Khao Sok National Park is nature at its best. Listen to the Gibbons in the treetops. Cruise slowly in a kayak down a river searching for wildlife. Spend time with the majestic elephant at its own terms. Sleep in bungalows high up in the jungle top or spend the night in a floating hotel on the breathtaking lake. Khao Sok has something for you!
Khao Sok is 1,5 hours from Phuket, 2 hours from Surat Thani or just a short drive from Khao Lak. It’s one of Thailand’s finest national parks, yet so easy reachable from the beaches at Krabi, Phuket or Khao Lak. And Khao Sok is indeed worth a visit and a break from the beaches – if that is needed.
The national park features incredible limestone formations and waterfalls as well as a dense rainforest with plenty of animals for you to search for. And then there’s the lake. Truly amazing with limestone protruding from the lake and as high as 960 meters. That’s 3 times higher than the formations around Phuket, Krabi and Phi Phi Islands! The area of the national park is more than 160 million years old, making it the oldest rainforest of the entire globe. True or not, Khao Sok is a must see.
As already mentioned Khao Sok is home to many animals. More than 300 bird species, oh so many different bats, sneaky snakes and spinning spiders, and of course cheeky monkeys swinging through the tree tops. And this is only in the dry season. If you visit the national park during wet season, you might also come across bears, boars, deer and the occasional wild elephant. If you are interested in flora, you might also get intrigued by the rare Rafflesia. It’s the world’s largest flower, and in Thailand it’s only found in Khao Sok.
You will also find many caves in Khao Sok. Most of them can be reached by foot or by a boat rented by a local fisherman. Explore the caves with just a headlamp and mosquito spray and see awesome stalactite formations. Or you can spend your days kayaking and rafting, hiking through the park on the various trails (either with or without a guide) or spend time with the majestic elephant (read our take on sustainability and meeting nature).
As for accommodation in the park there are many options. Whether you are planning to stay at a simple guest house and explore by yourself or you want a guided trip with unique accommodation, the choice is yours to take. You can stay in bungalows built in the tree tops, luxury tents with a terrace looking over the jungle, or how about a floating hotel with the lake ready for you to jump in for a morning or evening swim?
Further to the north from Khao Sok, along the coast, there are several more fine spots. The Surin Islands, an island group with fine snorkeling, but only simple accommodation. Koh Phayam with slow back to nature ambience but fine places to stay, and Ranong, the klondyke gateway to the southernmost Burmese town of Kawthaung.