Gordon: Our second organized foray into the park was as enjoyable as the first.  We went for a swim in a clear natural stream, visited an open air market (far from a new experience), and then went to a cave full of bats.  The cave itself had some nice formations, and there were dozens of bats hanging and fluttering about.  They were quite small, perhaps the size of a mouse, and they were often delicately hanging by a single leg.  As the dusk approached we took up a position near another cave and watched more than two million bats fly out for a night of feeding on insects.  It takes about 45 minutes for the colony to emerge from the cave, and for this entire time they are continuously flying by with a quite audible rush of wings.

The next day we cycled up to the core of Khao Yai Park.  We were fortunate in being able to rent one of the limited number of bungalows operated by the Park.  This allowed us to spend the night in the Park so that we could go for a hike in the jungle in the afternoon.  We did not spot any significant wildlife, but it was a treat just to see the lush growth, including some truly enormous trees, an endless maze of vines, and the bizarre and creepy strangler fig trees.  Strangler figs grow up existing trees like a vine, but then they encircle the host tree and eventually strangle it to death.  In older strangler fig trees you can still see the void where the host tree used to be.

In the evening we were treated to the magic of fire flies, which Ruth had never seen before.
This morning we woke to the hooting calls of gibbons.  We left very early with the hope of seeing some wildlife during the early part of the day.  The 35 kilometre ride to the park gate was superb.  It is mostly downhill, along the narrow park highway.  Although we were once again unsuccessful in spotting elephants, we did see Giant Squirrels, Great Hornbills, and a number of troupes of macaques.  Apart from the animals, the early day light on the jungle vegetation was gorgeous.

Late in the morning we rolled out onto the coastal plain that extends from Bangkok.  It was about 32 degrees, an unpleasant increase from the daily range of 16 to 26 degrees we enjoyed at 700 metres in the Park.

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