Phu Wua Wildlife Sanctuary in Buengkan, Thailand is a haven for nature lovers! Within it’s boundaries lies mountains, viewpoints, jungle, wildlife, and waterfalls.
One popular waterfall is Chanan Waterfall, which is a beautiful falls tucked away into the jungle. This is one of the few areas in Buengkan where you can still see elephants, and while we haven’t seen any yet, from what we hear from the locals they are quite active! On the last trek we did hear an elephant nearby, but they are actually sneakier than you would imagine!
One of Mundo and Laekplian’s partner schools is in Kham Pia, a small village just near Phu Wua. We will usually send volunteers who are placed at that school to homestay in Bunloeds Huts, which is located right at the base of the sanctuary. Bunloed knows that place like the back of his hand and will take people on hiking adventures. Usually we enter the park through a secret back way, and the trail takes you up the mountain to a beautiful mountaintop view! On the last tour we walked out onto a little ledge that was shaded and overlooked the landscape while we enjoyed a packed lunch together. You end up feeling a bit like a bird cosy in a nest in a cliff; it’s safe, affords stunning views, and provides a nice cool breeze (especially nice on a hot day!).
Bunloed is very knowledgeable about both the landscape and the interesting and complex history of the area, and he enjoys sharing! Elephants, wild cats, bears, pheasants, monkeys and gibbons all call this sanctuary home, although some are far more rare than others! Hiking during the daytime is for the most part safe, and as long as you stay in a group and with a guide (it is unbelievably easy to get lost, trust!) you should not have any problems.
Phu Wua Wildlife Sanctuary is almost 190 sq km of a purely natural playground! Mundo Exchange and Laekplian Lokgatat enjoy exploring the area and we know our volunteers do too. Those who have stayed at our homestay in Kham Pia love the experience and they are living right at the edge of the park. Out near Phu Wua, lull yourself to sleep listening listening to crickets chirping in the dark and the occasional crack of a firework signaling elephants are somewhere nearby.