Some people go looking for the source of the Amazon or Nile, I decided to do something a bit smaller scale and search for the source of the Klong Prao river. You can’t see it very well from the map below, as it uses ‘Satellite View’but if you are using ‘Map View’ then Google shows the river begins inland at the spot marked. So, I thought I’d take a walk down the river to check it out. ( GPS: 12.0341139,102.3188934 )
There are a couple of ways to get into the valley easily. One is to walk inland from Baan Camp Chang elephant camp in Klong Prao village, however the owners of the camp don’t like people doing this. The other is to start at the north of the village and head inland from there. Which is what I did.
It’s a pretty easy walk, under 40 minutes from there to the river. You follow what, is for the most part, an obvious path inland until you reach the abandoned road that runs along the hillside at the foot of the hills. One way heads towards Klong Plu waterfall, the other heads to a clearing and the section of Klong Prao river where the elephant camp brings the elephants to bathe them. From here, it’s just a matter of following the river.
Now is a good time to wander along river beds – due to the lack of water in the rivers. And I was expecting to have to walk along the river bed most of the way. However, for over half the distance there was a footpath along the left bank of the river. I guess used by locals going hunting, as there is no-one living around here. When the path disappeared I followed the riverbed for a few minutes then looked for the path again.
There’s not a lot to see – other than trees and you have to be careful, partly because you don’t really want to twist an ankle & partly because you don’t want to run into any snakes. There’s no mobile phone signal. But it’s a pleasant walk with quite a few birds to be seen and heard. Including a couple of massive eagles of some kind that flew below tree height down the river towards me. You’d need a lot of patience to get any good photos though as the dense jungle makes spotting, let alone seeing the birds making the noisy pretty tricky.
After an hour’s walk from the elephant bathing spot, I reached what Googlemaps say is the start of the river only to find that it’s actually the confluence of two smaller rivers. One heading south and the other, narrower river, heading east. As I was now soaked with sweat and it had started to cloud over, I decided that I’d done enough adventuring for one day as I didn’t fancy being too far into the jungle if it started raining. time to turn round and head home.