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Thailand Photos: Trek in Phu Toei national park, Khao Thawanda mountain, Ban Taphoen Khi Karen village - Suphanburi province (21 - 23 Oct 2006)

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This month short survey trip to Phu Toei national park was a break from 8 hours aday sticking nose and eyes at the rectangular magic box. It was also a combination of a bit of climbing, waterfall walking, camping and a glimpse into a Karen hilltribe village life. Taphoen Khi (Ta Poen Kee) Karen village and the waterfalls with the same name, Khao Thawada (Thawanda) mountain are the highlights of this nature walk.

Sunrise view in Dan Chang town
Within 300 meters from the bus station two small guesthouses are available in Dan Chang. They are cheap and basic, rooms attached with private bath room. About 3.5 hours by public bus from Bangkok, in the north-western corner of Suphanburi province it is a small town surrounded by low hills and farm fields.

Ta Poen Kee waterfall
Ta Poen Kee waterfall. From Dan Chang it is nearly 40 km to the sub station 1 of Phu Toei national park. It is still another 10 plus km on dirt track to the headquarters. Thapoen Khi waterfall is located 500 meters from the unpaved rough road to the village with the same name. The stream originates in the hills at the forested hills at the corners of three provinces: Uthai Thani, Kanchanaburi and Suphanburi, and flows to the south to enter Kwai Yai river.

Walking over the stream
We started walking from the dirt road, around 10 km to the south of Ban Taphoen Khi village, passing the stream again and again. The begining was an easy pushing yourselves through the plants and tree branches. Later the trail begun to pass a bit of difficult sections where you had to walk up the waterfalls. From that point on we were the only ones going ahead as other visitors were to go back to the road for camping in the park's headquarters.

Climbing the waterfall
A particularly demanding part where you have no choice but to walk up the stone face with waterfall. You need to know where you can put your feet on with safety. Slippery faces must be advoided even though it might look easier to walk up.

Taphoen Khi Noi waterfall
Taphoen Khi Noi waterfall. A beautiful fall in the middle of thick jungle - cool, freshly green and relaxing. The waterfall is about midway to the Khao Thawada (Thewanda) peak in terms of walking time.

A rest place at the foot of Khao Thawada mountain
After two hours trekking in the forest we emerged at a corner of Taphoen Khi village with a rest place, and fields of fruits, vegetable and corns on the hillsides. The background of the photo is Khao Thawanda hill peak.

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