11 Oct Overnight exploration in Khao Sok
Two days in the pure jungle adventure on the Khao Sok overnight tour
Before we started the tour, the Thai tour guide Nueng and my boss Eike already told me that this would probably be one of my favourite tours. Accordingly, I already had some expectations for the trip in the Khao Sok National Park. At the same time was really curious how much I would really like the trip in the end.
Nice drive to beautiful Ratchapapa Dam
At 7 o’clock in the morning Nueng, Dam and I picked up two very nice guests from the hotel. Before heading to Khao Sok National Park, we took a break at the market and bought a few snacks such as nuts, papaya and fresh bananas. At the pier of Khao Sok National Park we switched into the longtail boat.
A local Thai guy guided the long tail boat and drove us in absolutely breathtaking scenery over the Ratchapapa Dam. Such a unique experience! The dam was built around 1985 for electricity generation, irrigation, flood protection and fishing purposes. When I was sitting in the long tail boat and enjoyed the scenery of the lake, I already knew that Nueng and Eike had not promised too much about this trip!
Khao Sok National Park is a REAL beauty!
The Khao Sok National Park is an area of exceptional beauty.
Ancient rainforests and limestone rocks can be found here and almost every corner hides a natural wonder. When you take a break with the longtail boat and the engine noise of the boat stops, you can hear the gibbons shouting and the crickets humming. Lying on the boat, enjoying the sun, closing the eyes and perceiving these natural sounds is something I will never forget. After a jump from the boat into the dam we reached the bamboo huts where we spent the night.
Have you ever spend a night in a bamboo hut? You have to!
I have to say that an overnight stay in the bungalows above the Ratchaprapha Dam was a truly highlight for me. I have tried out some extraordinary accommodation options in New Zealand and Australia, such as tree houses or hammocks, but a hut with such a view that is so close to the Jungle was unbeatable for me. By the way, the bamboo huts are run by a family who also offer a very good kitchen. After a classic, not too spicy Thai lunch with my beloved Massaman Curry, we relaxed for a few hours. If you need a little more action and want to explore the surroundings on your own, you can do so with a canoe of the bamboo huts. Canoes and life jackets are available free of charge at the bamboo huts at any time.
Time to go on a night safari!
Before dinner we got ready for the night safari around 5:30 p.m. I never did a safari tour before and therefore I was really excited. The driver of the boat had a very good eye for wildlife, but we weren’t too lucky that evening in terms of seeing any elephants.
But we were able to discover a few birds with the long nose and some wild pigs. We also found some elephant footprints on the shore, but unfortunately the elephants had already left before. But well, the jungle life and the animals just cannot be pre-ordered like a menu for dinner, right?😉 Still fascinated by nature we returned for a meal in the bamboo hut and went to sleep around 10 p.m. in our floating huts.
Getting up early is hard? Not when the next morning safari is planned!
The next day we started already at 6:15 for the morning safari. Unfortunately, we didn’t get a good day this morning to spot a few gibbons or elephants again. Despite the fact that we had not seen any special animals, the boat trip was an experience in itself! The view you of the clouds in front of the rocks in the clear air is simply incredible.
Hiking in the untouched and protected jungle…
After breakfast we set out with new energy for the jungle trekking. It is a 45-minute hike with a few ascents and descents between the bamboo huts and the Cheow Lan Lake, which was
targeted as the first destination of the hiking trip. On the way we heard the gibbons shouting again. What else, we saw a huge crab in the middle of the hiking trail and also two wildcats. Nueng, the Thai tour guide has a big knowledge about the jungle wildlife and gave us a lot of information.
At the pier of Cheow Lan Lake there is a very small village (I do not know if you can even call it a village). About 6 bamboo houses are located here on the shore of the lake, which are inhabited far away from any civilization. One of the local families build bamboo rafts here, with which we were driven to the “500 Rai” cave. The cave is not very touristy.
It is not illuminated inside, but Nueng was equipped with a lamp that led us very well through the cave. Surrounded by fascinating stalactites and stalagmites you also find many bats that live here. After the cave tour we went back to the bamboo huts to pack our stuff and to check out. The guests and me were quite sad to leave this beautiful place. But how good that it was probably not the last overnight stay for me – the high season is just coming 😉
Lunchtime at Worapoj Resort and Gym
On the way back we stopped for lunch at Worapoj Resort and Gym Khao Sok. The owners of the Worapoj Resort & Gyms are the Worapoj brothers. One of the brothers, Worapoj Petchkoom, is a famous Muay Thai fighter in Thailand who took part at the Olympic games in Athen in 2004. Worapoj Pechkoom now runs the gym next to the restaurant with his brother Worapoj Surin, who is also a Muay Thai fighter.
Last stop of the trip: Takua Pa old town 😉
Last but not least we made a small stop in the old town of Takua Pa. As it was raining a loooot, we just spent a few minutes in the temple. Inside the temple a ceremonial ceremony was celebrated so we just had a quick look there and went back into the minivan.
Finally, we reached the civilization in Khao Lak at about 3.30 pm. All in all, it was a super great tour that is absolutely worth a try for nature lovers like me. Although I have seen some really great natural landscapes and national parks in New Zealand and Australia on recent trips, the Khao Sok National Park was a special highlight for me, which I can absolutely recommend.