After our free time kayaking on the lake was finished, it was time for a planned activity of our visit to Cheow Lan Lake, jungle trekking and cave exploration. Transported by our longtail boat, permanently anchored in its sleepy mood next to the platform waiting to be awaken to bring us around, we reached the starting point of the hike in around 10 minutes, totally soaked by a the second storm of the day. We luckily had our own rain gear with us, and the other guests of the tour were lucky enough to be provided by our organized guide.
Trekking in the jungle in Cheow Lan Lake
After reaching the boat landing to start our walk, we were a little bit disappointed to find out that the trekking area was full of tourists and even a bamboo shop selling snacks and drinks!
Our hope for a serious jungle trek soon faded out, and it turned out to be an extremely easy 10 minutes hike through a very wide path.
For us that hiked for days in National Parks in Indonesia and Malaysia, with overnight stay in the jungle, it was like going to the corner-shop to buy bread, but other visitors might still feel it more thrilling than we felt, if not used to jungles and hiking. Khao Sok National Park and Thailand for sure have better routes to offer than this one, but they weren't on our way.
Along the route we managed to spot a couple of chameleons and a tarantula inside her nest, the only wildlife we would spot in those 2 days, so after all a success.
This “jungle trek” was needed to reach another stretch of water not connected with Cheow Lan Lake, where there was a permanent ranger camp with floating huts. We also saw kids and women there, since their families gathered at the camp for a short holiday. It was quite interesting to see how it is to live permanently in the lake disconnected from anything and with zero facilities.
Exploring a local cave
From the ranger station we took a bamboo raft, driven by a smiley Thai Woman, to reach in a few minutes the cave we were aiming for.
Once again our tour guide was well prepared having headlights for all of us, even if we brought also our own, and was quite knowledgeable about the rock formations and several rooms inside the cave.
We liked in particular some glittering stones, reflecting our torches like Christmas decorations; it was a nice cave, but nothing we would suggest to go on purpose if you are not in the surroundings.
After a dozen of minutes we were out and ready to go back to our floating base, enjoying the always changing view of the limestone cliffs and kasrt formations dipping into the water.
Evening at the floating rafthouses
Before dinner we still had time for a shower, but considering that the water was taken directly from the lake (Please don't use chemical soap, or better no soap at all!) we rather preferred to enjoy an evening swim!
Our delicious dinner was entertained by a karaoke night with local Thai tourists celebrating their national holiday while challenging themselves in melodious chants.
Sleeping in the floating platforms was an interesting experience too, since at the minimum movement outside, our room would start to shake. If a person was walking on the wooden board to go to the toilet, it was feeling like being on a boat in rough sea, even if the lake was totally flat.
Since we had electricity and some time to spare, we decided to watch a movie, “The Mission” that I had previously seen when I was a kid. I had a single memory from that movie: a gigantic waterfall immersed in luxurious rainforest, so that I thought it would fit somehow the location where we were staying, waterfall excluded.
Around 10:30pm electricity was turned off and all the resort went silent, and so we did.
We joined the other guests in a deep sleep. gathering energy for our Wildlife spotting tour in the amazing lake of Khao Sok National Park, in the following morning.