Back on mainland Thailand for a short visit to Khao Sok, a national park set in stunning scenery of jungle and towering limestone mountains. No hostels around here so for once I had my own room! I stayed in a wooden bungalow or hut or whatever you want to call it, with the sounds of the jungle around me.
The resort was small and family run and the owner was as absolutely wonderful the whole time. Very welcoming on arrival and showed me to the village and shops before later taking me and some other guests to a nearby temple that is overrun with monkeys wanting to be fed. Speaking of being fed, the food at the resort was absolutely amazing. Wherever possible the ingredients are grown on the family’s land so everything is very fresh!
For my proper day at the park I embarked on a day long tour, which first involved an hours drive to the dam that sits at the edge of the great lake in the heart of the national park. Here we switched to long tail boat to head across the lake, taking in the magnificent views as we went. In many ways it reminded me of the fjord areas of Norway, with the mountains abruptly rising out of the water. But of course it was very much hotter and as soon as you reach land everywhere is thick jungle.
The boat took us all the way to a small set of floating bungalows where we stopped to enjoy swimming or kayaking and then some lunch. With the longer tours you get to stay in the small wooden rooms, just floating at the side of the lake.
From there it was a further short 5 minute boat ride to the start of the jungle trail. The actual walking wasn’t far, but we crossed rivers and walked in the cool shade of the trees. Although we encountered none of the potential larger wildlife, there were plenty of exotic butterflies, spiders and other insects. We were heading towards Nam Talu cave, which has a river running all the way through it and can be walked through from one end to the other in about an hour’s walk. Near the cave entrance we passed a sign warning people not to enter in the wet season between some date and the 31st December…
This is because during and after the wet season the water levels rise so much the cave becomes impassable, and in the past during sudden rains people have been trapped half way through and even died. With that in mind we only went part way through and then turned back to the entrance, but still some parts we walked through involved neck-high water! After visiting the cave we made the journey back across the lake and back to the resort, a long day but a great experience.
That was my only proper day in the park so I was sorry to have to leave the following day, but overall I am enjoying seeing lots of different places, even if only for shorter periods of time. The morning of leaving I also woke to find a new feline friend sleeping outside my room
From Khao Sok it was a short bus journey to Surat Thani followed by the boat across to Koh Samui, which will be my next entry when I get a chance as I’m still having trouble getting photos off my camera. I have bought a new card which seems to be working fine but I need a PC with a card reader it seems to get my existing photos uploaded.