Wild elephants and millions of bats

Trip Start Dec 28, 2009
Trip End Apr 20, 2011

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Saturday, January 16, 2010

Arrived in Pak Chong at 1pm, had some lunch at Steak and Fries and phoned the guest house to pick us up.  We arrived at the guest house at 2pm and the first tour started at 3pm.  We visited a bat cave and had to walk through some very tight passage ways to get to see the bats.  I'm sure some of them peed on me aswell, which was nice.  Held a whip snake which the guide found at the side of the road and he also found an orb spider which looked too scary to hold.  After visiting te bat cave we drove to a spot where all the bats come out for the evening.  It was the most amazing sight I have ever seen, there were over 2 million bats coming out of this cave and flying right over our heads.  It seemed that they would never end.  There was also some hawks hovering nearby to eat them and Justin saw a hawk catch 2 bats and land in a tree, then one of the bats escaped.  The guide was brilliant and had hawk eyes himself as he seemed to spot things that were invisible to us.

In the evening we had dinner at the guesthouse and got an early night. there isn't much to do in the evenings here apart from a dodgy karaoke bar over the road.

The next day we went on the full day tour and had to wear leech socks but at this time of year it was more for the ticks than the leaches.  Once we got into the park there were lots of macaques running over the road with babies which was cool.  We also saw gibbons in the trees, a banded serpent eagle, Asian emerlad cuckoo, and this was just driving along the road.  The tour includes a 3 hours trek through the jungle, we didn't see a huge amount of wildlife through the jungle but did see a tree with bear scratches on it, they have sun bears and black bears in the forest but we didn't see any.  We saw a wreathed hornbill, a mating pair looking for a nest as it's mating season,  they are huge in size.  We saw a scorpian hole but he wasn't at home.  Had a nice stop for lunch and after lunch we went elephant spotting.  The guide hadn't seen any for 4 days so we weren't holding out much hope, after lots of driving about and lots more macaques, the guides spotted an elephant in the bushes at the side of the road.  We stopped the car and waited for a while hearing the rustle, it was so exciting.  We thought there were only about 1 or 2 in there but a herd of 13 elephant came out of the bushes with babies, it was amazing, we took loads of pictures, 2 more elephants came out on there own aswell.  These are wild elephants and you are very lucky to see them.  After 10 minutes there was not trace of them so we were so lucky to see them. 

Just has spent months at home trying to find a bittern at Upton Warren and he is literally tripping over them now, they are quite common here.

Greenleaf is a brillant  place to stay, the rooms only cost about 4-6 pound a night and a day and a half tour costs 30 pound each but well worth it.  We also met some nice people on the trip and had dinner with them that night.

Off to Ayuthaya tomorrow with a free transfer to the train station.
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