Beautiful Khao Sok National Park

We headed out of Khao Lak in the morning after a great English breakfast at Walker’s Inn. We heard a bus was due to arrive so we went to the bus stop and waited. And waited. And waited. Allegedly, the buses run every hour, but we saw no evidence of that! After 3 hour, we did manage to snag a bus and arrived in Khao Sok 90 minutes later. The town is quite small, with a few restaurants, 2 mini marts and several bungalows. We stayed at Palm View which turned our to be an excellent choice. Palm View is run by Mama, Papa and their son, Kong who immediately welcomed us as family. Their rooms were clean and spread apart – and the food was outstanding. Mama makes it all so we sometimes waited a little longer than we were used to- but it was worth it! They also helped us book a 2 day/1 night stay in the Park on the lake which was amazing. We were picked up in the morning, drove 1 hour to the Pier and park entrance. Then boarded a long tail boat and took another 45 minutes ride to the floating bungalows on the lake. The view is breathtaking, with towering karst mountains, lush green jungle and beautiful blue water. I was pleased to see there were no resorts, very few boats and for the first time, pure, untouched land the way it must have been for hundreds of years.

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Our floating bungalow was very simple and in a general state of disrepair but it was still awesome. On arrival, we were shown to our room, then ushered to eat lunch before jumping in the lake for a swim. Our group- there were 7 of us staying the night, took a long tail about 15 minutes to the edge of the jungle where we hiked to the cave. The jungle hike was about an hour until we reached the mountain side and a small entrance to the cave. I thought there was no way anyone was going to get me in there but after peeking my head in and finding a much more open space, I braved it and with everyone else, headed through the cave with my head torch! I’m so glad I did- we hiked/swam about 30 minutes to the back of the cave then turned around. The water was sometimes 2m deep but never a dull moment as when our eyes adjusted, there was quite a lot to see.

We headed back for some more R&R before dinner which primarily entailed chatting with our new friends over a few Chang beers. We slept surpringly well in our little bungalow but were up at 6:30am per our guide to see some morning wildlife. We saw monkeys, a gibbon and a deer but they were pretty far away. The morning mist blanketing the mountains was beautiful and we took about 60 pictures in an attempt to capture it- none of course could do it justice. We packed up our stuff then headed by boat for another jungle hike to the View Point. We were dropped off at the edge of the jungle and climbed for about an hour to the view point overlooking part of the lake- the view was okay but I enjoyed the walk and the swim at the end more. On the other side, we arrived at another floating house and jumped in the water to cool off. After a quick lunch of fried rice, we were off to the pier once more and heading back to town.

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DSC00775We returned to Palm View and Mama’s delicious food, my fav- Kuay Tiew Rat Na. Met the guys in the town for a beer then headed to bed. The bus journey from Khao Sok to Phuket airport was even worse than the previous one but it was cheap! Arrived in Phuket in time for a sunset dinner at the beach. Next stop: Singapore

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