There is an old Khao Sok legend that tells the origin story of Khao Sok. Most of it has been lost over time, but some of it is timeless, written in to the karsts. It goes something like this…
Nearly 300 years ago, the Burmese united a force ten different armies to attack Thailand from all sides. A wealthy merchant living in the nearby port town, Takua Pa, heard rumors of an imminent attack from his shipping contacts who reported seeing Burmese ships sailing toward the port.
This wealthy merchant packed all of his riches into a covered wagon and headed east over the hills with his family, deep into the jungle. At the time, there was little more than a dirt trail going over the hills for those who went to harvest medicinal vines, rattan palm, and exotic fruits from the jungle.
Once this merchant came over the hills he decided to settle in the valley that is now Khao Sok somewhere near the old temple. The fertile valley provided him and his family with all they needed and the nearby caves served as the perfect hiding place for his gold and jewels.
After a few generations, more and more people began to settle in this valley, making a living from a small bit of farming and getting the rest from the jungle. There was an old folk song that had supposedly encoded the directions to this cave of treasure in its lyrics.
In the 1940’s, an epidemic swept through Khao Sok and killed everyone save for one man and one woman. Nowadays this old folk song, and the directions to the treasure, have been all but forgotten.
According to this Khao Sok Legend, the only line that remains says, “If you can twist the woman in the mountain, you will be rich for the rest of your life.”
The temple that rests along the highway in Khao Sok is called Wat Pahn Tooh Rat, which translates to Temple of the Giant Lady. This temple lies at the foot of a giant karst which has an interesting shape if you look at the right angle…