Today we said goodbye to our latest guest Yuri, from San Francisco. It was a quick visit at a busy time of year, but (cowboy)hats off to him as, like our other guests this season, he fully threw himself into local Thai life and all that it has to offer. He became quite a hit in the process. In the last 3 days Yuri could be found Thai dancing at a New Year's Day party with some of the more mature ladies of Klang Dong...I include myself in that, attending a cowboy festival, visiting the waterfalls and bat caves and joining me for a day at school.
Watching the bats exit on their nightly hunt for food is always an awe-inspiring sight to me, but yesterday they were particularly spectacular. Because of a barely detectable change in wind direction, last night they exited over a different route and seemed to fly lower than usual. The result was a massive expanse of sky where you could see the bats stream off and disappear into the horizon. The bats of the Khao Yai are wrinkle-lipped bats and are the same species as the ones shown in the Planet Earth documentary. Every evening, at dusk an estimated 3 million bats exit the cave embarking on their nightly search for food. Much of the reasons for their behaviour are speculation, for example- which bat decides when it's a good time to exit the cave? For they don't exit in dribs and drabs- but in a sudden constant stream that will continue for over an hour. Some guides think the decision is based on a change of temperature, others by the possibility that the bats are just hungry! I favour the latter and am pretty sure if I were a bat, I'd be first out of that cave. Another interesting behaviour of the bats is that the strongest, youngest bats leave the cave first, and the older or weaker bats come out last. The motives for this behaviour are thought to be quite chivalrous ones. The stronger bats leave first, as they will fly further to find their food, leaving the closer feeding grounds for the bats not able to make it so far.
So if you have time on your visit to Thailand to witness this spectacle- we'd love to take you. If you want to see a video clip of them then check out the link in our guestbook.
And, speaking of the guestbook. Yuri, our most recent guest, not only turned out to be immensely fun to have around, but useful too. He has shown me how to install a guest book on our website, so hitherto any guests will be able to write a note or review of their experience and post photographs.
If you have visited us within the last 12 months I would be very grateful if you could test this new addition with a review of your own and a few photos if you have them.