Ehm, Khao Sok National Park?
Located in Southern Thailand, Khao Sok is a national park I wouldn’t exactly call a ‘hidden gem’, because of the tourists, but it still kinda is. The tranquility of this place is unbelievable, thanks to the ancient rainforest and the many beautiful limestone karst cliffs. And ‘National Park’ probably gave it away, but the wildlife and fauna and flora are amazing. Visit this place if you’re into nature and adventure, and ready to unwind.
The absolute eye-catcher of this place is definitely Cheow Lan Lake in the heart of Khao Sok National Park. Imagine chilling on a pretty boat and just sailing into the sunset and oohing and aahing looking at the karst cliffs. Definitely a highlight of your vacation, trust me.
Which tour should we pick?
There is a verrrry wide variety of tours you can choose from. From a one day tour and overnight tours to jungle trekkings and four day rainforest safaris. Or you can plan everything yourself. Obviously I only did one tour, so this part isn’t going to be very objective, but. I highly recommend Smiley Tours. We picked the overnight tour and were happy because:
- the price was right – we paid 2500 baht/adult, which included accommodation, five meals (vegetarian options: check), transfer from Khao Sok National Park to Cheow Lan Lake and transfer to your floating house and back, insurance, water and coffee. It didn’t include the national park fee, which was 300 baht. The average price we found in Khao Lak was between 5000 and 7000 baht. Quite the difference, especially because the program was rather similar or even included activities with elephants and we all know that’s something we should stay away from. So yeah. Go Smiley Tours.
- the program was perfect – for us, that is. Everybody is different, but for someone whose spirit animal is a sloth, the itinerary was amazing. The first day you lose some time on transportation, but the moment you step on that boat, adventure begins. You arrive at the lake houses around noon and after lunch, chill time begins. You have some free time, so start sunbathing/swimming in the lake/kayaking/reading a book/sleeping – whatever you want. You do you. Before dinner and before breakfast the next morning, you’re going on a boat safari to spot wildlife. Say hi to the monkeys from me. And to end the trip, you’re going on a cave trekking, which was a very fun activity.
- the floating houses were sooooo cool – it’s quite the experience to sleep in a floating house. Don’t expect luxury houses, prepare to go back to basics.
How to get to Khao Sok National Park
There are two airports relatively close to Khao Sok National Park: Surat Thani (2h drive) and Phuket (3h drive). We flew from Bangkok to Phuket and spent a couple of days in Khao Lak first, which is right between Phuket and Khao Sok National Park.
There are many options of transport, like a bus (obviously the cheapest option: 180 baht) or a private taxi (obviously way more expensive, but I highly recommend Chill Transfers because they were punctual, safe and clean: 1490 baht).
It even depends on which tour you book, because some tours include pick-up service. Fancy, huh.
What is the best time to visit Khao Sok National Park?
First of all, the park is open all year around. So that’s that.
There is a big big big chance you’ll have some rainy moments in Khao Sok any time of the year (it is a rainforest, you know). The dry season is supposed to be from November to April, and the wet season from May to October. During the rain season, the park is supposed to be beautiful: super green and more alive.
Tips and tricks
- Do not forget your mosquito repellent. Really.
- You can bring your own trekking shoes, but since you’re going through a lot of water during the cave trekking, you can rent some shoes at the lake houses (50 baht). This way, your own shoes don’t get ruined. If you have a dry bag, bring it!
- You can bring all your luggage, but we chose to leave everything in Khao Sok and only bring the bare necessities to the lake (being: sun cream, cash, camera, swimsuit, flip flops, sunglasses, camera, one or two shorts and t-shirts and a towel).
- There is no mobile connection or internet at the lake. It was amazing.
- You know how to diaper float? Grab a life jacket and put it on upside down (legs through the arm holes) and float away. No big deal, it’s only the best thing ever.
So yeah, I miss it already. Check out my other articles about stunning Thailand. <3
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