Beautiful park (60 km in total), all green with rainforests and waterfalls. Also lots of wildlife, the leaflet says elephants, gibbons, deers, tigers, snakes (to name a few) and lots of birds & insects. And no you didn't read that wrong, tigers, just roaming about in the park... They dont give you any health & safety lecture at the entrance either. Welcome to Thailand. But, on one of my treks, I did bump into a tour group who had a guide that spoke very good English so he was able to tell me that the tigers were kept far away from the road or trekking areas. You need like safari trucks to go see them apparently - which they dont offer as tour.
Anyway, saw some awesome waterfalls - probably the highlight of the park. You know the film The Beach (of course you do), well you know the waterfall Leonardo DiCaprio "jumps" off? I went there. It's called Haew Suwat Falls and it's about 20m high (made to look bigger in the film I think) but definitely the best i've seen so far in Thailand, so picturesque it needed a frame (ha). We'll see if the South can top the North...
The train journey was fun, had to go from Ayutthaya to a place called Pak Chong and from there get a taxi (or Songthaew as their known) to the park entrance - so overall took about 4 hours? Like I said, the park is 60km so walking is very much out of the question if you want to see anything, but I hired a motorbike from the main entrance for the 3 days I spent there so got to see a fair bit. The roads were really good and everywhere was mostly signposted so never got lost, thumbs up for exploration.
Spent 2 nights at the park camping, man, I love camping. Made my tent (which you can rent) all by myself - pay attention Hannah Baxter, the whole time I was thinking "What would she do?". The campsite was again very nice, had a small lake and lots of grass, along with numerous huts and a resturant - no shrimps on the barbie here. The only downer was the fact it was so quiet, I met a couple from Australia on the day they were leaving and that was about it. Spent my evenings hanging out with the warden watching Thai television and although I tried not to look at the time, was probably in bed by like 9:00? Meh. The night sky was amazing though, no light pollution so many many stars. The mornings also, peaceful apart from the odd gibbon arguement in the trees - who you'd often see (along with deer) visit the bins thoughout the day. How very... erm, natural.
I did see a wild elephant though from one of the watchtowers which was pretty cool, he was just wandering the lands on his own. Also on a walk back from Haew Suwat I had to walk along the road back to where i'd left my bike and came across a family of gibbons sitting in the road (about 20 of them visible), they weren't the 'jump in your bag and steal your camera' type either - not that I gave them the chance. They weren't friendly or anything but they watched me and I watched them and just let me wander by. After this I hitched a ride (actually recommended in the brochure) because I was beginning to think my map wasn't in proportion and that i'd be walking for days. Oh and crocodiles too, saw them. They're not actually advertised as being in the park but saw one on the day I bumped into the English speaking guide on a trek - they were freshwater incase you were wondering, about 1.5m long. Didn't see an snakes (although enjoyed driving by the "Cobra Crossing" along the road) but did see a few exotic spiders. Oh and butterflies, lots and lots of them. They are the size of small birds.
Im back in Bangkok right now, will be here for the next 4 days with a one day trip to Kanchahaburi probably on Friday. Another weekend market in Bangkok - Alllllll-riiight.
P.s. Trains, just so you know, they're very late here too - over an hour today. The station master looks at his watch and gives you a rough estimate at best, then an hour later it arrives. Oh the wonder. X