Khao Yai is one of the most famous destinations in Thailand. It’s an ideal place to spend your holiday. There are a lot of things to doand explore here.
Khao Yai is about 170 km northeast of Bangkok with highways running between the forest and the green valleys. There are many supermarkets, lots of stops along side of the road. About 20 years ago, people in this area just grew grapes and made wine. About 10 years later, “testing tour” has been put into the Thai tourism industry. Now the image is very familiar to Bangkokians when they drive their family to Khao Yai weekend resort to visit PB Valley to try wine and buy some crates to bring along.
Explore this place
With a forest road suit, we eagerly jumped to the trunk of our car and began to explore the exciting journey ahead: to conquer the highest mountain in the jungle’s populations of Khao Yai Natural Forest National Park.
Khao Yai National Park is known as a wilderness destination and is quite familiar to visitors, although Khao Yai became Thailand’s first national park in 1963. In 1984, this place was recognized as an Asean Heritage Garden and by 2005, Khao Yai National Park along with the Dong Phaya Yen Mountains was recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
Our fellow travelers, who are silvicultural engineers of Khao Yai National Park, asked us briefly: “How long can you climb? We have the journey for you to try for 8 hours, 4 hours or 3 hours but the least must be over 1 hour”.
Car crawled through the forest. Sometimes, the car stopped suddenly to avoid the deer crossing the road. The wind blew our faces. It was difficult to use professional cameras in that situation. Along the way, we saw many groups of Western tourists climbing the mountains.
At the gathering point, we were armed with leggings and trained the forest path skills. The park has 70 species of animals, including rare species such as Asian black bear, Asian elephant, bison, tiger, Indian deer; over 300 species of plants, over 300 species of birds. Knowing that I was climbing the forest in the daytine, the probability of seeing wild animals is not very high, but i still had the feeling of nervousness anda little fear. Wild animals were not seen, but birds and butterflies thronged through the paths.
And it was worth it when we reached the top of that place. An edge of the mountain protrudes, beneath a deep abyss, in front of us was the range of mountains stretching 360 degrees. A feeling was just like when we set foot on the edge of the cliffs of the Grand Canyon in the United States. Stand here, just watch the scenery around and breathe deeply, breathing slightly. All emotions went away.
Khao Yai National Park is also worthy to be conquered such as 80-meter Haew Narok Waterfall, Wildlife Monastery in Mo Singto and Nong Phak Chi.
Phi Mai – The mystery of the ancients
After a day of trekking in the jungle, we continued our journey to discover Phi Mai Historical Park in Khorat Province. People know Phi Mai as a version of the population of Angkor Wat, Cambodia.
The temple was built during the reign of King Suriyavoraman (1002-1049) – which could have been built between the 11th and 12th centuries, along with the Angkor temples. Even now people still believe in a rumor for centuries that there is a secret road leading from Phi Mai to Angkor Wat (?).
Over time, Phi Mai Temple has been still quiet. The temple is built of red sandstone, sand and honey binder with very unique architecture. We were interested in moss walls, domes, Garuda birds or Nagas snakes.
Inside the main shrine, there is a statue of Buddha which is not tall but solemn. There were so many people come to worship, come to pray or come to find a sense of peace. It seemed that the busy life of people has stopped outside Phi Mai temple. Sitting next to a tree and looking at Phi Mai turning color when the sun comes make we felt that time is stopping.
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