Tourist Lost in Khao Phanom Bencha Park

There are some big national parks in Thailand. You don’t want to get lost in one.

Khao Phanom Bencha is in Krabi province and is 50 square miles in area. In the jungle you lose direction instantly. It’s hard to tell which direction the sun is even in – the trees are so thick.

I helped find a couple of British tourists at a Thailand park a while back – less than 1/4 of the size of Khao Phanom Bencha. Guess what? They were lost for 10 hours – and we were firing handguns into the air to see if they could hear them. They couldn’t. Guess how far we were from them? A couple km.

If you’re going to hike in Thailand the trails are NOT well marked – in general. You’ll need to stay on the main trails and not venture off. Don’t get lost because you could be roaming around for a few days in the jungle.

Do you know how many venomous snakes are at the national parks? It’s unreal. At Khao Phanom Bencha there are so many venomous snakes – whole teams of scientists go there to find them. It’s one of the best spots in Thailand for herpetologists.

In addition to snakes there are these wild animals: Clouded leopards, black panthers, tigers (possibly), Asiatic black bears, barking deer, serow, Malayan tapirs, leaf monkeys, gibbons and various tropical birds – including the helmeted hornbill, argus pheasant and extremely rare Gurney’s pitta. Not to mention Malayan bears, and wild dog packs.

Be smart and hike only with enough to eat, drink, compass, flashlights, full cell phone battery, matches, water, mosquito lotion, and something to sleep on to keep the bugs away. I’m not sure the GPS works in the Thailand jungle – it wouldn’t hurt to bring one and try though.

Our Nokia 5800 eXpress music phone has a GPS that is pretty good at tracking. It triangulates between cell phone towers well too in case you can’t reach a satellite. Might be worth looking into.

So, waiting to hear about this tourist lost in the jungle. I know very little – only that someone is lost. The guy that knows anything – Chris at My Egg Noodles site hasn’t written me back on email or tweeted back on twitter.

Good luck out there man…

Author: Vern

I'm an American expat living in Thailand. I like to write informative pieces about life in, living in Thailand, including topics like: Thai People, Thai Culture, Nightlife, Technology, and I have published a lot of photographs, videos, and even books on Thailand that you can find at ThailandeBooks.com. There are many photographs of Thailand here - feel free to share with attribution (a link back to the home page). All written content on this site by Vern Lovic. Contact me at Google+.

4 thoughts on “Tourist Lost in Khao Phanom Bencha Park”

    1. Paul bets the solid bets.

      It would really suck to be lost in the jungle in Thailand. First, you walk maybe 2 hours up a mountain (Hang Nak in Tub Kaak), on the way back you decide to try a new path that ‘probably’ goes right back to the beginning. 11 hours later the rescue team finds you at 1am huddled with your wife burning pages from a book to keep the snakes, rats, and other stuff away. You’re tired but dare not sleep, lest you wake up with a cobra, krait, viper, or coral snake under you – all deadly if you can’t to a hospital soon.

      I think I know too much about the snakes here – I could never sleep. Could you Paul?

  1. Update – the guy was found after being lost for 25 hours. Yep, he spent an overnight in the jungle. He just wandered off the main trail and got lost. It’s that easy. The other Brits that were lost in Hang Nak Park until 1am thought they return to the park opening by going down a different path. Then they got lost retracing their steps. They weren’t drinking… the trails just aren’t marked very well.

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