After three weeks of torrential rain and tropical growth, two metre high walls of arching elephant grass are the only suggestion of a trail. It meanders vaguely away through the unkempt palms of a deserted coconut plantation, it too rapidly being consumed by the jungle from which it was carved. An endowment from the King of Thailand to the elephants, the plantation is the latest addition to Kaeng Krachan National Park, a vast 3000 sqkm tract of rainforest that stretches south along the Thai / Myanmar border.
Like footprints on the surface of the moon, our wheels break the fine bull-dust crust of an endless plain - trailing out behind us on the untouched expanse they seem to mark our passage for eternity. Only our speed keeps us from sinking to the rims as we motor towards a distant escarpment. Beneath ragged cliffs that burn fire red in the last rays of winter sun, the plain finally ends in a dry river channel.
Burma's Open Road explores the lives of every day Burmese intertwined with the fortunes of the reconstruction of the Burma Road through Asia's last great wilderness.
Once elephants roamed throughout Asia in vast herds, at the turn of the 20th century there were three hundred thousand in Thailand alone. But today just seeing an elephant in the wild is a rare and fleeting experience. Asia's proud symbol of strength and power is disappearing, their numbers are in free fall, their habitat is being literally eaten away and their traditional forest pathways now lead them into danger.