In the year 1982 the Pasaeng River was closed off. As rain fall filled the Rachabrappha Dam, Chieow Larn Lake was created over the area of 165 square kilometers. Today, the edge of the reservoir provides one of the best places to spot wild animals such as hornbills, gibbons, barking deer, wild elephant and boar.
Chieow Larn lake lies 2 hour drive from our Kon-Tiki Krabi Dive Center and 1 ½ hour away from our Kon-Tiki Khao Lak Dive Center. We reached our destination in the midst of the lake, a rafting village where we could have lunch and kit up for the dives. The accommodation here is basic but tranquil and you have a 28 degree freshwater pool at your doorstep. After the lunch, wetsuits where on and it was time to go diving.
Diving from a long tail is a great way to get close to the cliffs and in to the smaller lagoons. We kit up and make a back roll in to the water by the wall. As we are descending you can start to see the outlines of tree branches and bushes that once were covered in leaves. Now they stand naked like a winter forest in a green fog. Visibility is around 4-5 meters and we keep close to each other. The lake seems to be bottomless and as you go deeper the darkness comes rapidly. The decision is to stay shallow to have more natural light during the first part of the dive. We come across a large cave opening and we are drawn to investigate this a bit further. Large limestone stalactites spiral down several meters from the ceiling, with diameters wider than a diver.
The karst stone ledges are resting spots for big cat fish, and as we shine our torches in to the cave their curiosity leads them up to us. Some cat fish here are up to a meter long and with the white “whiskers” gives an impression of a great river monster. They are harmless and after a quick look they float away in to the darkness. We spent the remaining time of the dive around the entrance of the cave. After surfacing we make our way back to the rafting village after spending some time exploring the surrounding area together with “Em”. As the sun sets over Khao Sok the dinner is served and exhausted from the day’s adventure we call it a night early.
The next day we packed up and left the rafting village bound for a morning dive after breakfast. We choose to do another wall dive with sunken trees, caves and karst formations. Visibility is a bit better on this dive giving the stalactites and stalagmites beautiful color. As time passes quickly underwater, once again we are limited to the cave opening and the surroundings.
We pack the car as we moor up by the Rachabrappha dam and continue to the other entrance of the park in Klong Sok, a 45 minute drive away from the lake. The Sok River runs through this little village and this will cater for our next adventure, Tubing!
After a lunch with traditional Khao Sok herbs, ferns, leaves and other vegetables we are handed a tyre inner tube and started a journey down the river. As we are floating through the rainforest our guide points out and tells us about different species of vegetation, reptiles, monkeys and birds. After the previous dives in the morning, tubing feels like a nice and relaxing way of exploring the rain forest.
One and a half hour later we arrive at a sand bank and we get a ride back to the starting point where we can get changed for our onwards journey. With a fresh Latté in the cup holder we start our drive back to Krabi. Arriving back in civilization in time for dinner and a cocktail, the impressions from these two days of adventure is slowly sinking in leaving memories for life.
Kon-Tiki is now introducing a new Khao Sok Excursion for this upcoming season. Would you like to explore the National Park of Khao Sok under as well as above water?