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Day 6: Into The Jungle

We let our hotel organize a full day-trip along the Chiao Lan reservoir of Khao Sok National Park, a huge meandering lake surrounded by rainforest older than anything around the Amazon. We were thus pampered for nine hours, with nothing to do but gaze around in wonder, eat or drink whatever was conveniently put in front of our mouths, and occasionally walk a few minutes to get to a cave or something.



Most of our day was spent on a "long-tail" boat, a large but graceful canoe with a huge primitive outboard engine ungainly strapped to its stern. These are the workhorses of water transport in south-east asia, and although dreadfully noisy they're also fast, cheap and reasonably safe.


After a small tour of the eastern part of the lake, we hiked a little and transferred to a bamboo raft in order to reach the Coral Cave, an above-the-water cave with corals growing on its stalactites and stalagmites. Quite how a mostly dry, freshwater-adjacent environment can support a life form that feels most comfortable a few meters below the ocean's surface is a puzzle no-one seems to have a decent answer for. It certainly left the very biology-chemistry-geology-savvy part of our group quite perplexed.



On our way back our guide spotted a green, long, thin, potentially poisonous snake (although he was quite unclear on that last point) that he managed to grab for us. He played with it for a while before handling it to Phil, who until then had noisily complained he was missing on all the fun. No-one died.

Around noon we stopped on a large bamboo pontoon thing for lunch and sunbathing and swimming around kayaks. There's very little I can say about this except it was Very Nice. Sadly we had to leave at some point, return to our hotel and transfer to Khao Lak, a resort town on the northern Andaman Sea.

A nice surprise awaited us at Fasai Bungalow, our hotel for the next two nights: the front wall of the room I shared with Gaia and Cathy had no door to speak of, because it was all plate glass. Although there is nothing objectively wrong with this, I must confess it feels quite weird calling "my room" something that looks uncannily like a vivarium, or, as Cathy perhaps more accurately described it, a window brothel. In any case, there were think drapes, and once they were drawn, and we got past the second surprise of seeing beach towels used in lieu of bed sheets, we laughed about the whole thing, and slept soundly enough.


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  • Response
    Wow I have been seeing pictures and it seems that the tour is so much fun and interesting. I would love to give a visit to this Khao Sok National Park soon. The lake and the rainforest older than the Amazon I think a best place to visit in vacations.

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