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Khao Yai National Park

Elephants and other animals

sunny 35 °C
View 2013 Round the World Trip on FrancisRTW's travel map.

I had 2 things on my must do list for the few days I had in Bangkok; see the iconic buddhist temples and to go for a ride on an elephant. I had done the temples, now it was time to travel 3 hours north of Bangkok out into the countryside to see the elephants at the Khao Yai National Park.

First stop about an hour into our trip was the local market at Nakhorn Nayok. I had concerns that this was going to be a hard sell gem store and souvenir hard sell tourists are warned about but I needn't have worried. It wasn't that sort of market, instead it was filled with fresh local produce (much of which was still moving!) and they were buying our lunch.

Jack Fruit being prepared at Nakhorn Na Yok Market

Jack Fruit being prepared at Nakhorn Na Yok Market


Fresh Shellfish on sale at Nakhon Na Yok Market

Fresh Shellfish on sale at Nakhon Na Yok Market


As on other stalls the fish in these buckets moved and were very much still alive!

As on other stalls the fish in these buckets moved and were very much still alive!


Yes I think that is Frogs on sale at the front!

Yes I think that is Frogs on sale at the front!


Hot spices anyone?

Hot spices anyone?

After an educational and entertaining wander around the market we went to a local farm for a ride in an ox cart. It was a sedantry bone shaking ride and we had to wear thai farmer straw hats similar to those I had seen in the Siam Museum in Bangkok the previous day.

Me on the back of the Ox Cart - in my Thai Farmer's Straw Hat!

Me on the back of the Ox Cart - in my Thai Farmer's Straw Hat!


View riding an Ox Cart

View riding an Ox Cart

We than continued on our way towards Khao Yai National Park passing through small villages on the way. Going through one village we had to wait while a local farmer unloaded his Rice Harvester into an adjacent paddy field while in another we stopped and watched a couple of races at the sports day of the local school.

A local farmer unloading a rice harvester into his paddy fields

A local farmer unloading a rice harvester into his paddy fields

Water Buffalo grazing beside the road

Water Buffalo grazing beside the road


Sports Day at a local Thai Village School

Sports Day at a local Thai Village School


The race for the finishing line!

The race for the finishing line!

We then reached the entrance to the Khao Yai National Park and made our way to the famous waterfall at Haew Narok. It was not as spectacular as it can be when full of water but impressive and an idyllic spot none the less.

Fence to stop the Elephants getting through on the way to the Harew Narok Waterfall

Fence to stop the Elephants getting through on the way to the Harew Narok Waterfall


The steps down to the Waterfall

The steps down to the Waterfall


Haew Narok Waterfall

Haew Narok Waterfall


Me by the Haew Narok Waterfall

Me by the Haew Narok Waterfall


Chamelon on a tree on the way back from the Waterfall

Chamelon on a tree on the way back from the Waterfall

We then moved deeper into the National Park heading towards a viewpoint over the Forest and soon began to encounter gibbon monkeys along the road.

Our first sight of a Gibbon at the side of the road

Our first sight of a Gibbon at the side of the road


The Gibbon seemed unsure if he was happy to see us!

The Gibbon seemed unsure if he was happy to see us!


We then encountered a whole troop of Gibbons including some young

We then encountered a whole troop of Gibbons including some young


A view of the Forest at the Khao Yai National Park

A view of the Forest at the Khao Yai National Park


At the viewpoint a few Gibbons took a particular interest in a pair of mopeds

At the viewpoint a few Gibbons took a particular interest in a pair of mopeds

However the highlight and main purpose of the day was to ride an elephant and after a stop for lunch (much of which had been bought earlier in the day by our guide while we were at Nakhorn Nayok Market) we were introduced to a large elephant called Cherry. I was sharing her with a mother and daughter from upstate New York and I initially sat on Cherry's neck, it was a long way down! We then spent three quarters of an hour lumbering through some woods, ducking branches and walking down streams; great fun and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The mahout gets out of the way as we set off through the forest on Cherry the Elephant

The mahout gets out of the way as we set off through the forest on Cherry the Elephant


Yep, they initially put me in the driving seat on the back of the elephants head

Yep, they initially put me in the driving seat on the back of the elephants head


The elephant sprayed us with a bit of water as we walked through a small stream

The elephant sprayed us with a bit of water as we walked through a small stream


Me feeling cool on the back of Cherry the Elephant

Me feeling cool on the back of Cherry the Elephant


Our final view of our two elephants before we began our long drive back to Bangkok

Our final view of our two elephants before we began our long drive back to Bangkok

Posted by FrancisRTW 03:00 Archived in Thailand Tagged waterfalls trees animals food markets tour videos solo Comments (0)

Wat Phra Kaew and the Grand Palace

The one that nearly got away

overcast 32 °C
View 2013 Round the World Trip on FrancisRTW's travel map.

I was so impressed by the spendour and extent of Wat Pho when I visited it on my first day in Bangkok that I assumed incorrectly that I had covered off Wat Phra Kaew and the Grand Palace (the number 1 tourist sight in Bangkok) next door as well. Having realised my mistake I realised I could just about fit them in on the morning of my departure.

I took my by now well trodden path of the Skytrain to the central pier at Saphan Taksin (the Skytrain is a couple of railway lines built on elevated trackway along major streets in the centre of Bangkok) and then the ferry up the river to the Chang Pier (Pier No. 9) where I negotiated my way through the street market to the entrance to the Grand Palace Complex.

Skytrain at the National Stadium Station

Skytrain at the National Stadium Station


Skytrain tracks at multiple levels outside the MBK Center

Skytrain tracks at multiple levels outside the MBK Center


View from aboard a ferry on the Phraya River

View from aboard a ferry on the Phraya River


Getting off the ferry at Saphran Taksin

Getting off the ferry at Saphran Taksin


Street Market by the Chang Pier on the way to the Grand Palace

Street Market by the Chang Pier on the way to the Grand Palace

Once I got to the Grand Palace it was overrun with tourists, especially the older initial Phraw Kaew that houses the Emerald Buddha. The Emerald Buddha itself is tiny when compared with others I have seen - only 66cm tall - but the spendour of the gilded temple that houses it you would hardly notice. Dress code was particularly enforced at the Emerald Buddha and many of the ladies ended up wearing borrowed sarongs and no photographs are allowed inside so the picture I have got was taken using zoom.

Wat Phra Kaew viewed from the outside

Wat Phra Kaew viewed from the outside


Giant guarding the entrance to the Temple of the Emerald Buddha

Giant guarding the entrance to the Temple of the Emerald Buddha


The Emerald Buddha

The Emerald Buddha


Me by the Temple to the Emerald Buddha

Me by the Temple to the Emerald Buddha


The upper terrace at the Grand Palace, including the Golden Chedi, Phra Mondop and the Royal Pantheon

The upper terrace at the Grand Palace, including the Golden Chedi, Phra Mondop and the Royal Pantheon


Detail from around one of the spires outside the Royal Pantheon

Detail from around one of the spires outside the Royal Pantheon

Next door to the Temple of the Emerald Buddha Complex is the Grand Palace itself. This is a much newer and contains buildings that are still used for state occasions and also is guarded by ceremonial guards. Just like in London the guards constantly had tourists jumping beside them to have their photo taken!

The Grand Palace

The Grand Palace


Changing the Guard outside the Grand Palace

Changing the Guard outside the Grand Palace


Me outside the Chakri Maha Prasat and Dusit Maha Prasat Hall at the Grand Palace Complex in Bangkok

Me outside the Chakri Maha Prasat and Dusit Maha Prasat Hall at the Grand Palace Complex in Bangkok


The Dusit Maha Prasit Hall next to the Grand Palace

The Dusit Maha Prasit Hall next to the Grand Palace

Posted by FrancisRTW 02:00 Archived in Thailand Tagged trains temples markets boat city palaces buddha monorail solo Comments (0)

Leg 4 – Bangkok (Thailand) to Perth (Australia)

Singapore Airlines SQ 977 (Bangkok to Singapore) & Singapore Airlines SQ 225 (Singapore to Perth) Boeing 777-200/200ER for both flights


View 2013 Round the World Trip on FrancisRTW's travel map.

Leg_4_-_Bangkok_to_Perth.png

Depart: Bangkok TH (BKK), 3rd Mar 2013 15:40 Indochina Time (GMT+7)
Arrive: Singapore SG (SIN), 3rd Mar 2013 19:10 Singapore Time (GMT+8)
889 miles (2 hours 30 minutes)

Followed by Stopover (5 hours 55 minutes): Singapore SG (SIN), 3rd Mar 2013 19:10 - 4th Mar 2013 01:05 Singapore Time (GMT+8)

Depart: Singapore SG (SIN) Terminal 3, 4th Mar 2013 01:05 Singapore Time (GMT+8)
Arrive: Perth AU (PER) Terminal 1, 4th Mar 2013 06:20 Western Standard Time (GMT+8)
2,431 miles (5 hours 15 minutes)

Total: 3,320 miles (13 hours 40 minutes)

Posted by FrancisRTW 03:00 Archived in Australia Tagged flights perth Comments (0)

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