Another sunny weekend and another national park to explore. This time we headed to Ton Prai Waterfall a little further afield than we usually go but well worth the trip.The park was beautiful and has definitely taken a spot in my top 5 favourites here in Phang-nga province.
We hadn’t even entered the car park when I spotted a lizard on the road and had to stop to let it move to safety. As I inched the car closer I was blown away to see that it wasn’t a garden lizard or forest lizard we always see but a butterfly lizard, a species I’ve never seen before but have always wanted to see. I slowly inched the car forward to where Carly could wind down the window and snap some shots of them.I couldn’t believe it, we hadn’t even got into the park and I’d crossed butterfly lizard (Leiolepis belliana) off my animal bucket list.
Once we entered and parked the car we got ready to head off to see the waterfall. The walk to the waterfall was very scenic and the path in most places was just a tangle of roots, interwoven so thickly that it had made a natural path running alongside the river.
Not far from the car park we spotted this cool butterfly a Plain Nawab (Polyura hebe) …..
As we continued on, skinks were scuttling across our path in all directions. As we walked down the path one particular creature that moved off the path caught my eye; it was a snake. It quickly slithered away and hid in a tree trunk on the edge of the path.
With a little coaxing the snake left its hiding place but I wasn’t prepared for what happened next……
The snake darted out of its hiding place and came slithering along the side of the tree with lightning speed towards me. It stopped right near my shoe…… I was now frozen on the spot with a snake I hadn’t ID’d yet dangerously close to my foot.
After getting a closer look at the snake, I figured that it was a Green Keelback (Rhabdophis nigrocinctus). Keelbacks aren’t as dangerous as a Krait or a Cobra but they’re still not a snake to be triffled with. Some species in the same genus (Rhabdophis) have been shown to be able to cause life threatening bites so I wasn’t going to take any chances with this snake. I slowly moved my foot away from the snake and it turned and slithered back into the tree and this time dissapeared for good somewhere inside the tree trunk.
We finally got to the waterfall and it was worth the hike, it was a great place to take a dip to cool down after a hot and humid walk through the jungle and the views were pretty great too.
After taking a dip to cool off we decided to head back into the jungle and go up a different path we spotted on the way to the waterfall. It was really starting to get hot and so on the way I stopped for a swim at a nice shady pool in the jungle.
After cooling off we headed back down the path and then up a steep walkway that cut across the river and went straight up a hill and into the jungle. Our hike turned out to be a bit anticlimactic and after half an hour we found ourselves out of the jungle and among rubber and durian trees. We decided to head back down the hill. We hadn’t realised how tired we were until we began our descent, we were swarmed by mosquitos and the steep hill was really testing our legs. We were about half way down the hill when I spotted something brightly coloured on a tree trunk beside the path.
It was a lantern bug, an insect I could now cross off my bucket list.
The lantern bug was the perfect end to the day, I’d always wanted to see one and after taking some photos our legs had had a chance to rest and we were ready to finish or walk and head home.
Here are some of the other cool things we saw that day