Thinking back on the places we have been over the past weeks, Khao Sok National Park sticks out firmly as one of my favourite destinations. It was such a stunning place, and worth all the research required to get there and having to palm out a bit extra for a tour.
Khao Sok National Park is located in the Surat Thani Province, and was easy enough to access by a minibus from Krabi. The bus dropped us in what is known as ‘Khao Sok Town’, a village of sorts that serves as a main base for exploring further in the park. I had wanted to do a short hike in the afternoon, but due to the bus running late and the typical 200 baht Thailand national park fee, we opted for a walk around town.
Our walk took us past rubber and palm plantations, and limestone hills, similar to those we saw in Krabi.
The main drawcard for Khao Sok is visiting and staying on the Cheow San Lake. Apparently this can be done independently, however after some research we decided the best approach was to join an all inclusive tour. We opted for Smileys, which included transfers, accommodation, food and activities on the lake. It was reasonably priced and the tour was great!
After spending a night in town, we were up early in the morning for breakfast and to pack an overnight bag for the tour. We were loaded on to vans and spent about an hour on the road before reaching a pier, and our first views of Cheow San Lake.
We transferred from the vans to a couple of longboats, and spend a further hour cruising across the massive lake. I will let the photos speak for themselves – this place is stunning!
Alright, maybe I was bit excited with the camera on the boat!
Our accommodation was the ‘lake house’, a series of basic bungalows floating on the water above the lake. This included a communal dining area where meals were served and we could hang out during our spare time.
The main attraction was jumping straight into the crystal clear water in front of our bungalow! The water was surprisingly warm, which was amazing considering the lake is apparently 30 metres deep at the bungalow!
Our accommodation also included some communal kayaks. Chris and I were absolutely terrible at it, but we gave it a shot and explored some of the lake as it mazed around the limestone cliffs and jungle.
I tried to take a selfie but successfully hid Chris’ face with my own… we are no good at this.
The afternoon soon passed with another swim and relaxing, taking in the peace and quiet and the sheer beauty of the land surrounding us.
It is amazing to think that this lake is man-made! The lake is formed as part of dam, created by the Thai government in the 1980s. Previously, the area was inhabited by a number of villages and was predominately jungle. Animals were even relocated as part of the project, which now sees power generated, and provides irrigation to surrounding areas.