Sometimes things don’t work out like expected. The two days stopover in Kuala Lumpur after coming from Australia was planned to be for organizing our Indian Visa, but unfortunately there was no way of getting more than just a 30 days stay permission, which we can also apply using e-visa. Quite disappointing. After some more research and calling the indian embassy in Thailand it seems there will be no possibility to get a long term indian visa if we do not apply out of our home country. So plans need to be changed.
But first we are back in Thailand. It’s around ten days before we move to the next volunteering experience at the “mindfulness project”. So some days are left for travelling around……but where to go?….it’s already check out time and we have to leave our accommodation in Bangkok but we’re still not sure where to head next. Thailand’s south seems beautiful but also quite crowded and that’s not what we are looking for. Browsing google maps brings our attention to an area in northern central Thailand surrounded by different national parks. We decide to make the city of Petchabun our base camp from where we want to explore the area around on a 3-4 days motorbike tour. Almost no foreign tourists, less english speaking locals. People seem quite surprised and ask us about the reason for our stay in their town.
After two days going with the flow of Petchabun’s people daily life we start the motorbike trip. We want to reach Phu Kradueng National Park with it’s famous plateau and scenic views….but things turn out to be a bit different. The area we pass on our way reminds us of Laos’ north last year. Burning fields, dusty and foggy air and poor visibility. It’s sad to see human’s and agriculture’s consequences for nature and environment again. Phu Kradueng National Park offers camping possibilities and we want to set up our hammocks for the night. The campground turns out to be just a small part of green next to the parking area and we’re really confused about the whole National Park but it’s already late and we just prepare for the overnight stay. As we don’t feel like this is the place we were looking forward and the National Park entrance fee is quite high for foreigners we decide to leave early the morning.
Next stop Nam Nou National Park! Signs along the road remind us on being aware of crossing elephants and we’re excited about getting closer to jungle and wildlife again. Nam Nou is much more a place for nature experience, still not completely remote or quite, but closer to what we were hoping to find. We rent a tent for the night and go on a 6 km hike around the park. The next morning we get up before sunlight to catch the sunrise from the viewpoint and we really don’t regret cutting some hours of sleep. Unfortunately still no elephants but big poo piles along the way.
Tat Mok National Park is the last place on our tour plan and turns out to be an absolute highlight. After following a road already within the lush forest we park the motorbike and follow a trek along a small creek inside the jungle. It feels like one of the most beautiful ones we did so far, sometimes steep, crossing the creek several times by jumping from one stone to the other ending up at a wonderful waterfall. There are no other people and there haven’t been any on the way back as well, so we are completely alone. Perfect!
Back in Petchabun we just relax for two more days and have to change our plans again. Volunteering at the Mindfulness Project is not going to happen. There has been a misunderstanding and our application has not been verified. The only reason why we came back to Thailand does not work out, so we are quite disappointed and a bit lost now. Searching for alternatives we heard about Rak Tamachat, a permaculture farm. Close located in central Thailand. They also have a volunteering possibility and don’t mind to host us spontaneously.
Looking forward to do some work again!