Leanne and I travelled for this trek for about 3 1/2 hours from Phuket by bus to the middle of a rainforest in the interior of mainland Thailand. We visited a place called “Khao Sok”, supposedly one of the best rainforest reserves in southeast Asia. We left our hotel early morning around 7am and spent the first half of the day trekking through this primeval rainforest on the back of an elephant, truly a once in a lifetime experience. After the trek, we stopped for a traditional Thai lunch at these straw huts along the Khao Sok river (the main river that runs throught the rainforest).
We then boarded inflatable canoes and finished the remainder of our jungle trek by 2-man canoes (with a local guide), Some of the views at this point were incredible (canoeing down a river set against massive limestone cliffs and dense forest). There was even one moment when we passed by a nearby tree and saw a snake coiled up in the tree.
During the whole trip, we had only one moment that caused a bit of panic. There was one point where the guide took us down this small section of fast running water and briefly lost control of the canoe. We veered off to the side and crashed into a bush. When the guide backed up the canoe, poor Leanne (who was sitting in the front seat of our three-man canoe) had 7 or 8 spiders crawling all over here! It was a moment of sheer terror for her and said she almost jumped in the river, but the guide thought the whole ‘ordeal’ was hilarious (the spiders were apparently harmless, but big enough for a scare and do bite!) and helped Leanne get rid of the spiders. Leanne is terrified of spiders, but as always, had a good laugh about it later!
The Khao Sok rainforest is a must for anyone desiring a close connection with the natural world, the once-in-a-lifetime chance to ride on the back of an elephant, and the experience of being awestruck by your surroundings.
Those were just three of the fascinating experiences we had during our stay in Phuket. If you have any questions about Phuket, suggestions of where to stay, what to do etc, always feel free to leave me a comment (if you have an MSN account) and I will post a blog shortly thereafter! Thailand is a traveller’s playground, a fusion of natural, cultural and spiritual wonders. It is every bit as incredible as fellow wanderers make it out to be, and in some cases, surpasses the hype.