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500 Rai is a floating resort nestled on the lake in Khao Sok National Park. When I discovered 500 Rai while planning our trip to Thailand, I was captivated by their slogan, “Disconnect to Reconnect.” Recently, my children have become increasingly engrossed in games consoles, the Internet, and iPads.

The prospect of completely unplugging for a few days, with no internet and no iPads, seemed like the perfect opportunity for our family to reconnect. Additionally, the floating resort itself looked truly spectacular.

Disconnect to Reconnect

500 Rai deliberately does not provide complimentary WiFi. The intention behind this policy is to encourage guests to disconnect from their digital lives and fully immerse themselves in the natural beauty, tranquility, and familial togetherness that the resort offers. Although our package did include a limited allotment of WiFi usage each day, I only accessed it when absolutely necessary, such as checking ferry and transfer times.

The experience of being mostly offline was genuinely refreshing. It showed just how reliant we have become on our devices and highlighted the benefits of stepping away from constant connectivity. Without the distraction of the internet and phones, we found ourselves more engaged with each other and the stunning surroundings. This digital detox allowed us to appreciate the serene environment and enjoy quality time as a family, reinforcing the resort’s mission to help guests reconnect with what truly matters.

How to get to 500 Rai

Having traveled from the Phi Phi Islands, we arrived in Krabi by ferry, where we were met by a representative from 500 Rai in a very comfortable minibus. The transfer cost approximately £70 for the two-hour journey to Khao Sok National Park. Given that we were traveling with two large suitcases, we opted to pack our essentials into backpacks and leave the larger luggage at the office in Khao Sok. Additionally, we paid the entrance fees for the national park, totaling 1000 baht (around £20) for our family of four.

We then boarded a long-tail boat for a 1.5-hour journey through some of the most breathtaking scenery I have ever encountered. The journey to the 500 Rai Floating Resort in Khao Sok was nothing short of magical. As we ventured deeper into the lush expanse of Khao Sok National Park, the air grew crisper, and the sounds of life faded into a serene symphony of nature. The emerald waters of Cheow Lan Lake mirrored the towering limestone cliffs, creating an ethereal landscape that seemed almost surreal.  It felt as if we were traveling through a living, breathing postcard, each moment more breathtaking than the last, leading us to a sanctuary where disconnection from the world paved the way for a profound reconnection with nature.

Instantly, I felt a sense of calm wash over me, which, as a working mother constantly managing the demands of family life, was an incredibly welcome sensation. The tranquility of the resort provided a perfect respite from the hectic pace of everyday life, allowing us to truly appreciate the stunning environment and the chance to reconnect as a family.

First Impressions

As we approached the resort, its picturesque setting instantly captured my heart. As the engine came to a halt it brought with it an overwhelming sense of tranquility, a stark contrast to the sounds of everyday life. We were warmly welcomed by the attentive staff of 500 Rai, who offered us refreshing welcome drinks. Standing there, absorbing the breathtaking beauty around us, it was clear we had arrived at a true sanctuary.

Our good fortune continued as we discovered the resort was remarkably quiet, with only a handful of other guests present. This added to the sense of seclusion and peace. The check-in process was smooth and efficient, and we were promptly informed about the various activities available during our two-night stay. When we were shown to our room, it surpassed all our expectations.

Our Villa

We were promptly checked into our air-conditioned villa, accessing it via a walkway that runs along the back of the villas. The resort is divided into two sections: one called the “Connecting Section,” which houses all the family villas, as well as additional villas and deluxe rooms.

Our villa featured a king-sized bed that overlooked the water, offering breathtaking views each morning—an experience I will never forget. The boys were thrilled to discover an upstairs mezzanine with two beds, adding an extra touch of excitement to their stay.

The villa also included a separate shower and toilet area connected by a dressing space, ensuring both convenience and privacy. Unlike some of the other accommodations, which have limited air conditioning hours, our villa provided 24-hour air conditioning. I would highly recommend booking a villa to enjoy this comfort.

One of my favorite aspects of our villa was the private decking area, complete with a bench, where we could watch the sunrise each morning. The serenity of being surrounded by nature was unparalleled. Additionally, each villa comes equipped with its own kayak, available for use at any time. We thoroughly enjoyed paddling on the lake, creating unforgettable family memories.

500 Rai Packages

At 500 Rai, guests have the option of choosing from six different packages, ranging from bed and breakfast to all-inclusive. We opted for the full board package, and in hindsight, I would not hesitate to make the same choice again or even upgrade to the all-inclusive option. The quality of the food was exceptional, and we eagerly anticipated each meal, looking forward to both lunch and dinner every day.

Each package offers a variety of inclusions, with some featuring exciting excursions and activities that I highly recommend. These curated experiences enhance the overall stay, providing opportunities to explore the stunning surroundings and immerse oneself in the unique natural beauty of Khao Sok National Park.

Activities and excursions at 500 Rai

At 500 Rai, the array of activities and excursions available is truly impressive. Upon our arrival, we immediately embarked on a wildlife safari at sunset via a long-tail boat. We were fortunate enough to witness bison’s swimming and feeding, a rare and captivating sight. Sitting in the midst of a national park, enveloped in complete silence and immersed in the sounds of nature, was an extraordinarily special moment for me. The staff provided binoculars for the children, enhancing their experience and adding to their excitement.

The resort offers a variety of activities to suit different interests. Guests can choose from morning lake sightseeing, cave trekking, viewpoint hiking, and waterfall excursions. In the evenings, we indulged in kayaking, paddle boarding, and swimming in the lake, making the most of the serene and picturesque environment.

For convenience, there is a board in the main reception area displaying all available activities, making it easy to plan and book excursions. The diverse range of options ensures that every guest can find something enjoyable and engaging, enriching their stay at 500 Rai and creating unforgettable memories.

Kayaking & Paddleboarding

As previously mentioned, our days at the 500 Rai Floating Resort were filled with delightful activities that allowed us to fully immerse ourselves in the natural beauty of Khao Sok. One of the highlights was kayaking, with kayaks conveniently attached to our room. This simple yet thoughtful amenity added an element of adventure to our stay, allowing us to explore the tranquil waters at our leisure. It was heartwarming to watch our boys embrace the opportunity to learn new skills and navigate the lake, their enthusiasm a testament to the resort’s unique charm.

The resort ensures safety and enjoyment by providing a clear barrier delineating the areas accessible by kayak, allowing us to explore confidently. In addition to kayaking, paddleboards were also available, offering another layer of enjoyment. This experience was particularly memorable as it fulfilled a long-held desire of my husband to try paddleboarding. Watching him glide gracefully across the lake, a broad smile on his face, was a poignant moment that encapsulated the joy and serenity of our time at the resort.

These activities not only gave a sense of adventure but also deepened our connection with nature and each other. The peaceful environment, coupled with the engaging recreational options, created an unforgettable experience that we will cherish for years to come. Whether it was the gentle rhythm of paddling across the lake or the laughter and excitement of trying something new, every moment at the 500 Rai Floating Resort was imbued with a sense of wonder and tranquility

500 Rai Floating Pool

Adjacent to the reception area at 500 Rai is a floating pool, open until 7 PM. Although our boys thoroughly enjoyed swimming in the lake, they were equally enthusiastic about spending hours in the pool. I certainly didn’t mind, as it gave me the perfect opportunity to relax with a cocktail from the restaurant, which were absolutely delightful.

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Conveniently, the pool area is well-equipped with a basket of fresh towels for guests to use. The floating pool not only provides a unique and refreshing way to cool off but also offers a picturesque setting to unwind and soak in the tranquil surroundings of Khao Sok National Park. The combination of the natural lake and the inviting pool truly enhances the overall experience.

Restaurant

500 Rai offers a delightful menu featuring authentic Thai cuisine alongside a selection of Western dishes, catering to a variety of tastes. We were eager to immerse ourselves in the local culinary culture, and on our first evening, we opted for the Thai sharing menu. This choice introduced us to an array of exquisite Thai dishes, each more delicious than the last. We thoroughly enjoyed sampling such a diverse range of new flavors.

On our second night, we noticed that steak and mashed potatoes were available on the menu, and I instantly knew that was what I was craving. The steak was cooked to perfection, satisfying our taste buds with its rich and savory flavor.

For those concerned about picky eaters, there is no need to worry. The kids’ menu includes familiar favorites such as chicken nuggets and fries. The portion sizes are generous, so for smaller children, one portion might be sufficient for two. However, after a day filled with activities on the lake, they are likely to have built up a hearty appetite.

The variety and quality of the food at 500 Rai ensure that every guest, regardless of their culinary preferences, can enjoy a satisfying and memorable dining experience.

Breakfast at 500 Rai Floating Resort was consistently a highlight of our stay, blending culinary delight with the serene beauty of our surroundings. Each evening, guests are presented with a menu to pre-order breakfast for the following morning. My husband and I invariably chose the full English breakfast, a sumptuous and hearty meal that never failed to satisfy our appetites. The quality and flavor were exceptional, making it a delicious start to our day.

Our boys, with their desire for sweeter treats, invariably opted for the freshly made pancakes drizzled with syrup. Alongside our main orders, we had the opportunity to select side dishes, and I cannot recommend highly enough the garlic and rosemary potatoes – they were simply divine, perfectly seasoned, and cooked to perfection.

In addition to the main breakfast items, fresh coffee, tea, and an assortment of juices were readily available for self-service. A selection of continental items, including pastries, fruits, and cereals, complemented the breakfast offerings, ensuring that there was something to suit every palate.

Hospitality

From the moment we arrived at 500 Rai, we were greeted with warm smiles and a friendly welcome by the staff. We found all the staff to be exceptionally kind and attentive, consistently going out of their way to engage with our boys and enhance their stay. They even set up a badminton game for them without us having to ask, making their experience extra special.

Nothing was ever too much trouble for the staff, and they were always ready to offer help or advice with genuine enthusiasm. Although room cleaning is not done automatically, we were asked if we desired this service. As we were only staying for two nights, we felt it wasn’t necessary, but it was comforting to know that any additional needs could be easily met.

The attentiveness and hospitality of the staff at 500 Rai significantly contributed to the overall enjoyment and comfort of our stay, making it a memorable experience for the entire family.

Sustainability

500 Rai is deeply committed to sustainability and environmental stewardship. Their efforts are evident in various eco-friendly practices integrated throughout the resort. By minimizing waste, conserving water, and using sustainable materials, 500 Rai aims to protect the pristine natural beauty of Khao Sok National Park.

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In addition to their environmental initiatives, 500 Rai actively fosters growth within the local community through strategic collaborations. They work closely with local businesses and suppliers to source fresh, locally-produced ingredients for their restaurant, thereby supporting the local economy and reducing their carbon footprint.

The resort’s dedication to sustainability and community development reflects a holistic approach to responsible tourism, creating a positive impact on both the environment and the local population.

Overall Experience

I must admit, I had initial concerns about our stay at 500 Rai. I worried about how my boys would adapt to being away from the modern technology they are so accustomed to. However, those concerns quickly dissipated as they enthusiastically embraced the activities and natural surroundings at the resort. They thoroughly enjoyed kayaking, swimming in the lake, and marveling at the stars at night—simple yet enriching experiences.

This journey has genuinely been one of the most memorable in my life. Departing from 500 Rai was emotional for me, as I realized how profoundly special the memories we created here were. I wholeheartedly believe that this retreat provided us with invaluable quality family time, free from the distractions of the modern world.

For anyone seeking a similar opportunity to reconnect with their loved ones amidst nature and away from technology, I wholeheartedly recommend adding 500 Rai to your itinerary when visiting Thailand. It is an experience that promises unforgettable moments and cherished memories for all.

Contact 500 Rai Floating resort

Address:
รัช ช ประภา Khao Phang,
Ban Ta Khun District,
Surat Thani 84230,
Thailand

Phone number: +66 77 953 013

Website: https://www.500rai.com/