Khao Yai on pause

It was just a week or so that Khao Yai National Park, one of the most popular national parks of the country and now a critical testing ground of the “New Normal” nature based tourism, was still much serene. That was when it was closed off to tourists following the restriction and lockdown measures against the spread of the Coronavirus.

And like other national parks, wild animals started to parade into spots which were once crowded by tourists, reclaiming their space. A big herd of wild elephants next to the road, a rare serow behind a sign of the park’s famed cliff, a fox walking along the roadside, and so on, all remind visitors that this is their home!

As Khao Yai and other some 60 national parks are fully reopened for visitors, there is a real challenge ahead how to keep the equilibrium between tourism, which once much spoiled the places and serene and peaceful surroundings.

The new concept of carrying capacity has been introduced to help cap the number and activities of tourists, but what is also needed indeed is awareness and knowledge of visitors on how to appreciate nature properly.

Also read: Tourism in parks goes “New Normal”

A big herd of wild elephants shows up in a vast grassland near the road.
Photo courtesy of Khao Yai National Park/ Suparat Duangmala
A barking deer captured by the Khao Yai park staff at Khao Yai.
A fox shows up in the evening.
Photo courtesy of Khao Yai National Park/ Chananya Kanchanasakha
A big heard of guars spotted at night in the park’s grassland.
Photo courtesy of Khao Yai National Park/ Santipab Bhumiworapong
A rare leopard cat spotted at night at the park.
Photo courtesy of Khao Yai National Park/ Santipab Bhumiworapong.
An otter captured swimming playfully in the park’s stream.
Photo courtesy of Khao Yai National Park/ Wannapa Sodklang.
A gibbon’s jump at the park.
Photo courtesy of Khao Yai National Park/ Wannapa Sodklang
Another gibbon captured while feeding at the park.
Photo courtesy of Khao Yai National Park/ Wannapa Sodklang
A rare Blyth’s Hornbill spotted at the park.
Photo courtesy of Khao Yai National Park
A monkey with a baby hanging strolls on the road in the park.
A fox jumps out of the bush by the roadside cautiously.
Also spotted on the road is this cobra king snake!
Photo courtesy of Khao Yai National Park/ Theptat Chanmat
A rare serow spotted at the park’s iconic attraction, Diew Dai cliff.
Photo courtesy of DNP/ Bu-nhga Sriboon