From the park entrance where the bus dropped me off, it was another 2km walk to the Headquarters, Visitors centre and campsite. Along the way I saw more signs warning of elephants and other animals, like deer, crossing the road. The park covers 1000 sq km and has an average elevation of 800m. This remote area was also territory for the People’s Liberation Army of Thailand until the early 1908′s.
Almost instantly I liked this park a lot. The campsite was on the edge of the forest and right beside the start of the trail system. It was also close enough to the VC and food yet still a bit private. The entire campsite area was 2km from the park entrance along the highway, which was at least 30km away from any human habitation. It truly was in the middle of the park in the middle of nowhere. I was spotting orchids and butterflies in the camp before I had even begun to set up my tent. Also the park had over 12km of maintained and signposted trails that I could hike unguided. The showers, although cold, had extremely strong pressure and were spacious with plenty of shelves. Though rarely seen, the park is also home to such large mammals as tiger and guar. I knew I would enjoy my time here immensely.
There were loads of moths and spiders attracted to the lights of the restaurant. Always something to look at while I waited for my dinner. After dinner I went for a short nightwalk. I was only about 10 minutes down the trail when I saw elephant dung. I knew they were in the park but I didn’t know they were this close to the camp. It would be pretty spooky and potentially dangerous to see them at night, especially if I startle them, so I walked with caution. I didn’t see much on my walk except a few cool bugs and some ground flowers that I could photograph tomorrow. My plan was to hike longer at night the next night, after I had been on the trails during the day. It’s always strange to walk a trail for the first time at night!