Location: Khao Sok | Rating: 3 star | Bungalows: 12 + 2 tented rooms | Pool: no
Anurak community lodge is a special place within a special place. It lies at the edge of Khao Sok national park, an ancient rainforest where you can explore one of the most untouched natural areas in Thailand and stay overnight on Chiaw Laan lake amidst spectacular scenery. The lodge itself is away from the relatively built-up main entrance to the park, ensuring a peaceful stay where you can fully appreciate the sights, sounds and smells of the forest. It has extensive gardens that border the park itself, with its mountains and natural rugged beauty visible in almost every direction, while the Sok River is a stone’s throw away, where you can go kayaking, rafting and swimming. Anurak has been designed, built and operated sustainably and also offers a range of minimal-impact activities such as hiking, cycling and jungle cooking so you can immerse yourself fully in the special natural ambiance of Khao Sok.
Fostering unique and caring relationships with the natural environment and the communities around them have been at the forefront of Anurak since its beginning in 2016. The light weight material rooms were pre-fabricated to avoid cutting down hardwoods and the site itself was a former oil palm plantation, so they didn’t have to clear forest to build the lodge. Since opening, the lodge has worked to rewild the property with indigenous trees and they have consciously avoided building a swimming pool to prevent damaging to the water ecosystem.
Community engagement has also been crucial at the lodge and local villagers who helped the owners to find the beautiful location also make up the majority of staff on site. As well as additional income, they have a greater appreciation of the importance of nature conservation as a sustainable alternative to destructive farming practices, as well as hunting and poaching – two major threats to Khao Sok National Park’s indigenous wildlife. Anurak’s achievements have been recognised in the National Geographic Traveller’s Earth Collection (2019) publication, which features unique places to stay that are also leading advocates of sustainable tourism practices.