Complete travel guide to Khao Sok National Park

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Khao Sok National Park is considered by many travelers to be the most beautiful national park in Thailand to visit. In this park, you can visit Khao Sok Lake, which is a lake that is surrounded by huge rock formations of 900 meters high. You will be amazed by the ancient jungle, beautiful views, and breathtaking flora and fauna.

Khao Sok National Park is a protected nature reserve that fortunately has not yet been discovered by mass tourism. This allows you to experience the real wilderness in this park. Khao Sok National Park can be explored by boat or by walking.

For us, the visit to Khao Sok National Park was the highlight of our trip to Thailand. Due to the size of the park, it is necessary to prepare yourself well so that you can get the most out of it. In this article, you can read what to do in Khao Sok, what the best hotels are, nice places to eat and we share our tips.

Cheow Lan Lake

Why visit Khao Sok National Park?

Khao Sok National Park is one of the many national parks in Thailand, but this park is special because it has one of the oldest rainforests in the world.

It is without a doubt one of the most beautiful places in Thailand to visit. In addition to the beautiful landscape, there is a lot of flora and fauna to be found. It is without a doubt one of the most beautiful places in Thailand to visit. In addition to 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. For example, you can see elephants, snakes, and other animals. An absolute highlight is seeing the gibbons high in the trees in their natural environment.

If you search the internet for images of Khao Sok National Park, you will usually see an image 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 located at one of the two entrances to Khao Sok National Park. At Khlong Sok, you will find the headquarter (main entrance) of the park. Khlong Sok is also where you arrive by bus.

Cheow Lan Lake, also known as Khao Sok Lake, is the world-famous must-visit lake. In this part of the park, you can stay in a bungalow on the lake, which is fantastic.

Whether you go hiking through the jungle, visit different caves where you can see spiders and snakes, swim through caves, kayak on the lake, go on a safari or just relax by the water, it’s all possible.

Khoa Sok mountain

Where is Khao Sok National Park located?

Khao Sok National Park is located in the south of Thailand in the province of Phang Nga and is easily accessible from popular travel destinations such Koh Samui, Krabi, and Phuket.

The great thing about Khao Sok National Park is that it is not visited by a lot of tourists compared to the surrounding destinations. Many travelers come to Thailand to enjoy the coast. In this park you can do something different, making it an awesome place during your trip through Thailand.

Tip: Use the map below to see where the best things in Khao Sok National Park are located. Click on the top right corner to enlarge the map. If you click on the star symbol next to the title, you can save this map to your Google Maps account. You can show or hide different categories on the map. You can use this map to navigate when you are in Khao Sok National Park.

Things to do in Khao Sok National Park?

Khao Sok National Park is very large, with many parts you cannot visit because this is a protected nature reserve. One part that can be visited is Khao Sok Lake and the area around it. Read below our 3 recommended activities that you can do in Khao Sok National Park.

Follow a kayak safari

If you stay in the village of Khlong Sok, like us, you can go rafting on the river Sok, the river that flows through the national park. This is a nice activity to start when you are in Khao Sok National Park because you can enjoy nature and scenery in a relaxed way.

During the tour, you will pass huge limestone rock formations and the ancient rainforest. If you’re lucky you can see monkeys and snakes along the river, just like us. You can even see elephants, bears, and buffalo if you are very lucky.

You sit in a kayak with the guide on the back. The guide will help you determine the route through the water, plus he gives information about the area. Most importantly, though, the guide will help you spot animals, as often he sees them earlier than you. A kayak safari is only possible through a tour, you cannot do this independently. Book a ticket for a kayak trip here.

Khao Sok Raft
Khao Sok frog
Khoa Sok snake

Hike in Khao Sok National Park

Hiking in Khao Sok National Park is in one word amazing. You walk through the untouched rainforest and are always surprised by the breathtaking views. The plants and animals you encounter along the way make it one of the best activities to do.

If you stay in Khlong Sok, this is the village that is next to the main entrance, you can easily start the hike. You can do this independently, go to the main entrance and buy a map on the spot on which different walking routes are indicated. Ask locally which route is most suitable at that time, this can vary due to weather conditions because you cannot walk some routes if it has rained a lot, for example.

If you do not feel confident enough to do this on your own or would like to have a guide with you while hiking, it is recommended to follow this tour. The big advantage is that a local person knows what to look out for and what the dangers are in certain places. The chance of seeing wild animals is also better than if you do it independently.

Both options are fine, it’s a matter of personal preference. If you want to do trekking with a guide, we recommend a tour. In half a day you will visit the Bang Hua Rad and Wing Hin waterfalls. These waterfalls are green in color which is special to see. Check actual prices and availability for the trekking tour here.

Khoa Sok waterfall

Tour Khao Sok lake (Cheow Lan lake)

The best thing to do in Khao Sok National Park is to visit Khao Sok Lake. For many travelers this is the reason to travel to Khao Sok National Park and for us, it was the most beautiful place we visited during our trip through Thailand. The special thing about this place is that this is one of the few places in the world where mammals still live in an environment that is not affected by humans.

Visiting Khao Sok lake is only possible with a tour because you simply cannot get to the places you visit with the tour on your own. During a tour, you will sail, hike, kayak, relax, discover caves and have a safari in the morning.

The Khao Sok National Park tour begins with a pick-up and travel to the park entrance. Here you board a kind of speedboat and sail towards the bungalows on Lake Khao Sok, which is located in the middle of the national park. The boat trip is great, you pass the Nam Ta Lu cave and stop at Chiew Larn and Khao Sam Klur on the way. These are several places on the lake that are beautiful to see.

After the boat trip you arrive at the accommodations, these are the bungalows on the water that are magnificently located because of the impressive environment. It is a unique place to stay. Upon arrival, you will have time to relax and enjoy the surrounding.

After lunch, you will hike deep in the jungle and visit Nam Ta Lu cave and a waterfall. Depending on the season, you can go swimming in the cave. During the rainy season, this is not possible because the water level is too high. During the walk, you have to walk through rivers and if you are lucky you will encounter monkeys, snakes, and insects.

After the hike, you will return to the bungalows and you will have plenty of free time. You can go kayaking where you can discover the lake independently, you can go swimming or do nothing and just relax. In the evening you enjoy traditional Thai food and can have chats with other travelers.

The next morning you wake up with maybe the best morning view you’ve ever had. The lake is covered with fog and with the first sunshine you hear the monkeys and birds.

You start the morning with a boat safari. You will try to spot gibbons, hornbills, and monkeys. You will sail along the high mountains along the jungle to spot these animals (such as monkeys, elephants, bulls, and wild birds). It is wonderful to listen and see nature in its full glory. Just the sounds you hear are spectacular. For us, the highlight was seeing gibbons in the tops of a tree. If you have binoculars, bring them with you. After the boat safari, you will return to enjoy breakfast. After breakfast, you will return to your accommodation.

This tour is really fun to do and you don’t want to miss it. If you are going to take a tour, you have the choice of a 2 day or 3 day tour. We did the 2 day tour because we simply didn’t have the time to stay longer. Looking back, 2 days are more than enough. In three days you see almost the same the only difference is that you have more free time. Also, a 3 day tour is often almost twice as expensive. Our advice is to book a 2 day tour, in two days you will have the chance to discover the most beautiful places in Khao Sok National Park. If you know the dates when you will be in Khao Sok, it is recommended to buy your tickets already to secure a spot. Check current prices and availability here.

Khoa Sok safari
Khoa Sok floating houses

How many days do you need for Khao Sok National Park?

Depending on your personal preference, it is recommended to stay 2 days (1 night) or 3 days (2 nights) in the village of Khlong Sok. The program below provides more clarity:

  • Day 1: You will probably arrive in Khlong Sok village in the afternoon, then you can go kayaking on the river Sok or go hiking in the park;
    • Night day 1: stay at Khaosok Riverside Cottages of Art’s Riverview Lodge
  • Day 2: Tour Khao Sok lake;
    • Night day 2: included in the tour (not necessary to book anything)
  • Day 3: end of tour Khao Sok lake, in the afternoon you will return to the accommodation where you stayed the first night and where you were able to leave your belongings
    • Option I: stay again in Khaosok Riverside Cottages or Art’s Riverview Lodge
    • Option II: travel by night bus to the next destination such as Bangkok (so you don’t have to book an accommodation)

As you can see in the overview above, on the 3rd day you have the choice to stay another night in the village of Khlong Sok or take a night bus to the next destination. The advantage of staying in Khlong Sok is that you do not have to travel immediately after two intensive days. The advantage of the night bus is that you get to your next destination faster. Depending on your personal preference and time, one option is better than the other.

Are you also looking for a Thailand itinerary? Read more here.

Where to stay in Khao Sok National Park?

We recommend staying in the village of Khlong Sok, which is located next to the main entrance of Khao Sok National Park. There are a couple of accommodations to choose from in this small village.

We recommend Khaosok Riverside Cottages and Art’s Riverview Lodge because they are very good in terms of value for money. Both accommodations are beautifully located along the river. Great when you stay at these places that you hear all the animals that live along the river.

Note: don’t wait too long to book because the accommodations close to the park are fully booked quickly. This also applies to both accommodations, so if you know your dates it is recommended to book immediately.

Beautiful location
Khaosok Riverside Cottages

khao sok

We stayed in Khaosok Riverside Cottages, a very cozy cottage where you have the feeling that you are located middle of the jungle. The terrace is a great place to relax because it is situated along the river. The food is very good, you don’t have to look for places to eat outside the resort. The rooms are very neat and spacious. In addition, you can enjoy a warm shower here, which is not often the case in Thailand.

Great value for money
Art’s Riverview Lodge

khao sok v1

Another great place 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 where you can stay are beautiful. Also, at this place, they have a good restaurant.

Where to eat in Khao Sok National Park?

If you stay in the village of Khlong Sok, like us, you don’t have to look for places to eat because the two accommodations we recommend have good restaurants where you can eat for a good price.

If you would like to eat somewhere else, Pawn’s restaurant and Khao Sok Bistro & Bar are two good places to eat.

Pawn’s restaurant is located on the main road in Khlong Sok and where you can choose between Thai and European dishes. Great place to sit and to enjoy a nice meal. We recommend gaeng phet, this is a curry with pumpkin. If you eat and drink here, it will cost you about 275 bath ($8.40) per person.

Khao Sok Bistro & Bar is our other recommendation. This place is nice because of the view and the ambiance. They have a swimming pool with a bar where you can relax after a long day of hiking in the park. Also here they have Thai and European dishes that you can choose from. If you want a pizza, this will cost you 350 bath ($10.70) with a drink per person. Our recommendation is one of the curries, this will cost you about 300 bath ($9.20) with drink per person.

How to visit Khao Sok National Park?

To visit Khao Sok National Park you need to travel to the nearby village called Khlong Sok. Khao Sok National Park is easy to reach if you are in the south of Thailand. It is also possible to reach the park if you are in other popular places. The most common method to reach Khao Sok National Park is by bus and sometimes in combination with the plane.

How to get from Koh Samui (Ko Tao and Ko Phangan) to Khao Sok National Park: Travel from your accommodation in Koh Samui to the pier of Koh Samui (Nathon Pier 3). Here you take the boat to Donsak Pier 3 (Surat Thani Pier). Depending on which tour operator you use, you need to get on a minivan at one of the tour operators. You can also buy a ticket to Khao Sok National Park at the bus station. Travel time is +/- 7 hours. Check current prices and availability here.

How to get from Bangkok to Khao Sok National Park: use the night bus (option 1) or plane (option 2). Option 1: Travel from Bangkok to the tour operator (address is mentioned on the tickets). With the night bus, you are in Khao Sok National Park in +/- 13 hours. Check current prices here.

Option 2: travel from the airport, usually for domestic flights you fly via Don Mueang airport to Surat Thani. In Surat Thani, you need to visit a tour operator to get on a minivan. Travel time is +/- 5 hours. Check current bus prices from Surat Thani here.

How to get from Chiang Mai to Khao Sok National Park: take the plane to Surat Thani. In Surat Thani, you need to travel to one of the tour operators where you can get on a minivan. Travel time is +/- 6 hours. Check current bus prices from Surat Thani here.

How to get from Surat Thani to Khao Sok National Park: depending on which tour operator you use, you need to get on a minivan at one of the tour operators. You can also buy a ticket at the bus station to Khao Sok National Park (arrival in Khlong Sok village). Travel time is +/- 2 hours. Check current bus prices from Surat Thani here.

Tip: it is best to buy airline tickets via Skyscanner and bus tickets via Bookaway or 12go.asia.

Khoa Sok sunset

How expensive is it to visit Khao Sok National Park?

Visiting Khao Sok National Park is one of the more expensive activities in Thailand. This is because the park allows a select couple of people per day who can stay in the park. As a result, prices are higher compared to other activities in Thailand. On average, a traveler for Khao Sok National Park will spend +/- $372 per person if you stay 2 days (1 night) in Khlong Sok and follow the tour for 2 days (1 night):

  • Khao Sok Lake tour (2 day tour): $280
  • Food: $17
  • Travel cost from Koh Samui: $25
  • Night bus to Bangkok: $28
  • Accommodation 1 night in Khlong Sok: $22

If you choose not to travel immediately after the 2 day tour, but to stay 1 night in Khlong Sok, you will spend around $410 per person.

It’s a lot of money but it’s worth every dollar. This is the most beautiful nature park that you can visit in Thailand!

Khoa Sok relax

When is the best time to visit Khao Sok National Park?

Khao Sok National Park can sometimes be difficult to predict in terms of weather because at one moment the weather can be good and suddenly it starts raining. It is humid all year round, especially from June to September. The most rain falls during this period.

In general, September and October are the coolest months, and March and April are the hottest. Temperatures are an average of 29℃ and 34 so it’s never really cold.

The wettest months (June to September) are the coolest months and the driest months (October to April) are the warmest. You can travel to Khao Sok National Park all year round only depending on your personal preference, some periods suit you better than others.

Khao Sok guide FAQ

1. Is Khao Sok National Park worth a visit?

Yes! Khao Sok National Park is one of the most beautiful destinations in Thailand. Because of the 2 day tour where you go deep into the ancient jungle and where you have the opportunity to stay in a unique location, this park is great to visit. Who wouldn’t want to wake up in the middle of nature on a lake with the wilderness around you?

2. What to bring to Khao Sok National Park?

Because the weather in Khao Sok is very changeable, we recommend that you take at least the following items with you:

  • Raincoat
  • Socks
  • Shoes with a good profile
  • Long pants and shirts
  • Swimwear
  • Backpack that is water resistant
  • Other personal essentials

3. Which practical information is more useful to know?

  • Opening hours Khao Sok National Park: 8:00 am to 6:00 pm
  • Entrance fee: 300 baht / $9.10
  • Drones: this is possible if you indicate that it is for private purposes
  • You can easily book transportation ticket for your next destination via Bookaway, 12go.asia or at the hotel in Khlong Sok

Want to see more of Thailand?

We hope this article has helped you to get a clear understanding of what you can do, where to stay, and why you should take the Khao Sok National Park tour.

After you visit Khao Sok National Park, you can discover more fun places in Thailand. If you like our Thailand itinerary, the next destination is Bangkok. Read here: things to do in Bangkok.

If you do not follow our itinerary you can travel from Khao Sok National Park south towards Phuket and Krabi or north towards Koh Samui, Ko Phangan.

We have only visited Koh Samui of the above places. During our trip, we spoke to others who have visited the other places and they were all very enthusiastic. If you want to travel to an island where you have many facilities but at the same time can discover places that are undiscovered by others, Koh Samui is the place to go. For us, the best activity to do in Koh Samui was to rent a scooter and drive around the island for hours, and discover beautiful places without seeing anyone else.

What do you think of Khao Sok National Park? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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