Khao Sok apparetnly has some of the oldest remaining rainforest in Thailand, some even older then Amazon it's thought. We arrived at a beautiful guest house by the side of a clear water stream on the edge of the tropical jungle. We were warned to keep the doors and windows our our small bungalows locked whenever we weren't there to make sure the monkeys didn't take too much of a liking to any food in our bags though!
The first afternoon I just took a short stroll with a guide through the jungle to a small Buddhist temple. Along the way the guide told us all about the local wildlife and bush tucker, what to eat and what not to! We also had our first sighting of the cheeky monkeys at the temple. They didn't seem to mind posing too much for the camera, although the daddy of the bunch was a bit of a grumpy one...
The monkeys returned to visit us later in the day. Around 5.30pm every day they come down to the river which our guest house overlooked for a bit of a swim and a drink (water of course!). There were so many monkeys came down over the rocks, swinging through trees and scrambling over the cliff edge, it was really great to watch. To complete our wildife watch, we also saw a few chipmunks in the trees.
The next day was Christmas Eve so somewhat untraditionally I went for a hike in the national park! We walked about 15k passing many waterfalls and climbing an unbelieveable amount of steps to reach the top of a lookout point over the park. After so much exercise a yummy final dinner was on the menu, complete with santa hats of course, as it was Christmas. But rather than the usual pork pie and christmas cake, this year I had yet another Thai curry!
Spent the rest of the evening at the only bar in town, the Rasta bar. It had a roof top terrace where you could sit and look at the stars as it was a really starry night. Some local people were letting off something called 'Gratongs' which are like big rice paper balloons that you would traditionally use to send away bad luck. You would fill the basket with a candle, lock of hair, fingernail and a coin and then let it drift away into the night sky, watching as the candle slowly fades. I don't think these ones had any real significane other than it was Christmas Eve, but nice to watch!