When one thinks of Thailand, one typically thinks of Bangkok temples or the turquoise blue waters on white sand beaches. But there is more to Thailand than that. These limestone rock formations near Khao Sok and Phang Nga Bay are less touristy and a geological wonder!
You start the adventure in this little village Surat Thani near the outskirts of Khao Sok National Park
We love to run. And especially when travelling, it's even more fun! It is truly one of the best ways to explore local hot-spots and familiarize yourself with the roads. Our hotel was situated smack in the middle of verdant green forest with a small river on the side on which families went tubing for some fun. The village was surrounded by limestone rock cliffs covered by mist and clouds, making it look like a scene out of Game of Thrones.
FRA, 2006 would allow 'title' rights for self-cultivation of forest land and 'use' rights for minor forest produce and grazing rights to forest dwelling tribals. Those from privileged class must support enforcement of this law because it ensures those who preserved the forests over generations are not run over by our voracious appetite for consumption.
We had to brave a bumpy boat ride with this boatman who was experienced and as a result a bit care-free(less?)! While everyone on the boat is stunned by the surrounding beauty, the sidekick of the steersman is out.
Dangerous expeditions in rickety boats braving strong winds are rewarded with this remote jungle hideout of lake raft houses.
When you are away from every electronic gadget in the world and stuck on this little strip of land in the middle of a huge lake surrounded by forests and fishes...you get to enjoy the rain and good company.
One of the more talked but not adequately utilized benefits of travel is interaction with people from other parts of the world - Germans, Danes, Americans and some times Indians:)
The lake, two steps out the door, was our swimming pool. Looks like just another swim but it's not for the faint hearted. Strong wind caused water current and wakes. One was always aware of the remoteness. Eerie silence was only interrupted by creaking sounds emanating from the jungles. These one room huts were only providing relief from the heavy rain. Hut flooring was wooden and if you mistakenly dropped anything in your room, chances were it would fall through the large cracks into the fishes mouth in the lake.We had to walk up the little mountain to use the washrooms. Electricity was limited from darkness to 10 PM.
This is as far as you can get from modern amenities and into the arms of pure, unadulterated nature —
One region is inundated with caves inside limestone karsts. Although I reckon Karst infested Halong Bay in Vietnam to be supernaturally beautiful, the ones along Gulf of Thailand come close second. I promise, these views are so beautiful in person, you will want to dive from the cliffs into the water, swim with the fishes and hike through the forest despite several leeches stuck on your legs.
This shot is taken from inside the cave. We did more in two days spent here than we would elsewhere in a week.