Page 3 of fer de lance Travel Blog Posts

Still in Costa Rica, Guanacaste region. Apart from Santa Rosa national park I went before, the Rincon de la Vieja park, is the other must-visited park in the region for nature lovers. Even in dry season, it has forests more humid than lower altitudes near the ocean, with very big trees like ceibas. It has a good network of trails. In the forest, you can see many types of birds, like the beautiful mot-mot, even some largers ones like the members of the guan family, and many medium sized rodents, like the agoutis. Don't forget the lizards! Those who want adventure can go to climb the volcano, (check with visitor center first). Many volcanic features can be seen in the trails, like fumeroles, mud pots, etc... Check here, waterhole boiling because of volcanic heat: There are ... read more
ameiva lizard

In this trip, one place I really wanted to go was Santa Rosa national park. It is a good example of well preserved dry tropical forest. In these forests, during dry season, most of the trees shed their leaves. It's like fall season in temperate places, except that it's scorching hot! On the plus side, animals are easier to spot and photograph. The park is not busy like Rincon de la Vieja, and you have some trails all for yourself. We entered from South side, and did all the trails before arriving to the coast. You can visit part of the park with a car. But the last kilometers before the sea is really rough. We did not regret the 4WD. We saw many animals, and some I never saw before. It's a relaxing place and ... read more
guanacaste trees on highway
On a trail

Ah Costa Rica, definitively my best place in tropical Americas!! Political stability, lots of national parks that you can visit on your own, many animals ... a paradise for animal's lover! Guanacaste region is the driest of the country ..... in dry season. It looks like end of fall in temperate regions except that it's scorching hot! But good things is that animals are easier to spot and that sky is always blue. I stayed in Playa Hermosa Condovac. Views of the bay are superb. The beach is long and part of it is wild. From my balcony, I can see howler monkeys, coatis and parrots almost every morning! Check coatis on my balcony: I show you a couple of pictures of the surroundings. I then go to explore the region.... read more
Three shades of blue

Asia » Thailand April 16th 2018

This trip was a total success!! i was able to complete my objectives - see 5 different chosen wild animals and photograph them. And I need to say I had pleasant bonuses as well in this matter. :-) It's also a kind of a rematch for this region. I explain. I went to the Philippines almost 20 years ago for a wedding. I wanted to do some nature ecotourism on free time, but nothing really worked! By a combination of factors, we lacked sleep most of the time, didn't adapt to jet lag very well, and were not able visit any of the nature spots out of the city as we were not really prepared for it. I was happy to go anyway for the wedding and we did visit some places in the city. But ... read more
road near khao yai village
sambar deer
bridge to falls in Khao Yai park

Asia » Thailand April 12th 2018

After 3 weeks in the country, I really wanted to go to Kuiburi park to end it well. Remember in my 1st blog on Thailand, my objective was to see and take pictures of 5 different wild animals. Only one animal was missing from my 'list': the elephant. I saw so many signs of their presence in Khao Yai park that I felt that with 2 or 3 days more a that place, I would have succeeded!! But finally, I have reached my objective, (YAHOO!!!), in Kuiburi. And I didn't only see one elephant, but 17.... Park rangers told us we were lucky that day because we began to see animals around 2pm, and usually, tourist begin to see animals at end of the afternoon. Is it because of the many storms there was the day ... read more
Is he laughing? :-)

Asia » Thailand » Southern Thailand April 8th 2018

We began to slowly head up North to Bangkok. i tried to divide my return trip in smaller chunks to appreciate it a bit more. Watching Thailand's map, to go from Khao Sok or Khao Lak to Bangkok, would require 3 steps to make the trip not too hard. It would then be; Khao Sok - Chumphon - Pranburi, (i liked that place) - Bangkok. Chumphon. This is a region that is never mentioned anywhere, but usually is a pit stop along the road. Using hotel booking website, found a very nice hotel in that region according to reviews, and price was really good. It was Villa Varich. Without a GPS you wouldn't find that place!!! You leave the main road, and very rapidly, the road signs don't have english anymore!!! But that place, is really ... read more
Villa Varich grounds
indian roller

Asia » Thailand » South-West Thailand » Khao Lak April 6th 2018

We left Khao Sok national park , and headed South to Phang Nga for a quick detour. Before you arrive to Phang Nga city, you have the choice to go along the coast or cross the mountains. We crossed the mountains. There are very sharp turns. At some point, there's a viewpoint where you can see many limestone hills. It's a quiet place. Then you go down, and arrive to Phang Nga city. The city is surrounded by lime pillars. In the center a very large park allows to stretch, relax and take pictures. Further along the road, we arrived to Ao Phang Nga marine park. A tons of boats can bring you to see the lime formations in the sea, and take a look at the famous "James Bond Island". Personally, I saw so many ... read more
Water monitor lizard
Flying lizard that landed on me
amphibious fish

Asia » Thailand March 29th 2018

Compared to Khao Yai NP in the North, Khao Sok has a couple of things that makes it not ideal for wildlife watching and has missing infrastructure. First, let's say that the park is divided in two parts: 1- On East side, near the dam, you can access park with boat tours. Personally, when I checked what was offered in those tours, I find it too expensive. It's true that the landscape with the limestone mountains is dramatic. But since I drove from the North all the way up to Khao Sok, I saw limestone mountains all over the place during the trip. Maybe it's not the same for you. Also, if you hope to see animals from the boat tours, you might, but it's not very likely. There are some caves to visit, but I ... read more
ratchaprapha from viewpoint
ratchaprapha lake

Asia » Thailand » Southern Thailand March 27th 2018

I am not a fan of huge beach resorts like in Cancun, with all the noise and concrete. That's what you would find in Phuket or Hua Hin in Thailand. Pranburi region in upper Thailand gulf region, is about 2-2.5 hours from Bangkok, is a quiet place, with many accommodations and natural parks nearby, (Khao Sam Rot Yot). I stayed there two times, when I headed South and when I got back. You can find very quiet beaches without having to go far. You also begin to see all these lime pillars in the landscape, so typical of south-East Asia. This is part of what is called a karst topography, (lime rock with texture of swiss cheese, with caves, sinkholes, underground rivers, etc...). In rainy tropical places, the topography is more dramatic. You can see many ... read more
Khao sam roi yot
Khao sam roi yot

Asia » Thailand March 26th 2018

As promised, I take some time to share with you my experience on driving in Thailand. :-) If you want to cover a lots of grounds in a short while, and stop at many places, the most convenient way is with a car. After some of my previous trips in which I drove, some friends asked me: "How many MONTHS did you spent in that place to see and do all of this...". Most of the time, it's always 2-3 weeks maximum... Here are some points to consider. a-Price: it's true that it will cost you more to rent a car than take the bus. In Thailand, I rented a small Honda for 3 weeks, and the cost was 800$ including full insurance. That's not that expensive, comparing to other countries. But if your budget is ... read more

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