Khao Sok National Park: Guide for the Best Things to Do
The Khao Sok National Park is one of of Thailand`s natural highlights. Located only 1 hour from Khao Lak and 2 hours from Surat Thani, Khao Sok is situated in the beautiful South of the country. Shaped by huge rock formations, deep jungles, tropical waterfalls and hidden caves, the Khao Sok National Park Park offers plenty of exciting activities and things to do. The main attraction is the Cheow Lan Lake, where you can do unforgettable boat tours and stay in floating bungalows directly on the water. But not only the lake is interesting. There are also various tours and excursions through the jungle, to the elephants, the waterfalls and to other highlights in the Khao Sok National Park.
In this travel blog guide we give you info about the best places to stay, unforgettable excursions and lake tours. In addition, we show you more about the popular floating bungalows at Khao Sok National Park and why a visit is definitely worth it.
Best thing to do in Khao Sok National Park
Khao Sok National Park offers huge choice of amazing activities and memorable adventures. A boat trip on the Cheow Lan Lake, a jungle trek through the Khao Sok forest, a visit of the Monkey Temple and a tour to an elephant sanctuary are just some of the best things to do in Khao Sok National Park.
Boat tour on Cheow Lan Lake
The Cheow Lan Lake, is actually a barrier lake created in 1982 by the construction of Ratchaprabha dam. After the lake quickly became one of the most important attractions in the Khao Sok National Park and a boat tour for exploring the lake is almost a must do for every visitor. When sailing across the lake, you will enjoy an incredibly beautiful landscape and sure you will be astonished by the huge rock formations, which rise up from the lake. A wonderful place to take amazing pictures.
The most famous photo opportunity and a popular Instagram spot is the Hin Sam Glur Rock (the 3 Brothers Rock). Most of the guided tours make a short photo stop there.
If you have enough time you should definitely plan to stay a night in one of the famous floating bungalows at the Cheow Lan Lake. Depending on your budget, there are basic floating bungalows, ideal for backpacker, but you will also find some luxurious deals. If you would like to spend a night in such a special bungalow, we recommend the beautiful Panvaree Resort or the more luxurious Panvaree the Greenery. Staying in a floating bungalow is one of the best things to do in Khao Sok National Park and for many it’s an ultimate travel highlight.
Tip: Do not forget your swimwear! The lake is the ideal place for swimming and kayaking. Kayaks can be rent directly at one of the floating bungalows.
During a boat trip you also have the opportunity to explore one of the many caves located inside the Khao Sok National Park. Make sure you wear proper shoes, because the paths are usually quite slippery. Also, a headlamp is a fantastic gadget inside this dark cave.
Cheow Lan Lake is the ultimate attraction at Khao Sok National Park and a boat tour is definitely worth it. Also, we were thrilled about this excursion and can recommend a tour on the lake, no matter if as a day tour or more. Here you will find a selection of the most popular tours to the lake.
Khao Sok jungle trek
Another awesome thing to do in Khao Sok National Park is a jungle tour. On a hike, you have the opportunity to experience the unique flora and fauna of Khao Sok very close. With a little luck, you might even spot wild animals such as different monkey species (langurs, macaques …), bats, kingfisher birds, hornbills and many beautiful butterflies. Surely, there are also spiders and snakes here, as everywhere in Thailand. Tigers, bears, and other predators tend to hide well in Khao Sok. To discover them is nearly impossible.
The most beautiful treks start from the Khao Sok Head Quaters, just near Khao Sok Town. Already at the entrance you will see a national park map where you can orient yourself. The trails are well maintained and so you actually don`t need a guide to hike through the jungle.
The paths lead past a dense bamboo forest, you will pass some small waterfalls and with a little luck you have the possibility to watch monkeys. Also, a diverse flora is waiting for you to be explored. The Khao Sok National Park is considered to be one of the oldest in the world, and many tropical plants and tree species grow in these forests.
Even the largest flower in the world, the Rafflesia grows inside the jungle of the Khao Sok National Park. Because of being extremely rare and very special, it is one of the region’s landmarks. This flower will bloom depending on the precipitation and then the flowering time only takes 3-7 days. Finding one by yourself is nearly impossible, but on various off-road tours with jungle trekking you will get the opportunity to discover the largest flower in the world.
For a little more thrill, take a guided night walk through the jungle. These special trips can be booked directly at the Khao Sok National Park Head Quaters.
Tips: Attention to leeches! Especially after rain, these little animals are really active. With the right clothes you can protect yourself from leeches: Long pants and closed shoes prevent leeches from finding their way to your skin too quickly. Also, Deet-containing mosquito repellent can provide some relief against these harmless, but annoying animals.
In Khao Sok are also some beautiful waterfalls to discover. We recommend walking the jungle tour “Kloi Waterfall Trail“, a 7 kilometer long jungle hike which pass some nice waterfalls. The Entrance is at the Khao Sok National Park Head Quater just near Khao Sok Town. On this hike through the deep green jungle of Khao Sok National Park you will pass several smaller waterfalls, so if you are not that sportive, you don`t have to do all the tour. Wang Phai Nga, Wing Hin Waterfall, Bang Hau Rat, Wang Yao, Bang Leab Nam, Tan Sawan Waterfall, Tang Nam Gorge and the Clay Kloi Waterfall – all these little natural wonders can be explored during the hike.
National Park Head Quater and National Park Entrance Fee
The entrance fee to Khao Sok National Park currently costs 300 Baht per person. The ticket must be paid directly at the National Park entrance and the ticket is valid for only one day. Be aware that there are 2 entrances to the Khao Sok National Park. One is near Khao Sok Town, the starting point for jungle trekking and waterfalls.
The second entrance is at Ratchaprapha Dam, approximately 65 kilometers from Khao Sok. Here is the place from which you start the boat tours at the lake.
Khao Sok Town
Khao Sok is a small tourist town located only a short distance from the main entrance of the national park. Here you will find a great selection of good restaurants, where you get delicious Thai food. In addition, there is a large selection of accommodation, ideal if you want to start early in the jungle. Also, there are some shops where you can stock up on mosquito spray, sunscreen and even buy hiking shoes.
Another attraction of Khao Sok is the Monkey Temple, which is located just near the village. The temple itself is not that spectacular, but the many monkeys are really nice to see. The entrance to the monkey temple is with 20 Baht relatively cheap and if you love monkeys, a short stopover is really worth it.
If you would like to enjoy an ethical elephant experience, then you should visit Khao Sok Elephant Sanctuary in the National Park. This elephant sanctuary offers a half-day tour to feed and swim with rescued elephants.
How to get there
The nearest major tourist destination to Khao Sok National Park is Khao Lak, which is around 60 kilometers away. Therefore, many tourists from Khao Lak choose a day trip to explore the Khao Sok National Park. Here you will find some great tour options.
The nearest airport to the park is at Surat Thani, approximately 120 kilometers from the National Park. Phuket Airport is 130 kilometers away. Cheap domestic flights from Bangkok can be found at Skyscanner.
Tip: We went from Bangkok to Surat Thani by night train. To continue from Surat Thani Station to Khao Sok National Park, buses and minibuses are available. Also, taxis as another transport option are provided. Depending on the negotiating skills, the taxi to Khao Sok costs you between 1,500 and 2,000 baht. All kind of transport options can be found at 12go.asia.
Organize you excursions
As you can see, Khao Sok offers a bunch of exciting activities and nature attractions. Particularly popular are tours on the lake and walks through the jungle. But also fun activities like Bamboo Rafting, Monkey Temple and Elephants visit etc. are offered here. Tours can be booked on site, as well as online. Under this link you will find the best rated tours and excursions in Khao Sok National Park, as well as the current prices and reviews. For a special Khao Sok experience we recommend staying in one of the floating bungalows.
Where to sleep
As already mentioned above, the Khao Sok National Park has 2 main entrances. You either stay in Khao Sok Town (jungle hike, elephant, monkey temple) or at Cheow -Lan Lake (boat tours). Whether for backpackers, individual travellers or luxury traveller, here everyone will find his or her perfect accommodation!
Recommended accommodation in Khao Sok Town
- A very popular accommodation right next to the park is the Khao Sok Nature Resort. If you want to spend the night in a tree house, then you should take a look at these bungalows.
- Especially recommended is the Khao Sok Silver Cliff Resort. The small bungalows are located directly in the jungle, next to a small river and gigantic rocks. At night you can hear frogs and cicadas – so a true jungle feeling is guaranteed here. The food is delicious, and the lovely owner looks after her guests so well. With a little luck you can even meet monkeys and elephants here.
Recommended Accommodation at Cheow-Lan Lake
- Belong Jin The Dam Resort: Lovely resort with pool near the lake.
- Panvaree Resort: Wonderful Floating Bungalows on Chiao Lan Lake.
If you’re now wondering how long you should stay at Khao Sok Park, we suggest you plan at least 2 or even better several days for your visit. So you have enough time to explore the Cheow, to walk through the jungle, to visit the monkey temple and to discover the beautiful waterfalls.
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