I wanted to get to Lake Cheow Lan for a long time and finally I succeeded. The place is tourist, but worth seeing at least once with your own eyes. Looking ahead, I want to clarify that beauty is not entirely natural, but still man-made, but this does not spoil the impression of this attraction in the least, especially if you do not know about it, then you yourself will not guess. I will even say more, for me Cheow Lan is one of the most unusual and interesting sights in Thailand, a must see. And it is not necessary to go there with an overnight stay, a one-day tour is enough. Okay, first things first.
The content of the article
- one Excursion to Lake Cheo Lan
- 2 Information to visit
- 3 On the map
Excursion to Lake Cheo Lan
My trip was completely accidental, but most of all I love these spontaneous travels. I needed to get from Phuket to Bangkok by car, and it would be surprising if I missed such a chance to go to Khao Sok National Park and Cheow Lan Lake. Follow the link for detailed information on what are the ways to visit the park and lake..
It's a shame to admit, but before this trip, I could not remember what exactly the name of the national park is, Khao Sok or Khao Lak 🙂 Now that I have been there and there, then, of course, everything fell into place in my head. So, if you go to the lake, then think about how to combine the trip with a visit to the jungle of the national park and the pleasant quiet resort of Khao Lak with excellent beaches..
Initially, I was going to spend the night at the lake. Imagine, you find yourself abandoned somewhere in the middle of mountains and kilometers of water, a starry sky shines above you, no electricity, no Internet, and only wild animals walk along the coast and birds hoot in the dark. Romance! But in order to fully taste the pleasure of voluntary solitude and disconnection from the outside world, including the virtual one, you need a certain attitude. I wanted movement, work, but not relaxation and loneliness for the whole day, but I was driving alone. Therefore, it was decided to stay longer in Khao Lak, and go to the lake only on a one-day excursion.
By boat on the lake
After spending the night in a tree bungalow 5 meters from the ground, in the morning I went on a tour, bought in the same hotel. Since I was in my car, I just followed the minibus with the rest of the tourists from the hotel to the lake (about 70 km). Having parked the car on the pier, joined the group and paid an additional bribe for visiting the national park (the lake is located on its territory), we boarded a boat (longtail) and sailed to the scenery from the movie Avatar.
Truth! The mountains sticking out of the water slightly take out the brain, you forget that you are on the planet earth. If it were not for the noise of the boat, then one could fantasize that you are flying on a dragon over the surface of the water. The rocks, although not very high to draw a complete parallel with the film, are still similar. You know, after such beautiful and amazing places, I somehow don't want to go and watch some 10-meter underwaterfall in Phuket. Check out the photos.
Unfortunately, if you take a tour, then in the boat, besides you, there will be 10 more people who will certainly interfere with normal photography. The fact is that you can't get up on the boat too much and someone's head always bothered me. Therefore, if you are traveling purely for photographic purposes, then it makes sense to take a private boat tour. Then you can stop at any time and capture here or another rock from all angles.
I almost forgot to tell you that the lake is artificial, that is, Cheo Lan is essentially not a lake, but a reservoir. In 1982, by order of the king, they built Ratchaprapha Dam, and dammed up a huge territory (165 sq km) in the fault of the karst mountains. What came of this, you could already see in the photos above, but I recommend doing it live.
On the way back, we got caught in the rain. Not a very pleasant feeling, you go to meet the wind with rain, the water waves strongly shake the boat, you get wet and freeze, despite the 30 degrees overboard. The most important thing is that at such a moment the propeller does not break, which happened to us once when we were sailing in that direction. But you don't have to worry about getting stuck, boats are constantly scurrying back and forth, someone will help, and the Thais usually have spare parts in reserve..
Lunch at the rafthouse
It's great that the excursion includes lunch at the rafthouse, these are such houses on the water near the main floating structure, which houses the cafe. And you can see what it looks like, it is interesting for the future, and it will not be superfluous to have a snack, especially since they are fed freshly caught fish from the same lake.
Jungle and a cave with a river inside
After lunch, we went for a walk in the jungle, to the part where the Nam TaLu Cave is located. One could call this event trekking, but still it is more of a walk. The path is trodden, the same groups are coming towards, but in general, if you have never been in the jungle, it will be interesting. And the most important thing is not the jungle, but the cave itself, I have almost more impressions from it than from Cheow Lan Lake. Not every day you have to walk in a cave with a flashlight and knee-deep (and sometimes neck-deep) in water, and surrounded by bats. The guide kept joking that we got lost and stuff like that. There was a funny moment when we all stopped, turned off the flashlights and, peering into the darkness, just listened to the silence around. How often does a modern man have such an opportunity?
There were no photos, I could say that my flashlight was too weak, the group walked quickly, I did not have time to find a place for the camera, where it could be mounted like a tripod, and set the settings normally.
There are many caves on the shores of Lake Cheo Lan, and it depends on the excursion to which one you will be brought. I really liked ours. I read there is still a cave where you can navigate inside on rafts.
Information to visit
First of all, you need to know that if you go with a group excursion from Phuket, then the money will be the same as on your own, or even cheaper. Because, for example, you don't have to rent a car and everything will be organized in general. Personally, I myself most often go on my own to tailor my day as I please, for example, to call in different places along the way, spend the night somewhere, etc. (I am ready to overpay for this format). But if you need to see Cheo Lan Lake quickly and without problems, then, however, it is easier to take a tour.
I have been asked more than once, so I am writing here. I recommend the good and trusted agency Alfa-Travel, which I myself used in Phuket. You can buy a tour both to Khao Sok and to the lake. Write to them, see the program on the website, they will come and pick them up directly from the hotel.
+66622100091 (Whatsapp, Viber, Line, Telegram)
Excursion to Khao Sok>
The cost of a one-day excursion on Lake Cheo Lan, which can be bought at a hotel near Khao Sok (as I bought), is 1500 baht. The price includes a round trip boat trip, lunch at the raft house, and a 3-hour walk on the lake. For other tour options, including directly from the pier, see the information post about Khao Sok. Excursions directly from Phuket cost very similar.
Entrance fee to Khao Sok National Park is 300 baht. If you buy a ticket when visiting the onshore part of the park (where the tour usually starts from), then you can go to the lake along it during the day. But IMHO it is very difficult to combine in one day, and it is not necessary.
If you go from the hotel to the Khao Sok National Park, then the minibus leaves it somewhere around 8 am, and returns back at 5-6 pm.
Hotels are best searched through RoomGuru (here's a direct link to Khao Sok hotels), and book where it is cheaper. Since the national park is not a seaside resort, there are, in principle, not very many hotels there, that's why the aggregator is good, it will go through all the bases at once. I lived here in this hotel.
On the map
Lake Cheo Lan
Lake Cheo Lan
The most famous site of Khao Sok National Park is Cheow Lan Lake. At this point there is a pier where excursion boats start. On the lake you can stay overnight in raft houses (floating houses).
The most famous site of Khao Sok National Park is Cheow Lan Lake. At this point there is a pier where excursion boats start. On the lake you can stay overnight in raft houses (floating houses). More details.