In our travels we like to organize our trips ourselves. We rarely book a trip with a travel agency. Part of the adventure is figuring out how to get somewhere, where to stay and by using local transportation we get the chance to spend time with locals and get a brief peek into their lives. Saving money is a bonus!For a trip to Cheow Lan Lake we looked into organizing it ourselves but quickly came to the realization that going to the lake and arranging a trip would be difficult and probably not very cost effective, and when we were offered a deal on the one day trip we decided to book it.
We left just after 8.00 in the morning and picked up some more people on the way to the lake. It probably took us about an hour and a half to get to the lake. On our way we stopped briefly at a market where we bought some snacks. The drive to the lake was beautiful. We saw the limestone mountains with low hanging clouds and mist.
Once we arrived at the lake we bought our entrance tickets (300 bath for adults and 150 for children 14 and under) and boarded our long tail boat.
The adventure was about to start!
Cheow Lan Lake is an 165-square-kilometre artificial lake. It was created by building a dam. It has over 100 islands and is surrounded by limestone cliffs.
We spend about an hour to an hour and a half on the lake. It was breathtaking; the blue water, the limestone cliffs, absolutely stunning.
We had lunch at raft houses from the National Park. More groups arrived but it was very well organized. Every group had their own table and lunch consisted of fish, rice, vegetables and fruit. For the vegetarians they had the option of a dish with tofu.
After lunch we went back on the boat and after 5 minutes arrived at our next stop. Here we left the boat and started our adventure through the jungle.
Our guide was great. He waited until the one other group was gone and gave some interesting facts about bamboo and insects on the way.
The walk was beautiful and I was glad we had our tour guide, without him we would never get to a place like this.
After one and a half hour we arrived at the cave. I don’t even like to crawl under my bed, I really don’t like small spaces, so Iyou can imagine I was a bit apprehensive but wanted to give this a shot.
We walked through the cave, which was high and dark, very dark. The travel agency had provided us with flashlights before we left and I was very happy we had them. We had to walk in the dark, through the cave and through the water. Without light it wouldn’t have been a fun experience.
At some points we really had to wade through the water and the girls even had to swim. I couldn’t believe they had no fear what so ever!
We saw many different bats and structures of the cave and even some fish. I didn’t realize we were going to walk through the cave so at one point I was really thinking when are we going back! I didn’t see the group that we saw when we entered the cave so I really started to wonder how big this cave was!
That I was kind of loosing my mind showed when all of a sudden I see lights and wonder why they put lights up after walking in a dark cave for so long. Quickly I realized that it was not a light but that it was a crack in the cave and that we made it to the end! I was relieved and happy that I made it!
Honestly for a cave this was a great cave to walk in, it was just my mind that was telling me all the time that I was in a cave and that I shouldn’t be in one!
After the cave we walked through the jungle back to our boat. What an experience this adventure in the cave was. I was proud of myself and the girls and enjoyed most of it!
We took the boat back to the floating houses and spend some time swimming in the lake. More groups were there, but it never felt crowded.
Our way back to shore went very fast. They were expecting a thunderstorm and they didn’t want us to be on the lake! It was great fun, because our boat was much faster than a boat with a group of tough looking, shirtless guys. We all had fun when we passed them and when our guide made paddling motions to them we all, including the shirtless guys, couldn’t stop laughing.
We arrived safely back and returned to Khao Sok.
It’s not a cheap trip, the normal cost is 1500 baht per person, but organizing this by yourself would be very difficult and wouldn’t give you the same experience. The walk though the jungle and the cave made it so special and this can’t be done without a guide. The landscape is stunning and we loved every minute of it (well for me almost every minute 😉 ).