We were dropped off at a town near the park, and settled into our bungalow with mixed feelings for our new home base. We are staying in a large complex of bungalows which are about five meters off the ground, elevated and supported by concrete pillars. Connecting and leading to the front doors of all the bungalows is a long concrete walkway. Outside our complex, the town consists of only restaurants, bungalows, and tour agencies offering elephant trekking, caving, and other fun things to do around the national park. It appears that the town was built around, and thrives upon, tourists. I have ambiguous feelings about the community. I am definitely wishing I was back at the beach resort. Still, I am starting to enjoy being in real Asia once more.
After settling in, we wandered through the national park, a short walk’s distance away. Inside the park, we found several streams and small ponds and a whole lot of bamboo. The wide dirt path leading through the park was long and rocky. Occasional small paths turned off of the main trail and lead to swimming holes on the river. The water was beautiful, but the shores were infested with leaches. My mom had a leach try to catch a ride between her toes. She pulled it off to find a pool of seeping blood where the leach used to be. I, thankfully, did not pick up any tiny hitchhikers and my skin has no black squirming things anywhere in sight.
We soon got tired, walked back to the tourist town and, after a small dinner, back to our cozy bungalow. Tomorrow we will take a boat to a floating bungalow on a lake where we plan to stay the next few days.
Thank you for reading Rohan Geographic!