About place: Khao Sok

If you happen to spend your vacations in the Phuket or Samui, or near Krabi, and you like traveling across wild jungles, then a trip to Khao Sok National Park would be very interesting for you. You'll find nothing of the kind neither in Phuket nor Samui, if only in some parts of Krabi. Khao Sok is interesting not only for its primeval forest, that is trees entwined with lianas, but also for its magnificent mountain landscapes. Krabi has the same mountains – fascinating conglomeration of rocks covered with forest. But they are only low mountains, while in Khao Sok National Park some mountains may reach the height of one thousand meters and more.

You may visit Khao Sok in two ways: to buy a tour at any travel agency (their duration is 1-2 days), or to go there independently. Surely, the second variant is more preferable as you can see larger spaces of the forest during the trekking of any difficulty.

Regular one-day tour include the following points: sailing in a boat down the stream along the picturesque mountains. The stream is very shallow, but the mountains are magnificent. Then you may have an elephant ride in the forest. At the beginning the path goes over the plantation of rubber trees and then through the wild forest until you reach a waterfall where you may have a dip or even dive. The national park has only one elephant farm, so there will always be only one elephant path. After that you will be brought in a car to the observation point from where you can have a wonderful panorama of the huge spaces of Khao Sok Na-tional Park. All this will give you certain idea of the forest, if only rather superficial.

If you are really interested in the rainforest of Thailand, you should think hard about inde-pendent trip for at least 2-3 days. You may stay in a tourist village that is within the park on the bank of Cheow Lan Lake, which is, in fact, a storage pond that appeared there after the dyke was built.

The village has a lot of various hotels and guesthouses, but most of them are simple, in-expensive establishments. Most hotels have neither air-conditioners, nor hot water supply, but, perhaps, they aren't as necessary. As the main thing is to be closer to nature when trying to fall asleep you will hear the sounds of night jungles.

However, all hotels and guesthouses offer trekking services. If you would like to see a real wild forest, as well as the beauties of mountain regions of the park, you should go far and only with a guide. You'll need to wear convenient sneakers, as wells as knee high stockings. Or otherwise, you may be attacked by local leeches. And sometime you will even forget about the beauties of the park constantly seeming that another leech sucked to your leg.

If you want to go for yourself, it is also possible. There are many paths of different length and difficulty. But you must take a map with you, and by no means should you get off the path. As if even you aren't get lost, you will run a risk to be encountered with a scorpio or a snake, or some other not the least unpleasant creature.

Also you should have a canoe ride over the lake. The lake islands and surrounding moun-tains are very scenic. When selecting your trekking route, you shouldn’t miss the tallest wa-terfall Khan Sawan, although the other waterfalls aren't less beautiful.

The most curious point of all trekking tours is to search for expanded flower of Rafflesia. It blooms only for 2-3 days. As is known, Rafflesia is the biggest flower in the world, with some of them reaching the diameter of 60-70 cm. (there are flowers of 1 meter). Although blooming Rafflesia smells of rotting meat, it looks very beautiful.

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