After a long, 13 hour sleeper train we finally arrived at our destination. We dropped off our backpacks, hoping they’d still be there when we returned and headed towards wondrous 738-sq-km Khao Sok National Park. It is believed that this jungle is over 160 million years old which would make it one of the world’s oldest rainforests. Of all the places I visited during my month in Thailand, this was by far my favourite, and the most beautiful.
I’m a complete sucker for natural beauty and this national park drew me right in. With it’s limestone karsts coming out of every corner, I sat mesmerised at my surroundings on the boat trip towards the floating bungalows.
We stopped in a few places for a swim and soon arrived at our accommodation for the night, it looked less than sturdy, like it could have sunk into the water at any minute. And indeed, there were some parts of the walkway broken or completely underwater that we had to avoid. Because of this, what would have been our nearest bathroom was now unreachable. Instead, we had to walk along the walkway around ten minutes to the other end.
The bungalows were very basic, with just a mattress on the floor covered with a mosquito net.
The door to the bungalow I shared with my friend was broken. We were warned of monkeys around so we had to barricade the door at night with our backpacks. To some people, this accommodation might sounds like a nightmare, but for me, it was quite the opposite. I loved the simplicity of the bungalows and feeling ‘at one with nature’. I actually consider it to be the best place I have ever stayed, for the reasons I’ve just mentioned and, most importantly, what lay outside the bungalows.
Ahead of us there was water and mountain-like limestone karsts as far as the eye could see. As soon as we arrived we changed jumped in the water. We explored in a canoe and then relaxed in rubber rings. Laying in this rubber ring with a drink in my hand surrounded my wondrous scenery… Words cannot describe how bliss this felt.
By day the national park was a peaceful, tranquil place with little noise or movement. At night the park came alive with monkeys rushing around. Throughout the night we heard many monkeys clambering over our roof.
I would recommend Khao Sok National Park to anyone visiting Thailand. If you want a unique, basic and once-in-a-lifetime experience, I would definitely suggest you arrange to stay in the floating bungalows too.
Essential Info: Khao Sok is a short bus journey from Suratthani, Krabi, or Phuket. I went there as part of a tour with Thaintro. We visited in June which is the Monsoon season, yet it only rained once and when you’re already in the water and it’s very hot, who cares?