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Published: October 11th 2010
The journey from Koh Samui to Khao Sok was pretty much a nightmare! we were woke up arround 7:30 by someone who couldn't speak english pointing to a piece of paper that said "8:00 bus". We had booked on the 12 o'clock bus and had arranged to pick our washing us just before 12:00, so i tried to explain to the guy that we weren't meant to be leaving for over 4 hours and showed him our booking slip. All he said "ok" and wondered off.
1 hour later he's knocking on our door again and says "why you not bus?". I said to him again that i was on the 12 o'clock bus and we need to pick up our washing. He simply said "ok, no problem" but obviously the bus must have been waiting half an hour already. We knew something wasn't right and asked in reception what was going on. She said that there was no problem and you will be on the bus as planned.
So as 12 comes around and everyone is getting on there buses for different places and then suprise suprise theres just us left in the lobby. I ask reception, "do
you know where our bus is?" she says "you stay 1 more night i can't get bus for you today, the only 1 was this morning, and you didn't want to go..." I politely explained (and Sally not so politely explained) that this was unacceptable as we have already booked our treking in Khao Sok. She said it would be very expensive for her to pay for her to arrange a bus. Anyway after a few more minutes of arguing she agreed to pay and get us on our way, which as it turns out was the least stressfull part of the day....
When we were finally on our way in a mini bus, we got transferred to a coach and found out that our Irish friends, Ross and Claire, were on the same bus. They were going to Krabi and we were going to Khao Sok. Mmm...at this point i was pretty sure we'd been conned. However as it turned out we both got dropped off at the side of a highway in the middle of nowhere next to a grass verge and a ditch. We didn't have a clue what was going on as this was obviously
neither Khao Sok or Krabi!It was a bloody ditch! After a few minutes a car turns up for us and we jump in the back and wonder where the hell we're going next!(something you would never do in England but in Thailand if you want to get somewhere you have very little choice! After a 15 minute drive we arrive at a tour company with an english speaking tour operator and things start to make sense. Me and Sally had a bus prepared for us to go to Khao Sok and Ross and Claire would be taken to Krabi from there. All this included in the ticket which just said 'TRANSFER'. However it turned out that they were only taking us to another tour operator and he was arranging to bus from wherever the hell we were to Khao Sok. So after some arguing there and after the 2 and half hour journey to Khao Sok we arrived at about 8 o'clock to find that nobody knew where our hotel was and that it didn't exist. Perfect! However, we found a really helpful taxi guy in the national park that took us to a hotel with no name and they
took our ticket and said we could stay. 8 hours to go a few hundred kilometres!shocking!
After we'd sat down and had a beer in the reception/restaurent area we were shown to our accomodation for the night. It was a treehouse up 2 flights of stairs. Not what we were expecting but it had been a suprising day and this felt more like a fun part of it compared with the journey. And it was fun. However we didn't realize in the dark just how it was held up. You can see from the photo yourself it would probably not pass UK standard health and safety! The next day was great, we met our tour guide, Bayo (that's his name), and we went to a sactuary for orphaned monkeys, which was an experience to say the least! We didn't have a choice if we wanted a monkey to climb on us, as soon as we had a banana they crowed round, jumped on our backs and heads (as you can see!). Not something that happens everyday!
After calling at a look out point we went down to the river and spent the rest of the morning kayaking. This
was great (because we didn't have to paddle) and because it was a really beautiful and relaxing place. We spent over an hour floating down stream taking in the scenery. There were crossings over the river for the locals which were just a thick rope tied to a tree on each side of the river which allowed them to climb and wade accross. Nobody minds getting wet in thailand from a river or lake but they really hate the rain which was quite strange and amusing to see them running to get indoors when its raining but happy to jump fully clothed into a lake anytime of the day.
After kayaking we went for lunch. This was included in the tour and didn't disappoint. We met a french couple who we had kayaked with and we shared lunch with them that consisted of 6 full tasty dishes between the 4 of us and a massive plate of fruit for desert. Not too bad at all.
Soon after lunch we went elephant treking which was amazing. The size and strength of the elephants is unbelievable. We were treking up a small river with jagged rocks everywhere and it just
plowed its way through and stopped occasionally to tear down a bamboo tree to see if there was any baby bamboo for it to each under it. Incredible! Our elephant was called Tia (or something sounding similar) and was over 70 years old. At one point Sally sat on the elphants head and i sat on the neck and the guide was just relaxing in the chair barking instructions to the elephant occasionally while Sally nudged Tia behind the ears to make her move forward. Tia and the guide had an argument at one point when she sucked up some water in her trunk and aimed it at her back (presumably to cool her down) but of course she would soak me and sal aswel. Me and sal we quite happy to have an elephant give us a shower since it was over 35 degrees and felt hotter but the guide was not happy and tugged her ear and barked orders at her so she didn't do it. This was not an agressive action, but was still not pleasant to see. It was obvious though that non of us could have hurt the elephant with our bare hands but the
guide had a kind of axe which was a bit uncomforting.
After the trek we had the option of buying a basket of bananas for the elephants for 80p which of course we did. In fact we bought 3 baskets or about 12 bunchs of bananas. It was great to feed them as they took each banana 1 by 1 out of your hand and were very gentle for such big animals. they looked at you and touched your hands with there trunk after each banana as if to say thankyou. We then went back to the treehouse for the evening for dinner and some drinks before getting up for some trekking at 5am the following morning.
The trek was just over 7km long but because on the wildlife and swimming in the crystal clear waters we did not get back until gone 11am. We saw wild monkeys finding berries for breakfast, many birds and butterflies, a chameleon, fish and a snake. We cut through the forest towards a tranquil part of the river. The water was really cold compared to the heat and humidity of the jungle and was exactly what we needed. Swimming with the fish
in water from the mountains was just perfect and a brilliant end to our time in Khao Sok...
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