I’m fascinated by the jungle. And I’m also afraid – or let’s say – I have a healthy portion of respect for it. One of the (many, many) reasons why I love Thailand so much, is the amount of well maintained national parks that take you closer to the eye of nature without loosing contact to civilization completely. And just when I thought I’ve seen it all, the country always comes up with something surprising… The most unexpected jewel of this trip has been the little village of Kuraburi which was on our travel map “only” because it’s the gateway to the Surin Islands in the Andaman Sea. Originally planned as an short overnight stop, I’m glad we decided to spend two days there. While the village itself is really small and unspectacular, the surroundings were breathtaking. There’s only very few tourists and Kuraburi Greenview Resort is the only bigger resort far and wide. The hotel and bungalows are beautifully tucked into the jungle around an artificial, but beautiful lake. The rooms and facilities weren’t the newest, but clean and cozy. And the best thing, the rates were very budget-friendly (this is unsponsored btw). Let the photos speak for themselves!
As we arrived straight from Bangkok – after a non-stop sunny week – we were a bit surprised to experience such heavy rain in Southern Thailand (in the so-called “dry season”). We postponed the island trip and did a little rainforest walk instead. The Si Phang Nga National Park was only a 20-minutes drive away and is one of the lesser known National Parks in the area (like nearby Khao Sok and Phang Nga Bay), however we were even more enchanted by the lush vegetation!
The park has several trails that take you through pristine jungle and streams, but one of them leads you straight to the beautiful Tam Nang Waterfall. Again – we were surprised that we were the only ones there, except for plenty of curious fish.
These black fellows weren’t scared of all, quite the opposite – we got scared of them (some of them were really big) 😛 I was once bitten by a fish while swimming in a waterfall, ever since I don’t trust them… Basically swimming is allowed, if you dare 😉 Anyways, even without a bath we were quite happy to enjoy the peaceful scenery!
Back in Kuraburi “centre” we stopped at one of the very few restaurants for lunch. The owner was a very friendly guy (and one of the few locals I met who knew about Austria and not Australia – 100 points!!) who insisted on taking a picture of us in front of his café – so here it is! He also runs kayak and rafting tours in the rainy season, so check it out if you’re around 🙂
The closest airport is Phuket and the best way to get to Kuraburi and the Si Phang Nga National Park is by a rental car (about 2.5 hours drive north from the airport). Alternatively, most accommodation (including Kuraburi Greenview Resort) offer a pick-up and drop-off service if you book in advance, although the fares are quite expensive. Also they organize half-day tours to the Si Phang Nga National Park and to Mu Koh Surin.
What do you think of the jungle? Do you have a specific jungle-related experience?