Anurak Community Lodge, an award-winning ecotourism experience in southern Thailand, has fully reopened following two years of Covid-related uncertainty.
The 19-unit nature retreat, which won the PATA Grand Award for Sustainability in 2020, and is Travelife Gold certified, officially reopens 1 August with room enhancements, a refreshed food and beverage menu – including southern ‘jungle’ dinners – and new guest activities, such as hiking the Anurak Trail, cycling, and guest participation in the ecolodge’s ‘Rainforest Rising’ reforestation project.
“Our new focus on reopening is to make Anurak Lodge a fully functioning basecamp for quality ecotourism experiences in the area,” says Christopher Cribbs, manager of the lodge which offers memorable views of adjacent and mountainous Khao Sok National Park.
Guests can pay THB300 (US$8) to plant indigenous tree saplings as part of Anurak’s Rainforest Rising project, which was created by Chiang Mai University’s Forest Restoration and Research Unit. The project is supported by Khao Sok National Park authorities. The aim is to foster plantlife diversity to encourage pollination and feeding by insects, birds and mammals such as civets and badgers.
For its reopening, Anurak has also signposted the Anurak Trail, a one-kilometre circular hike starting and finishing at the lodge. It takes around 45 minutes to complete and passes massive fig trees, bamboo and vine groves. The path enters a small cave and finishes with a walk through coffee and rubber plantations.
On food and beverage, Anurak’s new menu draws inspiration from local southern Thai traditions. It includes dishes such as yellow fish curry (pla tuptim), stir fried pork with yellow curry paste (kua kling moo), shrimp paste sauce with vegetables fried egg and fish (nam prik kapi), chicken soup with turmeric (gai tom kamin), and spicy vegetable salad (yam puk kut).
“Many of our guests at Anurak are passionate about experimenting with local flavours,” says Cribbs. “It’s a big part of their southern Thailand destination experience.”
Trips to Anurak Lodge in Khao Sok are often combined with visits to beach destinations such as Khao Lak, Krabi, Koh Samui and Phuket, all of which are relatively close by.