Is it Worth Visiting Khao Sok National Park? Our Experience!

Khao Sok National Park

When we first read about Khao Sok National Park in Thailand we were shocked… How had we never heard about this beautiful place? Amongst the many amazing destinations in the country it had somehow evaded us. Yet, we’re so glad we decided to go on our most recent trip to Phuket! Here’s everything to know before you go. From how to get to Khao Sok lake to the wildlife inside the park, and more fun tips.

About Khao Sok National Park Thailand

Khao Sok National Park is the oldest evergreen rainforest in the world. In fact, it’s estimated to be over 160 million years old and some believe it even predates the Amazon! It’s surrounded by high limestone cliffs that tower above in the sky, a dense jungle, and a stunning lake to enjoy. 

The area inside the Khao Sok covers an incredible 739 square km. It’s filled with diverse wildlife and flora that will keep you entertained at every turn. You can take a boat tour on Khao Sok lake, do some jungle trekking, or even stay in a floating villa! 

People come from around the world to experience Thailand’s vast nature. We’ve been all over Southeast Asia and were still shocked by the beauty of Khao Sok National Park.

Khao Sok National Park Thailand

How to Get to Khao Sok 

One of the best parts about Khao Sok is where it’s located in Southern Thailand. Khao Sok National Park is easy to get to from popular destinations such as Krabi, Phuket, and Khao Lak. 

On our recent trip, we hired a shuttle from Northern Phuket and it was around 3 hours drive. However, many travelers come from the beach town of Khao Lak which is a bit closer at 2 hours away. 

The easiest way to get to Khao Sok is to arrange the transportation though the accommodation you will be staying at. As we found out, there are hotels both inside and outside the park. 

Thailand Khao Sok

Exploring Khao Sok Lake

Also known as Cheow Larn Lake, this immense body of water  covers over 1/4th of the park. The color is a wild hue of blue and green that will attract you right away. Still, the craziest part about Khao Sok Lake is that it’s technically manmade! 

In the late 1980’s Thailand damned the Pasaeng River in order to create a means of generating hydroelectricity. The Ratchaprapha Dam now provides hydropower to not just Thailand, but some of the surrounding countries. 

We spent much of our time on Khao Sok lake speeding around a boat and soaking in the nature. At its highest levels, the water can reach up to 90 meters deep! This leaves plenty of room for kayaking, swimming, and other fun water activities. 

Khao Sok Lake

Khao Sok National Park in Thailand

Wildlife in Khao Sok National Park Thailand

Although the flooding that created Khao Sok lake was terrible for the environment, so much incredible wildlife still remains in the park. There are over 40 different mammals, numerous reptiles, and 300+ bird species to look out for.

Some of the most interesting animals inside Khao Sok National Park are the Malayan Tapir, Clouded Leopard, Malaysian Sun Bear, and Wild Boar. There are even over 250 wild elephants that call Khao Sok National Park in Thailand home. 

On our boat trip alone, we saw monkeys, deer, Banteng Bulls, and the Great Hornbill bird. Seeing the Hornbills was quite amazing as it’s the largest bird in Khao Sok National Park! We also went for a fun nature hike to Pakarang Cave. If you find a tour that visits here we highly recommend it.

Khao Sok National Park Animals

Day Trip vs Overnight Visit

There are many places to stay just outside Khao Sok National Park Thailand. Many travelers choose to make a day trip rather stay overnight. You can even take a tour from Khao Lok if you don’t mind driving the long distance there and back in one day.

This is a fine option if you’re short on time. However, we highly recommend staying overnight inside Khao Sok National Park for one or two nights! From your hotel you can easily arrange the day trips that will include transfers and all the information you need for visiting Khao Sok.

Hotels Near the Khao Sok National Park 

K.K. Park Resort – Located just a few miles from the National Park, this hotel will be a great jumping off point to the best tours and activities. Enjoy spacious rooms and breakfast which is included.

Magical Mountain View Resort – This mountain resort is in nearby Klong Sok and an amazing stay in nature. Take in the mountain air from your balcony room and get ready for adventures inside Khao Sox.

Belong Jin The Dam Resort – This special accommodation is just a 1/2 mile Ratchaprapa Dam and famous Khao Sok lake. Have a meal and drinks at the onsite restaurant in this modern hotel near the National Park. 

Thailand Khao Sok National Park

Khao Sok Bamboo Raft

Spending the Night on a Floating Bungalow

While you can easily stay outside Khao Sak National Park, the most unique way to see it is something that is beyond your wildest imagination. Believe it or not, there are over 15 floating hotels on Khao Sok Lake!

There are many different options and price ranges to choose from, but one that stands out above the rest. Staying at 500 Rai Floating Resort is an experience you’ll never forget!

The floating villas are equipped with electricity, air conditioning, and each comes with its own kayak. It’s also the only accommodation on the lake that has its own swimming pool.

The motto at 500Rai is “Disconnect to Reconnect” and it truly is the place to do that. As long as you don’t mind a little luxury on the lake! 

→ What’s it Like Staying at 500 Rai Floating Resort in Khao Sok?

Khao Sok National Park Hotel

Is Khao Sok National Park Worth Visiting?

Yes! If after reading this article you’re not convinced to visit Khao Sok then maybe you’re just not an outdoorsy person. Having not heard of this area much before, we were completely taken aback by its beauty.

With its great location nearby to many other popular areas, you can easily include it in a longer Thailand itinerary. Definitely make the trip to Khao Sok National Park if you have the chance! 

Khao Sok Thailand

Khao Sok Travel Guide

Have any questions on this article or want to share your own tips for Khao Sok National Park Thailand? Leave us a comment below!

Safe Travels,
Brigitte & Jake

 Where in the world are we? Follow our daily adventures on Instagram @nothingfamiliar

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Khao Sok

Thailand Travel Planning

 Transportation: While traveling through Thailand 12Go is where we find all our ferries, trains, buses, and transfers! You can find everything from island hopping speed boats to the night train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai

 Tours: Check out Get Your Guide to find activities all over Phuket! You can find everything from a James Bond island luxury sunset cruise, to Phuket Old Town 15-taster food adventure, and 5-hour island tour

 Flights: We always find our cheap flight deals using Skyscanner and Kayak. That’s how we found flights from Bangkok to Phuket for $12 USD, and Thailand to Vietnam for less than $50! 

 Accommodation: Compare multiple sites to get to the best deal such as Booking.com and Agoda! Also,  Hostelworld should be your go-to source if you’re traveling on a budget. 

 Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad without protection. We’ve been using SafetyWing for the last few years on the road and they are there when we need them.

 Packing Lists: Find all the inspiration you need with our Amazon packing lists. Including our electronics and camera gear, must-have medical items, and long flight essentials

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