Staying in a floating bungalow is something I have only ever imagined, however,whilst in Thailand I actually got the chance to stay in one and it was an absolute dream. Can you think of anything better than staying in the middle of a huge lake, surrounded by cliffs and jungle? We travelled from Bangkok, taking the overnight sleeper train to Suratthani, driving to the port and then taking a 40 minute boat ride to our bungalows, situated in the middle of Khao Sok National Park. As we sailed between cliffs I was astounded by the views, before arriving at our home for the night we were able to take a dip in the crystal clear water. The lake was so smooth and refreshing, especially in the humidity of Thailand. After paddling about we hopped back onto the boat and sailed towards our accommodation. The floating bungalows were just the cutest things I have ever seen, each one contained 3 beds laid on the floor and a fan, although electricity was only available for two hours a day.
One of my favourite things was the lack of wifi, in today’s world wifi is available everywhere and most of us are massively addicted to it, as soon as I arrive in a hostel my first words are ‘can I have the wifi password?’ Otherwise how would we show off to our friends and family at home via Instagram and Facebook? Not having wifi made the place completely technology free, all we had was each other and the nature around us, which we quickly realised was more than enough to keep us entertained for the night. We ventured into the lake with rubber dingys and kayaks, which me and my friend Robyn really struggled to get in, after about 45 minutes of wrestling and one broken toe (sorry Rob) we managed to get in and explored the area, it really was like living in a dream land.
Our afternoon activities included a 40 minute hike through dense, humid jungle full of monkeys and snakes. This was a little difficult, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t build up a sweat, but the exercise did me good. Especially since we had spent 12 hours on a train the night before. The jungle was shaped like a tiny mountain, as we descended on the other side, we saw two long bamboo rafts waiting for us. We boarded and headed towards our next adventure, caving. The caves were literally a wonder of nature, glistening white stalagmites, rising from the ground around us. Also, these caves weren’t as claustrophobic as the ones in South Africa, but there were a lot of bats which was a bit creepy.
After sailing back to our bungalows we decided it was about time to have a wash, since there were no showering facilities (there are shared toilets don’t worry) we had to wash in the lake which was a hilarious experience, we really were ‘off the beaten track.’ I really didn’t have much problem shampooing my hair in the lake, as you can see from this photo, but i did get some funny looks from the other guests.
We were provided with dinner which consisted of curry, omelette, chicken and pad thai, which is a delicious eggy, nutty pasta dish which can be found literally anywhere in Thailand. Even in the middle of a lake on a tiny floating platform with no electricity. I slept surprisingly well, i mean it was a little rocky as people walked along the platform to their own huts, but I tried to think of this as being rocked to sleep like a baby, luckily, none of us suffered from sea sickness and we were all absolutely exhausted after minimal sleep in the overnight train. When I woke up the next day I had woken up in paradise, once again I was so overwhelmed by the view from the doorway of my hut. This place is perfect for people who have had a bit too much beach, I know a lot of people who get sick of the salty water and constantly finding sand everywhere, this is the place for you. I am determined to return here one day, until then I will just sing its praises.