Sawasdee – Destination Thailand
From Phuket, Khao Lak, Khanom, Krabi to Khao Sok.
Contributed by feature reporter Jens Hoffmann
Most of the people coming to Thailand to go to the beaches (like me) and miss sometimes the urban, true beauty of the country and the unique experiences it has to offer eg. natural breaks at Elephant Hills Rainforest Camp in Southern Thailand.
A trip to one of Thailand’s most spectacular rainforest lakes in the Khao Sok National Park is georgous.
The Elephant Hills Rainforest Camp on the emerald Cheow Larn Lake is one of the only floating tented camps in the world and it came out as one of my most extraordinary discoveries.
I felt years away from the rest of the world.
After a one hour boat trip you reach the camp with its ten green luxury safari tents. They are named after native animals like „Woodpecker“ or „Gibbon“.
I checked in to nearly all of the luxury hotels in the word.
But these tents here are great, funitured with a bed, a table and a chair.
Nice details: The „doorman“ is a cute wooden elefant and the light switch is also a little wooden elefant. In the back of the tent you find a bathroom with a shower and a toilette. Don´t forget to leave your shoes in front of the tent to keep bad spirits outside!
You should switch off your smartphone and enjoy a digital detox.
There is no wifi available. So you can „feel free“, as it is written on the kayaks, which belong to every tent. Take it whenever you like and explore the lake klongs and channels surrounded by deep jungle. It is pure nature all around. All you can hear is the sound of your paddle in the water, the singing of the birds and the monkeys shouting.
Everywhere you will get great thai food food.
Buffets are offered for breakfast, lunch and dinner with satay rice, currys fried noodles and vegetables.
Besides kayaking you should relax on the terrace in front of your tent, watch the jungle and the light which make the water shimmer. If you are lucky, you might see monkeys in the bamboo and palmtrees as we did. And – take a refreshing swim in the green, 35 meter deep waters of Cheow Larn Lake. At night the lake is black and because there is no light around, you have an overwhelming starry sky.
Easy to combine the floating camp with the experience of Thailands first and amazing Elephant Hills Luxury Tented Camp, also located in Khao Sok National Park.
It combines the camping idea of African national parks with the Thai tropical forest environment.
The camp is easy to reach from popular beach destinations like Phuket, Khao Lak, Khanom, Krabi and even Koh Samui (Transfer is included in all packages).
At Elephant Hills they offer a kayak-trip to a place where 12 asian elefants live with their mahouts.
There is no riding as carrying tourists on their back is not a natural thing elephants do. But you can get up close with the grey gentle giants. Watch them taking a bath in their mud pool, touch, wash and scrub them with coconut fibers and feed them with fresh pineapple and sugar cane.
The tents in Elephant hills are a little more comfortable as in the rainforst. They have a fan to cool down the heat at night and there is a bigger bathroom.
Both Camps are designed to be as responsible as possible. Powered only by solar and wind energy and using an unique waste management systems, they will avoid a negative impact on the surrounding forest.
The Elephant Hills Elephant Experience was awarded with the Thailand Green Excellence Award for Animal Welfare.
The camp is the perfect choice for select “digital detox” breaks in Southern Thailand.