Khao Sok National Park

Weather :

Entry Fee : Adults: THB 40
Children: THB 20
Foreign Nationals
Adults: THB 300
Children: THB 150
Students: THB 100

Timings : 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM

Khao Sok National Park, Thailand Overview

Khao Sok National Park is located in the Phanom district of Thailand. Falling under the Surat Thani province of Thailand, it is accomplished as the oldest rainforests of the world. This National Park will welcome you with enormous limestone mountains, deep valleys, lakes, caves, and the unique ecosystem where you will rarely find such an exemplary example of the amalgamation of nature and adventure.

Situated on the mainland between Phuket, Khao Lak, Krabi, and Koh Samui, this National Park is one of the favourite destinations for a vacation. Elephant encounters, canoeing, jungle trek on foot, bamboo rafting, boat tour, and a lot more awaits the visitors.
There are also exciting tour options which will inevitably give you a lifetime memory. Spread in an area of 739 sq km, there is also the beautiful Cheow Larn Lake comprising an area of 165 sq km. As a visitor, you will be in awe of the diversity and hidden secrets held in Khao Sok. Lastly, you should not miss the floating raft houses and luxury tents.

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Khao Sok National Park

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Things to Do At Khao Sok National Park

Khao Sok National Park
Elephant Encounters
Elephants are considered to be the highlight of the National Park. The close encounters with Asian Elephants are inevitably incomparable. Interacting with the elephants, the mahouts, feeding them their daily meals, scrub, clean, and bathe them is what the tour offers its visitors. There will be fully trained guides who will narrate you specific stories or introduce characteristics of some elephants and make your visit worth your time.

Jungle Trek
Experiencing the tropical forest world on foot is altogether with a different opportunity to explore the National Park. People of all ages can go for treks along the length of Park. It is recommended to take a guide with you and also follow the norms of the Park. The Rafflesia treks and other treks either leave the east or west from the main entrance.

Jungle Safari
There are four, three, and two-day tour options for those who want to enjoy a jungle safari. These tours are the best option to explore the best of this National Park. More detailed information about jungle safaris are provided in the next subheading.
Khao Sok National Park
Canoeing, Kayaking, and Bamboo Rafting
If you are looking for a relaxed canoe ride, then head over to Sok River. You will come across kingfishers, herons, snakes, frogs, monitor lizards, and wild monkeys while canoeing. There are chances that you will pass through limestone cliffs along the riverside and also witness the rural life of the local people.

Boat Tour
A boat tour to the Cheow Larn Lake is a must if you are visiting the National Park. You can stay overnight in the floating bungalows in the Park. This is a fascinating experience as an overnight stay will allow you to witness the activity of nocturnal animals or wake up to the sound of the endangered Lar Gibbons.

Short hikes in the National Park are usually self-guided. You can get a guide for longer trails. A guide will charge THB 500 for half a day and THB 1000 for a full day. The place around Cheow Larn Lake is quite scenic for hikes which are usually accessible by longtail boats.

Khao Sok National Park Tours

There are three recommended tours provided by the National Park for you to venture out the region most easily and fantastically. These tours are inclusive of accommodation, meals, activities, and transfers to and from Phuket, Krabi, Khao Lak, Surat Thani, Khanom, and Koh Samui. You only need to remember to follow the guidelines of the National Park oriented to you at the beginning of the tours. The tours are usually carried in small groups which allow more feasibility of exploring the oldest rainforests to its best. You can go the website of Khao Sok National Park and book any of these packages mentioned below:

Khao Sok National Park
  • Four Day Package: This tour will include elephant safari, a journey through the Cheow Larn Lake and the mangrove swamps. The final day of this tour will allow you to appreciate the vastness of the rainforest by a leisurely walk through the jungle. The journey will end with a perfect lunch provided by the tour operators. The cost for this package will range between THB 24,535 and THB 27,080 for adults and half this rate for children (between 7 to 15 years only). The cost will entirely depend on the period you choose to visit this Park.
  • Three Day Package: The other option is a three-day tour in the National Park. It is similar to the four-day package but with lesser time. Boat tour through the Cheow Larn Lake, accommodation in the floating bungalows, elephant encounters, and a fantastic lunch is included in this package. This tour will cost you between THB 22,410 and THB 25,115 and half the rate for children.
  • Two Day Package: This package is suitable for people with a time crunch. Trek through the rainforest, boat tour along the Sok River, feeding the elephants, and a lot more is included in this small tour. This package costs between THB 13,210 and THB 16,520 and half of it for children.

Cheow Larn Lake

Cheow Larn Lake is the local name given to Khao Sok Lake. The lake is the highlight of this National park and was formed in the year 1982. The beauty of the lake cannot be appreciated unless you get to see it. A mesmerising view amidst the ancient rainforest, this lake is spread over 165 sq km of within the National Park. Limestone karsts, still emerald water, and floating hotels provide apt reasons for you to visit this lake. Cheow Larn Lake is a paradise for the existing species as it has been undisturbed by the pollution caused by the industrialisation activities.
Rafthouses in the National Park

Most of the resorts around the lake offer free and unlimited usage of their kayaks. You can either go with your group or for a solo ride and explore the magical jungle, the sharp cliffs, and the mystical beauty of the lake. Besides this, you can also hire a boat for the entire journey of travelling around the lake. These boats will pick you up from the raft houses and drop you there at the end of the trip.

Flora & Fauna

The forest of Khao Sok National Park is partly tropical evergreen and slightly tropical rain forest. One can find around 200 different species of flora. Undoubtedly, this National Park earns the title of the most bio-diverse areas in the world. Khao Sok is renowned for plant life mainly because of the large flowers in the world, the Rafflesia. Besides this, the region has Bamboo on the hillsides and riverbanks and Liana trees wrapping themselves around any vertical or horizontal base. Further, one can also find Buttress roots, Pitcher plant, Fig, Coconut Palm, Banana, along with some wild fruits.

Buttress Roots
Talking about fauna in Khao Sok National Park, it is acclaimed as the home of 48 mammal species, 311 species of birds, 30 species of bats, several reptiles and insects. Scolopendra cataracta, which is the world’s only known amphibious centipede, was discovered here in 2001. Mammals like the Asian elephant, Sambar Deer, Bear, Gaur, Banteng, Wild Boar, Tiger, and Squirrel are a common sight in the forest. Besides this, several bird species like Woodpecker, Swift, Buffy Fish Owl, Oriental Pied Hornbill; insects like Scorpion, Praying Mantis, Black Tarantula, Millipede; reptiles like Asian Water Monitor, Leeches, Monocled Cobras, Mangrove Snake, Reticulated Python, and many more have made this forest their home.

Khao Sok National Park Climate

Khao Sok National Park

Khao Sok National Park majorly has two seasons throughout the year. The dry season from January to late April and the wet season from April to December. The National Park is well known to receive the highest rainfall in Thailand (3500 mm per year) with September and October as the wettest months of the year. This is because of the mountainous surrounding and the influence of Northeast and Southwest monsoons. The rainfall in this region adds to the mystifying charm with the sun breaking through the low clouds and clearing off the mist. In general, the average temperature of Khao Sok ranges between 22°C to 36°C.

Topography of the Park

As mentioned earlier, the Khao Sok National Park is one of the oldest forests in the world. The climate of this region has remained constant throughout the ice ages. This is primarily because of the undisturbed geographical position of Thailand in the last 160 million years. The landmass on which the National Park resides is small and surrounded by the sea on both sides. Khao Sok is known for the ‘karst’ or limestone mountains with an average height of 400 meters and ground level of 200 meters above sea level. Know that the highest peak in this Park is approximately 960 meters tall.

History Behind The Khao Sok National Park

The natural history of Khao Sok National Park dates back to 435 million years back, when the past was divided into the Carboniferous period, Permian period, Cretaceous period and Tertiary period. The human history of this National Park can be traced to 50000 years back when the presence of first humans in this region was found. It was then in the 1800s that the Burmese attack led many local people to flee into the jungle for safety. After that, people came to know about the region’s fertile soil, good rainfall, and abundant animal life.

Eventual Developments
Soon construction activities in the 1960s caused changes in the watercolours and soil erosion. The 1940s and 1970s saw the deadly epidemic and communist insurgency, respectively. But thankfully, flora and fauna of this region were untouched. Realising the importance of the biodiversity of this region, Khao Sok National Park was declared as a National Park in 1980. Since this declaration, people have made several efforts to conserve and care for this National Park.

Accommodation Inside the Park

This National Park offers an entirely different experience for the visitors by providing accommodation inside the Park. All of the accommodation options can be booked online. Here are the few options for those looking for accommodation:

Khao Sok National Park
  • Jungle Tree Resort: The tree-resort inside the National Park is indeed a fantastic option for accommodation. The choice of the room depends on the visitors. Know that these resorts also offer tours inside the National Park, which can cost between THB 400 to THB 980.
  • Riverside Cottages: The riverside cottages overlook the water body inside the National Park. The best aspect of the cabin is that it recycles all the waste generated inside the cottage. The cost of riverside cottages will range between THB 684 and 1,370.
  • Floating Bungalows: If you are bored of staying on land, you can choose your accommodation in the floating bungalows on the Khao Sok Lake. This will add to the best of your memories while visiting the Park. This is an expensive option and can cost between THB 2,385 and THB 6,000.

Visitor Tips

  • Do not litter inside the Park. Take back all the garbage with you to the Park Headquarters.
  • Do not touch anything during your visit, especially if you do not know about it.
  • Usually, all the tours are in small groups. Therefore, it is recommended to book your trip as early as possible (at least three days before your visit).
  • Carry anti-mosquito creams/ointments, insect sprays, umbrellas, comfortable footwear, enough water with you during the tour.

How To Reach Khao Sok National Park

Khao Sok National Park is situated in the Surat Thani province of Thailand. More precisely, this National Park comes under the Phanom district in Southern Thailand. The National Park also extends into the Khlong Yee, and Khlong Pra Sang forest parts and the Krai Son and Khao Pung sub-districts of Surat Thani.

To reach Khao Sok National Park, one needs to get to the closest airport to the Park, i.e., in Surat Thani. If coming from Bangkok, you can get to the Surat Thani International Airport by air. It will take only one hour, thirty minutes from Bangkok. From here, buses are stopping at Khao Sok, which will cost THB 120. From Krabi, the National Park is only two hours away. You can get onto a minibus departing from the Krabi town, and it will cost between THB 300 to THB 330. The other option is to take a taxi from Krabi to the National Park, which will cost between THB 2700 to THB 4000. Besides this, if you are travelling from Phuket, you can take a bus from there costing THB 140.

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