Without booking accommodation we arrived at the bus stop in Khao Sok. Most travellers visit Khao Sok to enjoy the jungle and especially spend some time on Cheow Lan Lake. We were planning to spend some time at Khao Sok and possibly do some hiking in the National Park. We were not too sure if we would be doing a tour on the lake, they are not completely budget friendly, but Khao Sok had enough other activities to offer before heading towards the islands.
Once we arrived at the bus stop there were two guesthouses showing pictures and offering us a ride into town. I quickly checked Agoda and we decided to check out Nung House, it had good reviews and the locations seemed nice.
We hopped on the back of the pick-up truck and after a couple of minutes we arrived at the guesthouse. The girls are really getting used to all the different forms of transportation. After the first taxi trip from the airport and some worried faces because there were no seat belts they now don’t even ask or wonder. They just hop on and enjoy the ride.
We picked a nice room with two beds and our own bathroom. The guesthouse is just a couple of minutes away from the National Park entrance and is located on a nice side road.
Khao Sok is a small town with many guesthouses. The main attraction is a trip to Cheow Lan Lake which can easily be booked at any of the guesthouses. There are other tours as well; guided hikes and overnight trips in the jungle. There are some small travel agencies who offer the same trips. The guesthouses and the travel agencies all offer these trips for the same price so it doesn’t matter where you book.
After we settled in we walked to the National Park to check out what they had to offer. We had read that you could also camp in the park but when we asked they told us this was only possible if you bring your own tent.
The park has many hikes for which you don’t need to hire a guide. We were pretty tired and decided to walk back to the guesthouse and explore the park the next day.
We had already decided that we were not going to splurge all our money and spend a night on the lake on a bamboo raft house, but with the deal they gave us we decided to do the one day trip.
The trip fee excludes the entrance fee for the lake which is part of the same National Park as Khao Sok.
If you buy your entrance tickets after 4.00pm you get to enjoy the park until it closes and use the same entrance ticket the next day.
We were planning to go back to the National Park at 4.00 and do a late afternoon hike and use the entrance tickets the next day on our trip to the lake. Once back at the guesthouse I was too tired after all that travelling and not getting enough sleep on the train that we decided to go to the monkey swimming hole instead.
The monkey swimming hole is close to the guesthouse and local people and monkeys are known to come to the swimming hole to swim later in the afternoon.
When we arrived no one was there, but we still had a wonderful relaxing time. The girls enjoyed themselves with swinging of the rope and we enjoyed the scenery and the jungle noises.
We had dinner at our guesthouse and chatted with a Dutch traveller who was travelling through Asia for 5 months, while we were waiting for the electricity to come back on.
The next morning we left early for an unforgettable trip to Cheow Lan Lake, but more about that in the next blog post.
After our trip to Cheow Lan Lake we returned to Khao Sok, and just shortly after it started to rain. We quickly ran into a restaurant on the Main Street where they also sold pizza! The girls were happy that after all that Thai food they could have some more familiar food and it was a good one too!
After the amazing day at the lake where we did lots of walking through the jungle we decided to leave Khao Sok the next day and move to Koh Jum, an island in the Andaman Sea.
This is the great thing of not arranging and booking your trip in advance, if we like a place we can stay longer and when we’re ready to move on we can!
This guesthouse was our least favourite one of our trip. The room was good, but the mosquito nets were not big enough to go around the bed, luckily we brought our own. And then there was the noise. Right behind our room was a pump that made noises all night. Not horrible, I did fall asleep, but not what you want to hear when you sleep in the jungle.
We also woke up early from building sounds, they were working on a building probably some new accommodations. They didn’t tell us when we arrived that we would be listening to construction sounds and as the wife of a contractor construction noises don’t bring me relaxation, quite the opposite! I was very happy that the power went off again so it was only a very short time that I was reminded of all the times that I hear those sounds at home.
The food was fine, we ate our breakfasts and one dinner there and had no complaints. There were many dogs and cats and one dog and one cat made themselves very comfortable in our room, very cute!
The morning of our departure was when they showed their true colours. I guess they realized we were not going to book a tour with them or they were moody because they had to change all the bedding in the middle of the night for someone who discovered bed bugs (which they handled well), but they made no effort when we tried to order breakfast, and since we wanted to catch the bus at 8.00 from the bus stop we decided we would just pay for our two nights and find breakfast somewhere else. The older lady asked us how much they had told us the room would be and when we told her 600 baht she rudely said that that was too cheap. We paid and figured we wouldn’t get a ride back to the bus stop and decided to walk.
Khao Sok is definitely worth spending some time. We didn’t spend any time in the National Park but I’m sure the hikes are wonderful. Going to the lake is not cheap and very difficult to organize by yourself when you don’t have transportation but definitely worth it. You can read in the next blog how special our day on the Lake was.