Friday, March 14, 2014

Hitch-hiking to Khao Sok National Park

After leaving Koh Phanghan, I got on a boat headed towards Khao Sok National Park. On the boat leaving the island I met an American guy the same age as me named Dave. He was traveling around Asia by hitch hiking, camping and playing trumpet for money (he didn't have any money except what he made playing). I convinced him to come to Khao Sok, and he convinced me to hitch hike (which I was planning on doing anyways). After loading up on some food in Surat Thani, we hit the road.
Some fishing boats in the harbour at Surat Thani

Me and Dave on the road
We got picked up pretty quickly by a mom and her kids going home from school. Me and Dave got into the truck bed, and she drove us out of town. From there we got a bunch more rides in the back of truck beds. We stopped at this huge Thai market on the side of the highway. I fed a monkey some oranges, and when Dave tried to get close to the monkey it tried biting at him.
The evil monkey
People in the market stared and smiled and laughed at us, it was great to see some local Thai culture. We hitchhiked into the night towards Khao Sok. I felt bad because this group of Thai's gave us a ride through the jungle at night, only to realize after dropping us off that they were not even going that way, and that 8 of them had driven us 40km out of there way. I would not have agreed to it had I known, but I am grateful for there generosity. For the last two rides we met this Russian couple that was also hitch hiking, so there were four of us (The Russian Couple had hitchhiked all the way from Russia). At midnight I convinced Dave to stop and we got a hotel, as I thought it would be a real danger to get dropped off in the jungle, not knowing where we are and setting up a camp, and passerby's could easily rob us and get away with it, as we wouldn't be able to see them, or chase after them not knowing where we are in the jungle. The next day we hitch hiked into Khao Sok and went hiking. It was great hike, some huge bamboo trees, saw lots of cool river spots, monkey's playing in the trees, elephant crap but no elephant sightings.... The next day we joined a two day tour where we took a boat across the lake and stayed on this floating village and went caving, kayaking, and other things. It was an amazing two days, here are some pictures:
Swimming in the deep, deep lake

Are long tail boat

Hanging out at night on the floating village

Caving (some parts you have to swim through

the view from our porch

are bungalow on the floating village

Khao Sok is the largest park in Thailand and had some beautiful sites. It is one of the last places in the region where wild elephants still exist. If you come to southern Thailand I would highly recommend going to see it and getting a boat onto the lake. The two day tour was one of the funnest and most memorable experiences of my whole trip. Also it's only like $70 for a two day trip everything included!

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