Monday 15th July 2019
Day 76 of my Southeast Asia Trip
Sunday began with a coffee that was too strong for me so I had to spend an hour or so recovering from the caffeine high. We were picked up just after 9 to endure the hottest mini van journey of my life. It was hotter inside the van than outside. I think scenery just about compensated for the amount I was sweating.
The first glimpse of the Cheow Lan Lake was amazing – so turquoise! I couldn’t believe water like this was actually real and not photoshopped. It’s the perfect place to not have any WiFi / signal! To add to the feeling of being ‘disconnected’, Nikita and I were the only people in a group of 17 that weren’t Dutch!!
We caught the long tail boat to the floating bungalows we would call our home for the night. The boat journey took about an hour. The water showered me to say the least but it was nice and refreshing. Only problem was it made my sunscreen run into my eyes so I was partially blind for half the journey!
The bungalows were super basic but really cool and the mesmerising surroundings were like nothing I’d ever seen before. After lunch we headed out for our jungle trek. We walked through the trees and the river to get to the Nam Talu Cave.
Wearing headtorches we clambered and swam through the cave. I’ve been to a lot of caves in Southeast Asia but I think this was my favourite. Definitely the most adventurous!! We trekked back through the jungle and then had some time to relax at the bungalows.
I spent some time writing in my journal. It only took until half way through my trip but I’ve started to write pretty much every day now. I hope I can keep this up when I get home because it’s really good for my mental health and I actually really enjoy it! I’ve tried to make myself journal at home so much, but realised you can’t force these things and they just happen naturally.
At about 5:30 we headed out for a boat tour to watch the sun go down, and just admire the national park at twilight. To be in such an idyllic location in silence was amazing. Afterwards we had dinner and then secured our mosquito net on our bed for the night.
I even started reading a book – that’s how serene this place is. It’s called the Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck (I borrowed it from Nikita, I definitely haven’t been lugging a book around for 2 and a half months). Sitting next to the lake, in silence, using my phone torch to read the book made for one of my favourite moments of my entire trip.
The bungalow was a bit of a sauna overnight but I slept surprisingly well considering. And there were no bugs which was fantastic! I woke up quite sad because I kept dreaming about home so waking up 10,000km away was initially a bit disappointing.
We got up at 6:30, grabbed sh*t coffee and went for a morning boat tour. We spotted a gibbon swinging in the trees! Before check out at 10 we had a swim in the lake and headed out in a kayak.
Our last activity on the 2 day excursion was to head out to the (appropriately named) Three Rocks and have a obligatory photo shoot at the end of the boat. These are definitely the best photos I have from my trip so far – I just can’t get over the water!
We headed back to Coco Hostel in the afternoon and have just been relaxing over coffee, cake and a good book for the rest of the day. Definitely had some of the best couple of days of my trip staying at the lake!
After dinner at about 7:30pm we decided to go for a wander and discovered an entire town full of tourists and restaurants. We wandered all the way to the national park entrance and then turned back. The town was really buzzy which we didn’t expect. I was mesmerised by how the moon looked in the sky – shame iPhone cameras can’t take good moon photographs!
Heading off to the island of Koh Samui tomorrow morning to top up our tans and hopefully do some snorkelling!