Greetings from the jungle! Okay so technically I’m back on my island jungle right now, but the highlight of the last week was my three day journey into Khao Sok National Park jungle with Elephant Hills. Following an overnight train from Hua Hin to Surat Thani, I spent time at both their Elephant Camp in the jungle and their floating Rainforest Camp on the lake, and I’d be hard pressed to pick a favorite. Each had a highlight — in the jungle we blissed out with some sweet elephants rescued from the logging industry in a non-exploitative, ethical interaction experience, while on the water we literally had the lake at the doorstep of our floating luxury tent.
The trip was effectively a mini digital detox (Rainforest Camp was blissfully phone and internet service free) and also a wonderful excuse to spend one-on-one girly time with one of my best girls, Janine. We loved it so much! I’ve been itching to get to Khao Sok for ages now and wow, was it worth the wait. As usual, I can’t wait to share more — but if you want to see more before the full posts come out, follow along on Instagram, where I’m still sharing photos from this trip.
This week, posting should resume as normal — thanks for sticking with me and my lighter posting schedule while I was on the road! — so stay tuned for a few more posts from my road trip from the American Southwest, as well as an update on a popular old post that many of you have been asking about.
Alright guys, I think this week is a tough one — so excited to hear what you all think. Happy Monday!
Outdoor living at Rainforest Hills
Sharing snacks with our new elephant friends
The reward at the end of a jungle hike
Rainforest Camp, a paradise afloat
Which photo is your favorite?
Love your pictures and am so glad you went to Khao Sok. It was by far my favorite excursion.
It looks like you did the river trek through the cave which I was completely unprepared for as the agent who sold me the trip told me I’d only be ‘seeing’ a cave. I am so glad I didn’t know as if I had been told I’d be going on an extreme adventure I probably wouldn’t have gone….loved it and laughed hysterically the whole time.?
The cave was indeed a little more intense than initially described for us as well! I loved it though… it really was gorgeous from the outside, if a little guano-smelling on the inside.
Nothing better Alex, than sharing a few snacks with new friends!
Especially pals of the pachyderm variety 🙂
Oh wow! Picture C is my favourite this week. Can’t wait to read more about this place 🙂
I’m actually still posting photos on Instagram, so there’s plenty more coming there if you want a peek!
Photo E – so cute the wee trunk!
Ugh, I know, I could play with them all day! Love love love.
LOVE Photo D! The colors are gorg!
Thanks Kaitie! I took about a hundred and landed on one perfect one where the ribbons were cooperating 🙂
More amazing photos! I love D so much, but also – that elephant trunk <3
Don’t you just want to squeeze it? Love it so much!
I love A – the colours are beautiful 🙂
I could have laid by that pool all day!
Photo A! Can’t get over that pool view..
Right?! I could have tacked on an extra day just to lay by it!
Definitely Photo E for best photo this week!! Love your weekly posts and in fact, all your posts! Really enjoy the way you write and tell us everything you do.
Thanks Bethen! I love sharing my journey with all of you! Appreciate you following along.
Has to be photo E, love the pineapples and knives in nearly perfect rows:)
Top Chef, Elephant Edition 🙂
I love the elephant photo in photo C!! That looks like an amazing excursion.
It really was! I didn’t want to leave — they are magnificent to watch.
Yes, tough this week, but I finally decided on E. (I’m a sucker for cute animal pics.)
Tell me about it! Hence why I follow so many puppy accounts on Instagram… 😛
Photo A! Although you didn’t make it easy on us.
That’s the way I like it 🙂
So many choices this time!
Going with E, with D being a close second.
It took me a million tries to get that elephant trunk pic, so it might be the one I’m proudest of this week 🙂
Photo G. Looking forward to hearing more on your paradise afloat. Btw, this is the longest list of pics I have seen on your ‘Photo of the Week’ so far 😀
Just too hard to narrow down 🙂
What device do you use?
Hey Nathan, check my obsessions page for the full list of camera gear!
Definitely a tough choice – I’m torn between Photo E and Photo G! I loved Khao Sok – it’s easily one of my favourite places in Thailand!
I’m pretty obsessed with it now, too! I have a feeling I’ll be back for sure.
They’re all great — good to see a part of the world I may never get to. But my favorite is the elephant with his buddy on board!
That’s the beauty of travel blogs! I love being able to do a bit of armchair travel myself from time to time 🙂
Photo G is beautiful! How did you manage to take such a clear photo of the fish?
I just took it standing on the walkway between the floating tents! They were up at the surface hoping for scraps from the kitchen, methinks.
A floating luxury tent? I’m so jealous, that’s so much cooler than my regular bed! I’m gonna have to say photo A; I love those palm trees and that beautiful jungle
And it was SO much comfier than my normal rock-hard bed here in Thailand 🙂
Photo F!!! That’s quite a view. Now I’m regretting not squeezing in a night in Khao Sok (but my mum will probably kill me if I did. She’s not the forest type.)
Btw, I just left Koh Tao and I can totally see why you fell in love with that place. High cost of living, though 🙁 Took your advice and went up Mango Viewpoint! Totally worth the effort (though I had some bad advise and ended up in Nangyuan Lookout initially). The journey wasn’t as bad as what people made it out to be. Personally, I thought John Suwan was scarier.
So glad you got to enjoy some of Koh Tao! Hm, I’m not sure what the Nanguan Lookout is exactly. Was it at Dusit Buncha resort or elsewhere up near the whale skeleton? Yes, Koh Tao can be a little pricey compared to the rest of Thailand but I think it’s worth it 🙂
I don’t remember the resort’s name, but it’s that place where you travel north from the main Sairee road all the way to the end and you get a fantastic view of Koh Nang Yuan. A kind soul pointed out the name to me on a map. I’m not actually sure if I remembered the name right lol.
The island IS worth the cost! I love it way more than Koh Samui. I think Samui is a little too big for me. I like my islands small and explorable on foot. Samui’s “highlights” are so touristy. Not much of a value visiting except to say “I’ve been here”. Koh Tao is more of “I don’t care if no one or everyone comes here. It’s beautiful, ’nuff said.”
Have you ever tried snorkeling off the beach at Shark Bay, though? I tried and my feet ended up badly cut by all the dead corals near the shore (plus, moderate waves and weak swimmer is never a good combination). Now I’m wondering if I went in the wrong way!
Yes, I’ve been snorkeling at Shark Bay many times! This time of year the sea is pretty rough on that side, so I’m not surprised the waves were intense. Glad you loved the island regardless!
This is a hard decision since all of these pictures are great, but I would have to say E. I just love all the detail on the elephant trunk! Plus it’s really cute!
I’m quite proud of that one so thank you Melanie!
Photo E gives me so many feels! Simultaneously beautiful, adorable… and a tad creepy, what with the cleavers and the caterpillar-esque trunk (sorry, had to say it!). Can’t wait to read the stories behind the pics
Ha, I guess I do see the slight creep factor now that you say so 😉
I think Photo D is my favorite. I love the movement of the colored ribbons in the front of the boat.
It is wonderful to visit elephant sanctuaries where elephants are rescued. Its also always good to remind travelers NOT to ride elephants as this is a cruel and painful thing for the elephant. If we as tourists do not support it, it will hopefully end.
Check out our blog for upcoming story soon on Baby elephant Namal in Sri Lanka getting a new prosthetic leg… Stay tuned.
Sounds like an interesting story! Indeed, I am very happy to promote ethical animal encounters all across Southeast Asia.
A, B, C, D, E, F and G I love all your photo, it’s an amazing place
Love your weekly game to photos posting
You look great with a nice smile on all your Instagram photos
Meat me under the sea 🙂
Thanks Emma! I love Instagram — so much fun!
E — I LOVE ELEPHANTS!!!
Oh man, didn’t even notice that. E IS for elephant.
I like A, but enjoy all the shots.
I enjoy your travels…. Thanks for sharing!
Thanks for reading, Ron! 🙂
Photo G – everything just looks so lovely and serene
Serene is the perfect word to describe Khao Sok! I miss it already <3
Ah. I love your gorgeous photos. I was at Koh Sok a little over 3 weeks ago and it was by far the most beautiful place I’ve stayed (despite getting sunstroke on the lake). I didn’t have the chance to trek into the jungle and stayed in the floating bungalows so I’d love to go back and feed the elephants! X
Indeed — staying there was a dream. I only wish I’d spent longer!