Wednesday, May 30, 2012

2 Days in pure nature - Khao Sok Lake Explorer

We got picked up at our hotel at 7.30 AM to go on a two days trip to the Khao Sok national park. We were about to spend the night at the Cheow Larn lake in a floating raft house.
khao sok, khao lak land discovery, lake, cheow larn lake, cheow lan lake

After a short stop at a viewpoint, we visited the headquarters of the national park. Here we were welcomed by a big, fat python snake which was relaxing in the foliage. That surely gave us our first jungle experience. The next stop was at a small local market where we shopped for the last time before we were moving towards the solitude. From a small landing place we got onto a long tail boat and experienced the incredible landscape of those million years old limestone formations for the first time. The most impressive part about those huge cliffs is the brought variety and great development of vegetation that is growing on the limestone.
khao sok, khao lak land discovery, overnight, lake, rafthouse,
khao sok, rafthouse, overnight, lake, limestone, landscape, khao lak land discovery, jungle, adventure, rafthouse, schwimmende bungalows 
The boat stopped and we had the possibility to cool down by jumping into the green and most inviting water. We climbed the cliff, jumped into the water, swam around and relaxed in the sun, before we continued towards our raft house. Shortly before we reached the accommodation, one spotted a few monkeys along the waterside. While watching the monkeys, it slowly started raining and only 2 minutes later, when we reached the raft house, it was pouring.

Therefore we did not reach all dry, but had the best atmosphere for our first lunch at the lake. Soon we realized that rain will be our background music for the next two days. But not only that the calm lake was troubled by straight raindrops that fell into the water, the vegetation that was heated up by the sun, cooled down because of the rain and mist raised and surrounded the limestone formations. That was a beautiful natural spectacle that we were able to witness over and over again.

Khao Sok Nationalpark, jungle, adventure, lake, cheow lan lake, khao sok, khao lak, mountains, limestoneWe realized that even that the rain was slightly cooling, the water temperature of the lake was still quite high and invited for a dip. One realized “it is not just raining from above; it is also raining from below, just like in Forest Gump”. So we spend the afternoon swimming and relaxing in front of our bamboo huts before we sat all together at the main hut to listen to some guitar play of the raft house owner. It was a very familial atmosphere and continued after dinner, when we sat on the floor, had some drinks and shared a few stories. A great surprise was the visit from a small fogy. At 11 PM the electric generator got switched off and the only light was given through a few small candles, we felt so close to nature than never before. Since it was still raining it was not possible to see a single star which is most probably the case when being in such a natural environment.

The next morning we woke up at 6.30 AM, grabbed some coffee and got onto our long tail boat to observe animals in the morning. Of cause it still rained so we did not see any. We only heard a hornbill but did not see one. I was quite disappointed about that, because that would have been my personal highlight. 

khao sok, nationalpark, cheow lan lake, khao lak land discovery, khao lak, jungle adventure, limestone mountains, weather, longtailboatAfter breakfast we decided to still go onto the promised jungle walk, even if the rain would probably still continue. After half an hour walk, we sat onto a bamboo raft and crossed the lake. We than entered an incredible cave with fascinating stalagmites and stalactites. For a while we switch off all our torches and cameras and experienced the pure darkness. I thought that it was absolutely dark at the lake the night before, but in this cave you could see absolutely nothing. I never thought that darkness could fascinate me that much. On our way back through the jungle, we met quite a cheeky monkey, sitting high up in the tree and throwing fruits at us.
khao sok nationalpark, khao lak land discovery, rafthouses, bambushĂĽtten, swimming huts, mountains, adventure, jungle, cave explorer, höhlenerkundung 
Back at the raft house, we showered, relaxed for a while, packed everything and enjoyed a last lunch in the lake atmosphere before we went back to the landing place. It were amazing two days with unforgettable impressions. The best part was living and experiencing the nature so closely and living only on basic supplements without much electricity, internet, hand phones or TV.

If you want to know more about our tours at Khao Sok National Park, please click here.

by Charlotte Franke

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