From the very start, Tontan Travel were so great in helping us plan our trip to Thailand. Once we finally made a decision on when to go and which tours to do, they organised our taxis for us, from Bangkok to Khao Yai, Khao Yai to Kaeng Krachan, and back to Bangkok at the end. This really took the hassle out of the trip and made it so much easier for us to enjoy - and the taxi drivers were always early and had a smile on their faces!
On our 2 day Wildlife tour in Khao Yai, we were very fortunate to see a male elephant quite early on, just strolling along the side of the road! Within a few paces, he was completely invisible within the trees - amazing for something so big! That first day we went on to have some amazing sightings - we saw a few stunning Great Hornbills, lots of gibbons communicating with each other (great calls!), sambar deer, dhole. Once on foot, we were blown away to see a Vogel's Pit Viper curled up after a feed. Absolutely stunning! We also saw a large scorpion and lots of crazy looking spiders, more gibbons returned for some great photo opportunities as well! On the way back to the hotel we saw what could only have been millions of bats!! On day 2, we saw lots of gorgeous Asian Water Dragons, loads of beautiful butterflies, and 2 more dhole dashing past unexpectedly!! On a walk by ourselves to a waterfall, we spotted a juvenile Large Eyed Pit Viper - there's something very rewarding about spotting a snake yourself!!! On our night drive, we saw some common Civets and 2 porcupines! We also saw a Jackal!!
On our first day in Kaeng Krachan, Tony and Tan picked us up from our hotel, and conversation flowed straight away - we knew this was going to be a great 3 days! The first snake we saw was a large Reticulated Python, but he was in shed, so not looking his best! After seeing a few stunning vine snakes, Ton spotted another Retic sunning himself and looking absolutely incredible! He was the perfect model for photos! Tan spotted a juvenile Vine Snake, which was great to see as they are a different colour when young. Tan then spotted a Red-necked Keelback - one of my favourite spots of the trip!!
On our night walk, some gorgeous frogs came out, as did the White-lipped Green Pit Vipers, which were amazing to see. Lots of other interesting bugs and spiders out and about as well!
The next day, we had a great trek along and across the stream, seeing loads of cool frogs, monitors and geckos, along with a few more Vine Snakes. As the second base of the park was closed at the time, after lunch Ton and Tan suggested a new location outside of the park with potential of finding a yet undescribed species of Pit Viper. As we headed out of the park Ton spotted a Golden Flying Tree Snake scaling a near smooth tree. Awesome to see! After a 2.5 hour drive we reached our destination just as the sun went down. It was very humid and the air was thick with mosquitoes. Within minutes we found our first snake - a gorgeous Mountain Bronzeback. After that it went a little quiet but after about an hour it started to get interesting and at one point we walked through a scattering of Fireflies. Whilst looking at a Cave Gecko in some detail Ton spotted a Common Wolf Snake, which was one of the species on my husband's "wish list”. He posed for some photos and was very calm and well behaved.
Shortly after, we heard the cry “Snake!!”. Ton had done it! He'd found the elusive Viper. It was just finishing its shed and so was looking stunning in its new skin. We also saw 2 Long-Nosed Vine Snakes. We were doing really well!!
On the way to a restaurant for dinner we stopped at a spot in the shrimp farms to look for dog-faced water snakes. This was a great spot for the snakes to catch fish and shrimps in the man-made pools and they were obviously thriving there as we saw 3. They were so different to the other snakes we had seen!
On the final day, we drove to Pala-U Waterfall at Kaeng Krachan, where we had a short downpour. This brought out the amphibians and we saw a Flying Lizard.
It was an eventful day in that we were chased by Macaques and a bull elephant but, unfortunately no snakes! Heading back to base, we were literally minutes away when, in the head lights of the car, we spotted a huge snake on the side of the road. An awesome 2 metre long Burmese Python. A fabulous way to end the trip!
We literally cannot fault any aspect of Tontan Travel - their knowledge is incredible, but they are always learning and new species are always being discovered, sometimes by them! They are fun to be around, easy to talk to, and Ton and Tan are a great partnership! We will not hesitate to recommend you to friends and we will definitely be planning another trip with you in the future, which we will look forward to immensely!
Huge thanks to you both!
All the best to you Ton, Tan and Ravel.
Tas and Adam
Tontan Travel wrote:
Many thanks for the lovely feedback. It was a pleasure to spent time with you, and with 25 snakes, 11 species, in 3 days, I think we did quite well.
And you are very welcome to return someday, to explore more of Thailand's diversity.
Best wishes, Ton & Tan