Natural Wonders of Khao Yai

A couple weeks ago it was a long weekend for Buddhist with my Dad's car on loan we drove to Khao Yai national park...165 kms out of BKK and 57th wonder of the world apparently

We saw a monkey on our first encounter through the park. I gave her a banana and she became fascinated with us and the possibilities of more bananas


Some people stopped and tried to lure her with potato chips to no avail...apparently they hadn't got the message that monkey's don't really know what potato chips are

we arrived late without a hotel booking so drove around a bit until we found Cabbages and Condoms, a hotel/ farm/ restaurant/ community development project funded by the UN to raise aid awareness and stuff about population and development. We had a great meal there with mushrooms fresh from the farm including shiatke, oyster, eringi and black cloud. But the rooms weren't very nice.

Cabbages and condoms garden

Khao Yai is also home to the Thai dairy industry, replete with Thai cowboys and all along the road are little milk containers for pick up

Milks bottles


and dragon fruit plantations

The next morning we went to Dairy Home for breakfast.... Dairy Home makes specialist yoghurt and dairy products for the Thai market

The restaurant reminded me of my was filled with cutsey pictures and plastic flowers

Dairy Home

The bread was that typically fluffy Thai white bread that reminded me of cartoon bread


Thai families most likely from Bangkok, if judged by their attire, turned up in hoards to eat this strange mix of Thai/American bucolic fantasy food

We found another hotel, Fah Sai Khao Yai...that wasn't very nice either and rather pricy, no jug or tea, no bath just basic...(we are fussy bitches) and we went for a bike ride up hill for 3 kilometres...until Hock's bike broke and we decided to call it a day...we rode to a nearby vineyard and had ice coffee and cake

In the evening we went to a restaurant recommended by Austin called Krua Khao Yai. We didn't order very well and had an average meal. Half of Bangkok was there. We shared a table with two middle class Bangkokian's. One who works as a construction consultant and protests for PAD in his spare time. I kept my politics to myself.

Anyway, anyway, anyway

There are two vineyards in Khao Yai that produce wine of dubious quality. Hock and I couldn't quite figure out why people bothered at all. It's a bit like deciding you want to grow mangos in the Swiss Alps, sure you may find a way to make it happen but is it worth it? It reminded me of a quote from an academic article I had read recently, about even the dreams and aspirations of the developing world being colonised. Although I'm not sure I agreed with the article, there is a distinct sense in Khao Yai that some high society Thai people are spending a great deal of money trying to recreate Italy or the Nappa Valley in Khao Yai.

After dinner we went to a faux Italian villa, which had a rather bad restaurant attached and candles lit up through the vineyard. We had some so so gelato, then went for a walk in the vineyard, until I saw a big ugly toad


The next day we went to the national park and managed to avoid paying the 400% farang mark up price of 400 bht per person and instead paid the Thai price of 40 baht. We went on a walk through the bush....which said it was to a water fall

there were lots of bugs and leeches!!!


The track took us to a swamp

I wasn't impressed. Hock told me to try and look like I was enjoying myself. I argued that the "appreciation of nature" is a recent phenomenon in human history and it was not until recently that we're all supposed to love leech infested swamps, previously humans feared the wild and avoided it or chopped it down. Now we are supposed to "appreciate it"

So, we decided that Khao Yai is beautiful but what makes us happier are noodles

So we took a detour drive back to Bangkok through Ayuthaya and stopped at Lung Lek's famous Kwayteow Reua joint and had excellent beef noodles



    Your non-positive comments about nature make me smile that you survived your times in the countryside of Cambodia... but wait, you said you stayed in a nice hotel while you were there?

    I like the ball-bug picture. It's very ghibli-like.


    he he he

    nice hotel only for the last six months, the first year we lived in a Khmer style house and then I spent a year travel to and from the provinces and Phnom Penh

    The year in a Khmer house was not much fun for me. I had constant battles with nature of which there is a lot in Cambodia. I remember writing to my sisters complaining how everything out there seemed to be alive and having sex. It was gross.

    My choice of career is astounding to most of my family members, they all know what a princess I can be. But at least I'll never be in danger of romanticising the countryside, which from an academic stand point is probably a good thing


    ha, great story. such a pretty little swamp.

    I love the picture of the monkey looking back toward the banana benefactors.


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