Inside the Forest of Phukhieo

I had no experience in entering a thick forest prior to my visit to Phukhieo Wildlife Sanctuary. I actually live on the top of the mountain in a province near Metro Manila but the forest is gone. The trees were cut down for the sake of “development”.

Entering the forest is the last activity that we did in Phukhieo Wildlife Sanctuary. The forest trail is about 3 kilometers long and passes through different features inside the forest. One of those features is the site where the smelly rafflesia flowers grow.

Trail map for Phukhieo Wildlife Park


Unfortunately, we had little time left for our stay in the wildlife sanctuary. Our group decided to just enter the forest and look at one the gigantic trees of Phukhieo, which is just a short walk away from the road.

People walking inside the forest of Phukhieo Wildlife Sanctuary


One of our rangers lead the way. Other rangers also joined our group to ensure our safety. Wild dogs and other ferocious animals still inhabit the forest, so we needed their protection.

Forest of Phukhieo Wildlife Sanctuary


I was in awe when I entered Phukhieo's forest. Being inside the forest is very different than merely watching about it in an environmental TV show. Inside the forest, the sunlight is blocked by trees and the view is obstructed by vegetation. Anyone can get lost easily inside a thick forest such as this.

Phukhieo Wildlife Sanctuary is a very cool place. I woke up in our room that is so cold as if somebody left the air conditioner at very low temperature. I also had to take a bath using nearly-freezing water. This cool weather of the wildlife sanctuary is perfect for those who want to escape the heat of the lowlands. Unfortunately, this cool weather is also perfect for that bloodsucking menace, the LEECH.

I suddenly felt something cold crawling up my left foot. I panicked and shook my feet frantically. This is the thing that fell off my pants:

Leech in Phukhieo Wildlife Sanctuary


Zooming in

Another photo of leech inside Phukhieo Wildlife Sanctuary


This leech smelled our blood. I bet the leeches are following our group so they can feed on us.

I was so preoccupied with the leech that I lost the people in front of me.

Thick vegetation inside Phukhieo Wildlife Sanctuary
Oh no!


I'm glad that the trail is clear enough to follow. I walked a little more and then I saw the most amazing sight  in Phukhieo Wildlife Sanctuary.

Giant tree of Phukhieo Wildlife Sanctuary


So far, this is the tallest tree that I saw in my lifetime! It is so high that I can't see the top.

Big tree of Phukhieo Wildlife Sanctuary


The base of the tree is wide that around five people are needed to fully “hug” this tree.

We linger a little time beside the giant tree until we felt that leeches are creeping up our legs. We ran as fast us we could to reach the safety of the road. I immediately checked my feet the moment I went out of the forest.

A leech of Phukhieo Wildlife Sanctuary sucking my blood


One way to remove the leech is by sprinkling salt on it. However, we didn't have salt so the alternative is by rubbing tobacco from cigarette. The leech got irritated so it left me in peace.

Wound made by the leech of Phukhieo Wildlife Sanctuary


The wound left by the leech was bleeding so I had no choice but to cover it with tissue and cloth.

I am more fortunate because only one leech was sucking my blood. Other people in our group had three or more bloodsuckers on their legs.

The experience with the leeches dampened our group's desire for more adventures inside Phukhieo Wildlife Sanctuary. So, we packed our bags and hit the road again. Our destination, this time, is home.

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23 comments:

  1. Eyewwwww!!!! Leech! You're supposed to burn it with a burning cigarette till it drops off. If you pull it off, the teeth will still be stuck inside and will lead to continuous bleeding.

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    Replies
    1. You're correct Suitapui. The leech was forcely removed so my wound bled continuously.

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  2. nice di pa ko nakakapunta ng gubat ee,
    pero naisip ko din naman haha,
    ayun sarap din kasi mag nature tripping kung minsan

    ala ka, linta! kaderder haha, dapat inasinan mo, diba ganun un? haha
    yan ang ayoko sa ganynag trip, madame insects

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. May gubat ka pa namang mapuntahan MeCoy. So pwede ka pa mag-nature tripping sa Pinas.

      Wala kaming dalang asin kaya napilitang gamiting yung tabako leaves ng sigarilyo.

      Delete
  3. Yikes! ang daming blood suckers ahahaha :D

    Bago na din pala ang blog template mo parekoy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes Fiel. Kailangan na kasi ng blog ko ng make-over.

      Delete
  4. Replies
    1. Marami lang po akong kasama kaya matapang. :-)

      Delete
  5. Madami din sa Khao Yai when I did bird watching, have you been there? I wanted to see the rafflesia and when I wanted to book a trip there, I have to do it six months in advance since all accomodations are filled so I changed my mind. Maybe one day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I never been to Khao Yai. Too bad na hindi ko na po mapuntahan iyon. I hope na dumating na yung "one day" na iyon at makita mo na ang rafflesia. :-)

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  6. Replies
    1. It didn't hurt one bit Ate Tin. I think leech produces some "anesthesia" to make its bite painless thus making it unnoticeable when feeding on its victim.

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  7. ouch....naalala ko yung movie na Amazing Panda hehe may scene kasi dun na dinikitan sila ng madaming linta haha...
    sayang di mo napuntahan yung Rafflesia... pero grabe yung puno huh

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anong movie yun. Ang naalala ko naman ay yung Kiko Machine comic strip tungkol dun sa pag-akyat nila sa Mt. Apo.

      Oo nga eh. Sayang talaga yung rafflesia. Rare chance yun eh.

      Delete
  8. Oh leeches! Yucks!! I had that experience at a forest in Malaysia with blogger friends Caroline and Eric haha!

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    Replies
    1. I'm sure that Caroline freaked out because of the leeches. ;-)

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  9. Next time bring salt and apply to your feet - it will prevent leeches from sticking to you : )

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    Replies
    1. I will do that next time I go to leech infested areas. I never expected that Phukhieo is infested with these bloodsuckers.

      Delete
  10. Oh what a huge giant tree!! Nice : )

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  11. So did you get to see the Rafflesia? I have yet to see one in my life!!

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    Replies
    1. We were unfortunate. We had no time to hike in the forest to see the rafflesia.

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  12. way back in high school we had a long hike for 100km for a week in the forest down to a sitio area in our place. we had to pass a leech-infested area. i don't know how many leech were on me, but i ignore them coz im too afraid to look at them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oooh. It's good that you graduated from that experience. Maybe you'll not be afraid the next time you visit a leech infested area.

      Delete

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