Thailand is not only known for its beautiful beaches and good eats, the country is also home to over a hundred national parks and protected sites. This travel guide shares things to do in Khao Sok that will lead you to one of the most popular national parks in Thailand.
Khao Sok National Park is located in the province of Surat Thani, Thailand. This national park was established in 1980 and was hailed as Thailand’s 22nd National Park. Forty percent of the national park is considered to be a foothill rainforest (one of the oldest rainforests in the world!). Did you know that it is considered to be more diverse in terms of flora and fauna than the Amazon rainforest?
Entry Fee: Tourists are required to pay 300 THB ($9.74 USD) for adults and 150 THB ($4.87 USD) for children to enter the national park. The ticket is valid for 24 hours for re-entry, so do not lose it!
The Elephant Camp Experience
If you are an animal advocate or if you simply love elephants, you can’t miss this experience. Visit the Elephant Hills Resort and get close to these gentle giants. Wash them, prepare their lunch and feed them by hand. This is a chain-free and ethical elephant shelter so do not expect elephant back-riding or performances. You can book your tour in advance here.
Contact: +66 5200 1196 | email@example.com
Sok River Canoe
Explore the national park on a canoe traversing Sok River. This is a great way to see the beauty of the park and its scenery. Your local guide will introduce you to the animals, history and surroundings. Ask your guide to take you to the swimming area to experience the cool waters of the Sok River. You can book your 2-hour canoe activity via Art’s Riverview Lodge for 800 THB ($26 USD) per person.
Cheow Larn Lake Sightseeing
Also known as the “Khao Sok Lake”, sightseeing Cheow Larn Lake is one of the top things to do in Khao Sok. Join a long-tail boat ride along the lake to see the vast wildlife in the park.
To fully experience the lake and the surrounding rainforest, I suggest spending the night in one of the raft houses by Khao Sok Lake Tours. Or Floating Lake Houses / Floating Bungalows by Khao Sok Smiley Lakehouse.
Khao Sok Lake Tours
Contact: +66 098 686 2328
Sok Smiley Lakehouse
Contact: +66 898 715 744 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Hiking and Jungle Treks
To get as close to the natural park as possible, I suggest you spare at least half a day for a jungle hike. If you are an experienced hiker, you can easily do this trek on your own without a guide. There are many hiking trails in the park and there are signs guiding you to other attractions such as waterfalls and swimming areas. So be sure to pack hiking shoes, a bathing suit and a dry change of clothes!
If you prefer to hire a guide to show you around, you can hire one from Khao Sok Riverside Cottages. Variations of hikes are available including night safari hikes, full-day treks and deep jungle treks.
Contact: +66 77 395 159
Cooking Class in Khao Sok
Probably one of the most underrated activities is joining a cooking class and learning how to cook local, southern Thai cuisine. Experience farm-to-table cooking by picking your own fresh produces, learn about local spices, and learn how to cook from the locals themselves. Learn how to cook the famous Tom Yum, Thai curry, and other popular Thai food via Khao Sok Paradise for 1000 THB ($32.45 USD) per person.
Contact: +66 83 30 61044 | email@example.com
Khao Sok has the highest level of rainfall in all of Thailand. The heaviest rains occur between May and November and the hottest months falling between March and April. I would suggest visiting between December to March when the weather is not too hot and there is less rain. Keep in mind that it’s mainly rainforest, thus, there is still a fair chance of rain throughout the day.
What to Pack:
- Hiking Shoes, Flip Flops
- Bathing Suit
- Goggles if you want to swim
- Underwater camera
- Rain Poncho, Jacket or Umbrella
I found Khao Sok Riverfront Resort through Agoda and absolutely loved these adorable wooden cottage bungalows in a safe, forest setting. Situated near the Sok River, it’s just 400 meters to the entrance of Khao Sok National Park. The video below shows it’s gorgeous setting in a green lush exotic garden. The main lobby welcomes guests not only as a check-in reception but a cozy place to mingle with other travelers. Staff is uber friendly, as with most establishments throughout Thailand. I think it’s world-renown that Thai people are among the nicest in the world. Rooms are spacious, stylish and private as they are stand-alone rooms. For activities, the reception can help arrange your whole itinerary including all the things to do in Khao Sok mentioned above as well as a visit to the hot springs, overnight tours to floating bungalows.
In addition, this resort offers a Massage Pavilion, fine dining restaurant, bar and swimming pool.
How To Get To Khao Sok
The nearest airport is the Surat Thani airport approximately an hour and a half bus ride to Khao Sok National Park. There are inexpensive flights from Bangkok, Phuket and from major cities throughout Asia.
For a cheaper option, you can take the bus, hire a minivan or a taxi from the bus station or the airport. Book your tickets in advance here with no cancellation fee. You can also check out this highly recommended Cheaper Than Airport taxi service and book online.
Another option is you can take the sleeper train from Bangkok to Surat Thani via Thai Railways or by bus. Train and bus tickets can be booked here. Travel time by land takes about 11 hours in total so if you don’t want to waste a day on a train or a bus, I suggest you fly directly to Surat Thani instead.
There are available flights from Phuket to Surat Thani daily. You can view and book available flights via Expedia or via Skyscanner. If you wish to travel by land, I would suggest spending a night in Phuket and leave first thing in the morning. Travel time from Phuket to Khao Sok is approximately 4 hours. You can book a private taxi to take you to Khao Sok here.