After my first trip to Thung Yai, in April 2012, I mentally swore an oath to myself never to go back. Not that I did not like being in the pristine and very remote Thung Yai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary. It was just that, riding in the back of the trucks, I had too many near misses with bamboo of all sizes, on the side and even above the dirt road we travelled upon. Then, there was the real danger of knocking myself in the head against a roll bar… I just didn’t feel that lucky to try it a second time.
So, I surprised myself when our head monk Lunpaw Boon Long asked me to go on a work trip to Thung Yai in late December 2013. My wife was very surprised because I had already turned down two previous invites to go back to Thung Yai and she also knew my attitude toward the dangers I felt I could not put myself though again.
Yeah, it was a bit of a surprise to all us us – even Lungpaw Boon Long.
What attracted me to this trip was that I would be one of the drivers in and (if I did well) out. So, for me it would be unquestionably my longest 4WD trip and undoubtedly most adventurous.
Thong Pha Phum mountains above Lungpu Sakhon's temple, our staging area