Thailand backpacking adventure part V

South Thailand, heat, tropical forests and back to the sea

The flight was straight forward and the landing smooth and while I was waiting for the backpack Dhyana scouted for the transfer bus to Surat Thani. Looking into it, the only affordable option I found was a minivan from the city to Khao Sok National Park, what would leave hours later and would take 3 hours. When I came out of the arrival hall Dhyana had found a man who could bring us for 900 bath to Khao Sok in one and half hours.. all he was looking for was two other people to fill the car. 10 minutes later we were on our way.

Khao Sok National Park (Thai: เขาสก) is in Surat Thani Province, Thailand. Its area is 739 km², and it includes the 165 square kilometer Cheow Lan Lakecontained by the Ratchaprapha Dam. The park is the largest area of virgin forest in southern Thailand and is a remnant of rain forest which is older and more diverse than the Amazon rain forest

We arrived at our resort with cabins on stills settled under palm trees. We had a soup for lunch and in the meantime were looking into the opportunities to go to the lake for a one or two day tour. It looked nice, only that we are not really tour people and the planning was full days involving driving again. So we aborted that plan. We opted in a chill out and a walk in the park the next morning on one of the trails following the river with the ability to cool down in the water on various places. We returned at 14:00 in time for a lunch before our four and half hour minivan drive to our next destination, Ao Nang. The minivan was full before we left Khao Sok filled with American,French, german and Dutch travellers all heading south.

We arrived at seven thirty at our resort named aonang baan Susan resort, 2 km from the beach in a quiet area… After checking in and dumping our gear in the room (a duplo cabin) we walked the 10 meters to the pool and had a refreshing swim..

We were not in the mood to go out anymore, so we ordered food and some beers to have outside our room on our little patio, while all the other guests were gone it was totally quiet. Bliss!

Next morning we had a lazy breakfast. Dhyana felt tired and decided to lay low for a day.. I took the resort shuttle down to Ao Nang beach to check out the place..

By now Ao Nang is very commercialised, every other kiosk is a tourist information selling trips to the various islands, the rest is hotels, bars, restaurants, clothing shops and 1 good coffee shop called 89.8. 100 meters up the road from the beach.

I walked the whole length of the beach what is about a kilometre max, climbed the stairs and followed the monkey trail ( no monkeys to be seen in the daytime, we saw them later that night..) to Pai Plong Beach, walked that beach and headed back to the coffee place.. I tried to contact Dhyana, but couldn’t reach her, so had a coffee myself.

Thereafter I waited for the transfer to comeback, but most likely no body needed to come down or brought back from and to the resort and my official pick up time was three o’clock…so no show of the transfer van… I asked a side car scooter for a price to the resort and he said 200 Bath (half the price of a 4,5 hour minivan ride from Koh Sok..! I declined and walked the 4.2 km back to the resort… by arrival it was time for another swim!!

That afternoon we rented a scooter and drove back to Ao Nang to have something to drink.., Dhyana thought Krabi would have some nice places to eat so we set of for the 20 km to Krabi. We looked, asked, searched and asked again, but could not find the fine dining nightlife of Krabi, except the night market at the river front. We found the gecko restaurant on our way out of Krabi (still in the centre) and decided to give it a try.. I didn’t fancy Thai food for a change and had a Spaghetti carbonara, while Dhyana stayed with the pad Thai. After dinner we drove the 14 km back to the resort…

 

Next morning after breakfast we headed for the beach again and took the boat to Railey, a secluded beach area, only reachable by boat. This area is stunning and a Mecca for rock climbers, the beach was nice and water pristine, there was a good crowd, but not too intrusive (probably much calmer a couple of years ago, but Thailand is booming…)

We chilled, walked around, had some lunch and returned by boat at 18:00 while the sun was setting over the Andaman Sea.

We had a drink at the “ last fisherman bar “ again, before heading to a pizza place around the corner. We ordered one Pizza first,( what was a good idea, because they were very thin and not really tasty), then we walked up slightly further up the street and had another pizza and a drink at a pizza place were they had a wood oven! Here the pizzas were a third of the price and of better quality!!

After the pizza we went home… Next morning Dhyana woke up with a cold and did not feel like doing anything, we had breakfast, booked an extra night and I had a look at Ao Nang pier, were the cargo and passengers longboats would take off to Railey east beach.. after a little walk around, I picked Dhyana up at the resort and we went for a coffee, (with a very nice Chocolate cake!!) after the coffee, we went back, had a swim and then I left for the Tiger Cave temple and the sanctuary 1263 steps up the mountain.

It was a good exercise and surely made the blood pumped around in the body, but after all, worth the view. A lot of people who start the ascent will not make it to the top..

 

I returned with some snacks and drinks to the resort, no beer, as most of the area is Muslim and don’t sell it, or the mini markets like the 7/11 do not sell alcohol before 17:00.

So I drove to the nearest 7/11 after 17:00 to get some beers and then returned.

We enjoyed our little happy hour, before we left for a “quick” bite to eat; we found a place called “Thailandia” that Dhyana had seen before that day after the coffee, so we gave it a try. The food was good and the ambiance superbly, while we were sitting in the back of the restaurant outside… a nice end to another day.