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Old Monday 25th April 2011, 09:15   #1
arjacee
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Thailand in August 2011...Khao Yai??

Hi everyone...am gonna have 5 nights in Thailand in the middle of August. I know its rainy season! 2 nights I will spend in Bangkok so have 2/3 nights to go somewhere for bird photography. I would probably like to do 2 nights / 3 days. I am thinking about going to Khao Yai and staying there. I have done alot of research and read loads about accommodation and guides etc.. Some of the packages seem to be quite expensive.....I saw one for 1 night 2 days which was nearly 19 000 baht for 1 which seems quite expensive ( i'm sure it would be cheaper if I was part of a group ). I am not a massively keen and knowledgeable birder more a keen photographer who wants to take some pictures of lots of colourful birds ( not so interested in waders and shorebirds ) Should I just get myself to the park and do the trails on my own for a couple of days or is it really worth the extra expense of a guide! I have thought about camping but keep thinking I'm gonna get up in the night to go for a pee and will step on a cobra.... anyway any advice would be really helpful.....never done any kind of birding trip before so don't really know the form. Thank you!
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Old Monday 25th April 2011, 14:20   #2
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No need for a guide - of course you'll id more if you have one if you don't know the calls but you'll still see plenty of birds, colourful or not, to keep you busy. If you want to find the rarer birds in the park then consider the guide otherwise you'll have no problems.

I've done several camping trips in Thailand and never had a problem - you're probably more likely to step on a cobra in a city or a town in most of sth east asia than in the jungle since that's where the rats are! If its a weekend you're much more likely to be bothered by noisy thai's and karaoke stopping you getting to sleep than snakes!
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Old Monday 25th April 2011, 14:26   #3
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Thanks very much viator. I'm also considering staying in some accomodation near the park? Any ideas nothing too flash! I've read the grounds at the Juldis resort are pretty and birds can be found there. but the hotel is overpriced.........could I just go there and walk around! Back to the park...Are all the trails fairly near to each other or would I need a car? Again thanks again for your input!
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Old Monday 25th April 2011, 14:46   #4
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I don't really know the hotel other than its several km from the park entrance and somewhat expensive for what it is.

A car or motorbike would make life easier but you should have no problem stopping a passing songthaew to get a lift. You can also rent mountain bikes from a few places I think...
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Old Wednesday 27th April 2011, 15:15   #5
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Khao Yai is a good choice. A couple of year ago me and my girlfriend went by bus from Mo Chit bus station in Bangkok to Pak Chong (5h) and took a songthaew from there to the gates of Khao Yai. From there one can jump up on the car plattform of passing people, it wasn't very hard to find one at all, a matter of minutes if a weekend is coming up. As long as it's not fully packet anyone just stop and give you a ride into the park. Once in the park we tented, that's the cheap way. As always with nature early is often better, in Khao Yai aswell. A car do really help if you want to go around quick and see the whole park. We didn't so we missed parts of it but still a great experience!
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Old Saturday 30th April 2011, 10:14   #6
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There is accomodation inside the park which is simple but comfortable. Ideally situated if you are walking would be the cabins next to the ranger hq as you can walk across the road to the restaurant area and eat. Otherwise walking around at night is forbidden due to the risk of bumping into, primarily Elephant. It is a cheap and cheerful way of staying in the park, avoiding the entrance fees which you have to pay daily if you pass through the gate and is very close to some of the best trail areas IMO. I've stayed there a few times in recent years and seen most of the specialities, Coral-billed GC, Eared and Blue Pitta, the Broadbills and even Bay Owl on trail 6 just opposite. And yes you can camp in the same area, I think tents and bags are available to hire from the HQ. Try to avoid the weekends if you can.
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Old Saturday 30th April 2011, 11:02   #7
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Thanks alot for the responses......rockfowl I was wondering are the trails really dark. I was wondering if they are heavily covered by the canopy and thick forest.....if so does it make photography really difficult? I went for a walk in the jungle yesterday and tried to take some pictures and it was so difficult at iso 1600 i could still only get 1/15 of a second shutter speed. Will it be the same walking those trails? Thanks in advance!
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Old Saturday 30th April 2011, 11:33   #8
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Trail 6 is fairly bright, not closed canopy along a lot of it and of course the forest edge is very good in the mornings. I've managed to digiscope a lot of stuff there though sadly not the two pittas. On the whole, yes, you can achieve a fair amount. The Pittas, Forktails, etc favour the darker areas, you'll just have to enjoy them instead

I do see a lot of Thai photographers there and they do seem to have a great deal of success with some stunning results!
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Old Saturday 30th April 2011, 12:47   #9
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Thanks rockfowl......feel alot better about taking pictures there.............but thick in the forest / jungle its really difficult!
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Old Saturday 30th April 2011, 12:52   #10
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It certainly is - it's hard enough just seeing the birds sometimes!!!!
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Old Wednesday 11th May 2011, 17:37   #11
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Was there 4 months ago. Accommodation inside park not very good. Plenty of hotels and places to stay on Northern side of park, only one on south side( not very good). A car is a neccesity wherever you stay. A guide is not. Friday nights, Saturdays and Sundays very busy, everyone comes up from Bangkok.
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Old Tuesday 24th May 2011, 14:18   #12
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I would also consider Kaeng Krachan for a short visit. It's about the same distance from BKK as Khao Yai, but to the south ........there will be plenty of good birds there in August including pittas. you will need transport though and I think the higher area will be closed. a further attraction is there are a number of hides in the area specifically catering for bird photographers. phuttamonthon park, to the west of BAngkok en route to Nakhon Pathom, at a place called Salaya, is also worth a trip as it gets its fair share of rarities and is much favoured by photographers. I think you can reach it by bus from downtown Bangkok though getting around the park might be difficult with a car. Suan Rot Fai, the Railway Park, in the north of Bangkok near Chatuchak Market gets well covered by Dave Gandy and it's worth checking his blog as good birds show up there too. Bear in mind also it is the rainy season and this means very heavy rain usually in the latter part of the day and it is extremely hot in the middle of the day.
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Old Tuesday 24th May 2011, 14:36   #13
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Thanks for the reply Portnoy....I was under the impression that Kraeng Krachen was completely closed during the rainy season. I am stopping in Bangkok for 38 hours on the way to the U.K and then for 4/5 days on way back. On the way there I do plan to go to Suan Rot Fai for the day ( amd maybe Lumphini park aswell ). On the way back I am thinking about 2/3 days at Khao Yai. I know about the rainy season but can't do anything about that.....will just hope I get lucky. I am wondering whether to take a tour at KY but as its just me could be quite expensive!
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Old Wednesday 25th May 2011, 08:29   #14
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RJC I think you will be ok to Ban Krang which is the mid station in Kaeng Krachan and it is in that area that the pittas can best be viewed. , Lumphini is worth a look but it gets very crowded. it is not quite as spacious as Central Park or Hyde Park.If you give me your dates I might be able to show you around for a day. I mean might! My best day is usually a Sunday
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Old Wednesday 25th May 2011, 13:07   #15
arjacee
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Thanks again Portnoy for the advice. I think i will go to Khao Yai being that i have spent hours researching it......I feel I have walked trail 6 many times already. I am not a huge ticker. I am more into taking photos of colourful birds so hopefully KY should offer more than enough species. I contacting a couple of guys on birding pals website and they also kindly offered to show me around .............I will be in Thaland for a full wednesday and then later from friday night til tuesday night.......this is when I will go to Khao Yai. So many places have accomodation and offer guides I don't nkow which to chose!
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Old Wednesday 25th May 2011, 13:39   #16
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yeah I don't think you will be disappointed in KY. keep in touch and give me a shout nearer the time of your arrival.
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Old Thursday 26th May 2011, 12:42   #17
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Cheers mate..will do!!!
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