Khao Sok National Park is inland about 3 hours from Phuket and probably about the same from Surat Thani (the other direction and one of the gateways to the islands in the Gulf of Thailand).
We had read about the park in the Lonely Planet – it is touted as one of the twenty must see in Thailand. We learned that many believe this lowland jungle, which is the wettest spot in Thailand, to be over 160 million years old making it one of the oldest rain forests on the globe.
Apparently this national park is stunning with its limestone formations and tumbling waterfalls. There are a network of dirt trails that snake through the park and there are numerous different tours that offer everything from a day trip of bamboo rafting down the river, short hikes and swimming in the lake, to overnight trips, where you can sleep in floating bungalows.
Khao Sok is huge and still viable as jungle/rain forest and home to many large mammals such as gibbons, bears, tapirs, wild boars, deer and even tigers and Asian elephants. Unfortunately I didn’t get to see any of it with my own eyes.
We had booked a day trip for the four of us that included the rafting, swimming and hike to the cave but on the evening before we were supposed to go I was feeling decidedly unwell and by the middle of the night decidedly unwell had become insanely ill. I’ll spare you all the details but I will say I haven’t been that ill in a long, long, long time – if ever.
By early morning, when I still had a fever and couldn’t hold water down, it was obvious I wouldn’t be going anywhere. What was even worse, when I announced to the family I wouldn’t be going, Tony had started with stomach cramps and realized he wouldn’t be going either.
We had already paid for the trip and there was no way we were going to hold the girls back to watch us wallow in misery all day, so we sent them off on their merry way.
From all accounts it sounded like it had been a fabulous day of fun activities, spectacular sights and delicious food – apparently the girls had a ginormous buffet feast of fried fish, shrimps, rice, curry, chicken and fruit.
According to Abzy the highlight was jumping off the high platforms into the lake and swimming around and when we asked Tiah – she loved it all!
And poor Tony and I had to settle with hearing stories, enjoying the photographs and being content knowing that one day we will come back to this part of the world and Khao Sok National Park will be at the top of our list of places to see.
p.s. photo credits to Abigayle and Tiah 🙂
in lush glory –