Cheow Lan Lake

View of the lake from Smiley Lake House, in the  morning.
View of the lake from Smiley Lake House, in the morning.

Cheow Lan Lake was built in 1982, covering an area as large as 165 sq km. Located in Khao Sok, it took an hour ride from Surat Thani to reach its Rajjaprabha Pier. As it was a national protected territory, nothing was allowed to be built on the land surrounding the lake. However, floating houses were allowed. There are several tour packages. Tourists should definitely stay at least one night on these houses, although there are alternative day trip. Advice: Stay one night.

My friend and I stayed in Smiley Lake House on May 27, 2015. We were so lucky that we were the only two guests for the Lake House. There were 6 the night before and 44 guests the night after. Usually, Smiley Lake House would want to have more than just 2 guests to be in operation for the day, but I guess my friend and I were just lucky. It was a quiet evening and serene morning. The 2D1N package cost us 2500baht per pax, which included the van pick-up from Smiley Bungalow, the boat ride, 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 1 dinner, free water, coffee/tea, evening and morning safaris on the boat, free canoes and caving or viewpoint trekking. We took the rare viewpoint trekking. Be prepared to be pampered by good food. It was sooooooo good!

As we did not have any vehicle and wanted only budget trip, we did research and came up with an easy access to the lake. Arriving at Surat Thani airport, we took the shared van to Surat Thani Railway train. At the train station, ask around for the stop for the local bus to Khao Sok. The helpful Thais would point out the way. We bought our cheap 120baht per pax ticket and waited for the bus, which arrived shortly. It was an old bus but what was impressive was that it had a workable and fast wifi connection. Tell the bus conductor that you wish to get down at Khao Sok. Around 2 hours later, we reached our destination – a dead, boring town of Khao Sok. But it was only for a night at Smiley Bungalow. So, it was ok. Forget mosquito repellent. It did not work on the mosquitoes in that town. (The lake had no mosquito at all).

Be totally empty, embrace the tranquility of peace. Watch the workings of all creation, observe how endings become beginnings. - Lao Tzu -
Be totally empty, embrace the tranquility of peace. Watch the workings of all creation, observe how endings become beginnings. – Lao Tzu –
Calm mind brings inner strength and self-confidence, so that’s very important for good health. – Dalai Lama –
Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset. - Saint Francis de Sales
Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset. – Saint Francis de Sales
Remain calm, serene, always in command of yourself. You will then find out how easy it is to get along. – Paramahansa Yogananda
The pursuit, even of the best things, ought to be calm and tranquil. – Marcus Tullius Cicero
There is no greater misfortune than not knowing what is enough. There is no greater flaw than wanting more and more. Whoever knows contentment is blissful at all times. – Lao Tzu
Mastery of the world is achieved by letting things take their natural course. If you interfere with the way of Nature, you can never master the world. - Lao Tzu
Mastery of the world is achieved by letting things take their natural course. If you interfere with the way of Nature, you can never master the world. – Lao Tzu
Breathing is central to every aspect of meditation training. It's a wonderful place to focus in training the mind to be calm and concentrated. - Jon Kabat-Zinn
Breathing is central to every aspect of meditation training. It’s a wonderful place to focus in training the mind to be calm and concentrated. – Jon Kabat-Zinn
The truth, is really very simple. All things that arise and pass, the whole world of changing phenomena, is really only "that much!" When we truly discover what this means, then here in our world we can come to peace. - A Still Forest Pool
The truth, is really very simple. All things that arise and pass, the whole world of changing phenomena, is really only “that much!” When we truly discover what this means, then here in our world we can come to peace. – A Still Forest Pool

Smiley Lake House in Cheow Lan Lake

I took a deep breath and listened to the old bray of my heart. I am. I am. I am. – Sylvia Plath
The tree has its own pace. Your job is to dig a hole, water and fertilize it, and protect it from insects. That much is your affair, a matter of faith. But the way the tree grows is up to the tree. If you practice like this, you can be sure all will be well, and your plant will grow. - A Still Forest Pool
The tree has its own pace. Your job is to dig a hole, water and fertilize it, and protect it from insects. That much is your affair, a matter of faith. But the way the tree grows is up to the tree. If you practice like this, you can be sure all will be well, and your plant will grow. – A Still Forest Pool
This photo and the ones above were taken from the hiking up the hill for the viewpoint. It was not so tough at the beginning but eventually, we had to climb over pinnacles.

Our practice here is not to grasp anything. – Ajahn Chah

IMG_8161
The Guilin of Thailand

After lunch, we bid goodbye to the quiet getaway. As the boat took us away, other guests arrived. Together with them, came the shouts, yells and more. As said, we two were lucky. It was like we had the whole lake to ourselves the evening before. Nothing but nature and us. It was good. It was really good. It was a good time to do a lot of slowing down, relaxing and contemplating.

You cannot find peace by avoiding life. – Virginia Woolf
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4 thoughts on “Cheow Lan Lake

  1. Lovely write up. In times of chaos and mess, I shall remember such tranquility truly exists. It was a visit that brings a smile in the heart, and such warmth can be recalled again and again. I should add that it was fun to dip in the water too 😛

    Liked by 1 person

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