Suratthani Journals

Khao Sok National Park – Week 3 of 4,Thailand trip

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A November 2001 trip to Suratthani by lcampbell

Limestone cliffs Photo, Suratthani, Thailand More Photos
Quote: This journal covers the third week of our one month trip to Thailand with a company called Intrepid Small Group Adventures. We spent the third week in Khao Sok National Park. For weeks 1, 2, and 4, see my journals about Chiang Mai, Kanchanaburi, Krabi, and Bangkok.

Khao Sok National Park – Week 3 of 4,Thailand trip

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Overview

Limestone cliffs Photo, Suratthani, Thailand
Quote:
Having worked as a park ranger for many years, I always have an appreciation for National Parks. This one is a beautiful example of unspoiled rainforest – they say that the rainforest here is older than the Amazon. Combined with the pristine jungle is majestic limestone mountains and Chiaw Lan Lake, a man made reservoir formed in 1982 when a dam was built. The lake is deep and clear. We spent time at Ton Tuey floating rafthouses – a secluded paradise 2 hours from any town in the middle of the lake – and at Art’s Riverview Lodge at the entrance of a rainforest area of the park. Both were fabulous. Quick Tips: We didn’t have any trouble with mosquitos, but I imagine that they could be bad...Read More

Ton Tuey floating rafthouses

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Hotel

Ton Tuey floating rafthouses Photo, Suratthani, Thailand
Quote:
After the Hilltribe trek in Chiang Mai, this was our next favorite part of our whole Thailand trip. To get to the floating rafthouses, we took a one hour car ride from the train station to a boat dock in Khao Sok National Park, then we had a 1.5 hour boat trip to get to the rafthouses. We were literally in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by jungle, and immersed in solitude and pure relaxation. It was fabulous! The longtail boat ride was an experience in itself. A large portion of Khao Sok National Park is made up of Chiaw Lan Lake, which is actually a reservoir formed when a hydroelectric dam was built in 1982. The lake is 165 square kilometers, and the entire park is 739. About 100 isla...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 9, 2002

Ton Tuey floating rafthouses
Khao Sok National Park
Suratthani, Thailand

Art’s Riverview Jungle Lodge

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Hotel

Art’s Riverview Jungle Lodge Photo, Suratthani, Thailand
Quote:
When we had to leave the floating rafthouses, I was disappointed to leave our jungle paradise. But when we got to Art’s Riverview Jungle Lodge, we discovered a paradise in it’s own right. It is located on the boundary of Khao Sok National Park. The park entrance is about a 15 minute walk, and from there you will find countless hiking trails and a Visitor Center. We stayed in these fantastic bungalows that were very rustic and raised on stilts. Ours was located quite far back off the road. We had to walk on a trail to get to it. It was surrounded by jungle and was so quiet and peaceful. The insides of the cabins themselves were quite dark, but we had a great deck off the back to make up fo...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 9, 2002

Art’s Riverview Jungle Lodge
P.O. Box 28
Suratthani, Thailand

Hike to Namtaloo Cave

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Attraction | "Hike to (and through) Namtaloo Cave"

Hike to Namtaloo Cave Photo, Suratthani, Thailand
Quote:
There was a 5 minute boat ride and a one hour hike to reach Namtaloo (meaning "water goes through it") Cave. The hike was through lush rainforest and we had to cross a number of small creeks. When we arrived, some folks only came a couple hundred feet into the cave and then turned around. The rest of us (six) decided to hike all the way through the cave, which was about a half mile long. There was a river running through the cave (hence the name) which we followed for a while, and then had to hike in for a while. We saw very large toads, the biggest spider I’ve ever seen, fish, crabs, and bats. Farther into the cave the passages got much more narrow and we had to swim in some areas that wer...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 9, 2002

Hike to Namtaloo Cave
Khao Sok National Park
Suratthani, Thailand
+66 077-278230

Hike to Swimming Hole

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Attraction

Hike to Swimming Hole Photo, Suratthani, Thailand
Quote:
From Art’s Riverview Jungle Lodge it is only a 15 minute walk to the entrance station of Khao Sok National Park. We hiked over one day and checked in at the station. We still had our entrance tickets from when we went to the floating rafthouses, and since they are good for three days, we were allowed to enter without paying again. There is a visitor center at the entrance that is very interesting. There were displays discussing the natural features and history of the park. There was also information about other national parks in the province. Just outside the visitor center are the trails. There were signs up for many destinations, but our guide said that we would hike to a waterfall abo...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 9, 2002

Hike to Swimming Hole
Khao Sok National Park
Suratthani, Thailand
+66 077-278230

Inner Tubing

Attraction

Quote:
At Art’s Riverview Jungle Lodge, there are inner tubes available to rent. This activity wasn’t included in our Intrepid trip, so we had to pay extra. The cost was 200 baht each, about $5, and we were gone for about 2.5 hours total. We had two guides with us and we were provided tubes and transportation back to the lodge at the end of the day. Our starting point was the lodge (which was on the river), so we all hopped on a tube and started floating. The water was a little low, so occassionally our guide would yell "Up Your Bum!" It was so hilarious! We figured out that they meant we should lift up our behinds so we wouldn’t hit them on the river rocks, but we still cracked up every time we ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 9, 2002

Inner Tubing
Art's River
Suratthani, Thailand

Khao Sok National Park

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Attraction | "A walk in solitude…. Or was it?"

Khao Sok National Park Photo, Suratthani, Thailand
Quote:
One evening I felt like taking a walk. Since we had spent 3 weeks with the travel group, I wanted some solitude, so I headed off alone. Earlier I had seen a sign pointing to a cave, so I found the sign and followed the arrows. The trail first took me over a narrow bamboo suspension bridge over the river. I felt disconcerted on the other side, because it seemed like I was on private property, and also I couldn’t see where the trail continued. I walked along the river toward a limestone cliff (being the clever gal that I am, I thought this would be a logical place for a cave). I found the trail again and another sign to the cave. I followed the trail and made it to the cave, which was a disa...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 9, 2002

Khao Sok National Park
Surat Thani- Takuapa Road
Suratthani, Thailand
+66 077-278230

About the Writer

lcampbell

lcampbell
Port Angeles, Washington