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Phu Kra Dung National Park, Thailand


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#1 numpty

 
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Posted 17 February 2012 - 01:36 AM

A few pictures from a recent trip to Phu Kra Dung National Park in Northeastern Thailand. I can't pretend the pictures are decent quality, but perhaps they can at least give a flavour of what the park offers.

The park protects a plateau which tops out at around 1400 m a.s.l.. This is the view of the mountain as I trudged towards it along the access road. Apparently passenger pickup trucks ply the route ... I didn't see any.
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From the entrance it takes a couple of hours of hiking to reach the plateau, which is extremely flat. Bracken and pines dominate the top, with scrubby grasses over a thin layer of sand around the cliff areas. This area pictured is along the southern escarpment.
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The end of January is the middle of the cool dry season, and many of the Drosera burmannii were looking rather the worse for wear, especially around the cliff areas.
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A few moister spots still had healthy clumps though.
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#2 numpty

 
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Posted 17 February 2012 - 01:39 AM

The Nepenthes smilesii were also pretty dried out, for the most part. Most plants I saw looked like this.
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With some still managing to sustain a few pitchers.
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Finally, a Utricularia (graminifolia, I guess). There were lots around in the shallow pools, but I only saw one flower.
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The park also has a profusion of orchids and other pretty plants, not many of which were at their best at this time of year. Plenty of animals too ... sambar deer in the campground, and a pack of Asian wild dogs ran through in the night. There were elephants around, though I didn't see any. Plenty of dung on the trails though.

For anyone heading that way, there's a campground with (lots of) tents already in place near the HQ (avoid the park at weekends). A tent with camping mat and sleeping bag comes in at around 6 quid, and there are several decent restaurants on-site. Muggins here lugged up his own camping gear, stove, food, etc, sweating like a hog. The park's closed at the peak of the wet season.

Edited by numpty, 17 February 2012 - 01:41 AM.

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#3 nadja77

 
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Posted 17 February 2012 - 03:13 AM

Looks like a nice area for hiking. There must be so much plant life and other things to explore! Definitely my kind of place.
The first two photos remind me a bit of places we have in South Africa, it looks very similar.
Thanks for sharing!

#4 Zlatokrt

 
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Posted 17 February 2012 - 12:41 PM

Very nice field report, thank you for the pics. And moreover i guess now, that my U. graminifolia "Phu Kradueng" should be U. graminifolia "Phu Kra Dung National Park, Thailand" :smile:
Adam

#5 numpty

 
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Posted 17 February 2012 - 14:42 PM

Very nice field report, thank you for the pics. And moreover i guess now, that my U. graminifolia "Phu Kradueng" should be U. graminifolia "Phu Kra Dung National Park, Thailand" :smile:
Adam

Aye, I think I saw about five different spellings for the place, and chose probably the least common transliteration for this report. Sorry about that. I guess the only way to get it 100% right would be to use Thai, which would be a bit of a challenge for most of us!

#6 Alexander Nijman

 
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Posted 03 March 2012 - 02:56 AM

Its a very nice place there. I have been there 5 years ago. And those sambar deer go backing for food in the evening. They even like beer. Also wild elefants there, you see warningsigns when you hike arround. Its a kind of tepui Thai stile. Lots of those Nepenthes smilesi also at some places.

Well winters are dry, but during the monsoon its very wet. Those Nepenthes are during the wet at there best.

Alexander