As we disembarked from the special boat that brought us from the Khao Sok dam to the floating hotel, (an unforgettable hour ride), we were welcomed by a golden Brahman–the four-faced creator god, and a glass of cold juice. I know, I told you that Thailand is Buddhist, but we discovered that there are Hindu influences as well. Cheow Lan Lake or Rajjaprabha Dam Reservoir, is in Khao Sok National Park in Surat Thani Province, south of Bangkok. It is an 185-square-kilometre artificial lake, inaugurated in 1987 with the construction of a Dam by the Electricity Authority of Thailand as a source of electricity.
I guess, as a side affect, it also became a magical natural place for tourism.
At Panvaree the staff were super friendly, it felt like a very close and personal place, like they were family, although our main form of communication was sign language. That feeling was amplified when a rowdy group of young Germans arrived a day after us and included us in their partying. Oz was happy to practice his German. We kayaked, which was free as part of the payment, as well as other boat tours to see the sunrise, the sunset, and visit the jungle and the caves.
Swimming in the pure lake water was something else altogether. It felt like the mermaids were holding us afloat. (For real it was the required life jacket). The food was authentic Thai food, something a little different than what you get in restaurants.
The best part was, contrary to what their website promised, that we didn’t have any internet or phone connection–completely off the grid. Suddenly we had time to draw, play cards and just rest a lot.
We took tons of pictures. Amazing place, amazing people.
When was time to leave, two of the sweet staff ladies took the boat ride back to the park entrance with us and arranged for us a taxi ride to our next destination.