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Southeast Asia "When I go on Japanese Airlines, I really love it because I like Japanese food." - Phil Collins

Khao Sok

THAILAND | Tuesday, 5 November 2013 | Views [578]

November 2

During the day we hung at the beach and got mani/pedis - the pedicures came out nice but the manicures did not dry and we managed to mess them up within seconds - side note: Hila had a ladyman do her nails ;)

In the evening we walked around the shops where I bought a nice journal to keep all my little bus passes and papers I've been collecting along the way, as well as some green friendship bracelets with our Canadian buds :)

November 3

Today we set off for Khao Sok National Park and caught a local bus to the Krabi Bus station we stopped at once before. From there we just made the 11:00 am (got there at 10:57 to be exact!) minibus driven by what very well may have been the 2nd worst drive known to me (first being the one in Fiji that actually made someone vom out the window haha). I came to the conclusion that the cars here must be much different and more difficult to drive, my first assumption being that our driver felt like he was playing a video game, because I've never seen anyone lean their whole body left or right to turn a wheel... Don't get me wrong, it was kinda fun since the ride still felt like we were in a video game or The Fast and The Furious 7 seeing as we were weaving inches away from cars and driving on the other side of the road and all sorts of other illegal stuff haha. That being said, I'm also positive I was the only one with my seatbelt on [be proud Mom and Dad!], but with my seat being a direct shot out the front windshield in an accident, I felt it was necessary - or maybe I'm just not as into video games as I thought.

Seeing as all car rides (even the most ridiculous ones) make me sleepy, I cursed myself for the 14th time for forgetting one of the many travel pillows I have at home... Regardless, I popped in my headphones and sat back to enjoy the ride.

Some notable things and commentary from our trip:
- more of the same Thai landscape as all the bus rides we've taken, but lots more sunshine! Interestingly, everywhere we've actually stopped and stayed has been very different, but all the journeys to and from have looked very similar!
- we stopped to switch out the dried flowers hanging from the rearview mirror for some fresh ones - unnecessary? unless they're some danger prevention omen in which case totally necessary.
- snacked on some "smoked" almonds that were not what "smoked" means in the US... More like barbecue - Hila put it well, "they're not exactly bad...but not good"
- I have no idea how bus stops work here... I think people are just picked up on the side of the street
- not going out last night was such a blessing in disguise because if we did I (Hila) would have def vommed

We made it to Khao Sok and two Spaniards in our minibus told us they were staying at the jungle huts so we followed them there and booked a cute little room for 300B per night that has a nice fan, electricity AND hot water!! It's 4pm now and we just had a late lunch at the jungle huts restaurant and are figuring out tomorrow's activities!


November 4

Our morning started with a 7:30 wake up and breakfast in the foggy mountains before we embarked on an organized Lake Tour we booked the night before. We rode for about an hour by car, with a stop at a market with fresh fruit, nuts, spices and meats for sale. Curious as to what the stall by our van was selling, we asked the woman about the vegetable she was chopping, only to be offered a free sample of some delicious little coconut/pumpkin pastry! Mmmm, at that point we decided that we would definitely be asking more questions at markets :)

We got to the pier and bought our national park entrance tickets, hopped on a long tail (scored some VIP seats in the back of the boat woo), and drove through the big lake for an hour until we reached the main area of floating huts and tables and a little swimming area. Shortly after, we ate some lunch (and requested vegetarian) of sweet&sour vegetables, oyster sauce veggies (I think), fruit and of course rice.

Then we took off on the long tail again to the jungle where we trekked through mud and rivers for about 1.5 hours, stopping to look around at tarantulas, bamboo, and all sorts of other jungle-y things! We made it to Namtaloo Cave, put all our belongings in waterproof bags and ventured in to see bats and frogs and rocks! Inside, we waded/swam through cold water that puts our cold showers to shame! At the end, we all shut off our lights for a couple minutes and just sat in the pitch blackness - accurately described by Hila as "the kind your eyes never adjust to". Afterwards, we hiked back to camp where we dined on some more fruit, fantastic fried sticky rice with banana inside, and some cake-like dessert baked in a banana leaf - again, mmmm. My stomach is growling as I write this...

Eventually, we just reversed our first journey and got back home to the Jungle Huts. Showered and starving we made our way to the restaurant where we hung with our friends again including Spider lady, monkey lady, Roy and Alex, as well as some new friends Yoop, Chef, some Canadians and some really young, awkward Israeli boys who we forced Hila to sit next to and entertain :-D.

November 5

After some deliberation about whether we wanted to stay one more day so we could go swimming in the lake with Spider Lady, we realized the date and decided to head up to Koh Tao since our visa would expire in 10 days (!!! Went so fast!!) Having heard that it was now monsoon season on the East side, we were skeptical but still wanted to give it a try and learn to dive!

We caught a 12pm minibus to Surat Tani where the ferries to Koh Tao leave. Luckily our driver was much calmer and very nice - but we took some Dramamine juuust in case...we'll let you know how it goes when we get there!

Tags: ao nang, bus ride, khao sok


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