During Raina’s sixth week in Thailand, she explored Khao Sok National Park with a a new friend. Here are some of the highlights from the past week!

I took off work on Friday and left Thursday night on the overnight train. I honestly LOVE traveling on overnight trains now. There is something fun and exciting being in your own little private bunk area, feeling the movement of the train and watching slum areas mixed with greenery, lights and garbage whiz by. Make sure you get the bottom berth because that has the big window. I like to stretch out (the seats fold down into a complete bed), get comfy and listen to a travel podcast. I fall asleep around 8 or 9 and wake up at 6/7 at my destination. I’d definitely recommend it over flying if you’re not short on time.

Jungle hut we stayed in our first night. When I met up with Julie we started off staying in a jungle hut in Khao Sok. It was pouring rain so we actually just napped a few hours and listened to the rain fall on our hut. It was very peaceful. I enjoyed not having to rush to be anywhere. Eventually, we ventured out into the small town and found a place where we could get a massage. It was Julie’s first one in Thailand and she had no idea what to expect. We laughed at how open they were about just having us lay down barely fully covered to start our massages. You’re in an open room and other potential customers can just walk in and see you getting your massage. I’m getting pretty used to it now, I usually get a massage once a week. They feel great and are so inexpensive!

Khao Sok had an unusual amount of pizza restaurants so we decided that’s what we would try for dinner. I was little disappointed in my “seasonal” veggie pizza. It only had canned peas and carrots… all the more reason to stick to the delicious thai dishes! Some of the girls I live with really miss American/western food. I haven’t had any strong cravings yet…except for Middleway Cafe back home 🙂

The next morning we got up early and caught a van with “Big Man” for our overnight lake and jungle tour. Big Man is a funny guide who is from Khao Sok. He loves to laugh and joke with everyone. He kind of reminded me of Rafeki from Lion King haha.

Big Man in his element. He’s telling us we have to climb through this little waterfall to get to the cave….this guy is clearly stoked ?

We had about 20 people in our group. Once we got to the dam where the lake was we started our boat trip to our floating huts. The boat ride was beautiful. The rock formations are pretty cool to see and the water is a bright emerald color. When you get up close to the the rocks you can see how high the water level used to be (at least 10? feet higher). It makes me wonder what this place looked like 100+ years ago.

Once we got to our floating houses we were able to kayak around the area. There honestly wasn’t too much to see but it was fun to get out. After kayaking we got back in the boat and headed to another part of the lake to hike to a cave. Big Man led the way through river crossings and the jungle which apparently had leeches in it!!!? I was a little freaked out about that, but with obsessive checking I didn’t see any. Normally with less rainfall you can hike through the cave, come out the other side and loop back to the starting point. Big Man took us into the cave to where the water was up to my shoulders (his stomach). There were beams of light bouncing off of everyone’s head lamps reflecting on sparkling stalagmites overhead. They were beautiful. You had no idea what kind of water you were wading through/what’s lurking in it or what was above your head. I tried not to think about that haha. Some spots that we waded through had a strong current so we had to pull ourselves ahead by grabbing the walls. I thought it was pretty fun, but Big Man probably made the right call of having us turn around because the water was too high to get all the way through.

The hike to the cave

After we got back from the cave we had a delicious dinner. Julie and I hung out with some other Americans, a British family and a Candian/French couple. Everyone was really friendly. The Candian/French couple told us they met each other through the couch surfing app. The woman booked to stay with the guy and they just really hit it off. They’ve been together 3 years now. I love hearing those kinds of travel/inspiring stories.

Work was pretty mellow this week. We stayed at the center and helped out with checking patient’s height and weight. The jungle trip was basically half of my week…so that’s all I have to report for this week! 🙂


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Posted by World Endeavors on    June 20, 2018

Put yourself out there! TM

World Endeavors believes that international travel has the power to change lives, broaden horizons, and deepen intercultural understanding. The world is undergoing rapid changes, with societies becoming more interconnected and environmentally aware; at the same time a more challenging global economy inspires in many a need to reach out and make a positive difference while seeking personal growth opportunities. There has never been a better time than now to travel abroad.