Welcome to Khao Sok National Park, one of Thailand’s most beautiful national parks. Khao Sok has a huge lake that is surrounded by rock formations that can have an altitude of 900 meters high, it feels like you are in a scene from Jurassic Park. This park should be on your list of destinations you want to visit when you travel through Thailand. Khao Sok National Park requires some preparation because you can visit this park in different ways, each with its advantages and disadvantages. In this article, we will tell what is the best way and give our personal tips to ensure that you will have a unique experience in Khao Sok National Park.
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Khao Sok national park good to know
Khao Sok national park is located in the South of Thailand and is one of the oldest rainforests in the world. It is without a doubt one of the most beautiful places in Thailand to visit. Besides the beautiful landscape, there is a lot of flora and fauna to be found. An absolute highlight is seeing the gibbons high in the trees in their natural environment. You can also see elephants, tigers, snakes and much more.
When you search on the internet about Khao Sok national park you always see pictures of Khao Sok Lake. Khao Sok National Park consists of two parts, namely: Khlong Sok and Cheow Lan Lake (also called Khao Sok lake).
Khlong Sok is the village that lies at one of the two entrances to Khao Sok National Park. At Khlong Sok, you will find the park’s official visitor center. Khlong Sok is also where you arrive by bus.
Cheow Lan Lake, which is also called Khao Sok Lake, is the world-famous lake that you need to visit. In this part of the park, you can spend the night in a bungalow on the lake, which is really fantastic.
How do you get to Khao Sok National Park?
Before you go to Khao Sok National Park you need to travel to Khlong Sok. In Khlong Sok, you can stay for example one night and start the next day 2-day tour of Khao Sok National Park.
If you follow our Thailand itinerary you will travel from Koh Samui. But you can travel from other places to Khao Sok National Park (Khlong Sok). In fact, it is very easy to reach because of its popularity.
Koh Samui (Ko Tao and Ko Phangan) to Khao Sok National Park: take the boat to Surat Thani. Travel time is +/- 7 hours and costs +/- 800 bath p.p. ($26)
Bangkok to Khao Sok National Park: take the (night) bus or plane to Surat Thani. Travel time is +/- 13 hours and costs +/- 1000 bath p.p. ($32)
Chiang Mai to Khao Sok National Park: Take a plane to Surat Thani. Travel time is +/- 5 and costs 2500 bath p.p. ($82)
Surat Thani to Khao Sok National Park: buy a ticket at the bus station to Khao Sok National Park (arriving at Khlong Sok village).
Tip: you can buy plane tickets via Skyscanner and the bus ticket via 12go.asia.
How many days do you need for Khao Sok National Park?
We advise you to stay at least 2 nights, however, a longer stay of 3 or 4 nights is of course better. You will have more time to discover different places in Khao Sok National Park.
If you stay 2 nights: the first night you will stay in Khlong Sok and the second night in a bungalow on Khao Sok lake. The first day you will probably arrive in Khlong Sok in the afternoon, you will still have time to do something fun, like rafting. On the second and third day, you will spend your time in Khao Sok National Park (Khao Sok lake). After the tour, you can travel back via a night bus to Bangkok from Klong Sok. If you want more time to relax it is better to stay one night after the tour in Klong Sok and not travel directly to Bangkok.
If you stay longer in Khlong Sok, you can discover more of Khao Sok national park. Curious what this is, read it below.
Things to do in Khao Sok National Park
The reason people travel to Khao Sok National Park is to see Khao Sok Lake. However, in addition to visiting Khao Sok Lake, two other activities are great.
Raft over the Sok River
On the day of arrival, we went with a private guide to Khao Sok National Park to raft in the Sok river. In the rainforest flows the river Sok. You will raft for a few hours, it is a relaxing activity because you don’t have to do anything. Enjoy the beautiful views, impressive nature, and animals that you will see. In all likelihood, like us, you will see monkeys and snakes that live along the river.
Khao Sok rafting half day | $64 per person
Hike in Khao Sok National Park
If you are in Khlong Sok, the village at Khao Sok National Park, you can go to the visitor center. From the visitor center, you can take walks through the jungle, past waterfalls and if you are lucky you can see wildlife. You can easily undertake the walks independently from the visitor center. At the visitor center, you can buy a map with all the routes indicated. 9 points are connected. Recommended is to ask information at the visitor center which route is most suitable. Some routes are very difficult or can’t be walked due to heavy rain or another thing.
Tip: if you want to see wild animals and/or make long hikes, you need to use a guide. Ask for more information about the accommodation, they can arrange a local guide.
Khao Sok Lake (Cheow Lan Lake)
Khao Sok Lake is the most beautiful part of Khao Sok National Park. It is one of the few areas in the world where mammals (large animal species with hair) can still live well. We recommend exploring Khao Sok Lake with a tour. This is the easiest way and makes sure that you will go deeper into the park so you can see more. There are different tours, we recommend this 2-day tour where you spend the night on Khao Sok Lake in a bungalow on the water. Book easily via the link below.
The Khao Sok National Park tour starts with transport from your accommodation. At the entrance, you board a kind of speedboat and sail towards the bungalows on the Khao Sok Lake, which is centrally located in the national park. The boot trip Is great, because you cross the beautiful landscape at high speed, truly breathtaking.
Once you arrive you can relax and enjoy the surroundings. After dinner, you will start hiking in the jungle. You go deep into the jungle, visit a cave and a waterfall. During the rainy season, it isn’t possible to swim through the cave, but this makes the visit to the waterfall more fun. You sometimes have to traverse the water which is really an adventure. If you are lucky you will encounter monkeys, snakes, and special insects.
After the hike, you will return to the bungalows and enjoy your free time. You can take a kayak and discover the lake independently or enjoy a swim in front of your bungalow. In the evening you enjoy a delicious meal and you have plenty of time to chat with other travelers while enjoying a drink.
Tip: don’t forget to have a full battery to capture a hyperlapse of the sunset. Really beautiful scene!
The next morning you will do a boat safari before sunrise. You will try to see gibbons, hornbills, and monkeys. You sail along the high mountains along the jungle trying to spot these animals. It is great to listen and see nature in its full glory. Only the sounds that you hear are already spectacular. For us, the highlight was seeing gibbons in the tops of a tree. If you have binoculars take them with you. After the boat safari, you return to enjoy breakfast. After breakfast, you will return to your accommodation.
If you are following our Thailand itinerary, we recommend taking a night bus to Bangkok in the evening. If you prefer not to travel immediately and want to relax at Khao Sok National Park, we recommend that you stay at the accommodation for 1 more night. You can easily book a bus ticket via 12go.asia, you can also book your bus ticket with the accommodations that we recommend.
How much does it cost to visit Khao Sok National Park?
The Khao Sok National Park tour costs $327. Meals, park entrance, and transportation are included from Phuket, Krabi, Surat Thani, Khao Sok, or Khao Lak. Extra costs such as personal expenses aren’t included.
Assuming you follow our Thailand itinerary and spend one night in Khlong Sok at Khaosok Riverside Cottages and Art’s Riverview Lodge, take a night bus to Bangkok after the tour, your costs are approximately per person:
- Khao Sok Lake 2-day tour: $327
- Food: $18
- Travel costs from Koh Samui: $26
- Night bus to Bangkok: $30
- Accommodation 1 night in Khlong Sok: $12
The total costs are +/- $413 per person, this is a lot of money but it is really worth every dollar.
Where to stay at Khao Sok National Park?
You must spend the night in the village of Khlong Sok, from this village you can visit Khao Sok National Park. For a small village, there are several accommodations where you can stay. We recommend Khaosok Riverside Cottages and Art’s Riverview Lodge because this price-quality is very good. Both accommodations are located next to the very unique river. You can hear all the animals that live beside the river when you are in your room. A very unique location. If both accommodations are fully booked, we recommend Our Jungle Camp – Eco Resort. The difference is that this resort isn’t located along the river, however, this is a great resort to stay.
Don’t wait too long to book, because, given the popularity of Khao Sok National Park, the accommodations near the park are quickly fully booked. Especially the 3 accommodations that we recommend, all have a good price-quality ratio.
Khaosok Riverside Cottages
We stayed in Khaosok Riverside Cottages, very cozy cottages where you have the feeling that you are in the middle of the jungle. The terrace is beautifully situated along the river where you can relax. The food is very good, you certainly don’t have to search for other restaurants. The rooms are very neat and spacious. Be smart and book your room immediately, you don’t want to miss this!
Price per night from:
$ 19 double room
Art’s Riverview Lodge
Another top spot along the river is Art’s Riverview Lodge. You can compare this with Khaosok Riverside Cottages, only this one is more luxurious. So it is personal what you prefer. The houses are very spacious. The restaurant is very good with a view of the river. Don’t wait too long to book given the popularity!
Price per night from:
$ 30 double room
Tip: the power of repetition: if you know when you will visit Khao Sok National Park we recommend booking your accommodation via the links above in time. When you want to book these accommodations at a later moment it can be the case that the rooms are fully booked.
Khao Sok National Park opening hours: 8:00 am to 6:00 pm
Entrance fee: 300 baht
Best time to visit Khao Sok National Park: November to April.
Drones: this is possible if you indicate that it is for private purposes.
Accessibility of Khao Sok National Park: The village of Khlong Sok is easily accessible from most places in the south of Thailand by tourist shuttle buses. You can easily book buses via 12go.Asia.
If you follow our travel route through Thailand, your next destination is Bangkok, this is unfortunately also your last destination. Read everything you need to know about Bangkok in our article: things to do in Bangkok. Our article about Bangkok will certainly ensure that you will end your last days in Bangkok in a fantastic way.