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Mittwoch, 23. Januar 2013

Khao Luang Mountain Tour / Ramkhamhaeng National Park, Sukhothai 19./20. Januar 2013

Five participants from Dennie Cody´s Bangkok Photographers Group where going to join me on a photographic tour. We where looking forward to climb up the Khao Luang Mountain at the Ramkhamhaeng National Park in Sukhothai,Thailand.

There we want to stay this evening:

Some of us thought it would be more easy to go up there. But compared to the swiss alps it still was an easy walk. We where expecting some politician to visit the Sukhothai district. That´s why the Bangkok return flight was fully booked for Sunday evening. One participant, a Banker from Sri Lanka, needed to be back in Bangkok for a meeting at Monday morning. He decided to come with his own car and driver.
At 9.00 in the morning we already where at the base camp of the National Park and I kept care of the paperwork.
Two meals for each of us where in our luggage. After everything was organized for the delivery boys to carry, we started our walk with nothing heavy on our back.
I had the pleasure to meet some of the group members at Dennie´s opening show in Bangkok. To answer their questions it is hard to tell how hard the climb would be. Everyone is different. Soon I found myself to carry some tripod and camera equipment. In a group the weakest member is the benchmark and I had to make sure everybody gets along comfortable.
I intended a generous time schedule for the whole walk. When we reached the huge giant tree about 1 km below the peak, we had no reason to hurry when photographing. Light conditions are extreme because of the harsh contrast between the jungle and the sky. To capture the proportions is another photographic challenge. We took our time and  had enjoy the break  and did the last piece of walk in one stretch. 

It is an impressive feeling to stay at the peak of the mountain. The tents where built on quickly. We wanted to enter the spot where the best evening light was to expect. At this wonderful atmosphere with almost european weather conditions everybody was absorbed in his photography. 

We have been back in the camp just before nightfall and I started to prepare dinner on the open fire.Everyone went to bed soon to be fit for the early morning to photograph again.

I was urged to have a pee in the night and could not resist the effort to capture this amazing starry sky. At 4.00 in the morning it was time to get up to prepare some coffee and fry some eggs for the crew. Early in the morning humidity is very high and I had trouble to get the fire burning. As clear the night the hazy the morning. Any time I went up here before I had a terrific clear view. We all where exited how the sunrise would turn out. The open panorama with its rocky plateau provided endless subjects to capture and everybody went  to indulge in photography again.

Some lokal tourist joined us at the peak to enjoy the sunrise as well. Week ends are different then the rest of the week. Many times before I was just on my own. The Thai also know how to make the week end a good time and do love this special event up in the sky.

Still in the most beatiful morning light we went to the next peak to capture some more shots before it became time to return.


In the morning the mist in the tropical forest last only half an hour. Within such a short visit you can only be at one place at a time. Next time I promise to capture some video...