I have heard quite a lot about it from other travelers, I’ve seen pictures of it and I’ve also read articles about it, but I must be honest, nothing prepared me for the spectacular beauty I witnessed when I arrived at Khao Sok National Park.
The easiest way to reach Khao Sok would probably be from Phuket. It took us a mere 3 hour drive by minivan to make the trip up north. Make sure you ask the bus driver to stop at one of the small towns along the way to buy your supplies (like beer, crisps or water), because the shop in the park by the pier is quite pricey and sometimes understocked. From the pier we made our way by longtail boat to our floating hotel.
The first 10 minutes on the boat wasn’t very spectacular. Yes we were on a huge lake in the middle of a Thai jungle but it was nothing worth taking pictures of…yet. Two islands with towering cliffs were approaching and the “captain” steered the boat between the two. It was like we entered another world. As far as the eye can see were hundreds of cliff islands similar to the ones I saw In Ha Long Bay Vietnam but it looked much more wild and untouched. It didn’t feel like we were on a lake anymore because it was just too big. Almost none of the islands had beaches, only high cliffs covered in jungle.
We stopped at a tiny rock island and a Thai guy on the boat showed us where to climb up and jump into the water. It was about a 9 meter drop but I think the beauty of the surroundings made me feel invincible and I leapt off the cliff without thinking twice. Next stop was our hotel…
Situated in the middle of the lake, our floating hotel came into view. I must say it made quite an impressive first impression as we cruised towards it. There was a tiny island covered in lush jungle quite close to it and behind the hotel was a huge cliff island which was so beautiful that I thought for a second that it was a fake backdrop. The restaurant and reception area is in the middle with a string of floating bamboo huts on both sides.
If you are looking for a crazy party with hundreds of people Khao Sok might not be for you. This is a place to relax and enjoy the peace and quiet that only mother nature can offer. To keep yourself busy, you can go kayaking to one of the cliff islands and try your hand at rock climbing. Or if that sounds too intense, you can just float on a tube in the middle of the emerald green lake to take in the beauty of the surroundings.
At night they do fire up the Karaoke machine but the music was very loud (mostly Thai or Chinese songs), so I found it a bit disruptive but all in all, this is something you HAVE to experience when you are in Thailand. I still cant believe a place so surreal and beautiful actually exists.