A boat, a bus and a car journey later, it was pitch black and we seemed to have stopped in the middle of nowhere; an empty road surround by jungle. We were both sat in the van praying this wasn’t our stop, luckily we turned around and five minutes later pulled up outside a resort of tree top jungle huts. We checked into our room and sat listening, the sound of the jungle was so loud, we had even read that sometimes you were woken up by the sound of monkeys in the tree’s outside your room.
After a quick walk down the track that led back to the main road we concluded that there wasn’t that much around apart from a couple of small restaurants. We had a few drinks in the bar and had a look through the types of excursion we could do. We booked onto to a trip setting off the next morning to Cheow Larn Lake.
We set off early the next morning with a group of about 10 people to Cheow Larn Lake, we arrived to one of the most stunning views I have even seen. The lake is massive (it took us over an hour to cross on a long boat) and there are large limestone islands that come up out of the water, most of these were like small islands with large hills covered with jungle.
We took our seats on the long boat and we were taken to some floating rafts huts that would be our home for the night; we were definitely back to basics – no phone signal, no electricity and the huts were made by bit of bamboo tied together. As basic as the huts were they were amazing in equal measures, we had a small ‘porch’ from which we could jump straight off and into the lake. The water was clear, refreshing and a crazy bluey green colour; I might go as far as to say the best water I have ever swam in. Any free time we had was spent diving into lake and swimming. There is nothing quite like waking up in the sticky heat, stepping outside and jumping straight into the gorgeous lake.
That afternoon we had a trek through the jungle to a nearby cave, known as the Bat Cave, to complete the trek we had to go through the cave, luckily we had been warned and were prepared with a torch, dry bag and some lovely fake croc’s. Going through the cave was pretty amazing, it was filled bats and there were massive spiders everywhere which meant I had to shine my torch before I touched anything. There was a river running through the cave and getting to the other side required quite a bit of climbing and swimming; the water went to well over my head at points. I won’t lie it probably wasn’t the safest thing ever and you definitely wouldn’t have been allowed to do it in England but it was amazing all the same. The guide finished off the caving with a very sad story about a friend who had taken a group through the cave during wet season, it had started to rain heavily whilst they were inside and this caused the river to fill the cave and become a lot more powerful, according to the guide only one person survived (whether this is a true story or not is debatable but they do not run the tour in wet season anymore).
After some more jungle trekking we returned to our floating home where we swam, kayaked and ate before setting off on a night time boat safari. They attached a big spotlight to the front of the boat and we attempted to find some animals, however this was pretty disappointing and not very much was spotted. I was more interested in staring at the stars which were probably brighter than I have ever seen them. The next day we did plenty more trekking and swimming before returning to our jungle tree house.
We decided to spend the next day in the national park doing some unguided jungle trekking; dressed as appropriately as ever in my flip flops (I hadn’t worn anything other than flip flops for two months, I think I had forgotten there were such things as trainers) unfortunately about 1km into the jungle disaster struck and my flip flops broke, luckily I have a wonderful boyfriend who went all the way back and got me some trainers whilst I made friends with the jungle animals. After our initial mishap we set off again and ended up having an absolutely amazing day. Whenever we found a small track off the main walkway we would follow it down to the water and go for a swim, the river was great and looking up from the water whilst being surrounded by jungle with absolutely nobody else around was pretty cool. In the jungle we saw loads of monkeys and even some baby monkeys (baby animals are my favourite type of animal) unfortunately we didn’t see any bigger animals, I was hoping for maybe an elephant or a tiger but never mind, .
I bet you are thinking this trip couldn’t get any better, well it did. The next day I got to meet some real life elephant and I even got to ride one! This was pretty scary as I had nothing to and they don’t lead the elephants down the easiest of tracks, I definitely had a feeling I was going to fall to my death and then be crushed by an elephant!. The relationship between the elephant and our guide was pretty amazing, he would speak to the elephant in Thai and with one word he could get the elephant to do exactly what he wanted, he didn’t once touch the elephant to make him move, it was amazing to see.
Unfortunately this was the last of time in Thailand and from here it was a 24 hours journey to Cambodia. However I am so happy we decided to make the trip over to Khao Sok and after writing this and remembering our time here, I think it may have been my favourite part of our trip so far! We had such an amazing and relaxing time; I’d definitely recommend that if you are in the South on Thailand to visit this place, I don’t think many people do and we only met one other English couple the whole time we were there (who by chance we bumped into on the train in Sydney earlier this week – the strange life of travelling).