- May 22, 2017
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Namtok Phlio National Park
Namtok Phlio National Park in Chanthaburi is a wonderful mix of both history and wildlife.
The park was a favorite of King Rama V who visited there from time to time. Near the large waterfall at the end of the main trail is a bell shaped Chedi built by the king to mark the spot where he and the queen courted. When we visited it was blanketed in dried mosses, but in the rainy season the Chedi is reclaimed by mosses and small plants and transformed into a living green monument.
Also within the park is a pyramid containing some of the queen’s ashes which was built in her memory after she died in a boating accident.
The pyramid itself is not much to look at, but on closer inspection I began to notice that the tiny stingless bees had used the cracks of the pyramid to make their tubular nests. On one side of the pyramid the light was shining through their nests making them glow brightly against the predominantly green and grey background.
The park itself was a little dry and it wasn’t as easy as we’d though to spot wildlife, but after a little while of getting our eyes adjusted to the surroundings the wildlife began to appear.
We spotted a few of these cool moths (Cyclosia Panthona) that had a metallic blue sheen to their wings.
On our walks we saw, and stopped by a sign post which had some information about Indo-Chinese Water Dragons (Physignathus cocincinus) and decided to have a quick look to see if we could see any of them by the river but sadly we couldn’t see any. I was taking a picture of a butterfly that had flown behind the sign, and down towards the river when I could hear a park ranger calling me saying ‘here here’. I thought that I had wandered too close to the edge of the river bank when I noticed the ranger was waving me over to him. He ushered us closer and then pointed towards a rock overhanging the river, and there, sunning itself on the rock, was a beautiful Indo-Chinese Water Dragon.
The Chinese Water Dragons weren’t the only lizards out that day. We also saw a flying lizard and a few different species of skinks (including a heavily pregnant skink).
We urge travelers who visit Thailand, to give a chance to Chanthaburi and its breathtaking wildlife!
Author and photographer: Nick King