While I was in Koh Phayam I really wasn’t too sure where to go to next.
I thought about heading straight to another island further down South but I knew I still had a lot of time and liked the idea of getting away the beaches for a few days (how spoilt do I sound hey?) and in Koh Phayam they had mini buses advertised that go to Khao Sok from Ranong pier. I had a friend who had been there recently, it was on my way down South so i booked a ticket.
I had pre-booked a nights accommodation because I wasn’t sure on the area and didn’t want to be walking around a lot, I found it relatively easily, it was called Smiley Bungalow and I paid 300tb for a bungalow which wasn’t as basic as my previous one but still fairly simple but I was again happy with the price and it has stunning views over the mountains and jungle from the balcony and in the morning you could watch the mist rise over the mountains.. a very good view while doing some morning yoga! After I had checked in I headed to the swimming hole that I had seen a sign for which was really nice, it was just part of a river that you could swim in and the water was really clear and not too cold so it was very refreshing.
The next day I booked to go on a jungle trek, it was quite expensive (1500tb plus 200tb for the national park fee) but I couldn’t go there and not do a tour and you couldn’t see much from being in Khao sok where all the accommodation ect was. We took a mini bus to a lake in the national park, the lake was so huge! We then took a long tailboat for an hour across the lake until we got to some lake cabins which had an area for people to swim so we got to swim in the lake which again was so refreshing as it is very humid in that area and we had some lunch.
Next we started our jungle trek, we walked about 5km through the jungle and it really wasn’t that strenuous but there were some rivers to cross so hello soggy trainers but the best bit was the cave walk.
I hadn’t realised we were walking through a cave until we got on the trip and then I heard a girl say she spoke to someone yesterday and they had to swim in the cave because the water was so deep.. well this slightly worried me because im not a huge fan of water and wasn’t expecting it but it turned out to be really fun.
The cave was 800m long and we were in it for about an hour, to start with the water was only about ankle to calf deep and a lot of the time we just walked on the rocks so I started to doubt whether we would actually have to swim but slowly the parts of water started to get deeper until we were at waist height, then we reached it!
The guide warned us that the next section was very narrow and it got deep in the middle, I think I was too busy watching where I was treading as the rocks were difficult to manage to notice the cold water (because i hate cold water!) and it wasn’t actually that bad, in the middle it did get too deep for me to walk so I had to swim a bit but before we knew it we could see light at the end of the tunnel (literally!) and we were out the other side and were able to dry off while finishing the rest of the jungle walk. It was a great experience and also re-highlighted the fact that Thai’s do not have any health and safety!
On our way back to the boat it started raining, we hoped we would be lucky as it looked like it was about to stop but we were wrong and it threw it down just as we had to start heading back across the lake! Even though we were pretty wet anyway you still don’t want to sit in a tail boat with no roof going across a very open lake in very heavy rain! It did stop about half way though so we got to half dry out again before the mini bus trip back to the guesthouse.
Khao Sok is a very quiet place with just one line of guesthouses and restaurants and only took about 5 minutes to walk from one end to the other but it is just for walkers and people wanting to explore the national park, I am very glad I went though as I got to see a different part of Thailand and the Lonely Planet was right, it was a good place to go to experience something other than just the beaches.