Jun 26, 2013
Jul 24, 2013
Joe: After a night of watching 3 million bats emerge from a cave, we had a nice dinner and retired early because the morning would bring a guided tour of Khao Yei National Park with the promise of great birds, elephants, and maybe even a big cat. Our guide was Rham and our new friends from Germany were our only companions for the trip.....perfect! Nothing like a small group for a wildlife walk. We saw either a huge lizard or a small Komodo Dragon just as we drove through the entrance. Next was a small White faced Macaque sitting in the road not looking too wild since the sticker was still on his apple. We stopped at the visitor's center and donned our leech-proof gaiters and then began a 3hour hike through the jungle. A cacophony of bird and gibbon calls surrounded us and yet we saw nothing until Rham tagged a tree branch with his laser pointer and guided us to one thrilling find after another. Next up was the White Handed Gibbon which we heard shrieking long before we actually got to see it. Rham was on a roll and as the day unfolded, he found us birds large and small and we even got to see an elephant meandering down a side road and we actually had to back up as he turned and walked straight at us. Soon he turned off into a stand of bamboo for a snack and we headed up a steep and winding road to a cliff at 900 meters above sea level. As we headed back down, we were thrilled yet again by a flock of 30+ oriental Pied Hornbills and then we saw two separate pairs of Great Hornbills. WOW. What a day! Our smallest wonders were insects and beautiful butterflies and our largest was an elephant in the wild. We did not get great photos of the Hornbills or Gibbons so I have copied some for you.All the rest of the pictures are ours.