Traveling to Khao Sok by night train

Khao Sok floating lake houses

In other words: from nightmare to paradise. Imagine it’s 3 o’clock in the after noon and you’re sitting by the pool of your 4 star hotel before heading to the nearest train station to catch the night train to Surat Thani, when all of a sudden your intestines go crazy. You start sweating like a maniac. With pinched butttocks you manage to get to your hotelroom in time. Shit! Literally in this case. When traveling, our stomach gets upset sometimes, it happens – just be honest. It’s a bit uncomfortable to say the least but when there’s a 10 hour train journey ahead things get a little more complicated. We – as in my rumbling tummy and I – hastily go looking for a pharmacy. Luckily for us we can get diarrhea inhibitors. The woman behind the counter asks if I also want something for the pain. I explain that I feel no pain, not knowing one of the side effects are cramps. But hey: at least the toilet urge disappeared. A 1,5 hour taxi drive takes me to the train station. The train arrives not much later than scheduled. Not having any clue what so ever about this being the right one, the railway guard nods when I show him my ticket. He shows me my seat – or should I say bed – which looks comfortable enough to be able to get a good night’s sleep. Can’t wait! But before we try to get some sleep, we quickly need to go for a number one. Each railcar has 2 toilets. When I open the door I face my worst nightmare. A fucking hole in the floor. Seriously? FML! I want to cry. Holding it in for another 10 hours is not really an option, let alone with a bellyache. So yes, I practiced my squats. After 2 traumatic experiences – I had to go twice – and 8 hours of sleep later, we arrive at Surat Thani train station. From here a taxi takes me to Khao Sok. As we arrive I forgot all about that worst nightmare of mine. Welcome to paradise!

2nd class sleep train budget travel Thailand

Anurak Lodge
I think Anurak Community Lodge is probably one of the most relaxed places I’ve ever stayed at. This beautiful retreat is situated on the edge of Khao Sok National Park and is run by local people. The detached cottages blend in with the colourful surroundings away from the beaten path and crowds. That peaceful vibe and the friendly local community will make an unique experience of your stay. I would definitely recommend Anurak Lodge to everyone who wants to hide away in the jungle with a little bit of luxury. It also has a restaurant with an amazing view and a menu full of delicious traditional dishes made of fresh product from their lovely garden. Although you could lie in a hammock all day if you like, Anurak Lodge also has a jungle hike and weekly activities for guest to participate. During my stay we celebrated Loy Krathong for example.

jungle view Anurak Lodge Thailand
full moon november Loy Krathong Thailand

Anurak Lodge also gives back to her community by offering guest unique experiences. If you’ve read my blog When in Thailand then you already know that a Thai cooking class is one of the must do’s for a first time visit to the land of smiles. On a local farm nearby, the woman of the household showed me the tricks of the trade. The traditional way of course and with all natural ingredients. You won’t be a pro after just one class but I do make a homemade green curry regularly now. During your visit to this farm you will not only learn how to cook but also meet a lovely and friendly local family. The family takes care of an injured elephant which makes your visit extra special. Personally I had some mixed feelings about this. Even though I am convinced that these people do have the best intentions, my visit to Elephant Nature Park taught me these giant creatures are happiest amoung other elephants. And although not used, the visible bullhook does bring an elephant stress. That said, I do encourage taking that cooking class!

Thai kitchen private cooking class
save elephants Thailand

Khao Sok vanaf het water
Khao Sok National Park is one of the oldest rainforests on our planet. The dense jungle teeming with life, huge limestone cliffs, caves and a beautiful lake make Khao Sok a true paradise. It is possible to explore the park in many diffirent ways. I chose to explore Khao Sok from the water. A longtail boat takes you through Cheow Lan Lake surrounded by rock formations and bush. A fantastic 1,5 hours later you’ll arrive at a serie of floating lake houses. Having a closer look, these lake houses are way less photogenic than they were from a fair distance. Many people choose to stay the night but to me that didn’t seem very comfortable. Luckily we only stopped for a brief swim in Cheow Lan Lake. After lunch you’ll take a jungle hike. The tour guide explains that this means entering a cave. The water within the cave might come up to your armpits. Yeah right. That’s all very nice but my armpits are somewhere near an average mans navel. If you deside not to enter the cave like I did – because you are also a bit claustrophobic – the jungle hike alone is as much fun. Khao Sok is rightfully known as one of the most beautiful places within Thailand!

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