DIGITAL SURVEY REPORT
5OCT20 - THAILAND'S GOLDEN CATS
Khao Yai National Park - Nakorn Nayok - Thap Lan National Park - Prachinburi
Huay Kha Kheng Wildlife Sanctuary - Uthai Thani - Thung Naresuan Sanctuary - Tak
Client: Lion Mountain Media (South Africa), National Geographic (United States)
APPLICATION SUBMISSION TRIP - 5OCT20
The primary purpose of the trip was to submit our application paperwork at the Park Headquarter Offices and at the same time, use the time spent to gather as much information as possible about the production details of the various locations. This was not a deep-jungle scouting in order to photograph the animals, as that would involve multiple days of hiking, proper permissions to enter, and staking out. This is just an overview survey of the area in general so we can plan the production details for you.
These are the four areas suggested to us by the officials based on the list of animals we submitted. Two areas are under the control of The National Parks, and other two are Wildlife Sanctuaries, with shared control between the National Parks and Ministry of Wildlife and Conservation.
KHAO YAI NATIONAL PARK
Khao Yai National Park is the most commercialized of all the other parks we visited. This is a popular tourist destination, and also a lot of film production has taken place here over the years. So, the authorities are used to the income it provides. At the very center of the park there are a network of roads that link together a couple of tourist destinations (waterfalls, lake, viewpoints, walking trails, etc). Leading off this area are rural, off-trail (uncharted) off-roads that lead into the jungle in all directions. These roads only extend so far into the jungle, and the rest of the trail has to be continued on foot.
PRECISE CO-ORDINATES: 14.5078186 101.37887194444444 (Use the Northern Entrance Gate)
TRAVEL TIME FROM BANGKOK = 3 hrs (185 km)
The above map was provided to us by the park office, (they have a higher-resolution version available onsite). The yellow marked pathways show all the off-road paths that lead into the jungle itself, which is not visible on Google Maps and can only be seen on this map. So each day of your shoot would be planned based on individual off-road paths, where you drive in as far as possible and then continue on foot. Planning your shooting schedule either by camping there or returning back to the accommodation site accordingly.
The following area charts (PDF) were also provided to us by the park office. But it only shows the infrastructure layout of the park.
Unlike the other three areas, Khao Yai officials did not show us a chart or availability zones of where all the animals are located. Based on our list, they said that almost all of the animals apart from the flat-headed cat can be found in the jungle. They can help us with the assistance of their park rangers and local villagers to take us inside the jungle, especially near the watering holes but the rest would depend on our timing and luck. Most common and likely to be found would be the Dhole (Asiatic Wild Dog), elephants, various species of deer, lizards, and so on.
Below are some pictures of the animals commonly found in the park. On our trip we only saw elephants (photographed below), and as this was mostly a paperwork trip and had to meet with the officials, we did not have time to photograph the entire area. Some of the images were provided to us by the park officials and some they got for us from the internet that only belonged to this park.
There is accommodation area within the park itself, which should be able to be sourced for cheap. These are park ranger homes or rental houses, pictured below.
These are some Khao Yai images from previous scouting trips by us. An overview of the main areas accessed by the primary roads only.
CELLULAR GSM COVERAGE AREA
Below are charts of Cellular (GSM, 3G, LTE) coverage areas for the two major carriers in Thailand, TrueMove and AIS. Unfortunately, it seems there will be no cellphone coverage in many areas inside the jungle for both Khao Yai and Thap Lan. So perhaps, you may consider adding a Satellite Phone into the main budget.
This is the elevation map for Khao Yai and Thap Lan,