For more pics from this site click here: Hala-bala, Thailand
After being in Bala for a month I decided to drive to Hala. First, the road to Hala from Bala is not very long. About 75-100 KM from Bala. But, that road is extremely dangerous. Two days ago three men were killed there. The leader of the village and two others. This area is extremely dangerous and needs to be researched before coming here. After talking to the local rangers and the police I decided on an alternate route. About 200-250 KM from Bala. I take allot of precautions here. And most of it is unnecessary. But I would rather be safe than sorry.
Once there I arranged for a long boat to take me into the heart of the jungle. This has got to be the best eye candy in the area. The morning mist being burned away by the slowly rising sun was simply amazing to see while heading up river.
This area is not tourist infested to say the least. Very nice and friendly people. Once you get into these parks the people are amazing. Making your stay here very enjoyable. But, getting here and not having accommodations that most people want make it a little trying at times.
There was a crew from PBS filming when I arrived and I got a chance to talk to them. They filled me in on some of the action in the park. So very lucky to have run into them.
My time in this area was brief. And I will return very soon. If interested, check back later.
My target was the gaur (/ˈɡaʊər/, Bos gaurus). I have seen it several times in Thailand ( very far away ). But I wanted to try and get close to it and view it close quarter. This required a long boat and going up river in the dark?
It was extremely dark at 4:30 AM. when I started the journey. A very experienced river guide is very necessary . Even then we hit a hidden log that almost capsized the boat. I had a lump in my throat for a while after that. My 300 mm lens and camera would of been toast if we capsized.
Arriving before dawn and hugging the river bank as the sun rose. There they were. gaur (/ˈɡaʊər/, Bos gaurus) and a chance to view them up close. I was so lucky. I talked to many that have made the trip and not seen anything.
gaur (/ˈɡaʊər/, Bos gaurus) 300mm lens.
Do not think the birding here is easy. It is NOT. There are a lot of birds no doubt. But, patience and scouting the area is necessary. Know your fruiting trees, know your prey. It is not hard, but it is very important to know the food source and location of the food for your intended bird or animal. An interesting hobby to say the least.
And PLEASE do not make the trip if not a wildlife enthusiast. As well as a experienced birder. This is not an area you should be in while learning the basics. It is hostile and very raw.
If you think you want to see the area, find a local guide first. Do not scrimp on price. Be extremely careful. You need to realize when you read this blog. I have been here for years and am just getting to the point where I can explore these places. I do it alone, and without a guide. But I speak the language enough to get by. I am a very seasoned wildlife enthusiast who lives here. And I myself get a little concerned at times.