The unquiet woods
Trip Start Jul 26, 2006
109Trip End Apr 01, 2008
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Fortunately, I had already booked a hostel for the night, as well as a train ticket headed south, so I was only in Bangkok long enough to grab a bite to eat and get some rest. I took an overnight train to Surat Thani, then caught a series of buses and personal vehicles to the lodge I was staying at out in Khao Sok National Park.
The train, on the other hand, was a sweet experience. I took a night train, so unfortunately I missed out on a lot of scenery. But I passed the evening away drinking 40s of Chang beer and smoking clove cigarettes with one of the train attendants, so it was all good. When you first board the train, there are normal-looking seats, but at some point in the evening the attendant will come along and magically transform the seats into quite comfortable upper and lower bunks-an impressive feat of ingenuity
So yeah, I made it to Khao Sok, albeit a few hours later than I'd planned, and was greeted by Kai, an awesome local feller whose family runs the lodge I was staying at. The lodge consisted of a jumble of little cottages and stilt-houses just next to a small creek and the trailhead. There was a lovely outdoor cafe with the best pineapple smoothies on the planet, and several kilometers worth of trails that one could take a leisurely stroll along. Kai has been a guide in Khao Sok for more than 15 years, and runs these incredible several-day trips out into the jungle deeps. I just happened to arrive the day before he was setting out on one, along with a group of four other Americans plus a European couple, so I tagged along.