leaving koh tao at the end of the second week, we boarded the night boat that would leave around 11 pm and slowly drifted towards the city of surat thani on the mainland.
it was the evening i had my last pad thai (a tasty fried noodle dish), because it stayed in my consciousness for too long. in fact, it kept bugging me during the whole trip to the mainland – more than 6 hours in a moving ship…
our next stop was khao sok national park [G]: one of the world’s oldest rainforests (older than the amazon rainforest).
we stayed at nung house, which was exactly as nice as two canadians had told me just days before. the guesthouse is situated right by the river. it’s very calm and comfortable with hardly any other travellers around. our hosts were extremely friendly and helpful (especially when we found out that the strikes in bangkok had gone to the point where public transport was shut down).
when we entered our bungalow, we were first greeted by a seemingly mental scorpion (we named him alex, NOT alluding to any alex we know). he was turning around and wildly tried to sting the floor.
we later asked our host whether it was dangerous. she said “oh, no…”, then suddenly pausing and, in a more curious voice, asking us what colour it was1. :)
it was there that we met one of the most communicative thais we’ve ever encountered. he was working at nung house and, ironically, happened to be deaf-mute since birth. this didn’t stop him from communicating, and we had some interesting “talks”, using hand signs, pen&paper, and pretty much whatever was around. he got his point across better than most english-speaking thais…
he was also the one who helped us plan our further route, and recommended going to prachuap khiri khan – it turned out to be exactly what we wanted!
the entrance to the national park, with a visitor center and hiking routes (most of which were closed during the rainy season), is just at the end of the main street, so we walked up into the forest one day, and made the interesting acquaintance of tiger leeches. ;)
the following day, we did the “one day lake jungle and cave tour” (the group was too small for the overnight stay at tonetuey floating bamboo rafthouse) – a must for anyone who visits khao sok.
our guide was a part-time national park ranger, and the entire tour was a great experience.
- the poorer their camouflage, and the smaller their pincers, the more dangerous their poison. stay away from whiteish scorpions! [↩]