November 14th, 2006 – by: cygnus16
Morning at Khao Sak
After two days at Khao Lak I took the local bus to Surat Thani. On the way there I decided to get off the bus to spend a couple of days in the Khao Sok National Park, where I found a nice bungalow on stilts overlooking the river. On the second day I booked a tour which included a longtail boat trip on a lake and a jungle trek to a bat cave. After a long ride in the back of a truck amidst spectacular mountains and rock outcroppings we arrived at a lake (the name of which I've forgotten) where we got aboard a longtail boat. The lake was crystal clear and very deep. After about an hour of viewing beautiful rock formations from the boat we arrived at a pier by a row of dilapidated bungalows, where we disembarked, had some lunch, and then began our jungle trek.
I hadn't done so much slogging through the mud since my army days. Fortunately, noone of our group played host that day to the leaches which inhabit this type of terrain. We waded through streams, sometimes up to our armpits, holding our gear above our heads. Along the way we saw some enormous, ancient teakwood trees. But, except for a few butterflies and other insects, and the distant call of a monkey, there were very few signs of any wildlife. We finally arrived at the bat cave which had, as our guide informed us, served as a hideout for members of the Thai Communist Party for a period of about eight months during the 70's. There must have been an evil Thai demon lurking in that cave, because, as we were approaching the exit, the rushing water I was half submerged in yanked my feet out from under me, giving my poor camera and me a good soaking. :(( My camera was totaled, but luckily, my memory cards and I survived intact. That was the end of the photo taking for my trip. In about half an hour we were back at the pier where we had a swim in the lake and then some supper, after which we began the journey back to our lodgings.