What makes Wat Pho in Bang Khla extra special is something that you will probably hear before you see. Within the grounds that surround the temple compound, hundreds of fruit bats (flying foxes) roost in the trees and their high pitched squawking is sure to be the first thing to grab your attention. Fruit bats are the world's largest species of bats. They have fox-like features with large eyes, reddish brown fur and black wings. They have a wingspan of about 3ft and can fly as far and as fast as a bird.
During the day, the bats hang upside down roosting in the trees. They clean and jostle each other and sometimes reposition themselves, which will involve swooping over your head. But at dusk things really start to happen, as the bats fly off to feed. The bats favorite food are the fruits and leaves from mango, tamarind and even the temple's sacred Bodhi trees.
Thailand is rich with a huge variety of fauna and flora mostly due to the diverse climatic conditions that range from tropical in the southern half of the country to temperate in the northern half. Natural areas are found throughout Thailand, most are easily accessible in the more than 100 national parks and protected areas in Thailand, city parks and botanical gardens that offer great access to much of the wildlife, mostly in a safe and restricted manner. Each natural area offers access to unique attractions, great facilities, and lots of wildlife. Visitors to these areas may be interested in exploring nature using developed trails for trekking, mountain biking, photography, birding, camping, scuba diving, visiting waterfalls, or observing at Thailand wildlife. Here are notable examples:
The thousands of kilometers of beaches in Thailand include many lush mangrove forests and many are protected by the Thai Government. Bang Pu Education Center is one of many coastal nature reserves along the coasts of the Thai Gulf and is located just south of Bangkok in Samut Prakan Province. This area is well-known for a seasonal flock of seagulls that use this area as their migratory route, which cycles around between January and April. The reserve is chock full of coastal wildlife, including many varieties of waterfowl and mudflat creatures.
Thailand is a great place for snorkeling and Scuba diving , which offer a great opportunity to view Thailand Undersea gardens. The many Islands in Thailand have established diving shops, most offering diving trips around the islands and the various certifications for underwater diving.
Rama IX Botanical Gardens is a great way to spend the day in Bangkok in an out-of-the-way scenic area, little frequented by foreigners. The gardens are located to the east of Bangkok center city, costing about 100 baht for the taxi ride. The gardens are full of exotic flowering plants, aquatic animals and an amazing assortment of birds. But there are many parks to enjoy in the Great Metropolitan Bangkok Area.
The nature trails of the Doi Inthanon National Park take you up into an evergreen cloud forest and along the ridge top ridge that is dotted with red rhododendron. The views from on top of the ridge are absolutely spectacular and I recommend taking the hike to anyone who makes it into the park. There will be many opportunities to see the lush wildlife of the park on the trails.
Sri Nakhon Khuean Khan Park is a jungle park just outside Bangkok. In fact, the park is just opposite Bangkok's major industrial area along the Chao Phraya River but when you are in the park you feel like you are deep into heavy tropical jungle. When in the park you can experience a large variety of jungle life. The area outside the park is also mostly lush jungle but the municipality as graciously provided biking trails throughout the area.
Through the years of living in Thailand I have found wildlife everywhere. Strange and interesting wildlife can be on the side of the roads, within the city parks and they may even visit you in your beach bungalow. So keep your eyes open as you travel in and out of the city and enjoy the wildlife throughout the country.
Thailand is home to a wide variety of wildlife due to its diversity in climate from north to Southern Thailand. This tries to present a glimpse of this wildlife.
Bangkok's 9 Royal Temples
Bangkok Must Sees
Exploring Thailand's Nature
Islands of the Thai Gulf
Thailand's Royal Palaces
Thailand and World War 2
Explore Chiang Rai
Explore Chiang Mai