First of all, let we introduce ourselves! We are quite new in traveling and this trip will be our first backpacking experience. It is also our first time writing a travel blog. Therefore, we would like to apologize if there are any mistakes in here.
We have a long list of places that we would like to travel to!! We have been reading through numbers of travel blogs and would like to go everywhere. hahaha We have been traveling for sometimes but haven't got an opportunity to write our own travel blog. And we have planned to go to Chiew Larn Dam for a long time because a trip comes with expenses. I have been collecting 50-Baht banknotes and they are now packed in a 1.5-liter water bottle. We plan to travel to Chiew Larn Dam with the least expense possible because we have limited budget. I ask my girlfriend to ask for the leave and we will go to Chiew Larn Dam although it is a rainy season. We have heard that we may be able to see the sea of mist over the dam during this time. We also plan to take photos of the area in the early morning. Lastly, we have ended up have our trip set on 23 - 24 June 2016. We are not good in talking so you may enjoy looking through our photos mainly. Eiei
- Take the bus Bangkok - Phang Nga at 6.40 PM from Bangkok Southern Bus Terminal, the ticket is 473 THB
- Arrive at Ban Ta Khun District in Surat Thani around 5.30 AM and take a motorcycle taxi to the dam for 150 THB per person (very expensive hahaha)
- Take the private boat to the raft house at 2,500 THB
- Stay at Khlong Raft House under the operation of the National Park for 700 THB/ person/ night with 2 meals included
- Fly back to Bangkok with AirAsia at 790 THB per person
Let's get the trip started!!!
We need to buy the ticket firstly and we choose to travel with Lignite Tour Bangkok - Pang Nga. The bus is air-conditioned and the ticket costs 473 THB.
The tickets are here!!
Let's eat something before taking the bus!
We are full now and it is time to go down to the bus terminal.
This is the bus we are taking.
This is how it is like on the bus and we are going to spend the next 10 hours here. hahaha
The bus has departed!! Good night and see you tomorrow!
Day 1, 23rd June 2016
We have finally arrived at Ban Ta Khun District where we will take a motorcycle taxi to Ratchaprapa Dam. We get into 7-Eleven firstly to buy some foods and drinks before taking a motorcycle taxi which costs 150 THB per person. This is expensive and we two are on the same motorcycle. hahaha
It is about 12 kilometers to get to the entrance of the dam from the town.
The ride is also on the dam ridge. We can spot the sea of mist from far away and the scenery right now is amazing.
The motorcycle taxi drops us on the dam ridge. Then we brush our teeth and wash our faces to freshen up a bit. Eiei
We are on the way to the viewpoint but we can get a good shot of the sea of mist from here already.
We have been here for a while and the sun is coming up. We think that we should walk further up to the viewpoint now.
And we are finally here!! We can't miss to take a photo with the sign of the dam.
The view overlooking the dam ridge from the power plant is breathtaking especially with the light fog over the dam ridge.
Let's use the tripod to take the photo of the two of us before the sunlight gets stronger. Eiei
We are done taking photos up here so we will go back down to the dam ridge to hitchhike a car to get to the pier. It is 7.30 AM and it doesn't seem like any cars are coming. hahaha Then we just take more photos around the area. It is getting hotter and hotter so we have decided to call the owner of the private boat we reserved to pick us up instead. It takes 1 hour to get a car to pick us up because the owner has been engaged with other customers.
We have finally arrived at the pier after we failed hitchhiking. hahaha
Here, we have to pay for the admission fee to get into the National Park for 40 THB per person. We have noticed that there are 2 other people looking for a boat while we are waiting for our boat. So, we ask them and learn that they are going to stay at Nang Prai Raft House but haven't paid anything yet. After the conversation, they cancel their stay at Nang Prai Raft House and will go to Klong Raft House with us as there are still some raft houses available. And we have ended up sharing the same boat to the raft house with them and we have saved half of the boat fare in the end, no need to pay the whole 2,500 THB anymore.
We wait for the boat not long before the boatman comes to get us to board into the boat. We bring our belongings into the boat and then wear the life vest for safety. And we are ready to go now!!
It is not long at all after the boat departed from the shore that we start to see beautiful scenery of limestone mountains.
"Khao Sam Klur, the famous Three Rocks"
There is "Khao Sam Klur" behind me but I have "only you" beside me. Lol
"Khao Sam Klur"
This is the landmark of Chiew Larn Dam or known as "Guilin of Thailand". It is totally charming here. That's why we have spent quite sometimes here before going to our raft house.
We can spot our raft house from far away.
Now, we can see our raft house clearer and the surrounding area is pretty impressive.
We take our stuffs and get off the boat before heading to do the registration for our stay. Then it is time to go to our raft house. We choose the last house located at the end because we think it offers a better view with no other raft houses as the obstructions.
This is how the inside of our raft house looks like. And the surrounding area with the view is beautiful, isn't it? Eiei
Let's take a nap for a bit before jumping into the water!
We take some photos here and there, in front of the raft house after the nap.
And it is time to jump into the water, let's do it!!!!
This is totally refreshing!!!!!
We have been swimming and jumping into the water for a long while. We think it should be fun to rent a kayak. Guess what! the National Park Officers lend us for free, they are so kind. Eiei
Kayaking gives us the better view over the raft house area.
After all this fun time, we go for a shower before the dinner at 6.30 PM. I still have sometimes before the dinner so I wander around and take more photos.
The atmosphere right before it gets dark
The dinner has been served. We have three dishes and they all look very yummy.
Let's eat! hahaha
The sun has set and the cloud has come over. It seems like it is going to rain later.
We come back to our raft house after filling up our stomachs. Oh! I forget to tell you that electricity is available only from 6 PM - 12 AM.
We chill sitting by the water for a while because it is very nice here at night. Then we go to bed straight away, we are very tired. Good night!
Day 2, 24th June 2016
I woke up around 5.30 AM. I have planned to capture the scenery in the morning. On the other hand, my girlfriend is still asleep. hahaha
This photo can tell a lot about this place in the morning.
I woke my girlfriend up around 6.30 AM to go kayaking and prepare for the sunrise shot.
And there, the sun is up. It is not easy to describe this moment into words but I am telling you that it is amazing. After getting enough photos, we paddle back to the raft house to take a shower and pack. We need to get prepared because the boatman will come and pick us up at 9 AM. They also serve Boiled Rice for breakfast before we depart.
Is it really the time that we need to go back? On no! We don't want to go back yet, not just yet. hahaha
We have arrived back at the pier. Sniff sniff
And we guess, this is the official goodbye to Chiew Larn Dam for now. We will be back for more if we have a chance. Bye bye! We arrive at the pier around 10 AM and we have planned to take the van from here to downtown Surat Thani. Guess what! Remember a couple sharing a boat to the raft house with us yesterday? Yes, they have a car and they ask us to go together. We don't want to disturb them but they keep insisting, as they will pass by the downtown anyway. Then we say "Yes". They are very kind, thank you!
This is a couple we talk about. We try to offer some money as the petrol expense but they deny and we truly appreciate their generosity.
We ask them to drop us off at the main market. We will take the minibus around the downtown to kill the time since our flight is not until 8.30 PM. Then we will just go and chill in CentralPlaza Surat Thani.
We complete the check-in online and will take the taxi to the airport later.
This is the local taxi and it is 350 THB in total to go to the airport without sharing with others. Even though the airport is about 20 kilometers from the downtown, I still find it quite expensive. We arrive at the airport around 6.30 PM and will look for something to eat before boarding.
We arrive at Don Mueang International Airport at 10 PM.
This marks the end of our first backpacking trip.
- Van to Bangkok Southern Bus Terminal 50 x 2 persons = 100 THB
- Taxi and BTS 200 THB
- Bus to Surat Thani 473 x 2 persons = 946 THB
- Motorcycle Taxi 150 x 2 persons = 300 THB
- Raft House 700 x 2 persons = 1,400 THB
- National Park Admission 40 x 2 persons = 80 THB
- Private Boat 1,250 THB (we share with another couple, normally it is 2,500 THB)
- Flight to Bangkok 790 x 2 persons = 1,580 THB
- Taxi to airport 350 THB
- Minibus in Surat Thani 15 x 2 persons = 30 THB
- Food and Drink 800 THB
The total expense is about 7,036 THB which is not even 4,000 THB per person.
If there are any mistakes in this travel blog, we would like to take this opportunity to apologize, we are quite new here and please stay tuned for our upcoming trip!
Thank you for all your kind support, bye bye!