One of the most popular destinations on the southern Thailand map is the ancient Khao Sok National Park. It highlights Thailand’s preservation efforts on bio-diversity.
Approximated to be as old as 160 million years (thus the world’s oldest tropical rainforest, even older than the Amazon rainforest of Brazil) and covering a huge 739 square kilometres, it features rich rainforests, wildlife sanctuaries, limestone structures, and the scenic Cheow Lan Lake in the heart of the park. Khao Sok Thailand is world-renowned for being home to one of the largest flowers on earth. The Rafflesia flower grows to more than one metre wide and blooms only from December to March, and can be seen with the help of a guided tour.
Khao Sok National Park is home to diverse fauna specifically 311 species of birds, 48 species of mammals, 30 plus species of bats, countless insects and reptiles, Asian elephants and endangered tigers. There are two sections in the national park: Khlong Sok town and Cheow Lan Lake.
Khlong Sok town is the easiest section of the park to reach from Phuket and Khao Lak whereas Cheow Lan Lake is located about 65kms away from Khlong Sok. The park’s climate and weather remain consistent throughout the year making it a must-see destination at any time.
Please be aware that visitors are only allowed to venture 3 km into the national park independently without a guide. If you wish to venture deeper, you must arrange to go with a local guide. Khao Sok National Park tours are available all year round including cave tours and night safaris.
During the wet season (May to November) some tours do not operate as some areas become prone to flooding, too slippery and dangerous to navigate on foot. The best time to visit Khao Sok is during the dry season from December to April.
Khao Sok accommodation options are available both outside and inside the park. There is a scattering of hotels, guesthouses and hostels close to the entrance of the park.
Inside the park, you can go glamping in luxury tents set on solid foundations with ensuite bathrooms and full hotel amenities within the rainforest Elephant sanctuary with opportunities to feed and wash the elephants or stay in elevated basic wooden bungalows and other eco-friendly accommodations.
A popular choice is to stay in the luxury floating tented camps or floating bungalows on the waters of Cheow Larn Lake, where you can wake up and dive into the emerald waters from your door or spend the morning kayaking and exploring the lake at your own pace.
Most visitors come to the park and stay 2-3 nights and participate in one of many Khao Sok tours which will usually include your tour guide, accommodation, activities such as trekking and transfers from Surat Thani or Khao Lak. Most tours require moderate physical abilities so you can make the most out of your experience. Aside from trekking through the jungle visitors can explore Khao Sok’s waterways, venturing into the many channels and the mangrove swamps by canoe or kayak.
There are direct domestic flights from Bangkok to Surat Thani which is the closest airport to Khao Sok. From there it is very easy to drive the 120 km route to the park and takes about 2 hours. Minivans from Surathani Talad Kaset Station in Surat Thani are also available with the trip taking around 2.5 hours and costing approximately AUD 9.
Either take a flight from Bangkok to Phuket or Krabi then take a taxi overland to Khao Sok, or take a train from Bangkok to Surat Thani and then a bus to Khao Sok which altogether can take up to 10 – 12 hours in total travel time.
You can catch a ferry from Koh Samui or Koh Phangan to Don Sak pier on the mainland then you can take a minibus or bus to Khao Sok.
It is about 1.5 hours drive overland to Khao Sok National Park from Phuket.
Khao Sak is an ancient evergreen rainforestapproximated to be as old as 160 million years, the oldest in the world and covering a huge 739 square kilometres. It features rich rainforests, wildlife sanctuaries, limestone structures, and the scenic Cheow Larn Lake in the heart of the park. Throughout the region, the ground level is about 200 metres above sea level with the average mountain heights being around 400 metres, with the tallest peak towering at 960 metres high.
The distance between Krabi and Khao Sok National park is almost 150 km and takes about 2.5 hours to drive by car.
Bangkok is 568km from Khao Sok National Park.
The fastest way from Bangkok to Khao Sok National Park is by plane then by bus, the whole trip taking from 6 hours and 14mins to 9 1/2 hours. There are flights from Suvarnabhumi International Airport to Surat Thani or Phuket, from Don Muang Airport to Surat Thani and Phuket then a bus therefrom.
There is a direct route by bus departing Hua Lamphong station and arriving at Khao Sok National Park in 16 hours. You can also take a car and get to the park in 10 1/2 hours, the train and minivan from Bangkok to Khao Sok National Park which takes a little more than 12 hours but this is the cheapest option.
The distance between Surat Thani and Khao Sok National park is about 120 km and takes about 2 hours to drive by car. You can also get to Khao Sok by minivan from Surathani Talad Kaset Station in Surat Thani and the trip takes around 2.5 hours and costs approximately AUD 9.
Khao Sok accommodation options are available both outside and inside the park. There is a scattering of hotels, guesthouses and hostels close to the entrance of the park. Inside the park, you can go glamping in luxury tents set on solid foundations with ensuite bathrooms and full hotel amenities within the rainforest Elephant sanctuary with opportunities to feed and wash the elephants or stay in elevated basic wooden bungalows and other eco-friendly accommodations.
A popular choice is to stay in the luxury floating tented camps or floating bungalows on the waters of Cheow Lan Lake, where you can wake up and dive into the emerald waters from your door or spend the morning kayaking and exploring the lake at your own pace.
If your trip to Thailand is for nature at its raw best, Khao Sok National Park should be on the top of your list. Among its attractions are its epic limestone cliffs rising from a bright clear emerald lake. You have the chance to see uncaged wildlife up close, rare flora and bird species. The park is not onlny more than a million years old, it is the world’s oldest evergreen ecosystem! Talking of rare flora, you get to see the world’s biggest flower, the Rafflesia kerii, too, not to omit the leopards, elephant encounters (a completely different experience from seeing them in sanctuaries)!
Hike through the jungle amidst giant ancient palm and bamboo forests, a real jungle. On the shores of the lake, you will see the raft houses and floating bungalows made of bamboo which are available for your accommodations.
Gorgeous, amazing, spectacular are just a few of the words from traveller reviews. The best comment so far is that their trip to the park was the highlight of their Thailand family holiday. Make your booking now!
Khao Sok National Park is known for its ancient (read: million+ years old) rainforest, diversity of its rare wildlife and flora (read: world’s largest flowers Rafflesia), centuries-old bamboo forests, majestic limestone cliffs (karst) and a breathtaking man-made emerald water lake with accommodations of raft houses and floating bungalows on the shores.
The Khao Sok National Park is in southern Thailand, ideally situated between Phuket, Krabi, Khao Lak and Koh Samui which are the famous southern destinations. Located at 62 Khlong Sok of Phanom District, Chang Wat Surat Thani Province, Southern Thailand.
Khao Sok National Park in Surat Thani Thailand is unique in its features and characteristics. Being 160 million years old is already something, but being the oldest ecosystem on planet Earth – that makes the park in a class of its own!
Add the majestic limestone hills soaring from out of the beautiful emerald waters of Cheow Lan Lake upwards toward the skies, breathtaking natural and man-made lakes, sensational caves, deep valleys, centuries-old bamboo forests, diverse wildlife of not-commonly-found or seen flora (like the giant parasitic Rafflesia kerii, the worlds’ biggest flower) and fauna (rare bird species and animals like the sun bears, leopards, Asian elephants and more)!
It is a good thing that this place is not yet that popular among travellers, the park and surrounding areas have not been destroyed by “progress and development” in the name of tourism.
In the past, there were tigers in Khao Sok but in recent decades there have been none of these animals seen. There are speculations that there could be a small population in the areas not yet accessible to human traffic, though.
Khao Sok National Park is 117 km from Phuket. The road distance between the two places is 157.1km. You can get to the park by bus, taxi, car or shuttle from Phuket.
A visit to Khao Sok National Park will not need a lot of things to bring.
– clothes of cool and quick-drying fibre (shirts or pants with button pockets)
– bathing suits
– water-proof non-slip walking shoes
– sun protection
– personal medicines
– personal toiletries
– raincoats, mosquito repellent and other necessities
Presently, Khao Sok National Park is approximate 738 square kilometres in size.
The present Khao Sok rainforest is the remaining section of the world’s oldest tropical evergreen rainforest, a 160-million-year-old ecosystem — much older than the Amazon Rainforest of Brazil and the Central American rainforests.
The Khao Sok Rainforest was not badly affected by the world’s Ice Age around 2.4 and 2.1 billion years ago, because it did not go as far as this region. However, as the ice melted and the water levels of the world rose, a great deal flowed into Khao Sok, resulting in more lush and verdant foliage growth.
The restrictions and policies set and implemented by the Thai government are also in place in Khao Sok.
In the Khao Sok National Park Surat Thani Thailand, the labour force comes from Khao Sok Village itself. This means that there is fewer risks of transmission from commuting home to work and back. Plus some travel restrictions within the same locality are lifted.
The park has also put safety measures in place. Khao Sok National Park accommodation options are individual cottages with considerable space and gardens between each unit.
In Khao Sok Village, there is extensive monitoring, social distancing, handwashing and cleaning/disinfecting. Resorts, restaurants and all establishments conduct temperature checks of all travellers who visit. A good number of establishments provide face masks and alcohol or sanitizing gel to their guests and staff.
Staff are required to wear masks all the time. They are also trained in the covid protocols like social distancing, sanitizing and handwashing and the maintenance of disinfection of all communal areas.
So you can be assured of your safe enjoyment of this piece of beautiful nature in this part of Thailand!
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