Yod Dom Wildlife Sanctuary เขตรักษาพันธุ์สัตว์ป่ายอดโดม gives access to Shrimp Parade (see separate post). Free entry.
Check out of my hotel in Ubon and take bus 4390 to Nam Yuen (10:08 - 10:47 Warin Chamrap วารินชำราบ, long break, 11:26 - 12:24 Det Udom, 12:42-14:11 Nam Yuen, along hwy 2214 which is a detour). 75 Baht, schedule is 10:00 departure from Ubon, 11:30 departure from Warin Chamrap. Total 4 hours for a distance of about 110 km.
There is not much activity at Nam Yuen bus station, I walk towards hwy 2248/2171 intersection and intend to hitchhike from there. But a man greats me and offers to take me there for 100 Baht (that's cheap for 15 km, under most favorable circumstances it would take me at least 1 hour, out of which 40 minutes walking, to get there, so I accept his offer). Ride 14:45-15:15.
At the wildlife sanctuary, there is a bit of confusion about my request for accommodation, some phone calls and waiting, finally I am in the room 15:45. All the officer's activities seemed in slow motion. I spotted cute boys earlier and wanted to get to the rapids as quickly as possible. While waiting for the room, I can see the road: more cars and mocy leaving than coming.
A popular spot for locals. These boys came from Ubon (and will drive back to Ubon with wet clothes on the back of the car!):
There are some food stalls at the parking near the rapids, open 8 am - 10 pm (but can close earlier when no more customers are around). Limited choice of food.
Around 6 pm I go back to my room and to my surprise someone put food in a bag in front of it. Around 7:30 I notice there is medium rain outside. I ponder whether to go to see parading shrimp (see following post) today or tomorrow, but then a ranger W comes and picks me up by car, and she has a spare torchlight (to put on the head) as well.
Wake up early (about 5 am) and go to see parading shrimp (a ranger takes me on mocy), back to bed, then breakfast (food left from yesterday) and nature trail (10-11:30, led by a ranger). Haven't been in forest in Thailand for a while, whenever you notice something on your skin, quickly check: could be ant, mosquito, spider. Around noon, inquire about transport options to Emerald Triangle and National Park, W offers to take me (will be posted seperately).
There are several dogs in the area, one of them is obviously blind, and looks like a zombie, but walks like a normal dog:
Get up early, check out, pay for the room: 1000 Baht for two nights. That's not cheap, but I think it's for the whole bungalow (4 beds and 3 additional mattresses). When I asked the days before, nobody could tell me the price as it would depend on water and electricity consumption (?). But if you include the good service (providing food, flashlights, driving me around), the price is justified. But there were power cuts, first night just minutes, second night half an hour (locals already got candles out). Poor mobile connection.
Return to Bangkok is arduous: 6:53-7:21 walk to hwy 2248, 7:26-43 hitchhike to Nam Yuen bus station, 8:03-9:45 bus 4308 to Det Udom (45 Baht), 10:13-11:42 bus 1460 to Ubon train station (35 Baht), 12:31-18:21 train to Korat (59 Baht; ORD 426, shedule 12:33-18:15), 19:20-00:05 train to Bangkok (425 Baht; SP. EXP 22, schedule 18:47-22:55, actually that train was from Ubon to Bangkok via Korat, but the train that ends in Korat left earlier in Ubon). That's 17 h and 564 Baht (googlemaps: about 620 km and 8 h by car).
Altogether, I think this is the maximum that can be achieved without own transport (when I left Ubon, I didn't know how to go the final 15 km to the park and if they have a free room, and I didn't consider that there might be no place to buy food in the area).
There is one bus from Ubon Ratchathani (line 4390, every day one bus at 10 am – I asked several people and got different answers, however I rode on the 10 am bus and the driver said it’s once per day). Alternatively, you can go to Det Udom เดชอุดม and change there to bus to Nam Yuen. From Nam Yuen, it’s about 15 km, you can take the bus 4311 Nam Yuen – Na Chaluay นาจะหลวย, or take mocy or hitchhike along hwy 2248 and walk the remaining 2 km.
There are buses from Bangkok to Na Chaluay (check number and time in Mor Chit bus station) and from Na Chaluay to Bangkok (two in the evening, saw the one that leaves Na Chaluay about 5 pm, and a friend pointed out people waiting along the road about 6 pm) that drive past on hwy 2248.
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