Khao Sok Blogs and Adventures

Night Safari in the Khao Sok National Park

I’m Looking at the night sky from my Tree house balcony. The hobby that we seem to have inherited from our ancestors. A past that enjoys a particular place in our personal history and the history of our planet. No matter how many times we look up at the night sky, we are still impressed every time we get a glimpse of its beauty.

Too many things were inspired just by looking at the night sky. One of such things that have engendered a lot of controversy and competition between the west and the east was the race towards the moon. Well, now we’re getting too far…

Khao Sok night sky Continue reading “Night Safari in the Khao Sok National Park” »

Trekking in the Thai Rainforest

Going for a Jungle trek in the balmy heat of the Khao Sok National Park in Surat-thani, Thailand, was like a test of mental and physical fitness for me. Yaya, our local jungle expert drove us through the village, to the park main entry.

This park is well-known for its treasure chest of tropical rainforest, botanical diversity and assortment of wildlife. Visiting the park and staying in a comfy tree house at the Khao Sok Paradise Resort was my friend’s idea, and since it was my first visit to the Park, I was more than curious to find out more about this nature reserve. I was actually looking forward to an interesting yet relaxing time, which is my conception of a holiday.

 Picture of the National Park

“Picture of the Park” Continue reading “Trekking in the Thai Rainforest” »

Thai food and alternative medicine

I will try everything once, and am very fond of eccentric Asian dishes, my favorite dish as a child was my mom’s backed chicken in pineapple sauce, I still remember walking into her front entryway, instantly smelling the deliciousness.

Nowadays I basically could live off Mediterranean food, but also always seem to have crush for Thai Food.

My earliest memory of adoring Thai food is with my father in Belgium. He was the one that would always take me and my sisters too trendy, entertaining and out of the ordinary places during the weekends.Here I was, just a kid thinking, wow, this is really cool!

Who else would bring me to these strange, uncommon, and good smelling restaurants?

  Continue reading “Thai food and alternative medicine” »

Tropical gardens

One of Thailand most known tropical garden is probably Nong Nooch in Pattaya, Chon Buri province, it is also known as being the biggest and most divert botanical garden in S.E.A

 

The Nong Nooch gardens are also specialized in Nature education, preservation and research as well as the conservation of the world’s biggest palm tree collection and the largest variety of Orchids flowers in Asia and other tropical flora.

 

It is not just a massive plant collection but boasts some of the rarest plants found on the planet.

The Nong Nooch GardensThe Nong Nooch Gardens

  Continue reading “Tropical gardens” »

Building a Tree House

Tree houses, they are reminders of our childhood dreams and are adult memories. I am sure almost everybody has at one point thought about having one or building one.

 When building a tree house, it is very much like building any other construction project, with one main difference: Instead of a foundation, a tree house, most of the time, rests on a platform. The platform should be sturdy enough so that whatever sits atop it, in my case a comfortable cabin, including a large comfortable bedroom and bathroom.

 That same platform should not be attached to the tree trunk. This minimizes damage to the tree and much more important, keeps the swaying on a very windy day from breaking apart the structure. Continue reading “Building a Tree House” »

Bike diaries, Khao Sok to Penang

Khao Sok

“on the way from Khao Sok to Krabi”

One of my earliest child memories is getting on the back of my Dad’s motorbike, while he drove along the narrow roads of the of Antwerp where grew up in. Another memory is about an American television series, Street Hawk, which was aired in Belgium during those days. The show was about a police officer named Jessie Mach and a super bike (a government project). The tag line used to be, The Man, The Machine…Street Hawk. I would watch the show and be mesmerized as the amazing bike performed incredible feats under the helm of Jessie. May be it was those formative years, but I love motorbikes. I have always found long rides helpful in clearing my mind and uplifting my mood. Faster and faster, until the thrill of speed overcomes the fear of crashing and evem death. It has become a lifestyle, a recreation and a way of life.

 It was a perfect day for a motorbike ride thought the country. After my successful ride in Cambodia, I felt pretty confident taking my bike for a trip down to Malaysia.

 I was staying in a nice tree house at the Khao Sok Paradise Resort in the Khao Sok national park for almost a week.

  As Usual, I was a little nervous driving such a long way. But I got out onto the highway 401 toward Surat Thani and just cruised.

 I was a distracted driver, gazing at those wonderful limestone cliffs and reading signs in Thai. I stopped frequently along the side of the road to take pictures. I took a random dirt path that looked like it ran right into a cliff. It led to another road, which took me past a very small village and to a cave with a swimming hole.

Continue reading “Bike diaries, Khao Sok to Penang” »

Dos and Don’ts in the land of smiles

To most Thais, the King and his family are the living embodiment of their nationhood. Always speak respectfully about the royal family, they are deeply respected by the Thais and this is not without reason, they were the first ones to start sexual education programs against H.I.V as well as promoting the use of condoms in Thailand, sexuality in Thailand is still a taboo subject, they also started many successful programs to replace opium farming by vegetable farming .

Be prepared to stand up whenever the national anthem or the royal anthems are played.

Thais also regard Buddhism with the highest respect. They consider all Buddha images as sacred and so are the monks. Therefore, you should not wear shorts, short skirts and sleeveless shirts when visiting any temple and shoes should always be removed at the entrance.

Despite Thailand being known for its thriving sex industry, the majority of the population is actually fairly conservative. A modest way of dressing will gain you more friends than baring your flesh.

The head, being the most sacred part of the body, should never be touched (do not attempt to pat even the heads of children). The feet, being the lowest, should never be pointed at other people, much less to a Buddha image. Continue reading “Dos and Don’ts in the land of smiles” »

Clouded leopard caught & freed

Clouded Leopard khao sok national park

Mr Surasit caught the female clouded leopard (Picture Phuket Gazette)

A clouded leopard was captured over the weekend after a dip into the poultry-house on the Khao Sok Thanyamundra’s organic farm neighbor of the Khao Sok paradise Resort, which produces much of the chemical-free produce served in Phuket.

Security guard Surasit Wangphakam was responsible for the capture. Hearing chickens “clucking loudly” inside the poultry-house, he looked inside to discover a female cloud leopard “playing” with the chickens.

Fifteen of the chickens had already been killed by the time he put a stop to it, said the 28-year-old.

“It is just a clouded leopard, not a dangerous animal. She came to hunt the chickens, but didn’t eat any of them. This is the first time I have had to catch an animal while on duty here. Once in a while, I see elephants, deer and monkeys,” said Mr Surasit.

Nicknamed Khun Sod, he has been working at the farm in the Khao Sok National Park for eight months under contract with Siam Guardian Services (SGS).

It took Mr Surasit about three minutes to get hold of the feline, which was not afraid of humans.

“She seemed humble, as if she was caught doing something naughty act,”

“However for security reasons, Mr Surasit tied her mouth and legs and put her in a cage,”. Continue reading “Clouded leopard caught & freed” »

Eco Tourism Rip off Artists

As the people in this world go greener day by day, green scams are also increasing. Green scams are nothing else but scams made in the name of environment.

Ecotourism has been hailed as a win/ win proposition for conservation, Thailand, the traveler, and the tourism industry. The reality is much more complicated. Much of what is marketed as environmentally sustainable travel is “ecotourism lite”–simply nature or adventure tourism with a new name, or conventional cruise or beach holidays with “add-ons” (a short trek in the rainforest, a day’s canoeing). Properly practiced, ecotourism is multifaceted: it’s low-impact, small-scale nature tourism that educates the traveler, provides funds for environment conservation, and gives work to local communities Continue reading “Eco Tourism Rip off Artists” »

EXCURSION – Khao Sok, un joyau de nature sauvage

Merveille naturelle de Thaïlande encore peu connue du grand public, le parc national de Khao Sok, situé dans la province de Surat Thani, au sud du royaume, mérite le détour. Non loin de la station balnéaire de Khao Lak, le parc dispose d’une faune sauvage et d’une flore particulièrement abondante et rare, ainsi qu’un lac à l’eau pure et à la couleur émeraude

Khao Sok National ParkLe merveilleux décor du lac de Chiaw Lan (photo Ghislain Poissonnier)

A mi-chemin entre la ville de Surat Thani et la station balnéaire de Khao Lak, le parc national de Khao Sok couvre 740 km² et contient la plus vaste forêt vierge du sud de la Thaïlande. La jungle de Khao Sok est, avec la forêt amazonienne, l’une des plus anciennes forêts tropicales humides du monde. Le parc national a été créé en 1981 pour la préserver. “Il s’agit d’un site hors du commun qui ne peut qu’attirer les amoureux de la nature et permet de découvrir autre chose que les plages de la région” explique Mathilde de Valicourt, une Française de 38 ans installée sur place depuis six ans et passionnée d’écotourisme, qui propose des treks et des séjours de découverte du parc aux touristes francophones. La forêt de Khao Sok, particulièrement dense et abondante, offre au visiteur une nouvelle perception des proportions : immenses lianes enchevêtrées, troncs d’arbre à la circonférence démesurée, fleurs extravagantes comme la Rafflesia. Cette dernière, plus grande fleur du monde, présente uniquement dans le parc, pousse sur les racines de lianes et peut atteindre jusqu’à 80 cm de diamètre. “Cette nature tropicale intacte subjugue la plupart des touristes de passage et offre un environnement idéal pour les animaux,” ajoute Mathilde de Valicourt. Ici, vivent environ 50 espèces de mammifères, 300 espèces d’oiseaux, de nombreux batraciens et serpents et un nombre encore inconnu d’insectes. La surface du parc national de Khao Sok en fait l’un des derniers habitats en Thaïlande des grands mammifères qui ont besoin d’un espace vital important. Continue reading “EXCURSION – Khao Sok, un joyau de nature sauvage” »