A rainy day and a boat ride through wonderland
Trip Start Jun 26, 2013
16Trip End Jul 24, 2013
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We headed towards the other side of Khao Sok......Cheow Larn Lake. Formed in 1982 by a number of massive earthen dams, it is 90 meters deep and covers miles and miles of mountainous terrain leaving those amazing limestone pinnacles jutting from its surface and shores. You may find the lake under many different spellings as is true of most of the place names in our blogs because the Thai alphabet and language is so different from ours that the English versions on maps, Internet references, etc
The skies were still dark and sprinkling on us occasionally as we drove the 70 kms to the eastern end of the lake where the long tail boats ferry passengers around the lake or to the "floating raft houses" where you can spend the night at various points on the lake. We debated whether it would be worth the money or the time since the light was generally poor for photography; but in the end we decided that we might as well give it a go since we wouldn't be coming back this way on our route. What a great decision it turned out to be.....the light was poor and we got thoroughly soaked by one of the squalls, but the lake is absolutely stunning! The pinnacles were huge and rose straight up for???? 500-1000 feet. Maybe more....it is difficult to find scale when everything is so big. We saw hornbills and an eagle and stopped for coffee at one of the sets of raft houses and really had a great afternoon. We definitely were happy with our decision not to spend the night in a raft house. They are nothing more than a tiny 10 x 10 room with thatch walls and roof and a mattress on the floor and I think they would have been a tough night for us. We enjoyed what we saw and I hope you will too though the thought of what this would look like with some warm morning sun or fiery sunset light made us wish for even more. If National Geographic was footing the bill, we would have stayed for however long was necessary to get those magical conditions; but so far, they haven't gotten in touch with us so we are pretty much on our own here
Once back on land we headed down the coast to Krabi for the night and to begin our exploration of the Railay Penninsula. It was completely dark when we finally got into town and there really were not as many hotel choices on this side of the bay so we finally turned in at the Maritime Resort and Spa sign and drove along the winding passage into what can only be described as"OMG.....we are not going to be able to stay here!". In yet another "what the heck" moment we parked and walked through the entryway towering 30-40 feet overhead and into the vast lobby decorated with wood and tile and open to the night on two sides. I asked for a room price and sure enough....it was going to be over $200/night but before I could even thank her and turn to leave, she said "is $80 OK? Breakfast is included. Would you like a king bed?". YES WE WOULD! You'll have to wait until daylight tomorrow to see what this place looks like but I think you'll be impressed as we were .
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