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  • Writer's pictureBarrett B.

Meet Thailand's Giant Bats - Over 500 bats above a scared temple near a secluded river!

Updated: Nov 2, 2022

Here is a word for you - Chachoengsao. Say it, repeat it and get to know it because this is where some of the most intriguing and eerie wildlife stays during the day before they take flight and hunt at night.

As you walk into the temple grounds of Wat Pho in Bang Khla you hear chattering and high pitched sounds as you notice the 100 foot trees have something on most of the branches. At first it looks like black blobs but as you focus your eyes you see these objects expand in size and wings appear. As you see five or six you soon realize there is a whole colony of giant bats near 25-50 feet above you. From time to time as you walk during the day you see shadows of giant creatures flapping their wings. At first the shadows on the ground in front of you look like something out of a dinosaur movie like a giant pterodactyl. You may soon realize like I did that I had never seen anything like this in nature, over 500 flying foxes sit above you.

I continued walking closer to an older temple that was suppose to be over 200 years old accounting to locals and this grayish Romanesque building was definitely ancient. Inside was a flickering chandelier that added to the spooky atmosphere. A reclining Buddha statue was inside with a decor of crumbling rusted red and dark blue wall paper that had began to peel. I filmed a bit more with my Go Pro 8 as I ran into a temple dog that has nearly gone blind in both its eyes (light blue cataracts in both eyes).

It was fascinating to see as the sun got lower and the evening sun faded the bats began to get louder as if to say they were ready for food. More of them flew from tree to tree to stretch their wings.

How to do get there? This temple is in Chachoengsao, east of the international airport Suwannabhumi. Take a train from Phaya Thai (any station along that line) for 15 baht. It will take about an hour and half and drop you at Chachoengsao Station. From there I took a tuk tuk for 500 baht round trip to this temple area known for flying foxes. You can actually search for this temple on google maps - Wat Pho Bang Khla Flying Foxes.

Additional Information on Giant Bats:

There are some of the largest bats living on isolated islands in the Philippines, parts of Indonesia, Brazil, Australia and Thailand. However, people are often afraid of them because they are seen as pests that can carry diseases. Additionally, some species of bats can be quite large, with some reaching up to 6 feet in wingspan. And finally, while they typically eat insects, some bats have been known to attack and eat small mammals and birds. While attacks on humans are rare, they have been known to happen.


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