My experiences with overwater accommodation have been pretty wonderful over the past few years; from tiny overwater bungalows in the Philippines right through to the most extravagant overwater palaces in the Maldives – I have become a big fan of falling asleep knowing that water is moving beneath me.
Travelling to Khao Sok National Park in Thailand presented me with yet another chance to spend an evening over the water – but this time it would be in the form of overwater glamping!
So, after saying farewell to the stunning elephants that call Elephant Hills home – it was onwards to Khao Sok Lake.
Once arriving at the lakes main port, it was about a thirty minute speedboat ride to camp.
The views en route were nothing short of spectacular. Enormous limestone cliffs could be seen jutting out of the water at every turn, and I remember mentally comparing this boat trip with the one that took me to my island getaway in El Nido.
Before too long, the overwater ‘glamping’ tents came into view. I was super excited to check out my new digs, and even more excited to make use of my kayak and get out onto the water.
This camp may not have been anywhere near an elephant, but it is still very much considered a part of ‘Elephant Hills’ and as such, the adorable elephant touches remain very evident in the décor.
Each ‘tent’ has a fluffy queen size bed, fresh drinking water, a consistently hot shower and comes with a private double kayak.
The lake is safe for swimming too, which is great, because Thailand is pretty unrelentingly hot!
I had pictured myself spending the afternoon kayaking, but instead I threw on my swimmers and spent most of the arvo cannonballing into the water from my tent!
As the sun went down, so did the mercury! With the weather cooler and more tolerable, it was the perfect time to get snap happy and capture some images of the incredible lake and rainforest surrounding me.
I went to sleep that night with a full belly, aching muscles and a head packed with dreams about monkeys swinging through the treetops.
As I had hit the hay rather early, I was wide awake at around 5am – which may sound dreadful, but it was actually kinda perfect. The lake was so smooth and still – which made for some pretty gorgeous photos.
Look at those reflections!
The forest surrounding this lake is well known for being home to gibbons, but as they spend their lives high up in the tree tops, they can be difficult to spot.
However, what they lack in visibility they sure make up for with audibility!
Gibbons are loud.
Not only is it pretty incredible to hear the sheer magnitude of their calls, but it makes it easier to know where to look for them.
The early hours are apparently the best time to get looking, so without any hesitation, it was time to jump in my kayak and go gibbon searching!
In a (totally predictable) twist of fate, within about 10 minutes of being on the water I found myself not even actively looking for gibbons…
…instead I found myself completely and utterly mesmerised by the stunning reflections on the water. Honestly, I am the most easily distracted human being on the planet!
Can you really blame me though?
Eventually, the gibbon calls pulled me from my pretty reflection induced stupor, and I was able to concentrate on the trees above and around me.
As it turned out, I didn’t have to look particularly hard!
Had the gibbons stayed in one spot I likely would never have spotted them, but they seemed to enjoy swinging through the trees – which makes their location a dead giveaway!
I only had my 12-40mm lens with me on this kayaking trip, and unfortunately this was not the ideal lens for capturing gibbons from a distance. I have said it before and I’ll say it again – I need a telefoto lens!
Despite it not being the ideal lens, I still managed to get at least one shot where a gibbon was visible.
Then, I put my camera down, laid back in my kayak and enjoyed watching the gibbon antics going on above me.
As always, happy solo travelling! xx
Getting to Khao Sok: From Phuket, Khao Sok is about a 2 hour drive north
Elephant Hills: 3 day all inclusive adventures start at 19,399 THB (approx $730 AUD), click here for more
Camera: Images captured with an Olympus OM-D E-M1 in conjunction with M.Zuiko 12-40mm f2/8 lens
Remember: Bring ALL of the deet!