A brief history of Cheow Larn Lake – prehistoric to modern
The area that is Cheow Larn lake has a long history, beginning in the Carboniferous Period, 345-280 million years ago. During this time, sediments from the Shan-Thai landmass filled a deep ocean basin. As a result, a warm, shallow sea with conditions perfect for a coral reef was formed.
From about 280-225 million years ago, a massive coral reef stretching from China to Borneo thrived. This was the foundation for the Permian limestone visible today in the form of Karst mountains. Eventually, more sediment buried this reef, and the pressure compressed coral skeletons and other calcifying lifeforms into limestone.
While buried, magma from deep within the earth’s mantel bubbled up from the depths, injecting the limestone with granite. Then, chemicals in the magma mixed with water and other chemicals in the existing limestone, forming a mineral layer rich in tin and tungsten. This layer drew miners to Khao Sok by the thousands during the 1970s.
During the Cenozoic Period, 0-66 million years ago, the Indian tectonic plate collided with the Eurasian plate, forming the Himalayas. At the same time, Thailand was rotated clockwise and moved to the south-east as the Himalayas rose. The ancient, buried limestone, rich in tin and tungsten and impregnated with granite, was thrust up, folded, faulted, and eroded into its current form.
The Modern Age
More recently, the area currently occupied by Cheow Larn Lake was the site of an upheaval of a different sort. Specifically, 170+ college students fleeing into the jungle claimed the area as a stronghold. This followed a massacre of hundreds of demonstrators by the military during a student protest in Bangkok on October 6, 1976. These young men and women were branded as communists and fled into the wilderness of the Khao Sok. Their headquarters and hospital were located in the area of Namtaloo cave. For eight years they kept the Thai military at bay, until the government changed and all students were given pardons.
In addition to government soldiers, the students held off logging companies that would have cleared massive areas of the forest that became Khao Sok National Park. Everyone avoided hunting, as unnecessary gunshots on either side would give away positions. Even poachers kept out of the occupied areas. As a result, wildlife thrived in an active combat zone, and to this day the area around Cheow Larn remains one of the best places in Thailand to see wildlife.
Cheow Larn Lake alone is worth a visit to Khao Sok, but what to do with the rest of your time here? Well, you can find a full activities list and suggested Khao Sok itineraries on Riverside Cottages website. Once you’re in here, our staff will make sure you get the most from your time!
Find your perfect Khao Sok accommodation and dare to explore the depths of Khao Sok jungle!