See more photos here: https://www.flickr.com/gp/140043503@N03/098TFC
After getting picked up at around 9:00am with several other people, our mini-van drove to a market. For the journey ahead, we purchased snacks and headlamps from some small stalls. We continued to the pier at Cheow Lan Lake where we boarded a long tail boat and cruised in between Kaoh Sok’s limestone cliffs and untouched jungle. An interesting fact about Cheow Lan Lake it that it’s man-made. A reservoir was created in 1982 to supply electricity to Surat Thani and the south of Thailand. Now, there are a number of different floating bungalows on Cheow Lan Lake that have been constructed to accommodate tourist groups. Our group had about 20 people in it from all over the world, but mostly from France.
The boat ride took about an hour to Klong Pae Ranger Station. Once we arrived at the floating restaurant, we found our floating bungalows and got settled. Afterwards, my mom and I jumped in the lake and relaxed. The fresh lake water was the perfect temperature!
In the afternoon our tour group did some trekking to reach Nam Thaloo Cave. We walked along a trail and crossed at least five streams (I’m glad I wore my Keen hiking sandals) to reach the opening. Eerily, there were no animal sounds, not even the chirping of birds. The cave had a lot of water running through it and in certain sections you needed to swim or carry your belonging above your head (in a dry-bag of course). During monsoon season, tours of the cave are halted as the water level rises so high that it is dangerous to enter. The cave was nice cave and I saw many bats. It was difficult to enjoy the excursion because of the large amount of people on the tour and the several other tour groups in the area. The tour guides rushed and hurried us at every opportunity.
Back at the floating restaurant, we were served a delicious dinner of fish, rice, vegetables, and more.
In the evening, a night safari was scheduled. All of us boarded a long-tail boat and cruised around part of the lake. The captain shone a bright light on the forest to spot wildlife. Sadly, we didn’t see any animals (perhaps the boat was too loud or we were just unlucky). However, the stars were unbelievable!
Back at my floating bungalow, I fell asleep around 9:00 pm to the sound of frogs and other forest wildlife.