Khao Sok National Park: Your Essential Rainforest Adventure Guide (2024)

Khao Sok National Park: Your Essential Rainforest Adventure Guide (2024)

Khao Sok National Park, a lush rainforest teeming with wildlife and boasting the breathtaking Cheow Lan Lake, offers an unforgettable escape for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike. Often overshadowed by nearby Phuket, Krabi, and Koh Samui, Khao Sok National Park captivates visitors with its towering limestone cliffs, emerald-green jungle canopy, and diverse wildlife.

In this comprehensive guide, we'll delve into the reasons why it should be at the top of your Thailand travel bucket list. We'll share the best things to do, from hiking through the rainforest to exploring hidden caves and spotting exotic wildlife. Additionally, we'll provide valuable tips to help you plan your dream Khao Sok adventure, ensuring a memorable and hassle-free experience.

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Written by Preetika Narula (Local Expert)Updated on 12-04-2024
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1. Overview of Khao Sok National Park

Established in 1980, Khao Sok National Park covers an area of 739 square kilometers, making it one of the most extensive natural reserves in the country. The dense jungle hosts an incredible diversity of fauna and flora, featuring unique species such as Rafflesia kerrii (Bua Phut), the world's largest flower, and the unique amphibious centipede.

Khao Sok National Park
 A view of the entrance to Khao Sok National Park

However, the crown jewel of Khao Sok is Cheow Lan Lake, a vast man-made lake created in 1982 following the construction of the Ratchaprapha Dam. Surrounded by towering cliffs, cruising its emerald waters offers a surreal experience, reminiscent of the magnificent Halong Bay in Vietnam.

Khao Sok represents the ultimate adventure for us. Whether enjoying a hike, observing wildlife, or simply relaxing by the water, this national park satisfies all nature lovers.

1.1. The National Park Schedule in 2024

Khao Sok National Park is open from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM. Seasonal closure of Khao Sok park attractions:

  • Bua Phut Km111 Tourist Site (home to Rafflesia kerrii): From May 1 to October 31, 2024
  • Tham Nam Thalu: from June 1 to November 30, 2024

Khao sok national park schedule

1.2. Khao Sok National Park Entrance Fee

The entrance fee for Khao Sok National Park is THB 300 per adult and THB 150 per child, valid for one day only. There's an exception: if you purchase your ticket after 4:30 PM, it remains valid for the next day.

If you are a foreigner with a work permit in Thailand, the price is reduced to between THB 20 and 40. It's advisable to check other sources, as ticket prices may change from the time of reading this article.

Khao Sok

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A Cruise on Cheow Lan Lake

A traditional long-tail boat trip on Cheow Lan Lake is a must. From the dock, you will sail for about 30 minutes through a magnificent landscape before reaching your floating accommodation.

Traditional Thai wooden boat on Cheow Lan Lake.
Traditional Thai wooden boat on Cheow Lan Lake

A hike in the jungle of Khao Sok National Park

Along the way, you'll explore small coves and pass by the majestic limestone rocks Three Brothers. Your guide will also introduce you to the Diamond Cave and its fascinating stalactite and stalagmite formations. A bit of swimming and relaxation in the calm waters of the lake will complete this ideal day.

A Jungle Hike With well-marked trails starting from the main entrance, Khao Sok National Park is the ideal place for hiking. You'll pass through lush bamboo forests to discover tropical waterfalls. Along the way, keep an eye out for families of monkeys and also magnificent birds.

Khao Sok Waterfall
Ton Kloi Falls surrounded by greenery in Khao Sok

Ton Kloi Falls surrounded by greenery in Khao Sok. The essential route leads to Ton Kloi Falls, 7 km from the park entrance. For the more adventurous, Khao Sok also has fascinating caves to explore, such as Elephant Cave or Nam Talu Cave. Set off well-equipped with proper footwear and headlamps. More information: Elephants in Thailand: Complete Guide to See on Your Trip

Tham Nam Thalu, a Spectacular Cave in Khao Sok National Park

Tham Nam Thalu is a limestone cave located in Khao Sok National Park, Thailand. It is accessible via a 3 km hiking trail from the southwest shore of Chiaw Lan Lake. The cave is 77.6 m long and 10 to 30 m wide. It is bathed by an underground water course that has formed amazing rock formations, such as stalactites, stalagmites, and columns.

Tham Nam Thalu
Tham Nam Thalu, a Spectacular Cave in Khao Sok National Park

Tham Nam Thalu limestone cave The cave is a popular spot for hiking and photography. It is also an important habitat for bats and other wildlife. It is recommended to visit the cave during the dry season, as it partially floods during the rainy season.

An Unusual Night in the Jungle

Khao Sok is the perfect place to experience camping in the wild. Accompanied by a guide, you will spend one or two nights fully immersed in the jungle. Your guide will teach you how to build a bamboo shelter, find your way, or cook over a fire.

Sleeping under the stars in a hammock, lulled by the sounds of the forest, remains a magical experience. In the morning, wake up to the sound of gibbons before refreshing under a waterfall. Thrilling sensations guaranteed!

Camping in Khao Sok

The Giant Flower Bua Phut in Khao Sok

The Bua Phut flower, the largest in the world, blooms just a few days a year in the Khao Sok region. This spectacular flower, devoid of roots and leaves, can reach 80 cm in diameter at full bloom, from December to March. To admire it, you must visit the site during the short blooming period after a few days of rain.

Bua Phut flower
The Bua Phut flower can reach up to 90cm in diameter and weigh 7kg.

Flower of Thailand

The Bua Phut flower can reach up to 90 cm in diameter and weigh 7 kg. Khao Sok National Park harbors a particularly rich flora and fauna worth discovering. Do not miss this destination on your trip to Thailand to observe the fascinating Bua Phut and enjoy the grandiose landscapes.

💡Book a private trip in Thailand that includes Khao Sok National Park: 14 Days Unwind in Paradise: Southern Thailand Beach Tours

3. Where to Stay for a 100% Nature-Filled Stay?

Staying in the heart of Khao Sok National Park, on the shores of Cheow Lan Lake, is, in our opinion, the best way to fully immerse yourself in the Khao Sok experience. There are several options available to you.

Floating Bungalows

Experiencing a night in one of the floating bungalows on the lake is an unforgettable experience. Comfortably settled on your terrace, you will enjoy an impressive panorama of the rocky peaks emerging from the waters. A jump into the lake from your accommodation for an ideal morning swim!

Where to Stay in Khao Sok
Floating bungalows at Khao Sok National Park.

Treehouse Cabins

For a total immersion in nature, opt for a treehouse nestled among the trees of the tropical forest. The Treehouse in Khao Sok, with its infinity pool, offers a charming setting to relax after a day of hiking.

treehouse cabins
A tree house in the middle of the forest in Khao Sok.

Charming Lodges

Amidst the Jungle Set apart from the National Park, charming accommodations like Khao Sok Bamboo House offer comfortable rooms in a bucolic setting. You will enjoy an excellent restaurant and numerous activities on site, such as bamboo rafting

Khao Sok Bambo house
Khao Sok Bambo house

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4. When to Go to Khao Sok?

Khao Sok will captivate you in all seasons. However, the best time to visit is from December to April (especially from January to March), during the dry season. Although it may still rain sporadically, the trails are more passable, and the lake is perfect for boat rides.

From May to October is the rainy season. Although nature turns greener, there are daily downpours that can limit some activities. The rainiest months are September and October.

Weather of Khao Sok

Worth Knowing: If you visit this place during the rainy season, it is crucial to wear discreet clothing, raincoats, and boots when walking through the forest to avoid being sucked by leeches. You should dedicate between 2 and 3 days to explore this national park. 

5. How to Get to Khao Sok?

From neighboring towns

Khao Sok is easily accessible from the main tourist localities nearby. From Phuket, Krabi, or Khao Lak, numerous buses and minibuses run daily. Travel times are as follows:

  • Phuket - Khao Sok: 3 hours
  • Krabi - Khao Sok: 4 hours
  • Khao Lak - Khao Sok: 2 hours

You can also opt for a private taxi, more comfortable but slightly more expensive.

How to get to Khao Sok

  • From Surat Thani, public buses will take you to Khao Sok in just 2 hours, making it the ideal starting point if you are coming from the north or east of the country.
  • From Bangkok: To get to Khao Sok from Bangkok, the best option is to take a flight to Surat Thani Airport and then continue by bus or taxi. Flights from Bangkok to Surat Thani, which are frequent and affordable, are operated by the most popular airlines such as Nok Air, Thai Smile, Thai AirAsia, Thai Lion Air...
  • You can also travel by overnight train. The journey takes approximately 12 hours; we recommend booking a first-class ticket with a bunk for greater comfort.

Once in Surat Thani, regular buses connect the airport and the bus station with the national park in 2.5 hours.

Khao Sok

⏳✅ Did you know? April is the time of Thailand's biggest New Year festival: Songkran Festival 2024 

Our last words,

Khao Sok represents in our eyes one of the most beautiful natural jewels of the country. Its abundant jungle, where animal life reigns supreme, contrasts so much with the excitement of the southern beaches. Its surreal-looking lake and its limestone peaks will transport you to a world apart.

So if you're looking for a change of scenery and adventure during your trip to Thailand, definitely add Khao Sok National Park to your itinerary. A magical experience in a preserved natural setting awaits you!

Have you ever visited Khao Sok? What were your favorite activities in the national park? We look forward to reading your experiences in the comments!

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Quiz: What do you know about Khao Sok?

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Quiz: What do you know about Khao Sok?

What do you know about Khao Sok?
1/5.Khao Sok National Park is home to which of these animals?
2/5.Khao Sok National Park is known for having one of the world's oldest:
3/5.What country is Khao Sok National Park located in?
4/5.What is a popular activity for tourists in Khao Sok National Park?
5/5.What type of climate does Khao Sok National Park have?
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Comments (2)
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MV
Marcelle Vanhoof17 Apr 2024
Hello! I'm planning a family trip for four to explore Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos all in one go. We're looking for a magical, spiritual, adventurous, and historical experience. My children are 14 and 11 years old, and we're aiming to travel next July or August 2025. How many days would you recommend we spend in each country?
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KT
Kampá Tour17 Apr 2024

Hello! Thank you for reaching out to Kampá Tour. We're thrilled to help you plan an unforgettable journey through Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos. Given your interest in a magical, spiritual, adventurous, and historical experience, our 21-day tour encompassing all four countries would be perfect for your family. This itinerary is designed to give you a balanced experience, allowing enough time to explore the rich culture and history of each destination.

You can find the details of this tour on our website at 21-Day Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand Tour.

If you're looking for something a bit more customized to specifically cater to your family's interests, we're more than happy to create a tailor-made itinerary. Just let us know what you'd like to focus on, and we can adjust the tour to meet your desires.

Looking forward to making your family's travel dreams come true!

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