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Thailand Photos: Climbing Khao Luang (Nakhon Si Thammarat), and Ranong : 11 - 16 April 2005

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Three days two nights climb to the southern Thailand highest peak Khao Luang mountain (1835 meters above the sea level) in Nakhon Si Thammarat province and a brief visit to Ranong - the border town with Myanmar on Andaman sea. Ond additional night was spent in Kiriwong vilage before the climb.
Kiriwong village The first night home stay at Kiriwong village at the foot of Khao Luang mountain. The villagers grow fruits, vegetables and flowers. Some people work as guides and porters for climbing trips. Only one group of maximum 10 people are allowed to climb the mountain per day to minimize the effect on the environment.

If you have time you can spend a night at the village to make friend with the guides and to learn about the village before the trekking into Khao Luang national park. The home stay program includes bed room with bedding and mosquitonet, and meals.

From the home stay house we crossed this river to the northern side of Kiriwong village where we started our ascent. The village is located about 20 km to the west of Nakhon Si Thammarat town which could be reached by bus, train or air from Bangkok.

On the east coast of southern Thailand (on the Gulf of Thailand sea) the rain falls almost every month. According to the data from 1990 to 2000 Nakhon Si Thammarat received heaviest rain in October, November and December. The driest months were February and March, April being the begining of the rainy season.
Kiriwong to Khao Luang

Begining of the hike The beginning of the trek. From the village there was a concrete path to the boundary of Khao Luang national park. We passed fruit and vegetable orchards. At a farm hut near a stream we cooked and had our lunch. After the lunch we entered the park area and walked under the shade of the trees.

The forest was green and we saw many different plants close to each other. From the ground to the high branches of large trees there were hugging, crawling and climbing plants. Even in April, generally the driest month in Thailand, the forest ground was holding some moisture. The forest ground

Thick ever green forest A beam of sun light dropping on the forest floor.

We were in the ever green rain forest of southern Thailand. Most of the time we were under the canopy of plants and leaves. First day walk was not difficult.

The atmosphere was very fresh and clean. The wind carried the pleasant smells of trees and flowers. It was total change from Bangkok's city life. Everywhere the color was green or earthern, or those of flowers. In the first day we walked about 5 hours to a place where we found water for camping. Evergreen rain forest

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