cows.  They are black and white, not the usual brown that I am used to in Thailand.  I did not get to try any of their steak, but I did have some ice cream and this is REAL ice cream.  I also tried some milk and it was REAL milk.  So, if you are craving some thick milk and ice cream or steak then stop by, “ChokChai Ranch Resort,” to get your fixins.

We had one more place to stop off at before Suphanburi.  It was another waterfall.  The waterfall was not the most spectacular, but what made this waterfall fun was being able to swim and tube down it.  The falls were small, but you were still able to go down the falls in a tube which made it very fun.  It was fun to swim in the river.

So Khao Yai is a definite must see in Thailand.  Do not forget about this wonderful place.  I will go again.