Anurak Community Lodge, which I had the privilege to set up base in Khao Sok, is designed, built and operated sustainably. Not only do they seek to preserve the natural beauty of the land, they also enrich the livelihood of the local community by providing local-based tours.
Walking through a natural path towards the reception, I was greeted by vibrant flora and fauna all around me. I was extremely fortunate to be welcomed to Anurak Lodge with clear, sunny skies, as Khao Soo National Park is known to have frequent and unpredictable rainfall.
Before coming to Khao Sok, I never knew how much rainfall an area can produce. Even when October isn’t considered monsoon season in Thailand, rain is common. That said, the rain is not the unrelenting kind – you can still go about with activities in the intermittent rain.
Checking in to Anurak Community Lodge
On first impression, the lodge appears to be a quiet, peaceful abode, attracting travellers with a keen sense of nature and solitude.
What first struck me was how the Hornbill Restaurant boasts a 180-degree view of the surrounding rainforest. This tropical green is endless! The limestone mountain in the distance stretched into the sky.
After taking it all in, I then headed to the check in counter and filled in my check in form.
Anurak Community Lodge’s Room
I was soon led to my room through a gravel track. A cursory glance and I found most rooms to be of the same type, and they are named after fruits in Thai language.
After climbing a short flight of stairs to my hut, I found my room to be dominated by a king-sized bed in the middle. The bed overlooks a balcony, with a view of the flora and fauna that surround the entire lodge.
Furnishings are basic, as they try to stay as close to nature as possible. The transparent balcony doors prevent complete privacy as you could see through the windows to the neighbouring huts, which I found a slight inconvenience.
As part of their mission to protect, preserve and enhance the natural beauty of the surroundings, water provided in each rooms are in glass bottles and refilled daily.
There is no Wi-Fi in the huts, so you can count on fully immersing yourself in the tropics while you’re staying here. The only place you can be connected is the dining area.
The bathroom is an extension of the room, situated outdoors, but enclosed.
I had an unexpected water shortage when I took my bath – and that was when I realised that electricity and water get cut off here sometimes. It was a bummer that it happened during my first shower here after the muddy forest trek.
I thought about how I would never take water, hot or cold, or electricity for granted again. It was a good thing I had the mud washed off before the water ran out.
There wasn’t a phone to dial the reception about my situation from my room, so I had to walk all the way back to the front desk to get help. On that note, the front office is also where you’d borrow the hair dryer if you need one.
I thought they could make the bathroom more foreigner-friendly by indicating the direction of hot water. It wasn’t cool when I was waiting forever for the hot water to come on, only to realise that I had it turned the wrong way.
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Anurak Community Lodge’s Amenities
Apart from the dining area, Hornbill Restaurant, which you will spend most of your time in, there is also a table tennis and table soccer that you can while your time playing.
Most of Anurak’s guests have plenty to keep them occupied in the day with the myriad of outdoor activities that Anurak offers.
I had the privilege of partaking in some of their activities, which include a bike ride to see the various plantations that locals live off, feeding Somboon the retired elephant, and watching a local do a jungle cooking demonstration. Read them in One With Nature at Khao Sok National Park, Thailand.
It would be perfect to have an area for a feet wash at the restaurant since most of us tend to get muddy in the rain after a day out in the wild.
Dining at Anurak Community Lodge’s Hornbill Restaurant
I had my three meals at Hornbill Restaurant, and without doubt, they served the classic Thai dishes. If you’re a fan of Thai food (I am!), you aren’t missing out. Since it was quiet most of the time while I was there, you can really take in all of the nature surrounding the lodge while enjoying your meal.
As mentioned earlier, Anurak also offers a jungle cooking demonstration. Watch as a local brings you through the entire cooking process, cooking meat over charcoal, boiling soup and rice within the hollow parts of bamboo and serving them up in soup bowls made of bamboo.
Because of the abundance of bamboo shoots in the national park, locals would use bamboo even to cook. After the whole flurry of activities at Khao Soo National Park, there was no better way to wind down the day other than to enjoy a local dinner in a hut made entirely out of bamboo!
Anurak Community Lodge’s Location
Surat Thani is the nearest airport to Anurak Community Lodge. I took a domestic flight from Bangkok to Surat Thani, then transferred by car to Anurak Community Lodge. The journey by car is roughly 1 to 1.5 hours.
Alternatively, you can fly to Krabi or Phuket. From there, transfer time is 2 to 2.5 hours by car. Phuket was my next stop after visiting Anurak Community Lodge.
Anurak Community Lodge is a peaceful and inexpensive escape from the forays of life. This is the epitome of tropical immersion. You will definitely be more attuned to nature and slow your pace of life with a stay here.
Anurak Community Lodge 14/1 Moo 4, Klong Sok, Phanom District, Surat Thani, Thailand 84250 [email protected]
Special thanks to Anurak Community Lodge for making this stay possible! All opinions remain my own.
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