Khao Yai

About two and a half hours north of Bangkok rests one of the biggest tropical rainforest reservations in the world. Khao Yai is 80 percent untouched jungle and completely alive with the sounds and shrieks of nature. Somewhere between the 100 meter waterfalls, tribes of monkeys, and the several undaunted deer that set up camp 3 meters from my tent, I began to realize just how spiritual the Thai jungle truly is.

In Thai mythology there are a number of colorful looking spirits that often adorn temples and infiltrate holy texts. One night in the Thai jungle and you will understand just why the Thai’s world is filled with so many spirits. In the dark of night the jungle is filled with an orchestra of sounds that pierce your ears all the way into the morning. Long before the traffic and cluster of Bangkok, Thailand was filled with nothing but jungle and the inhabitants of that jungle spoke to the Thai people every night.

The possessed shrieks of the gibbons (monkey),the loud thumps of passing elephants, and the heavy breathing of a tired tiger would have me worried to begin with, but what really scares me is the countless other noises that remain completely unidentified.

Today Thailand has countless shrines called ‘spirit houses’ built to show respect to the spirits that inhabit the land. They have many shapes and sizes and can be seen anywhere from the steps of the largest shopping mall in Bangkok to the most secluded farm in the middle of the jungle. No matter where you are, you cannot escape the spirits of Thailand.

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