Away from the tourist-packed beaches, Khao Sok National Park in Thailand is its ultimate hidden gem. Located in Thailand’s Surat Thani Province, Khao Sok National Park spans an area of 739 sq km. Believed to be older than the Amazon rainforests, the Khao Sok was declared to be a national park only in 1980.
While Thailand is a very popular destination among tourists, most prefer to explore the capital city of Bangkok and the other beach islands of Krabi, Ko Phi Phi, and Phuket. What remains unseen is the majestic National Park of Khao Sok.
A wonderful and offbeat place to be in, a trip to Khao Sok National Park will make you remember what it means to be connected to nature. From the man-made Cheow Lan Lake to the dense jungles of Khao Sok, a trip to the national park takes you away from the busy and chaotic life of the city and rejuvenates you in the best way possible. The rainforest gifts your eyes with the wonders and sounds of Mother Nature.
Be it the majestic limestone cliffs or dense bamboo forests, there is a lot to see in Khao Sok National Park. Given its relatively less popularity, tourists are often unaware of this heaven on earth. Unlike Bangkok or Phuket or Krabi, Khao Sok National Park also has lesser accessible options and often tends to be a hassle for travelers to visit. However, once you are in the rainforests, all difficulties will seem to be worthwhile. Moreover, there is a lesser number of tourists compared to other parts of Thailand, and will give you an opportunity to go deeper into the real and spectacular Thailand.
Visiting Khao Sok National Park
There are two major areas in Khao Sok National Park, one of them being the Cheow Lan Lake and the other being the Khlong Sok Town. While it is Cheow Lan Lake that offers you the true beauty of Khao Sok National Park, the Khlong Sok Town located 65 km from the lake acts more or less as a base to explore the park. To see Khao Sok in all its glory, it is best to visit the Cheow Lan Lake and witness the dense jungles, limestone cliffs, bamboo forests, and riverside cottages.
Best Time To Visit Khao Sok National Park
There are mainly two seasons in Thailand, one being the dry season and the other being the wet season. The dry season runs from November to April while the wet season runs from May to October. Considering the options and the weather, it is best to visit the rainforest during the dry season. The wet season is not advisable at all for a visit and the park may be closed during the time.
Visiting the Cheow Lan Lake
A tour of Khao Sok National Park will remain incomplete without a visit to the beautiful man-made lake of Cheow Lan. From long-tail boat rides in the lake to staying in the lake bungalows, the Cheow Lan Lake is a magical place to be in. There are plenty of options to go to the lake. You can either take a day trip from a tour agency where prices start from 1500 baht or may plan an overnight tour to the lake.
An overnight tour starts from 2500 baht and includes transportation, the stay at the lake bungalows, and even the meals. It is also to be noted that one has to also pay a National Park fee of 300 baht for entering the premises. The other option to go to the lake is by renting a bike and traveling independently.
Things To Do In Khlong Sok Town
While the lake may be the center of attraction within the rainforest area, the town of Khlong Sok has also got a variety of attractions and activities to do. From hiking trails to taking a bath in the Than Sawan Waterfall, from river tubing to bamboo rafting, Khlong Sok Town is a good place to explore the national park initially and then venture into the Cheow Lan Lake.
Overall, Khao Sok National Park is a must-visit destination within Thailand and should be on the bucket list of every traveler.