After an absolutely lovely time on the coast, we headed inland to Koh Sok.
Matt: There are those times during traveling when things seem so amazing in theory, but somehow fall a little short in practice. Unfortunately, Koh Sok was one of those for us. Our timing of being in the low season should be a trade off of less ideal conditions for reduced costs. It was, however, the case that we did have less ideal conditions, but the costs did not reflect this at all.
One of the big draws to this area is Koh Sok Lake, yet we were misguided by local advice and did not realize it was not accessible from the Koh Sok National Park village area. You have to drive another hour East up the highway to get to the jetty to access the lake. Also, the only way to get on to the lake is to buy packages that include hikes and cave exploration, where even in the low season, prices were upwards of $70 for a day trip and $100 for an overnight per person. We struggled with the decision on the cost vs experience ratio and in the end decided to forego this one. Part of the deciding factor was their inability to work with us on amending any of the packages to skip things we did not want to do nor dropping us off at the train station near the jetty instead of driving us all the way back to the National Park office, only for us to then catch a mini bus back to the train station.
Instead, we opted to hike through the bamboo forest. It was not the old growth jungles we had become accustom to hiking through, it was all first generation forest with few old trees and an amazing canopy of this tall bamboo. It was the type of setting where if you saw kung fu masters running across the tops of the shoots having an epic sword fight, they would seem to fit right in. The walk was beautiful, and there was a really lovely river running along side of the path which I had to stop and take a dip in.
After the hike we treated ourselves to our first Thai massage in Thailand. And let me say, it is unlike any other massage I have ever had. They twist you, they turn you, and just when you think a part of it might actually be relaxing, they unleash a quick hammer fist. I must say that I did enjoy it quite a bit more than the ayurvedic massage I had in India.
Emer: Koh Sok was somewhat of a disappointment, mainly because of our poor timing; the water level wasn’t high enough to go tubing, the main reason we went. Instead we went for a long walk through the Koh Sok National Park. This forest offered new scenery for us as it had so much bamboo. Massive shoots reaching up to the sky and leaning over to create a bamboo tunnel. And so our stay was short but the beautiful bamboo made it quite sweet.