Phu Toei National Park - Lauda Air Flight 004

Discussion in 'Central Western Thailand Road Trip Reports' started by brian_bkk, Apr 18, 2014.

  1. brian_bkk

    brian_bkk Ol'Timer

    - Bangkok Weekend Warriors preparing to visit one of the least visited National parks in Thailand.

    Phu Toei National Park.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phu_Toei_National_Park

    Phu Toei National Park (อุทยานแห่งชาติพุเตย) is a 319 km2 (123 sq mi) national park located in Dan Chang, Suphan Buri, Thailand. It has been a national park since September 30, 1987. On 26 May 1991, Lauda Air Flight 004 crashed after one the Boeing 767's thrust reverser deployed in mid-air.[2]

    The recorded monthly visitor statistic is 300, during the peak of the high season. The Daily Xpress of Singapore states that the park "goes down as one of Thailand's least known and least visited national parks. So much so, that most Suphan Buri folk don't even realise that their province has a national park."[3]

    One feature of the park is Khao Thevada (Angel Mountain), a 1,123-metre (3,684 ft) mountain[citation needed] that is the highest in the province. The mountain is on the borders of Kanchanaburi and Uthai Thani provinces.[3].

    - This park is not only special for being one of the least visited national parks in Thailand. Tragically the deadliest aviation accident on Thai soil.

    Lauda Air Flight 004
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lauda_Air_Flight_004

    Lauda Air Flight 004 was an international passenger flight operated by a Boeing 767-300ER that crashed on 26 May 1991 due to an uncommanded thrust reverser deployment of the No.1 engine in mid-flight, killing all 213 passengers and 10 crew members on board. To date, it remains the deadliest aviation accident involving a Boeing 767 and the deadliest on Thai soil. The crash also marked the aircraft type's first fatal incident and first hull-loss.[1]

    It was the third serious accident involving an Austrian aircraft, after the crash in 1960 of an Austrian Airlines Vickers Viscount and the crash on 23 September 1989 of a Turbo Commander 690 aircraft which claimed the life of Alfred Dallinger, the Austrian Minister of Social Affairs.[2]

    Lauda Air was founded and run by the former Formula One world motor racing champion Niki Lauda. The crash of flight 004 was notable for Lauda's personal involvement in the accident investigation.

    More to come....
     
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  3. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    This is gonna be good!
    [​IMG]
     
  4. Ian Bungy

    Ian Bungy Ol'Timer

    Interesting Bit of Information there Brian, Thanks for Posting! I was unaware of the Lauda Air Crash till now. Terrible. Seems Looting of the Remains and Debris were a Problem according to the Link provided! Not a Surprise in this Part of the World!
     
  5. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    ^ Yet a surprising amount of wreckage is still on top of that mountain. Hopefully the trail is still passable. Considering how few people visit this National Park who knows what we'll find...

    Regarding the looting of the crash site- found this on another forum:

    :crazy::crazy::crazy:
     
  6. brian_bkk

    brian_bkk Ol'Timer

    Frank and I loaded up the bikes and gear in my pickup Thursday night.
    Ready to roll after work Friday.

    All going well until the GPS took us down the road and past Chang Wattana.. Gov't complex and the PDRC protestors.
    So we crawled past this area taking just over an hour..

    Now according to the GPS.. It is only 220km to the National Park from Bangkok.
    But with the Friday night traffic, Protestors and secondary roads once you got off the main highway.
    Stop for dinner, beers etc.. it takes about 4 plus hours.

    One thing.. Don't follow the GPS to the National Park HQ. It takes you the quickest way by around 20km.
    But.. It is over the mountain and mud, ruts that could swallow half a car, steep ups and downs.. Plus some hairpin turns you can see around the corner.
    Steering hard left or right and only looking at the dark as the lights are in front of you.
    Best to go in from the south. The National park is in a horse shoe shape.. The roads are all paved tot he HQ this way.

    Attached files [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  7. brian_bkk

    brian_bkk Ol'Timer

    A really lovely national park with great facilities..
    They say one of the least visited national parks in Thailand and I believe it.

    Attached files [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  8. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    Wow, looks beautiful! Looking forward to more!! :thumbup:
     
  9. brian_bkk

    brian_bkk Ol'Timer

    Cheers Tony.

    This really is a lovely national park.. A Horse Shoe shape which means you travel a more road to get to the dirt.
    But for the road riders.. Lovely roads as well..

    You won't be bored here..
     
  10. brian_bkk

    brian_bkk Ol'Timer

    A few more snaps

    Attached files [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  11. Moto-Rex

    Moto-Rex Ol'Timer

    Looks like a nice national park Brian.

    Great escape from the chaos of Bangkok.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. brian_bkk

    brian_bkk Ol'Timer

    Sure is Rexy... Only 220km according to the GPS..
    But takes a long time even excluding the Bangkok Friday traffic..
    Lots of secondary roads once a little past Nonthaburi.

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  13. brian_bkk

    brian_bkk Ol'Timer

    A lot of the wreckage has been taken now.
    Even compared to some recent 2009 youtube footage.
    Souvenir hunters I guess.

    Day 1 we went back over the sketchy trail we drove in on around mid night last night.
    That is fun, nice trail up to the crash site which goes on to the Pine forest.
    The pine forest is at around 700 to 800 metres above sea level.. Usually the pine forests grow at 1000 metres above sea level.

    Next over to the Karen village and to try and find the water fall there.
    That was a cool trail up there.. Felt a bit like heading to the Burma border at Baan Ricky.
    But the trail was a lot easier. Nice ride to a small Karen village.
    The waterfall was a waste of time at this time of year.

    Then we had Sunday morning to explore.. Wanting to leave around 1 and avoid too much rush in to Bangkok.
    Plus have a decent rest and relax... before Monday and the working day...
    We head off to try and find a way through to Srinakarin dam. Nothing on the GPS.. But I had seen a decent graded road on Google Earth.
    That was OK and you could motor along.. We should have turned left 3/4 in but I said to keep going.
    Which took us to another small village called Nam Phu. Nice friendly people.
    We keep going as the GPS shows water in the distance... A fantastic view at the top of the farmers field..
    Then hunt around single trail trying to find a way down.. We were less than 500 metres from the road below, but it was way to steep to get down..
    So back we go and take the correct turn off.. make it to the dam and ride along a bit before heading back to Bangkok.

    Will post a few Google Earth images with the tracks overlaid.

    All that over a weekend.. What a blast.

    Cheers
    Brian

    Attached files [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  14. brian_bkk

    brian_bkk Ol'Timer

    The view point over the dam before we had to go back and take the main graded dirt road to the dam.

    Attached files [​IMG]
     
  15. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    Good stuff Brian! Phu Toei National Park is one of the least visited National Parks in the Kingdom but seems quite worth a visit! :thumbup:
     
  16. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    I think I would have had goose bumps standing beside that wreckage.
    You guys must have felt something too, no?
     
  17. brian_bkk

    brian_bkk Ol'Timer

    It is a bit strange.. But one nice thing.
    About 50 or 60 km before the park we saw a sign for the Lauda cemetery.

    So all the people that were not claimed or taken back home have a decent resting place
    [​IMG]
    Above pic from Wikimedia.org.

    We were going to stop off on the way back.. But going south out of the national park took us back a different way.

    Cheers
    Brian
     
  18. brian_bkk

    brian_bkk Ol'Timer

    A few pics with the tracks overlaid on Google Earth.
    Tracks and way points will be added to Open Street Maps.

    Attached files [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     

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