Huge limestone mountains covered by green rainforest appear in the morning mist when we arrive in Khao Sok National Park. The stunning national park is home to one of the oldest rain forests of our planet, a huge clear blue lake, a large variety of wildlife and a beautiful massive limestone mountain range. It is the perfect quiet green weekend escape from Bangkok’s buzzing city life.
In the heart of the National Park is Cheow Larn Lake which is the most beautiful scenic area of Khao Sok. By long tail boat we navigate between the steep limestones through the beautiful emerald water. I feel so small being surrounded by the towering high rocks that stick out of the water, some for about 900 meters! The reflection of the rocks and the sky is mesmerizing.
We make a stop at one of the secluded sections of the lake called Klong Yee. There are twenty authentic Thai raft houses floating on the water connected by narrow walkways. Although the interior is very basic with only a matress and terrace made of bamboo, it is a sweet spot to stay over. Early morning you’ll witness a stunning sunrise and you can dive right in the lake. We only spend a few hours to relax, have a delicious Thai lunch, take a swim, kayak and marvel at the scenic views.
We sleep at Anurak Community Lodge, a peaceful retreat run by local people. It is set amidst the lush rainforest and has standalone wooden bungalows with large windows that look out on the beautiful surroundings. The garden is filled with palm trees, bamboo and organically grown vegetables, spices and fruit. It’s the perfect setting to immerse yourself into the jungle away from the crowd. The community pays attention to sustainability. Local guides are trained to show you around and explore the area by foot or bicycles, in the rooms are refillable glass bottles, the air-conditioning is turned off at night and they grow their own food. The community started a loving project for retired trekking elephants. Nearby the lodge mister Aek and his family take care of Somboon, a harmed elephant. With the support of the community the family is able to give Somboon all the love and care he needs. Being so close to this beautiful giant, feeding him bananas and bathing in the nearby lake is a special once in a lifetime experience.
In the evening the friendly staff serves fine Thai dishes, fresh from the garden. The restaurant is set on a veranda were you have a spectacular view at dawn and were you will enjoy the jungle sounds at night.
Anurak Community Lodge offers a variety of jungle experiences you can book with a local guide.