Cruising through Khao Yai National Park with the saleng!

Our crazy road trip around Thailand and Laos on a tricycle (saleng).
  • Saleng expedition #56
  • Phayayen > Khao Yai National Park > Nakhon Nayon
  • 213 km / 132 miles

Khao Yai National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site and most visited reserve in Thailand. Even after seeing many national parks in Thailand, Khao Yai was on our list. We drove from Phayayen to the park to get information about sleeping in the park since it was hard to find detailed information online.

Before we entered, at around 15:00, we heard this strange noise coming out of the chain of the saleng... we forgot all about changing the oil! The last time was in Vang Vieng, Laos, and now we are 1500 km / 932 miles further down! How stupid! The mechanic laughed at us when we asked to CHANGE the oil, nothing to change - OOOPS.

Strange noise problem solved quickly.

After 'fixing' the bike we thought we were ready for the park, entered with the saleng for 400 Bath per person plus 30 Bath for the saleng. Soon we found out it really is a huge park! Head quarters is 14 KM down the road and the speed limit was 60 KM per hour. Apparently a national road (2090) goes right through the park... The road signs were very amusing, first I thought this was more about getting visitors excited but the animals popped up quite fast! OK, we didn't drive up the mountain in one go, we had to push the saleng several times, but the views were amazing!

Driving to the headquarters of Khao Yai National Park.

Khao Yai National Park headquartes.

All over the park the rangers were happy to help us out (with or without speaking English). We found accommodation for about 600 Bath at the headquarters. The souvenir shop is also impressive, as big and diverse as a theme park souvenir shop. Outside I saw the first 'proper' animal! A deer kept following me!

Sunset at the Sai Sorn reservoir with salt lick!

After seeing this amazing sunset it was dinner time. With a few hundred people sleeping in campgrounds, bungalows and other accommodation it is not surprising that there are a few restaurants in the park. The only thing I didn't realize: They ALL close at 18:00 when the park closes! We found out after driving for about one hour from one area to the other, it's a massive reserve! Maybe it's the law or for preventing problems, I don't know. The little convenient store at the headquarters closed at 19:00, so we were really lucky to get hold of something! Some instant noodles, crisps and eggs just made the day!

Sleeping in Khao Yai National Park.

Our accommodation was close to the helicopter platform and the headquartes. The bed sheets and towels were printed with the national park logo, a little bit of 'theme park' again but well organized. At the campground areas blankets and sleeping mattresses were put outside to fresh up. We even found a place were they sell gasoline. We used a lot going up the mountains and driving around in this huge park.

Early morning visiting the Nong Pak Chi wildlife watching tower, around 07:00.

Many deers and monkeys are looking for food around the accomodation areas, they are not afraid at all! A monkey climbed up the saleng and grabbed my rain coat.

Heaw Suwat Water Fall, not really impressive during dry season.

Hitchhikers in the saleng, luckily the roads were flat! So funny!!!

Cruising through Khao Yai National Park with the saleng!

Sp3hotel in Nakhon Nayok.

We found this recently opened hotel online. It's great! New, smart and lovely built with a swimming pool, a sort of pool bar (imported beers) and rooftop terraces. Nice and friendly people! Breakfast is included and you can order some snacks as well. For dinner you can drive to town.

Accommodation recommendation: Sp3 Hotel, Ban Wang Ton
Book with

STEAK ON BUS, a great restaurant about 4 km from Sp3hotel, bring your own wine from Tesco!

To be continued, stay tuned!

  • 5490 km / 3411 miles done total
  • 510 km / 317 miles to go
  • 82 days done
  • 10 days to go
  • 42 provinces crossed
  • 3 provinces to go

Phuket - Phang Nga - Ranong - Chumphon - Prachuap Khiri Khan - Phetchaburi - Ratchaburi - Kanchanaburi - Suphanburi - Ayutthaya - Lopburi - Singburi - Chainat - Uthai Thani - Nakhon Sawan - Phichit - Phitsanulok - Sukhothai - Uttaradit - Phrae - Lampang - Lamphun - Chiang Mai - Mae Hong Son - Chiang Rai - Bokeo - Luang Namtha - Udomxai - Luang Prabang - Vientiane (khwaeng) - Vientiane (prefecture) - Kamphaeng Nakhon Wieng Chan - Bolikhamsai - Khammuan - Nakhon Phanom - Mukdahan - Kalasin - Roi Et - Maha Sarakham - Buriram - Nakhon Ratchasima - Nakhon Nayok - Pathum Thani - Nonthaburi - Bangkok

Saleng expedition, intro
Phuket Town to Laem Phrao, and we're off! (Saleng 1)
Laem Phrao to Khao Lak, the Dutch bobsled team! (Saleng 2)
Khao Lak to Praphat, thumbs up! (Saleng 3)
Praphat to Ko Phayam, saleng on board! (Saleng 4)
Ko Phayam, time to relax! (Saleng 5)
Ko Phayam to Ranong, hot springs & Loy Krathong! (Saleng 6)
Ranong to Thung Wua Laen (Chumphon), coast to coast! (Saleng 7)
Thung Wua Laen (Chumphon) to Bang Boet Bay, scenic route! (Saleng 8)
Bang Boet Bay to Thap Sakae, we have a problem! (Saleng 9)
Thap Sakae to Prachuap Khiri Khan, aircrafts crossing! (Saleng 10)
Prachuap Khiri Khan to Hua Hin, snakes and dead end roads! (Saleng 11)
Hua Hin, we need business cards! (Saleng 12)
Hua Hin to Petchaburi, visiting a tropical vine yard! (Saleng 13)
Petchaburi, amazing cave temple and aggressive monkeys! (Saleng 14)
Petchaburi to Kanchanaburi, discovering the walking directions of Google Maps! (Saleng 15)
Kanchanaburi, King's Day & Light & Sound Festival 2015 (Bridge over the river Kwae)! (Saleng 16)
Kanchanaburi, Bridge Over The River Kwae! (Saleng 17)
Kanchanaburi to Ayutthaya, being the attraction and escort service! (Saleng 18)
Ayutthaya, writing Thai and some cultural differences! (Saleng 19)
Ayutthaya, ruins, strange tuk-tuks and Christmas time! (Saleng 20)
Ayutthaya to Lopburi, going Dutch! (Saleng 21)
Lopburi, bikers in monkey town! (Saleng 22)
Lopburi to Pho Prathap Chang, why didn't we get a car? (Saleng 23)
Pho Prathap Chang to Sukhothai, HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY Birthday! (Saleng 24)
Sukhothai, saleng at UNESCO World Heritage site! (Saleng 25)
Sukhothai to Phrae, we're not the slowest! (Saleng 26)
Phrae, think big! (Saleng 27)
Phrae to Lampang, 2000 km done! (Saleng 28)
Lampang, ladies not allowed! (Saleng 29)
Lampang to San Kamphaeng, visiting an elephant hospital! (Saleng 30)
San Kamphaeng to Chiang Mai, we made it before Christmas! (Saleng 31)
Chiang Mai to Mae Hong Son, Christmas time in the tropics! (Saleng 32)
Mae Hong Son to Chiang Mai, Mae Hong Son loop with saleng! (Saleng 33)
Muay Thai in Chiang Mai! (Saleng 34)
Countdown party 2016 in Chiang Rai! (Saleng 35)
Saleng to Mae Salong, the little engine that could! (Saleng 36)
Mae Salong to Chiang Khong, opium at the Golden Triangle! (Saleng 37)
Border crossing with saleng, we're in Laos! (Saleng 38)
Luang Namtha outdoor adventures! (Saleng 39)
It's too cold in the tropics! (Saleng 40)
Off the beaten track! (Saleng 41)
Relaxing in Luang Prabang! (Saleng 42)
Peak performance: Saleng at 1900 meters /6233 feet! (Saleng 43)
Tubing in Vang Vieng! (44)
Eating dust while reaching 4000 KM / 2485 miles! (Saleng 45)
Fixing the bike, one more time! (Saleng 46)
Reaching base camp, Thakhek loop with extreme cold weather! (Saleng 47)
Konglor Cave, underground river adventure! (Saleng 48)
Finishing the Thakhek Loop with the saleng! (Saleng 49)
Relaxing in Thakhek! (Saleng 50)
Border crossing with an unidentified object! (Saleng 51)
Farang in Isaan! (Saleng 52)
Reaching 5000 KM / 3107 miles around Roi Et! (Saleng 53)
Tree hugging and Khmer temples in Phimai! (Saleng 54)
Tasting new latitude wines in Khao Yai! (Saleng 55)
Cruising through Khao Yai National Park with the saleng! (Saleng 56)
We made it to Bangkok! The final chapter! (Saleng 57)
SOLD the saleng! (Saleng 58)

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