Khao Sok is a national park in Thailand that is conveniently located between Phuket & Bangkok so we thought it'd be a good idea to go there on our way to meet Russell's mum & dad in Bangers, we booked 4 nights there in a nice looking resort with a pool & only 5 minutes walk from the park itself. The plan - lots of relaxation, clean air and nature before crazy Deb & Russ arrive in crazy Bangkok.
Once we arrived at the resort we knew the plan would be successful, we had a lovely room with a good balcony which we spent hours sat on and the pool area was really nice. A lot of people choose to stay in tree houses here, they are more expensive and a lot of them just looked like bungalows that were high up - not actual tree houses so we opted for the quite lovely Morning Mist Resort.
Khao Sok National Park is huge - 739 square km to be exact so you can't walk it all, you kind of choose what you want to see or do and book that outside the park at your hotel. We saw lots we didn't want to do - caving (never again), difficult treks and even a 10 day jungle survival course. OMG, no thanks! The park is surrounded by the oldest evergreen rainforest in the world & huge limestone mountains.
We weren't too sure of what the deal was at the time so on our 2nd full day there we walked into the park and paid the 200 baht entrance fee (about £4) and went on our own trek. We went to see a few waterfalls and ended up walking about 10km that day, it was really nice to do it ourselves without a guide making small talk and other tourists either going too slow or too fast. We saw loads of lizards and birds and even a couple of monkeys. Luckily for me no spiders.
The best part of Khao Sok (or so we had read) was the lake and you can get a canoe and go on a trip for an hour and half with someone paddling for you - it was more of a small rubber boat than a canoe to be honest. We went early one morning and it was pretty good. Our guide kept taking us under trees looking for snakes, we saw 4 in total, they were all asleep up in the branches & the crazy guy would be banging the tree with the paddle, bit too scary for me, I didn't want a snake on my knee, luckily the snakes didn't fall out that easily. We also saw some kingfishers, lizards, toads and got a free photo of us in a canoe in a frame at the end. Nice way to spend a Sunday morning. The rest of the day was spent round the pool.
As I said the plan was relaxation and that's what we got (apart from the 10km walk in the boiling heat). We were in bed by 9pm every night and up at 9am, bit different to what we had been doing and what we planned to do next in Bangkok with Deb & Russ. Khao Sok is incredibly beautiful and a nice change from the big cities or beach resorts of Thailand. It was ace to sit on our balcony and only hear birds, chipmunks and geckos all around us. After 4 nights in the peaceful, tranquil setting, off we went on our 12 hour night bus to meet the folks, we were excited & thankfully at that point had no idea how it was going to end.......