Khao Sok National Park is a place of undeniable beauty, and it’s not touristic at all. During the night, you see almost no one on the streets and there are a few restaurants operating. This is such a peaceful place that I would love to spend a few more days here in perfect harmony with nature.
On the day after the boat tour to Cheow Lan Lake, I decided to visit the forest on my own. You can actually do it because there are defined paths among the forest, but most people do it with a guide or in groups that allow you to know better what you can find. Going again to the National Park but now on my own, leads me to pay another entry ticket to the park. I had already paid for this ticket the day before but I can’t use it again.
I was scared to go on my own because you are exactly in the middle of the forest and don’t know what to expect from it, but I read some articles stating that it is ok to do it, so I went alone. The park is huge, but I only visited it during the morning, the longer you walk, the more chances you have to see different cascades and mesmerizing waterfalls in the middle of the rainforest.
The forest is extremely humid! Take a lot of water with you and proper footwear. I was kind of stressed while walking in the jungle because I’m very afraid of spiders and snakes and I know there is a big chance I cross one of this animals. I see no one else there alone. A few people come across me, but they all have a guide or a mate. I was actually walking totally alone with no one in sight the most part of the time. I enjoyed my moments alone with the Universe, but going with a guide isn’t a bad idea at all as he knows the forest already and can show you things that you will not find on your own.
Already at the beginning of the path, I came across this huge flying insect that flies straight to you. I had no idea what was that insect, and I needed to get down otherwise I will crash with this airplane-like bug. I remember to see this insect on sale as a souvenir in several stores before. The second animal I see is a spider. It is a pretty big spider that I haven’t seen before. I don’t get very close, in fact, I’m walking far from any plants or branches so anything touches me… I’m walking very slow and very attentive to try to spot any animal life. Walking in silence also helps not to scare away the animals at Khao Sok National Park.
The next animal I see is a reptile, I only saw it because there was a group of guided tourists on my front that was staring at that place, so after they left, tried to find what they were looking at. And there it was. A small reptile that was perfectly camouflaged among the green leaves. If it wasn’t the group on my front I would never have seen it.
I listen to the sound of a lot of birds and I try to see it on the trees. I only saw one bird and it was so small that I don’t even know how I spotted it. On the main path, there are some boards with information about the forest, what animals can you find, beware of the elephants, beware of the leeches and others…
My goal with this journey in Khao Sok National Park was to find the nearest cascade and then get back as it still takes a lot of time to reach it. The cascades have proper signs on the main path, so I just need to follow. I finally reach it. There are a few tourists there enjoying the water, the sound of the surrounding area, or just resting and admiring this beautiful place. I sat on one of the big rocks and rest for a bit before going back. This is the end of the dry season so the cascade isn’t impressive and the water level is really low. The small path to get there is slippery, but there are some trees you can hold on to.
On the way back from Khao Sok National Park, I went way more relaxed as I actually haven’t seen so many wildlife, but I was more relaxed until I look to my foot. There is a leech stuck to my leg the closest possible to my shoe. I had never seen a leech before, I don’t know how to deal with it so I start to freak out, and no one is around to help me out. I stress for a few seconds thinking how the hell will I get this thing off me. In the middle of my agitation, I start shaking it off with my hands (I can’t believe I will have to touch this thing). I hit it with my nail and she falls off. What a relieving moment… I’m shaking my hands off relief when I look to the floor and there she is trying to get on me again. I saw her moving on my shoe towards my ankle, I shake it off and squeeze in on the ground until I can no more. The rest of the way back I went very stressed about this moment that happened and thinking that I may get some disease out of this. The blood wasn’t stopping which was scaring me more. They don’t have any disease, they are just an unpleasant being.
The best option is to use trousers that connect to your sock and won’t let any leeches in. Also on the way back, I saw a group of monkeys and a big lizard hiding in the green scenario.
In the afternoon, I join another solo traveler that was staying in the same Hostel and went to the Khao Sok viewpoint walking. The view is very good with mountains until your eyes can’t reach longer. It is worth the walk that is about 20-25 minutes. On the way, we saw a really beautiful bug with blue tones and couldn’t resist stopping for a picture. We also got to see the monkey temple or Wat Tham Phanthurat. This place is full of monkeys that now live in it and you can buy food at the entrance to feed them.
On this same day, I’m leaving to Bangkok again, and I’m so glad I found someone that adviced me about this Khao Sok National Park otherwise I would never have visited it, and I loved this place. And the Hostel manager was just the nicest guy ever. I truly advise Jungle Hostel not only because of the receptionist but also because of the room. This was cheap and the best room I have been to the whole trip with a private bed, lot of space and an awesome bathroom.