This vast, protected rainforest is one of Thailand’s finest national parks, and definitely a must on every nature lover’s itinerary. Khao Sok is located in Southern Thailand, close to Khao Lak and Suratthani.
In the rainforest, you can admire giant trees, tropical plants and a wide variety of birds. You will have a decent chance of seeing gibbons and langur monkeys. There are even tigers living in the jungle, but the big cats lurk so deep in the forest that seeing them is close to impossible (which is not necessarily a bad thing).
A small traveler village of simple guesthouses has grown next to the National Park’s entrance. There are also a couple of grocery stores, where you can buy picnic food and Thom Henley’s excellent guide to Khao Sok, Waterfalls and Gibbon Calls.
Khao Sok’s Top Things to Do
Khao Sok is easy to explore on your own: two well-marked hiking paths run from the National Park’s gate to the untouched jungle, where you can walk on your own during the daytime.
Guides are available both for day trips and several-days adventures deep into the Khao Sok’s interior.
The most beautiful landscapes of the area are to be found on the artificial Cheow Lan Lake on the edge of Khao Sok National Park, where rugged jungle-covered limestone mountains line the jade green water.
Cheow Larn Lake is located 65 kilometers from the national park’s entrance, and is easiest to reach through trips organized by Khao Sok’s guesthouses. The trips include jungle walks and visits to stalactite caves as well as spending the night on bamboo bungalows floating over the water.
In the morning and in the afternoon you can go canoeing on the lake – an opportunity worth taking. While paddling in silence right next to the jungle you can see the forest coming alive in front of you. Monkeys jump amongst the trees and wild boars come down to the water’s edge to bath with their babies.
It is also possible to do rock climbing in Khao Sok, and ride with the elephants.
Khao Sok Hotels
Khaosok at Home Resort €€€
Why: For those looking for a bit more comfortable place than simple bungalows. This is one of Khao Sok’s best accommodations, and the location is wonderful with sceneries opening to majestic limestone mountains.
Where: A little off the other hotels. It’s a 20 minutes walk to the traveler village and the park’s entrance.
Why: This comfortable family owned guesthouse is in a prime location right by the park’s entrance. Many kind of rooms; the best rooms are very nice, the cheaper ones a bit withered. Family rooms available too.
Where: Lovely location by the river just beside the entrance to the national park. Check discounts!
Nung House €
Why: Cheap guesthouse with excellent location. Both cheap wooden cabins and concrete houses for a little bit more demanding taste. Family rooms too.
Where: Just a five-minutes walk from the national park’s entrance, close to restaurants and food stalls.
Khao Sok Evergreen House €
Why: This guesthouse’s simple and clean rooms are some of the cheapest in the neighborhood.
Where: Walking distance from the national park’s entrance.
How to Get to Khao Sok
You can either fly or take a night train from Bangkok to Suratthani, from where buses run to Khao Sok. You can also fly to Phuket, but in that case you have to change buses in Takuapa.
It is a brisk walk from the roadside bus stop to the national park, but usually there are touts from the guesthouses waiting by the stop and offering free rides.
Khao Sok is situated in the middle of South Thailand’s narrow isthmus, and you can easily continue your journey either to the east or west coast. The closest beach destination on the Andaman Sea is Khao Lak, just an hour’s bus ride away.
Best time to travel to Khao Sok
It can rain anytime in a rainforest. The driest time is from December to April. The rainy season lasts from May to November and is very wet.
Khao Sok – Good to Know
The national park fee for Khao Sok is 400 baht a day.