On Monday, Ed dragged my sleepy behind out of bed (I’ve been having trouble falling asleep lately which leads to tough mornings), made sure I ate and got dressed then ushered me out the door. We biked to school only to notice that there was a clear lack of students.
Turns out it was some kind of planning week, so the students were off until Friday when they’d stop by for a fundraiser/housewarming party.
We tried to help out anyway, but with our very basic Thai, there wasn’t much we could make ourselves useful with. The staff suggested we come back on Thursday to help set up for the party and, being exhausted from the heat and lack of sleep, we thought that was an excellent idea.
Since we’d been planning to visit the Ngao Waterfall and the school is about halfway between our apartment complex and the park, we figured “why not” and biked the several remaining kilometers.
It took awhile, but the road is flat so it’s not like we’d put in a lot of hard work before we saw the Ngao National park sign.
The entrance fee for foreigners was 100 Baht each (about 3.33USD), which we decided was reasonable (despite the sign looking like it indicated 20 Baht for locals). There aren’t many places nearby for locals to go and explore the great outdoors, so we felt like we were contributing to our host community by visiting the park and paying the foreigner entrance fee.
There are a couple of hiking trails and, of course, the famed Ngao Waterfall.
I did some reading on the park after our visit and found out that there is quite a bit of wildlife (including elephants!!!) residing there, but we weren’t lucky enough to see anything. We also didn’t explore the hiking trails much since we were wearing our school shoes (aka sandals) which really don’t offer much protection from anything looking to nip at us from the ground.
Another thing we didn’t discover until afterwards is that our entry fee includes the nearby hot springs, which we may or may not have been interested in visiting. Both Ed and I enjoy hot springs, but they are less attractive when you’re already on the verge of being ill from overheating. (We got hit by quite the heatwave last week – even I, the heat immune warrior, was a little unsettled by it.)
One thing we did do is get decent pictures of the region.
There are some elevated cabins that I think you can rent for the night, not sure how safe I’d feel in one! The stairs were sturdy to climb so I took the picture above, the one where you can see a wall, from the front porch. It looks like there are some ground cabins too for less adventurous souls.
So all in all, it’s one of those places that, you know, I wouldn’t specifically come to Ranong for, but being here already, it’s a lovely spot for a picnic, walk in the woods and a relaxing few hours. Or perhaps, if you really enjoy it, a couple of nights.