Rare Begonias turn Phitsanulok forest into a fairytale wonderland

Photo courtesy of The Nation

Phu Hin Rong Kla National Park in Phitsanulok province has transformed into a vibrant wonderland, thanks to the blooming heart-shaped leaves of Begonia Arenosaxa.

These exquisite plants, typically flourishing in rainforests during the rainy season, are painting the forest floor in shades of red, creating a breathtaking contrast against the lush greenery.

Visitors who embark on the Lan Hin Pum – Pha Chu Thong natural trail are in for a visual feast. Located approximately 130 kilometres from Phitsanulok city centre, this 307-square-kilometre park spans into Loei and Phetchabun provinces, reaching close to the Laotian border.

Phu Hin Rong Kla isn’t just about flora, it’s a wildlife sanctuary too. The park has reported sightings of rare animals, including leopards, leopard cats, Asian black bears, Asian golden cats, hog badgers, serows, and barking deer. Bird enthusiasts will be delighted by the over 200 bird species that call this park home.

But there’s more than natural beauty here, history buffs will find Phu Hin Rong Kla fascinating. Between 1968 and 1972, this park was a battleground where communist insurgents clashed with the Royal Thai Armed Forces. The Hmong community played a crucial role in the insurgents’ eventual surrender, reported The Nation.

In related news, a bioluminescent snail from Thailand has captured the hearts of thousands, winning the prestigious International Mollusc of the Year 2024 title. Over 50% of the more than 6,000 voters selected this mesmerising mollusc, making it a clear favourite.

The annual competition, initiated in 2021 by Germany’s Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum, the LOEWE Centre for Translational Biodiversity Genomics, and Unitas Malacologica, aims to highlight the incredible diversity of molluscs and promote their conservation.

In other news, a 75 year old woman has garnered widespread admiration online for her dedication to maintaining a 500-metre stretch of flowers along a roadside. Initially mistaken for a government project, the flower garden is entirely the work of the elderly woman.

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Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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