John and Jane in Thailand

J and J have escaped the hurly-burly of life in the USA.

Khao Sok

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In early July, John and I were given the chance to visit Khao Sok National Park on a two day tour with a honeymooning couple from Spain.  Despite the 24 hour notice, we jumped at the chance.  One of the great things about being retired is the ability to do things on the spur of the moment.  We set off for the four hour journey led by our intrepid guide (also known as our dive master, Niko) in a van.  Along the way we stopped at a Buddhist shrine within a cave and again to take an hour-long elephant ride through a forest.  Believe it or not, when the opportunity arose, both John and I rode on the elephant’s neck. 

Within Khao Sok is the Rachaprapha Reservoir, also known as Chiaw Lan Lake, which was formed in 1982 by the dam at Khlong Saeng River.   It is on the lake that the majority of our journey took place as we motored to our evening’s lodging.  This was a magical journey.  We had never seen anything like it.  A multitude of islands were formed when this mountainous region was flooded by the creation of the dam and the result is stunningly beautiful.

We spent the night in the middle of no-where (a.k.a. no roads in or out or anywhere near).  Our “rooms” were little rafts floating on the lake.  You’ll just have to look at the photographs to understand what I’m getting at.  Oh so peaceful, oh so beautiful.  Want a swim? Walk out your door and jump right in to the warm water.  I have to admit we had a hard time wrapping our minds around the idea that we were jumping into a mountain lake that wasn’t cold.

The rainforest of Khao Sok is a remnant of a 160-million-year-old forest ecosystem that is much older and richer than the forests of the Amazon and central African regions.  The next morning we hiked deep into the forest to a floating ranger station where we boarded a flat bamboo boat and headed across to a cave.  Great stalactites, stalagmites, bacon, and draperies.  Ever since our trip to Arizona a month before we left for Thailand, we have become cave aficionados.   Back through the forest to breakfast, swimming, kayaking, and monkey watching.  Though we hadn’t seen any on our hike, there were plenty of lemurs monkeying-around on the hillside behind our cabins.  It would have been no hardship to spend another night but after lunch we boarded our little boat once again for the return trip to the waiting van.  The journey was as beautiful and awe inspiring as it had been the day before.  I hope you enjoy the photographs of our adventure.



Written by Jane Estes

August 12, 2011 at 6:09 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. Hello Jane and John,
    this is sheila, you know the one who used to make you a red head. I see by your pic’s that you have settled into alanatural . I think it looks great. I also have to tell you again for the hundredth time how proud I am of both you and John for doing what you’re doing. I am a bit envious but am so happy for the two of you. You both look great and from your pictures it also looks like you are having the time of your lives. I just got back from Colorado. Madison is very pregnant and will need a lot of help so my thought on Thailand are a bit off in the future.

    sheila shannon

    September 13, 2011 at 11:24 pm

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