Away from Thailand’s popular island destinations, inland, amid exotic fauna and flora, there are unspoiled villages where visitors can stay with local people
‘Snake!” My guide’s shout shattered the peace of the lazy Sok river in Khao Sok national park, southern Thailand. He grabbed the rubber ring I was floating in and dragged me to an overhanging branch to gaze up at the black and yellow coils. For someone with ophidiophobia – fear of snakes – it wasn’t the ideal start to my community-based tourism trip. But even terror couldn’t entirely detract from the beauty of the river, meandering between dramatic karsts.