Excited about the adventure to come, we were picked up by our guides early in the morning at around 08:30 am, from Our Jungle Camp, and departed for the Khao Sok Nationalpark entrance. We were given a hammock and a sleeping bag to carry, and although they were pretty light, they did add an additional weight of our total baggage for the apparent strenuous and hard hike ahead of us. After buying our entrance tickets and entering the Nationalpark, our journey into the jungle began. We hiked for around an hour on a rather easy, wide dirt path trail until reaching a midpoint, where we stopped for a break and used the bathrooms before continuing our hike in the actual dense jungle awaiting to be explored by us. At this midpoint, we made friends with some rather wild pigs going around and asking for cuddles, which was a very sweet and humorous experience.
After petting the pigs, we stocked up on some more water to continue our journey. We passed a sign that read, “No trespassing without a guide!”, and from this point on we knew we were up for the real deal.
With the beaming sun disappearing behind the trees of the dense jungle, the heat was still very present and made it impossible not to drain our clothing with sweat. The hike had just begun and we already started feeling pretty defeated, carrying the extra bags and knowing there was still a 1-2 hour journey in front of us.
But that did not demotivate us. With their Thai humor, our guides made great jokes along the way, and we occasionally stopped for breaks to fully take in the nature surrounding us, stocking up on more energy for the hike.
We made various jungle animal encounters on the way to our jungle camping spot, including a Komodo Dragon sized Monitor Lizzard, on the hunt for food, a huntsman spider waiting on her cobweb for her next meal and a snake devouring a frog it had just caught.
After quite a long and heavy hike, we arrived at our beautiful camping spot in the early afternoon, with a crystal clear river running by gracefully. We were completely in awe of this breathtaking place, with a fresh breeze of air greeting us while we sat and relaxed for several moments. Our guides began setting up our camp, and we helped them put up our hammocks for the night. After everything was set, we ate a pre-packed lunch inside banana leaves, fried rice with tofu, and then went for a quick swim in the water.
After a relaxing break, we began our next journey; the search for a waterfall. With renewed energy from swimming in the refreshing river, we were energized enough to continue our next hike. This hike proved itself much harder than the first. We hiked up steep and very dense jungle trailways, then continuing and having to pass through a river on slippery rocks. Our guides made sure we were safe and wouldn’t slip or fall, guiding us at all times and helping us through harder pathways. We were no doubt in the middle of the jungle somewhere, with no civilization in sight for another 8-10 kilometers. The thrill of it all made it so worth it, and with adrenaline rushing through our veins we couldn’t wait for what was yet to come.
With the majestic roots of enormous trees rising out above us, dense leaves and branches blocking our passages, the rocks and earth beneath our feet giving us support, after another 1,5-hour journey we finally arrived at a beautiful waterfall, where we jumped inside the water, exhausted from the journey.
We enjoyed our time there for 1-2 hours before having to hike back. We didn’t want to have to go back the same very challenging path through the night, which is why our guides wanted to leave before the sun started to set.
Going the same way back, we were completely exhausted but filled with bliss from all we had seen on our hike. Our guides began setting up the fireplace and cooking dinner for our jungle dinner, which consisted of a mild green curry, stir fry vegetables and grilled chicken. Our rice was cooked inside bamboo with boiling water, which was so interesting. Nothing else other than bamboo and fire was needed to cook our food! We truly felt like habitants of the jungle, only using natural materials for anything we needed.
What about bathrooms, you may ask? Well, this part was also kept at the most simple and natural manner possible; the bushes and nature were our bathrooms, with not a single sink or bathroom in near sight. For those of who haven’t done this, it is definitely something you have to get used to before feeling comfortable doing it!
With our Jungle Dinner ready, we ate at our fireplace while the sun was setting, and the delicious Thai food filling up our senses, along with the evening jungle sounds coming to an all-time high. The cicadas, crickets and frogs had a concert and symphony of their own. It was spectacular to witness.
After we were finished eating, we had the option of either going out for a night safari as a last activity, or staying at our camping spot, getting ready to sleep. As we were so exhausted from the long and strenuous hikes from the day, we decided we didn’t have enough energy to go out for another hike, and stayed at our camping spot. We observed the stars and got ready to sleep in our hammocks, which were thankfully covered with a mosquito net for our protection.
This was one of the most peaceful nights I have ever had, and if you think that sleeping in a hammock in the night sounds uncomfortable, you’re wrong. Yes, you do feel a bit cuddled up, lacking a bit of space in the hammock that you would normally have on a bed, but this was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that was so special and adventurous. Falling asleep to all the animal sounds amidst the jungle…… wow.
This experience was amazing, and although the from us chosen Overnight Hike was super intense and I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone with physical difficulties, we had such a blast and I would definitely come back for this experience! Also, Our Jungle Camp offers different trails to fit this hike even to families with Children of at least 8 years of age where participants can camp in proximity to Western Style toilets at a National Park Ranger Station.
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