Close to the Burma border, in the middle of lush mountainous tropical forest is a lake. A lake with floating islands of water lilies, submersed Mon temples, hunting eagles and foraging hornbills, fishermen in fragile canoes, stunning cliffs with monkeys and flushing waterfalls, and villages on islands with a touch of yesterday. The Lakehouse is your floating hideaway, where you can stay in comfort in the middle of remoteness. Everyday you anchor a new place. Every day your guide brings you on new adventures. Every night and day our staff will make you feel comfortable, in their own, personalized way. A Lake House Adventure serves you a balanced mix of explorations and time to be laid back. Have a slow gin and tonic by sunset, kayak to a small island nearby or swim in the moonlight. The choice is yours.
Included: Meals: 4 x breakfast, 5 x lunch, 5 x dinner
Accommodation: 4 nights at a houseboat in shared dorm room
Entrance Fees: All entrance fees to national parks etc.
Transport: Minivan, soengtaew, long tail boat, and bamboo rafting
English Speaking Guide: Go Beyond’s tour leader/guide Not included: · Soft drinks and alcoholic drinks
· Transport to starting place at New Road Guest House
· All other expenses not stated as included in the above
· Transport to/from starting point (New Road Guest House, 1216/1 Charoen Krung Rd., Bangrak)
· Be captivated by the sheer beauty of the peaceful, spellbinding and remote Khao Laem Lake
· Kick back in your hammock and watch the beautiful nature slowly passing by the houseboat
· Trek and bamboo raft Sangkhlaburi outskirts, kayak and tube the Khao Laem Lake
· Perfect for both backpackers and families who want to go beyond the beaten track
Day 1: Flow overland from Bangkok to Khao Laem Lake. Embark the Lake House
Depart from New Road Guest House in Bangkok at 08:00 and as you leave Bangkok behind the landscape starts to change. Stop near Sai Yok Noi Waterfall to have lunch at a local restaurant. Continue your flow into the mountains and lush forest where the lake is found, close to the border of Burma (Myanmar).
Depending on traffic expect to arrive in Sangkhlaburi around 15:00 and embark the Lake House. Breathe in the fresh air, take in the serene surroundings and check out your floating home for the days ahead. While you sail to the anchorage for the night, meet your fellow travellers and Thai staff over a home-cooked Thai dinner. Enjoy a drink (or two) at the bar and kick back to enjoy the first of many sunsets as the darkness slowly takes over. (L, D)
Day 2: Jungle walk to a waterfall OR climb the Lijia Cave (Temple of Gloom), and visit a fisherman's village
Wake up for a hearty breakfast, served each morning between 08.
00 and 09.00. Depending on the season and water level you will either do a short jungle walk to beautifully flushing waterfall, or you will explore the Lijia cave and the nearby local village.
The waterfall is cascading and impressive when the water level is high (usually Sep-Mar), inviting you for a swim after the short trek through the jungle. As the water level detracts, you will instead do short trek to Lijia cave where you can explore the inside. If you are lucky, you might find a few treasures. It is believed that Japanese soldiers left these treasures, including gold, in the area when they built the Death Railway during the World War II.
If time allows, you will visit a local fisherman's village, where houses are built on floating rafts, fishes are farmed next door, and you get around by boat.
When back on the Lake House you will be served a nice Thai lunch. The afternoon is free for you to enjoy Lake House living. Swim in the lake, do a bit of fishing, kayak the calm water or doze the afternoon away. As day turns into night, enjoy a delicious Thai dinner and watch the stars spark high up in the sky. (B, L, D)
Day 3: Go to a remote village only accessible by boat, and kayak below steep cliffs
The Lake House will start moving early morning, and while you have breakfast, arrive at Bee Island.
Change to long tail boat and head to the southern part of the lake, where you will notice the landscape changing yet again. Your destination is a remote village only accessible by boat, which gives a unique and friendly island vibe ambience. Visit the local pagoda built on a steep cliff and surrounded by a big lotus pond. The sacred pagoda is accessible by a walking bridge, but only men are allowed to pass, and climb to the top. But dread not, the pagoda is beautiful from a distance, and the sacred vibe, spirit houses; local vibe and smiling kids are more than worth the trip in itself.
Once back at the Lake House, have lunch in the finest scenery. In the afternoon, go by kayak or long tail boat around the steep cliffs, and if time and season allows, you can explore a small cave. See if you can spot some of the monkeys searching for food in treetops, a passing eagle or flying hornbills. Late in the afternoon, the Lake House will slowly move northwards while you relax on the sundeck or in a hammock, have a sundowner and enjoy a fine dinner. (B, L, D)
Day 4: Explore the flooded temple and (former) secret temple
It will be a slow morning embracing the fine scenery as the Lake House sail northwards. You will also have time to kayak around the Lake House, see if you can catch some fish or float away in a tube on the lake.
Late in the afternoon you will visit a temple that only few years ago was unexplored and overgrown. It is now easily accessible, but still well worth a visit in all of its sacredness and rustic charm as it is still covered in trees. Continue to the flooded temple, which is covered by water half of the year, and you can kayak inside; and the other part of the year, when the water detracts it is fully visible and accessible by foot. Anchor not far from Sangkhlaburi this night, and you can enjoy the last night on the boat. (B, L, D)
Day 5: Hike and bamboo raft the Songalia River.
Depart towards Kanchanaburi / Bangkok
Enjoy an early morning breakfast and prepare to disembark your floating hideaway at 09:00 latest. You need to pack all your bags and belongings, as it will be transported to a rest house while you are out exploring. We recommend wearing clothes and shoes that may get wet and a dry bag for your camera.
Around 09:30 you will be picked up and go by local Songthaew or four-wheel drive to the wooden Mon Bridge in Sangkhlaburi town. Not only is it the largest wooden bridge in Thailand that connects the two sides of Mae Nam Kwae Noi, it also connects the three ethnic communities Mon, Karen and Thai. Cross the beautiful bridge by foot and at the other side, continue by car to the outskirts of Sangkhlaburi from where you do a short hike through the forest, along the riverbed. Cross river streams, walk over simple bamboo bridges and through dense grassland. At an opening in the forest, change means of transport to bamboo rafts or rubber dinghy's, depending on the season and water level. Sit back and enjoy nature slowly passing by, the dense jungle leaning over the river. Occasionally, steer through a small rapid before you reach an opening in the jungle and a simple lunch is served at the river bank.*
Go back to the rest house in Sangkhlaburi and if you have more energy, explore a bit more of Sangkhlaburi or lean back with a cup of coffee. In the mid afternoon, start your return drive back towards New Road Guest House in downtown Bangkok. You will be back late evening and stop for a quick dinner on the way. If you choose to end in Kanchanaburi, you will be dropped of on the way to Bangkok.
Should you choose to stay in Sangkhlaburi the tour ends here and you have the opportunity to commence your onwards explorations. (B, L, D)
*Please note: Depending on the water level in the river, the bamboo rafting may be done by rubber dinghy for safety reasons. If you have smaller kids with you, you might want to skip the hiking and drive directly to the starting point for the rafting. Please coordinate with you guide locally.
Key: B = Breakfast, L= Lunch, D = Dinner
NOTE: This program is subject to change. Depending on the season and the water level in the lake, some activities might be changed along the way. We reserve the right to make changes without prior notice. We reserve the right to cancel without prior notice if there are less than 4 Travellers for this trip.
About the Lake House:
There are 2 compartments: A sleeping area and a restaurant area with bar and sundeck with lounge chairs. On board you will find: Free kayaks to rent, comfortable armchairs, hammocks, free coffee / tea, fishing equipment, lifejackets and rubber rings for bathing.
Child age: 2 to 11. Infants below 2 years
Child rate: See “Rates”. Infants are free of charge
This tour is recommended for: All ages
Please be aware of: The trip is carried out on a lake, so please keep an eye out for small children and it is advised to bring along your own swim gear for the children’s safety.
The houseboat offers 1 shared dorm room with 6 beds and 7 nice standard rooms (suitable for 2-4 people). All have French balconies with lovely views, fans, mosquito nets and shared toilets/showers.
Note that the period roughly from Mar to Jun are the hot months. Expect warm nights where open windows and ceiling fans can help ease the heat.
The dorm rooms are perfect for single or budget conscious travellers.
Minivan, Rafting, Songthaew, Long tail boat and Walking
Depature all year. Nov – Feb is the cool season, where the temperature is pleasant during day time and the mornings might be a bit chilly. This is also the most busy month.
May to Oct is the rainy seasons. This is, however, also the season where the surroundings are most lush and colorful.
Mar – May is considered the hot season, where temperatures are at their highest and there is a small chance of rain. This is also roughly the season where the water level in the lake starts to decrease and parts of the itinerary may have to be adapted. This could be by using songthaew instead of long tail boat, going to different villages and/or substituting experiences. We guarantee you; you will not be disappointed though!
Sangkhlaburi, Khao Laem Lake
· A warm jumper
· Mosquito repellent
· Passport (moving close to border)