Who says a honeymoon should be restful?!
We spent just 2 nights in Bangkok before flying south to Surat Thani from where we were collected by taxi and taken to Treetops Guest House in the Khao Sok National Park. Here we spent 2 nights in a tree-house, which we shared with a colony of ants (they left us alone thankfully) and 1 night on a floating raft house.
Our journey there was a typical Thai road journey. More overtaking than anything else. At least they get about quickly I suppose.
Treetops is an incredible place. They have a few tree-houses which look to be about the height of a three story building. The main building,which houses the restaurant and bar, is immense and for our first day we were served buffet style with the other guests. After a canoe trip and feeding some monkeys we spent the night organising the rest of our trip.
The next day we took a road trip to Chiew Larn Lane, which was the main reason we chose this part of Thailand. The lake is man made, the result of dam building around 25 years ago. The result is quite incredible. After our trip around the world we both thought Ha Long Bay in Vietnam was one of the finest natural sights we had ever laid eyes on. It was breathtaking. The Thais have inadvertently recreated this at Chiew Larn. Huge limestone casts reach high from the water with trees clinging to the sides. It was totally awe inspiring.
The raft houses were basic and luckily very buoyant. We spent a peaceful 24 hours chatting to fellow guests Tim and Mandy and swimming and canoeing. The staff had slung a rope up a high tree on the edge of the lake and as part of my ongoing battle with my dislike of heights I swam over for a look. A Canadian chap and his daughter had just swung on the rope and then dropped into the lake, which was impressive, so I felt compelled to have a go. After a few minutes of dithering I eventually went for it. The swinging bit went well but the letting go was not textbook. My left hand somehow got caught on the rope and the result is a completely knackered ring finger. Clearly broken and probably dislocated. We had no time for medical treatment though, as the nearest doctor or hospital seemed to be hours away. Amputation back in the UK seems the best option. In the meantime Mandy assisted with the first aid and together we crunched the finger back into roughly the correct shape. It hurt. Mandy is a nurse. I should probably think about taking a qualified nurse along on our trips really.
Our final night was back at the Tree-house and after returning in the back of a pick up truck (mostly on the wrong side of the road) we went to ride an elephant. The terrain was pretty challenging and we were impressed with the ability of the elephants to climb and descend over a rocky river bed. We fed our elephant 6 tubs of bananas to say thanks.
We then headed off on a jungle trek guided by an 18 year old local chap. He was a born comedian and luckily had a good eye for spotting small creatures. We saw some unpleasantly big spiders, glimpsed some monkeys and saw plenty of chameleons. One was the gliding type so our guide caught it and threw it in the air. It extended its wings and glided perfectly back to a tree. Impressive.
After that we were tired so we returned to our tree house for a snooze. Later we strolled over to the main building for our evening meal to discover that we were the only guests. Despite this the staff brought out what can only be described as a banquet! Rice, omelette, red chicken curry, some other chicken dish, a ginger and chicken dish. It was one of the finest Thai meals we have ever eaten and given the effort they had clearly gone to we did our best to eat it all.
Our time at Treetops was magical and the staff were absolutely fantastic. Great memories which I will recall fondly every time I look at my withered, wonky finger.