Between Phuket in the south and the beach resorts of Hua Hin, in the middle of the Thai penisular is a national park with a vast lake. This lake was created by a dam built in 1982 and apart from the scenery it has kayaks and floating hotels.
Don't be restricted to just the lake here, the whole region has some fantastic mountain scenery, waterfalls, and dense jungle, all within easy reach thanks to highway 401.
I was driving up from Phuket to Bangkok, and traveling this route only adds 40 minutes to the journey, but it's so much more rewarding than the eastern route! It's easily worth those 40 minutes.
Waterfalls everywhere, this one was beside the road and worth a quick paddle and little glimpses of jungle filled valleys going off into the horizon make the drive a delight.
If you want to stay the night, how about staying on the lake? The entrance to the gate has a rather imposing guard, but he'll let you in no problem. Viewpoints around the lake offer different views, around the east branch of the road, you'll find floating hotels, kayaks, boat trips and tourist information.
Even if you don't visit the lake, this national park is a wonderful place to drive through. Next time I'll take a picnic and spend more time enjoying the view.
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