This Morning we said goodbye to NapPark Hostel, Khao San Road and Bangkok and headed NorthEast toward Khao Yai National Park. Destination town, Pak Chong. We thought we would be taking a train, but once again the girl at the desk suggested otherwise and sent us out the door with directions to take a meter-taxi to the bus station and take a bus to Pak Chong, it should be about 4 hours.
We found a taxi quickly, piled our giant bags in to the trunk, and got in. As we began to drive we asked the driver to turn on the meter. He said “No, 400 baht” we said, “No. Meter, please.” When he refused, we said, “stop the car.” We got out, took our things and got in the next meter-taxi. This driver hesitated with his meter, but then turned it on.
Finding our bus was easy. We walked up to the giant sign that said “INFORMATION” in capital letters and in English, got the information we needed and proceeded to purchase our tickets and get on our bus. The four hour bus ride turned out to be three, leaving us in Pak Chang shortly after 2pm. It was a rather ordinary bus stop, with no obvious tourist services nearby. The e-mail Michelle received this morning said someone from our hostel would pick us up, so we paced back and forth for a bit, wondering what do with ourselves and within 15mins, or so, a woman came up to us on a motor bike and asked if we were going to “Greenleaf House.” We smiled and said “yes.” She replied with, “I am Greenleaf house… wait here. Do not pay for taxi, free transport to Greenleaf. Wait here transport,” and she drove away and fast as she showed up! So, we sat down in the hot sun and waited for our ride. Sure enough, after short wait, there was someone with a pickup truck looking for us. Excellent!
|The view while waiting at the random bus station|
The drive to Greenleaf was short and we got there shortly before 3pm. We got out of our truck and immediately someone walked up to us and asked who we were and if we wanted to go on the half day tour. We said yes, of course. Then we were told, “Okay, we leave in ten minutes. Bring swim suit, insect repellent and flashlight.” We were showed to our room, scrambled to gather our things and headed right back for our half day tour!
The tour started with a visit to natural spring where we went swimming. It was great. Thailand is soooo hot and humid, and we were sweaty as ever, so jumping in for a swim in the spring was perfect. While hanging out near the spring our guide, Joe, showed us several giant spiders too.
After the spring we visited a cave used by monks for meditation and other Buddhist practices. Inside this cave we saw several Buddha statues, hundreds of bats and some of the largest creepy crawling bugs I’ve ever seen in my life.
Finally we went to an open field, at the bottom of a steep hill and waited for the bats to emerge from a cave near the top of the hill. So we waited at dust set in, and sure enough just as the disappeared below the horizon the bats began flying out of the cave. It was crazy, Joe said there was nearly 2million of them, the just kept coming and coming and coming from the cave. Joe also had a telescope set up pointing at the sky. We could see Jupiter and three of its moons!
We arrived back to Greenleaf covered in dust, from the long ride back on dry dirt road. Showers. Dinner. Beer. Cards and few more new friends. Goodnight!