4th and 5th day: Cheow Lan Lake – Raft House
How to get there:
Khao Sok was our first destination which we reached after leaving Bangkok. From the capital, we took a flight to Surat Thani and after this we traveled by free shuttle bus to Ratchaprapha Dam (which was organised by Nok Air, just while buying ticket choose an additional option with a bus).
We were at Ratchaprapha Dam after approx. 1,5 h of the bus ride. In the main building (where Tourist Information is), we hired a longtail boat (if you intend to stay overnight, the cost including an overnight stay of the boat driver costs, in our case, 3000 THB). Journey to our raft house – Krai Son – took approx. 1,5 h. It’s may be to possible to take a trip around the lake and see caves (just talk about it earlier while hiring) but we went directly to our final destination. One-day entrance fee to National Park was 300 Baht per person. Ratchaprapha Dam is the only place from where you can get to raft houses.
Cheow Lan Lake:
Cheow Lan Lake is an artificial lake, surrounded by limestone peaks where you can see gibbons and eagles.
We were told that you can even see elephants when they go to drink some water from the lake during low tide. The lake is a very popular destination among not only Thai people but also the Thai king who has there his private mansion.
Krai Son Raft House:
We organised our stay in Krai Son via the website of the Khao Sok National Park. It cost 400 Baht per night (from Monday to Thursday there’s is 40% discount). For reservation, click. Unfortunately, reservation is not foreigner friendly. I thought, that we could succeed, we only partially did. We reserved the house, paid, sent two confirmation e-mails. However when we reached the Krai Son, managers were surprised with our arrival… We showed them the confirmation of payment and we were allowed to stay but only because they had free places. Otherwise probably we would have to come back… It would a pity because it was my favourite time during whole trip to Thailand.
I have to admit that the price is absolutely not proportional to the value. Facilities are very simple, a house is big enough to fit a mattress, toilet and shower are shared, but view and experience are just stunning. There is no mobile reception or internet access and electricity is available from 6 pm to 11 pm. The not only scenery was fabulous, also the food was extremely delicious. Drinking water is all the time available in the main building and is for free. Meals are prepared when you want them. For lunch, dinner (consisting of a couple of different dishes) and breakfast we paid 500 Baht per person.
What to do there?
Just swim between sunbathing, kayaking. Water is clean, warm and not salty (salt is a drawback of the sea)! Just relax and enjoy the glorious view.
We left a raft house after spending a night there, at 14.00. Way back took less time (approx. 1 h). From Ratchaprapha Dam by a private minivan we went to the main road (nr 401) (cost 400 Baht). From there we were offered a lift on back of a pickup truck, nice experience :). A trip to Good View Resort in Khao Sok took approx 1 h.