500 Rai Floating Resort
I’ve been back from Thailand for just over a week, and I’m still kinda reeling from it all. If you read my last post on bravery, you’ll know that my month-long adventure had quite a profound effect on me, and I’ve returned feeling invigorated and itchy for the next journey and discovery.
Before looking forward too much, I first want to share some of my holiday experiences with you, starting with the time we spent on the 500 Rai Floating Resort in the Khao Sok National Park. I’m not even completely sure how we came across this particular spot – at some point I was doing research for our holiday and I came across pictures of the park, and I couldn’t think of anything more wonderful than making some time to go there. So, after we’d spent 10 days in Phuket with Ant’s amazing family, the two of us headed off for three wonderful days in Khao Sok before we went to join old friends in Phi Phi.
It’s worth noting from the start that getting to the resort is not especially easy, but the resort does everything they can to make it as easy as possible for you. They picked us up directly from our hotel in Phuket, and then drove us the couple of hours to the pier where we caught a long-boat through the most incredible scenery to reach the resort. I was completely breathless – I’m not sure I’ve ever seen anything so incredible in my life.
Staying at the resort itself was lovely. Once you’re there, everything is inclusive – with means that you get 3 meals a day, and all travel is covered. One of the downsides is that it doesn’t include drinks, and when you’re checking in they make you sign a form saying that you wont bring any of your own alcohol. Or at least that’s what I thought it said: it was in Thai. Maybe I just signed away the naming rights to my first-born child.
I feel like I’ve got to point out a couple of things about 500 Rai, because if you’re thinking of going, it’s probably better to know in advance. Firstly, this is a resort that hosts primarily Thai guests, and so it’s pretty tailored towards Thai people. Which means that if you don’t like Thai food, aren’t willing to make an effort with a receptionist that doesn’t speak amazing English, and don’t want to be surrounded by predominantly Thai people, then you should go elsewhere. This place is legit Thai – which is perfect if you’re someone like me and you want to immerse yourself in a place. Secondly, this is not somewhere you’re going to get cellphone reception or Wi-Fi, so expect to find yourself completely off the grid (a horrifying thought for someone who lives online like me) and embrace it. It’s the flippen best.
The food was incredible, and I ate some of the tastiest fish and curry and salad that I’ve ever had. While we were a little pained every time we had to dish out triple the price for a beer compared to what we’d been paying on the mainland, it was worth it.
Every morning and evening, our guide, Nu (I think that’s how you spell his name, but it’s really hard to tell because he only ever wrote it down in Thai for me) would bundle us into a long-boat to go on a water safari, giving us amazing opportunities to watch both the sunrise and the sunset: MY FAVOURITE TIMES OF DAY GUYS. On top of this, we also got to do a “hike” (inverted commas because it was literally a stroll) up through the jungle to a viewpoint over the entire national park. I’m still recovering from that view.
My favourite part of the resort was obviously our room. There are 12 small floating bungalows (each of which can accommodate about 4 people) that are connected to the restaurant on a long jetty over the water. Our guide told us that the water below the resort is about 40 metres deep, and I believe him – not once did we even glimpse the bottom, tried as we might to dive down as deep as we could. And in front of each bungalow is your own bamboo pier so you can wake up, take a few steps, and be swimming in the cool, emerald waters. It’s heaven, and each bungalow also comes with it’s own kayaks so that you can go off adventuring whenever you wanted.
Unsurprisingly, it’s not cheap. We definitely made the decision to blow our budget a little on this spot, but it was completely worth it – I don’t think I’ll ever have an experience like that again.
If you’re interested in the resort, or are planning a trip to Thailand any time soon, check out their Facebook page here and their website here. Tell Nu I said ‘Hi.’ Or better yet, take me back with you?