Remote Moo 6 Phanom, Surat Thani, Khlong Sok Sub-district 84250, Thailand Published on: 03-07-2016
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Why Khao Sok National Park is special ?
Khao Sok National Park is the largest area of virgin rain-forest in southern Thailand, thanks to the inadvertent efforts of a group of communist guerrillas. Between 1975 and 1982 radical ex-students not only kept the Thai military at bay, they also kept out the loggers, miners and hunters who were threatening the region’s ecology.
Shortly after their insurgency fizzled out in 1982, the Thai government passed strict anti-logging laws.
Had it not been for the communist students’ seven year occupation, Khao Sok’s forests may well have gone the same way as much of the rest of Thailand’s wilderness – up in smoke.
Khao Sok National Park’s 739 square kilometers of virgin rainforest include spectacular waterfalls cascading down vertiginously towering limestone cliffs, complex cave systems and primeval jungle trails.
Most visitors explore the park on elephant-back, canoe or trekking day trips from resorts in the Khao Sok Visitor’s Centre, a small resort village near the park’s entrance.
In 1982 the nearby Paseng river was dammed in order to generate hydroelectric power, creating the huge and wonderfully atmospheric Cheow Larn Lake, 1 hour’s drive away from the resorts at the Khao Sok Visitor’s Centre
Together, Khao Sok National Park and Cheow Larn Lake are currently southern Thailand’s best inland soft adventure destination, by a mile, offering the region’s best trekking, rafting, elephant trekking, tubing, canoeing and camping.
What to explore at Khao Sok National Park?
Visitors can either explore the park and lake on day-trips from Khao Lak or from the resorts in the Khao Sok Visitor Centre, or they can stay in or near the lake, either in tents or in the lake’s hugely popular floating bamboo bungalows.
The park and lake form a great soft adventure destination for couples and for families. Families with smaller children are advised against staying overnight, and to explore on day-trips while based in one of the resorts in Khao Lak or in Khao Sok’s Visitor Centre.
For those who don’t mind roughing it a bit, a good way to see the lake is by joining a 2- or 3-day tour which combines foot trekking with canoeing, rafting and longtail boat exploration of the lake. The tents and floating bungalows are clean but very basic, and have very thin mattresses.
If you have time, choose a 3-day tour in order to spend more time at the stunning Cheow Larn Lake, which is arguably the most beautiful place in southern Thailand.
After sleeping like a baby, rocked by the gentle swells of the lake on which your bungalow floats, you awaken to the territorial cries of gibbons in the canopy above (unlike the one in this image, who is pals with one of Khao Sok's daftest dogs and prefers sleeping indoors these days).
The surrounding hills are often covered in an atmospheric mist which, as it is slowly melted by the rising sun, is suffused with subtle shades of pink and amber.
The number of different fauna present in the fossil record increased markedly during the last ice age, when sea levels fell to such an extent that new land bridges formed from the Malaysian mainland to Borneo and to some of the Indonesian islands.
This opened up new migration routes to land-based animals.
How to get to Khao Sok National Park?
How to go to Khao Sok National Park from Ao Nang
Option 1: Minbus Khao Sok - Krabi (RAiley, Ao Nang)
Departure time: 8.30 a.m. 300 Baht. Duration 3 hours. You need to take a long tail boat to travel from Railley to Ao Nang
Railey is a 15 min longtail boat ride, fixed price 100 baht per person, they wait until there are at least 6 people.
Option 2: You can take 1 day tour or 2 days tour to Khao Sok National Park. Check it at http://aonangshuttlebus.com
If you arrive at Suratthani airport with the intention of traveling direct to Khao Sok, there is a very good chance you will be told that the only way to get there is by taxi which will cost you in the region of 1800 baht. If you arrive at the airport before about 4-30, there is a minibus service which will pick you up from the airport and will cost 250 baht. Some tourists have been charged 350 baht at the airport. Do not believe it if you are told you have to go by taxi. If necessary, and you find it impossible to book the minibus at the airport, get the airport bus into Suratthani ( cost 100 baht) and get the Khao Sok minibus in town. If you arrive after 4-30, you may have no choice but to go by taxi although it would still be cheaper to stay in Suratthani for one night and get the minibus the next day.
- Jungle Trek
- Day trip to experience thai nature and culture
- A Magical Place
- Amazing lake & Hill view
Moo 6 Phanom, Surat Thani, Khlong Sok Sub-district 84250, Thailand
So disillusioned by this park! To start with its clearly succumbed far too much to the temptation of tourism at the expense of the natural environment. Quite a 'strip' developing as the village, bright flashing lights everywhere when you are seeking the peace if tranquillity of the rainforest - so inappropriate.The walks you can do independently are a waste of time - there is nothing to see! Waterfalls are no more than small rapids. Even more galling is that they try to convince you to hire a guide - they being the official staff of the conservation park, disgraceful - you clearly do not need a guide, trails are well marked and the most dangerous creature we encountered was an ant. In fact, at the check point where the sign insisted that you cannot continue without a guide, we were instructed to go on anyway. How frustrating it must have been for those who had hired guides to see is plodding along alone!The other trail we tried was not trekking through the jungle at all, rather climbing many concrete steps in a completely abandoned and un-maintained area of the park. Absolutely horrific walk.Felt completely conned the entire visit, such a shame that a wonderful oasis of nature has been so exploited.
Waterfalls are ropey to be honest. We couldn't go farther without guide. Trips to the lake just in the morning, no option to get there after 1 pm (privet boat over 3000b), flower was closed. Also, I twisted my ancle during trekking. I have to say that It wasn't out the best Thai trip. Many monkeys.
Stopped off here on the way down to Khao Lak. A few wrong turns added to the adventure but this park has everything, waterfalls lakes, trekking eco lodges and some incredible scenery. You can spend a few hours passing through or spend a few nights in one of the many lodges. We ate at the Thai Garden the food was fantastic see review.
We visited Khao Sok as part of a ten day Thailand tour taking us from Bangkok down the peninsula and onto a couple islands. The stop in Khao Sok was unbelievable. We stayed on the lake in raft houses which required a longboat trip to get to. We also went for a swim near the rocks and tried for some monkey sightseeing. The place is magical and truly beautiful at sunrise. Definitely add it to your Thai wish list!