We began our Khao Sok canoe trip after a short drive through wondrous scenery. We enjoyed a climb down rock steps, which led to the river and our waiting canoes and guides. Then, the guides handed out bags of fish food. Instantly after throwing just a small handful into the river, a feeding frenzy erupted. Brightly coloured fish made the water boil as they fought for food. Have your camera at the ready to get some great action shots! In fact, due to breathtaking scenery, you should have your camera ready during all Khao Sok canoe trips!
While our guide paddled slowly down the river, we experienced the true meaning of the Thai phrase ‘Sabai-Sabai’. ‘Sabai-Sabai’ means easy going, happy and comfortable. It is a state of mind that Thai people strive for and achieve most of the time! As a result, Khao Sok is a relaxing and enjoyable place to visit. The locals here excel in ‘Sabai-Sabai,’ and our Khao Sok canoe trip was a perfect example.
While we floated down the river, we passed through the exquisite scenery of Khao Sok. The Karst cliffs rising straight up from the river banks, for example. These are covered by intriguing trees and plants which provide homes to many birds and animals. Additionally, we spotted a Kingfisher, frogs, a variety of storks and even a black and gold snake in a tree. Our canoes seemed to go unnoticed as we meandered downstream. As a result, we had plenty of opportunities to enjoy the surrounding nature.
Even the bare rock of the Karst cliffs was full of nature! In one instance, our guide pointed out an elephant head high up on the cliff side. Sure enough, with some help we could make out a unique stalactite formed in the shape of an elephant’s head.
Further downstream we paused for a refreshing swim in the clear water of the Sok River. Due to the abundance of rivers formed in the mountains above Khao Sok, you don’t need a swimming pool when you fancy a dip. Swimming breaks are a great extra in each Khao Sok canoe trip. There is nothing quite like bathing in crystal clear water, surrounded by jungle noises and rich, exotic Rainforest.
While we were swimming our guides had been busy gathering leaves and other foliage. Upon our return to the bank, amidst smiles and laughter, we were presented with intricately woven hats to wear for the rest of our canoe trip.
Our journey ended at a landing point overlooking wonderful views across lush jungle and forests. In the distance, the mountains of Khao Sok National Park rose skyward. With truly spectacular views, and an easy going, happy atmosphere, this was truly a ‘Sabai’ experience.
Khao Sok Canoe Trips
One of the most rewarding aspects of the Khao Sok canoe trip is that they sustain the local community. For example, each individual guide owns their canoe rather than a canoe tour company. Additionally, after each trip, every guide makes a contribution to a fund created for the preservation of the local environment. Perhaps this is another reason why our guides were so content and happy, and displayed such obvious pleasure in giving us a glimpse into where and how they live.
Note: Khao Sok canoe trips are now strictly regulated for safety and are not permitted when the rivers are considered in any way to be hazardous. Nevertheless, they are recommended for people who enjoy some adventure and a close proximity to nature.
You can find more information on the Khao Sok canoe trip on Riverside Cottages website. Be sure to also check out our River Tubing checklist, to arrive prepared for another great river adventure! Once you’re in Khao Sok our staff will make sure you get the most from your time here!
Let us help you find your perfect Khao Sok accommodation and dare to explore the depths of Khao Sok jungle!