Jungle Trekking, Sangkhlaburi

The day we went trekking outside of Sangkhlaburi, it was 52C outside. Apparently that’s 126F.

 It was f***ing hot.

 There are vast expanses of stunning national park to explore in the area, and you should find that your hostel or guesthouse can arrange a trek for you- whether it’s for one day or six. If you’re unsure or find yourself somewhere that won’t help you book something, I know the Oh!Dee hostel are happy to make arrangements – and while you’re there, you can spend a couple of baht on doing your laundry in their open-to-anyone washers and dryers.

We went for a 5 hour march in the heat, led by two guides – a child of undetermined age and one actual full-sized adult. They were fantastic.

 The ride to the start point was on winding dirt tracks and featured some beautiful mountain scenery in itself. You’ll definitely want to take a scarf and sunglasses to cover your face with if you’re travelling in the dry season- we ended up so heavily coated in dirt that it looked like a bad fake tan. Luckily, walking around for 5 hours in the heat made sure that we sweated it all off! When you’re packing your scarf, make sure you stick PLENTY of water in your backpack too. I got through 6 litres just by quietly melting in the sunshine.

Seen above and below are my photos of a jaw-dropping bat cave we were taken to, and I’ve gotta say, the photos don’t do justice to how amazing the place was. There are quite a few big, easily-reachable caves in the Erawan National Park so you should find it easy to explore one of your own- perhaps at Baan Sai Yoke or Wang Badan. The cool cave air is a nice respite from the humidity outside, and even in the dry season we managed to find a couple of shaded streams to splash about in, though the waterfall above had dried up for the summer.

 There was evidence of people having camped in the cave – as well as this precarious home-made ladder to a ledge above us…

 Even though we went on the hottest day that anybody has probably ever decided to trek through a jungle on, it was a mind-blowing and unforgettable day for every sweaty member of the group. Whilst we didn’t see any sun bears or big cats, they have been spotted in the national park in the past- which is why our adult guide was carrying a gun, though he said he’d only used it once on a snake many years ago.

Wear long trousers in a very light fabric and closed shoes that will survive a bit of scrambling and a lot of walking, and as I mentioned before, do not forget your water!

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