You must take some time to explore the Khao Sok National Park during your time in Thailand. In addition to being a site of exceptional beauty, the park is home to an exceptionally rich and varied collection of flora and wildlife. This will, without a doubt, be one of the nicest places to visit in Thailand, particularly if you prefer to go for walks and take in the sights and sounds of your surroundings. In addition to this, Khao Sok may be found in the southern region of Thailand. Because of this, travelling there from any of the other sun and beach attractions in the region is a relatively simple process. One more compelling argument in favour of incorporating Khao Sok Park into your itinerary for the “country of smiles”
What is Khao Sok National Park like?
A well-known park in Thailand, Khao Sok National Park can be found in the province of Surat Thani, which is in the southernmost part of the nation. The year 1980 marks the beginning of its existence, and its total area is around 740 km2. Even while Khao Sok is famous for its stunning natural scenery, the park’s location is also one of its most significant selling points. The most important reason is because it is located on the mainland exactly midway between four of the most popular tourist sites in Thailand: Phuket, Krabi, Khao Lak, and Koh Samui. As a result, it is an excellent location to stop at when you are travelling around Thailand.
As a matter of fact, the Khao Sok National Park contains nearly the whole tropical jungle that can be found in southern Thailand, making it the region’s biggest forest. This is due to the fact that during the monsoon season, the average temperature in this region ranges from 22 to 36 degrees Celsius, and there is a significant amount of precipitation. As a result, the climate of Khao Sok is ideal for supporting such a diverse array of flora and animals. In point of fact, there is bamboo and lianas everywhere, as well as trees with enormous roots and uncommon blooms like the well-known rafflesia. In addition to wild creatures such as gibbons, tigers, and elephants in their natural habitat. In addition to this, a mountain range that runs through the middle of the park creates an extremely rugged terrain. The Cheow Lan Lake can be found in the northern part of the region, and from it, enormous limestone formations of stunning beauty emerge.
What to do in Khao Sok?
Visit Cheow Lan Lake
The most popular destination inside Khao Sok National Park is Cheow Lan Lake, particularly due to the striking contrast between the verdant beaches and the magnificent blue waters, which give the lake the appearance of being plucked straight from heaven. In addition, there are around a hundred limestone boulders that dot the surface of the lake and contribute to the one-of-a-kind scenery. However, the lake was artificially created. In addition, it was inundating a valley around 180 km2 in size when it was constructed in 1982 as a dam for a power station located nearby. Because of this, it possesses a unique beauty, and the resulting landscapes are exceptional. In addition, the region is home to a rich and varied collection of plant and animal life.
Exploring the lake via boat is one of the most enjoyable methods to do so. Nevertheless, various excursions are available, each of which will take you to the most well-known parts of the city. Among these are the Diamond Cave and the Nam Talu, which both include an interior river of a more manageable size. In addition to the region referred to as the Guilin of Thailand, a few rocks rise above the sea and are evocative of the well-known region in China.
Trekking through Khao Sok National Park
There is no question that Khao Sok is an excellent choice for anyone who enjoys hiking and going on different trails. Mostly due to the fact that the park’s rainforest is home to a diverse array of wild animals and unusual plant species. In addition, there are routes that cater to everyone’s preferences and may be modified to accommodate different kinds of travellers. In point of fact, some are flatter than others, some stick close to the river, and others venture further into the bush. In general, the duration of the journeys is around three quarters of a day. However, another option is to engage the services of a native guide and devote a whole day to showing us the park’s lesser-known nooks and crannies.
There is also the possibility of going on a journey at night. In this scenario, the path is typically more condensed, but it is also significantly more taxing. To some extent, this is because the noises of the jungle at night lend an air of mystery that has a significant bearing on the experience. When you journey during the day and then again at night, it is likely that you will have the impression that you have moved to a different location.
Camp in the jungle for one or two days
Those that are up for a little bit of an adventure enjoy nothing more than setting up camp in the middle of the forest. It consists of spending one or two days deep in the forest with a seasoned local guide who is familiar with the terrain. It is an alternative that costs a little bit more money, but it is well worth it since you find out a lot of information about the park and the natural surroundings there. In addition, the guides make a significant amount of effort to demonstrate how one may live successfully in the forest. They will show you how to create a home out of bamboo, how to sleep in a hammock, how to cook Thai food outside over a bamboo fire, and many other things.
Navigate the Sok River
Paddling along the Sok River, which winds through the park, is among the most enjoyable ways to take in the natural beauty that the area has to offer. Canoes and the traditional bamboo rafts used in Thailand are both viable options for making the journey. Always, of course, in the capable hands of an experienced guide who is familiar with the surrounding environment. You can rest guaranteed that it will be a once-in-a-lifetime event due to the fact that you will be able to see portions of the park that you normally wouldn’t see. For those who enjoy participating in physical activity, there is also the possibility of going kayaking. And if you are one of those people who are too lazy to row, then you can always go tubing, which means you can put on a float and let yourself be carried along by the water.
How to get to Khao Sok?
Within the southernmost portion of the Thai peninsula is where you’ll find Khao Sok National Park. Therefore, if you want to arrive by plane, the Surathani Airport is the one that is located the closest to you. There are several flights departing from Bangkok every day, however there is only one departing from Chiang Mai every day. Following your arrival, you will be required to go to the park using either a bus, which will cost you four euros, or a communal minivan, which will cost seven euros.
In the event that you are travelling from Bangkok, you have the option of riding the train to Surathani city for a price that starts at €28 and takes around 14 hours. There is also the possibility of taking the bus, which costs €15 and takes around 16 hours to complete the journey. After arriving in the city, in order to reach the park, you will need to take a bus or a minivan.
It is recommended that travellers arriving from the islands in the Gulf of Thailand take the boat to Surathani and then take the minivan to Khao Sok together, as the combined price of these two modes of transportation is around €30. On the other hand, if you are travelling from a location near the Andaman Sea, such as Phuket or Khao Lak, there is a bus that departs every hour and costs around 6 Euros. Or, if you prefer, there are minivans that leave from Krabi and take around three and a half hours while charging approximately fifteen euros.
In any event, it is impossible for us to avoid mentioning that travelling to the park from Surathani in a minivan is the most convenient and cosy mode of transportation available. The most important reason is that it will drop you off right at the front of the hotel, unlike the bus, so you won’t have to do any walking at all when you get there.
Best time to visit Khao Sok National Park
The monsoon rains that fall in the park originate from both the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea. In point of fact, the region’s wet season does not stop until the beginning of December, and it lasts all the way through the month of April. However, the months of May through October have the greatest amount of precipitation. Because of the lush greenery and the lake, together with the mist that settles over the mountains, the park is particularly stunning when it is in the midst of the rainy season. Additionally, it is really stunning between the months of November and February, when the weather is milder and brighter, but the landscape is not yet completely parched.
Where to stay in Khao Sok?
When you first enter the park, you will find yourself in the little town of Khao Sok, which is home to the majority of the park’s accommodations. The vast majority of park visitors choose to lodge here throughout their stay. More than anything else, because there is such a diverse selection available at a range of prices to accommodate a variety of budgets. You’ll find accommodations ranging from little bungalows to sprawling resorts and hotels of varying sizes here.
There is also the option of staying in the Ban Khlun part of the national park, which is located around 50 kilometres from the town of Khao Sok. It is in close proximity to the lake and serves as the starting point for a good number of the boat cruises. Although there are not as many places to stay in this region, the costs are still within a range that is comparable to that of Khao Sok. Although what has shown to be the most successful, without a shadow of a doubt, are the most unique cottages, which are the ones that float on the lake.
In most cases, a trip to the park will take between two and three days to complete. You have the option of staying in the village the entire time, or you may choose to combine your stay in the town with a night spent in one of the floating cottages on the lake.
It’s possible that you’re already aware that the Khao Sok National Park located in the southern region of Thailand is one of the top parks in the whole country. Amongst other things, it possesses magical scenery and a wide variety of flora and wildlife due to the fact that it is composed entirely of tropical jungle. In addition to this, it is located in close proximity to wonderful sun and beach attractions such as Krabi and Phuket, and most importantly, the lovely town of Khanom, which is known as the land of pink dolphins and has breathtaking beaches. As a result, it will not be difficult for you to integrate your visit with the rest of your time spent in the south. Whether you stay in the Gulf of Thailand or the Andaman Sea, you won’t be disappointed. Unquestionably, one of the many compelling arguments in favour of paying a visit to this lovely park.