Khao Nor, Thailand

We had seen pictures of this cool limestone formation in Central Thailand and decided it might to fun to visit it.

Unfortunately it was sugar cane harvest season and the farmers burn their fields to make harvest easier. The practice was outlawed recently, but there is no enforcement. The result is that essentially the whole country is under a blanket of smog.

We drove the 45 km from Nakhon Sawan to the hills by car. Feeding the monkeys and watching the bats in the evening are the main attractions here.

Monkeys are Wat Khao Nor, Thailand

Most people will not make the steep (600 ft / 180 m) climb up stairs and ladders to the top. Given the heat and humidity that’s no wonder. We were here during the dry season, a time during which it doesn’t rain much, but the air isn’t really dry either. At 95 F / 35 C it promised to be a sweaty hike. So we took 4.5 liters of water of which we ended up consuming 3 liters by the end of this 2.4 mile / 4 km hike.

The stairs

The hike starts just outside the gate to the temple located here. The whole area did not make a very inviting impression with the obvious decay of buildings and the dirt and trash everywhere. It might look a bit better during the rainy season. We parked in a specially fenced area. It appears this area was created to get some peace from the monkeys when getting in and out of the car and to let the car sit without the monkeys climbing all over it.

Right away we had to make our way up some very steep, long steps. Once the trail reaches the bottom of the rocks it changes to ladders. These had some pretty big steps, but felt quite solid. Those parts of the ladder rails that were exposed to the sun were too hot to touch and we were lucky that we only had a short section at the very top when we had to deal with that. Once on top the views were spectacular. With the haze we were limited to the immediate surroundings, but that’s where all the limestone formations are.

We hung out a little at the top enjoying the quiet and the view before a group of young kids arrived. The descent was much less taxing, but those ladders took some careful moving.

Soaked to the bone at the bottom I changed into dry clothes and we headed back to town deciding not to stay around for 3 hours to wait for the bats.

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