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Thailand Photos: Hike to Khao Ron, highest peak in Khao Yai national park: 15 - 16 October 2005

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This trip demonstrates the need of careful preparation and good knowledge for walking on an off the beaten trail in the jungle. Khao Ron is the highest mountain peak in Khao Yai at 1351 meters above the sea level. Climbing it from Khao Kaeo, another mountain to the south-west, is not difficult since it is only 2.5 km ascent on an relatively moderate slope. However the trails are animal tracks and are covered by growing plants and thorns. Ones need to carefully observe the surrounding not to lose the direction. In this trip, after reaching the peak, I intended to descend to Khao Laem grassland in the north.
Begining of the trail to Khao Ron - from Khao Kaeo  Plants on the jungle floor
The trail usually used for climbing to Khao Ron starts at a place on the road to Khao Kaeo radar station. The trail head elevation is around 1100 meters, and it is roughly 2.5 km through the thick forest along animal tracks to the peak. In October the ground was found still moist and forest floor was covered by greenery and occasional flowers.

Mushrooms growing on a dead tree  Dead tree becomes ground and food for new plants
The forest eco-system in work; the dead trees become foundation and food for other plants such as these mushrooms.

A dry spot on the forest floor  Animal foot print
Left: there are also some dry spots on the hill in the end of rainy season. Designers can collect the forest floor photos to create patterns for floor plates used in the buildings. There are many animal tracks covering the mountain. On the trail I saw many foot prints. This one (Right) may belong to a wild pig. Foot prints of wild dogs, deers; and elephant droppings were also found.

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