Dear kids, welcome to the Khao Luang National Amusement Park. Would you, please, put on your trekking shoes, spray some mosquito repellent on your ankles and wrists and grab your cameras. I will be your guide for the day.
Here is the ground floor, where lays the Kiri Wong village. It is a famous throughout Thailand for the organic farming and self-sufficient economy practiced by the locals. What is that, you want to know? Well, what I mean is that people grow everything they need around the house – fruits, vegetables, spices, and they do it in perfect harmony with the environment. Do you see the colorful clothes they wear? They make them in the village by extracting natural dyes from the fruits and the bark. No, not because they are poor, but because this is the tradition in this area.
Before moving on, please take a seat and enjoy the local specialties: nam prik, a delicious shrimp paste which you will not find anywhere else. Or chompoo, a sweet and juicy fruit which tastes like a pear and a melon at the same time. Finally, here’s a glass of … no, it is not honey, it is mangosteen wine. Just as sticky and fragrant as honey, but the buzzing you will hear will not come from the bees.
Going up to the first floor, we have ten waterfalls. Smaller, older, one, two, three or seven levels, closer or farther away. No wonder there are so many, given that the park is full of rivers, creeks and springs. Do you want one within easy reach? Here: Namtok May Pak. You can refresh yourselves with a bath.
On the second floor we have the flora. Look at those giant ferns, over 20 meters high. They are part of the world’s oldest species of ferns: Cyathea podophylla. Do they remind you of Jurassic Park? You are close: these ferns date back since the Triassic. Take a close look, they are unique in the world.
How about this flower, named Achan Singto Tem (Bulbophyllum smitinandi). It is one of the newly discovered orchids in the world. That big flower over a meter in length, is also an orchid which is called Sai Ueang Soete (Coelogyne rochussenii). Our park hosts many other unique plants on Earth, and an impressive collection of rhododendrons and begonias.
The third floor is dedicated to the wildlife. There are nightingales, woodpeckers and owls, eagles and pheasants. In total, over 200 species. We are most proud of our group of hornbills, which you can spot right now acting like two lovebirds up in the sky.
Sorry, what was the question? Do we have mammals? Of course, my beloved kids. We have leopards, tapirs, porcupines, deer, macaque monkeys, languid, badgers and supposedly some tigers, but I have not had the misfortune to meet them personally.
On the last floor we have Khao Luang mountain summit itself which, rising to 1,835 meters, is the highest in Southern Thailand. Relax for a few minutes watching the beauty of the surrounding mountains and the untouched rainforest.
Let’s return to the village, now, where our hosts expect us. For only 500 baht per day, we sleep and we eat three meals in one of villagers home. They do not speak English, but they are good people. You do not have to ask for anything, they already know what you need.
Thank you for visiting. Please come again!