Khao Sok National Park, an ancient national park in southern Thailand that’s older and diverse than the Amazon rainforest. Tucked away in the mainland of Phang Nga, this national park is a true hidden gem in Thailand. It’s home to over 5 percent of the world’s wildlife population, and some of the unique plants like “Bua Phut” especially can only be found in Khao Sok.
This is what I loved about Khao Sok because I couldn’t believe how mother nature could give this beautiful design to us, especially some of the unique species there. Here’s a guideline to explore the world’s premier oldest evergreen rainforest.
Table of Content:
- Top Things to do and see
- Best time to visit
- Getting to Khao Sok National Park
- Where to stay
- Travel Safety & Tips
Top Things To Do And See
Getting splashed with river tubing – This must be in your to-do list for your jungle expedition at Khao Sok. Riving tubing is one of the ultimate ways to see Khao Sok and the most popular fun thing to do in the rainy season, because of the rapids. You ride along the rapids on an intertube, of course, you must be able to swim. Safety first! The dry and hot season is no fun for this activity because the water is too sluggish!
There are a couple of companies in town that let you rent the Intertubes for 400 THB (12.23 USD ) – 500 THB (15.29 USD).
Deep Jungle Expedition through Trekking – How about going to a deep jungle expedition on foot? Trekking is another popular activity to do at Khao Sok National Park, and it’s very abundant with wildlife. This is another great way to experience and explore its rainforest on another level. Although there are easy trails, trekking there can be challenging, and draining, especially when there are leeches during the rainy season.
It’s highly recommended to come during the dry season if you want to go to Nam Taloo Cave. You can trek on your own, or find guided tours online.
Book an expedition with Paddle Asia: https://www.paddleasia.com/destinations/khao-sok-hiking.htm
Feeling relaxed while kayaking & bamboo rafting – Bamboo rafting and canoeing are relaxing activities and some of the top things to do around Khao Sok. There are a couple of guided tours and overnight trips around Choew Lan Lake, there you can explore the hidden gems of the lake and what Khao Sok can offer you. Some of the tours are very exclusive and private so visitors can enjoy its pristine nature.
Kayak with Green Andaman Travel: https://www.greenandamantravel.com/thailand-kayak/
Jungle Cooking – This is your chance to go Rambo, and cook local Thai dishes with wild-grown food in the jungle. Discover some of southern Thailand’s wild vegetables and eaten locally, like Pak Meang, which is a very common vegetable in the south of Thailand.
The Ethical Elephant Hills – Elephants always come across almost every visitor’s mind when they visit Thailand, especially elephant riding. At Khao Sok National Park, Elephants Hills offer an ethical elephant experience, and Thailand’s first luxurious jungle tent camp. They are promoting a sustainable solution to educate visitors of their importance in Thai culture, and the ecosystem and allow them to interact with these elegant giants personally.
More details on their programs here:https://www.elephanthills.com/our-unique-elephant-experience/
Best Time To Visit
Hot Season ( March-May) – This is the hottest time of the year for Khao Sok.
The river is slow and has very little water. The plants are dry and brown.
Dry Season (November – February) – This season is Khao Sok National Park’s at its best!Rainfall is much lighter during the dry season. The perfect time to go deep jungle trekking!
Rainy Season (June – October) – In the rainy season, lots of places in Khao Sok are closed due to dangerous downsides, and can rain non stop for days.
Getting To Khao Sok National Park
Flying – You can fly from Bangkok to Surat Thani Airport, that’s the closest airport. Though, you can still fly directly from your home country to Phuket International Airport, depending on the airlines you booked with.
Then you could rent a private car at those airports, so you could drive to Khao Sok National Park.
Airport Car rental fee (Depends on the season) : 600 THB ($18.37 USD) – 1200 THB ($36.73 USD)
Train – Trains are leaving from Hua Lamphong Station in Bangkok, every night to Surat Thani province. If you aren’t in a hurry, how about slowing down a little and taking the 2nd class sleeper train for 11 hours. Then take a local bus from Surat Thani Train Station to Khao Sok Town.
Train Fees: 800 THB (24.53 USD)
Surat Thani Local Bus Fee: 100 THB ($3.06 USD) – 120 THB ($6.12 USD)
Bus – You can depart from theBuses in Bangkok, Southern Bus Terminal, and Mochit Bus Terminal, as they depart every day. Then take a transfer at the Surat Thani Bus Station to Khao Sok Town.
Bangkok Bus Fees: 900 THB ($27.50 USD) – 1200 THB ($36.67 USD).
For more details, you can call 0-2434 5557-8 or check https://www.busonlineticket.co.th/ for available buses.
Shared Minivan – You could take the shared minivan from Surat Thani Airport or the Surat Thani Bus Station in town to Khao Sok Town.
Minivan fee: 250 THB (7.65 USD)
Where To Stay
Choew Lan Lake
Who is it for?
- Nature lovers
- Strict conservation rules
- Very beautiful and quiet
- Far from convenience
- Electricity works only from 6.00 P.M. – to 10.00 P.M.
Khlong Sok Village (Khao Sok Village)
Who is it for?
- Mid-range lodgers
- Comfortable, quiet, and beautiful
- Close to restaurants, bars, and shops
- Not for party people
TRAVEL SAFETY & TIPS
Currency exchange – There is one ATM in Khlong Sok Village, so please do withdraw money, and currency exchange before coming to Khao Sok, in case the ATM breaks down.
Don’t feed the animals – It’s a big no-no to feed animals, you can spoil their natural instincts, and they can get aggressive to other people, especially the monkeys.
Prepare strong insect repellant and leech socks – If you’re planning to visit in the rainy season, having some strong DEET in your insect repellant is mandatory. The trails get very stressful once the leeches start crawling on your shoes.
Female Solo Travelers – Traveling in Khao Sok National Park is quite safe for female solo travelers. You just need to be careful with who you are acquainted with.
Travel Insurance, better safe than sorry – Getting good travel insurance can save you lots of issues, in case of injuries, and other issues that may occur. You can never be too careful.