KHAO SOK LAKE DIVING
♦ This is not a scheduled diving trip. If you are interested please contact us for more information.
Diving in Khao Sok can be a unique and memorable experience, especially when combined with other activities offered around Cheow Lan Lake, spending the night floating on the water at the forests edge. Thailand Dive and Sail offer a 2 day/1 night trip which include some of the best Khao Sok Lake activities. Diving in Khao Sok Lake is an experience very different from diving in the nearby Andaman Sea. The water is much greener than the ocean, yet warm and very still, there are no strong currents to swim against in the Lake. At the dive sites, the best entry point is near one of the many caves that are dotted around Cheow Lan Lake. Upon descent the water is relatively clear, offering 4-5m visibility and divers can explore the cave entrances, swimming around ancient limestone features formed millions of years ago and previously inaccessible before the flooding of the lake.
Descending a little deeper the dives continue along limestone walls, old dead trees appear out of the green waters which form great subjects for wide angle photographs with divers. Catfish can be found in the many limestone cracks, sometimes curious, they will swim out to check out divers with their ‘whiskers’. Other fish and shrimp can be seen especially in the shallower areas amongst the rocks.
Surfacing after the dive amongst the sheer limestone cliffs and calm waters is an awesome feeling, climbing back aboard the waiting boat before heading off for a delicious Thai lunch at the rafthouse. The lake opens out to form huge vistas of water framed by more limestone mountains in the far distance. The rafthouse will then be the base for the day’s remaining activities. There are different rafthouses available to meet your budget. Khao Sok Lake offers numerous activities for nature lovers or simply a stunning backdrop if you just want to relax, floating on the water soaking up the views. Taking a kayak out on the waters alone is highly recommended as it is often the best way to get closest to the nature. The trips can be tailored to meet the requirements of each individual guest, with additional days and additional activities upon request. Thailand Dive and Sail have put together a great 2 day/1 night Khao Sok diving package which includes many great aspects of the lake, that may include kayaking, sunset and sunrise safaris, night trekking, jungle trekking, bamboo rafting and cave exploration.
Between 15 – 27m there is a layer of poor visibility. Most dives are conducted above this layer however descending deeper beyond there is a scene of complete dark stillness. The water becomes very clear, torch light reveals old tangled branches which lay twisted and covered in sediment, like brown icicles on a winter tree.
KHAO SOK DIVING TRIPS
Departing from Khao Lak the tour heads away from the Andaman Coast, through Takua Pa and on into the hills. After a short stop at the view point overlooking Khao Sok National Park there is chance to stretch your legs and have a fresh coffee amongst the limestone cliffs and forests.
There is a Ratchaprapha Dam photo opportunity before boarding the longtail boat and heading off onto the lake. As the boat weaves its way through the channels between sheer cliffs we kit up for the first dive at one of the nearby cave entrances. Following the dive, the boat heads further from civilization into the wider areas of the lake to one of the raft houses which will be our base for the rest of the day.
Upon arrival at the raft house lunch is served followed by free time to relax or take a kayak out onto the lake to explore the nature. You don’t have to go far to find monkeys and birds that inhabit the forest edges by the water.
Guests can chose to do the second dive in the afternoon or postpone the dive until the following day. As night descends there is a choice of either a longtail boat sunset safari before dinner or night trekking later in the evening.
Day two begins before dawn with a longtail boat sunrise safari. Dawn is the best time of day to spot animals by the water and monkeys and birds that feed in the Banyan Trees. It is common to see the Great Hornbill Bird, Langurs, Mouse Deer and Squirrels and occasionally Malayan Tapirs, Gibbons and Bears.
After breakfast there is time to relax or kayak in the cool morning air. If guests have opted to dive on the second day, then soon after breakfast we head off to another part of the lake for the second dive.
The highlight of the second day is a jungle trek followed by a short bamboo raft ride to the coral cave. The limestone mountains that surround the lake are remnants of ancient coral structures dating back millions of years when the area was under the ocean. Inside the cave the old coral structures can still be seen, protected from the elements over the millennia. A local guide is present to ensure nothing is missed.
After lunch at the raft house we begin the trip back to Khao Lak. Once on the road there is opportunity to stop at either the Fish Temple or the Monkey Temple in the National Park followed by local coffee in one of Takua Pa’s traditional coffee shops.
Accommodation is offered in the standard raft houses that are dotted in various locations around the lake. Highly recommended is an upgrade to the deluxe bungalows offered by Thailand Dive and Sail.
The topside activities on this trip are under the guidance of Green Andaman Travel, Khao Lak’s leading specialists and most sought after guides for Khao Sok Lake.
Khao Sok Lake, being home to a large and intricate cave system, provides the ideal location for cavern diving and cavern diving courses. Entry level courses are conducted within the light zone of the caves under close guidance of a professional cavern instructor and do not require any specialist equipment. Get a taste of the dark side!