Khao Sok National Park really is a paradise on earth. It’s got one of the oldest rainforests in the world, a crystal clear blue lake, unique flora and fauna, cave systems and huge, green limestone cliffs. It’s been a few years since we were there, but the two-day jungle trek left an lasting impression on us. Join us, as we explore Khao Sok National Park!

Khao Sok National Park: jungle tour with guide

The two-day tour through Khao Sok National Park started with 30-minute drive on the back of a Jeep. The drive was very uncomfortable as there was barely enough space for the six of us, each carrying their own daypack.

Still, the breathtaking landscape made up for a lot. On our way we passed forested mountain, one after the other, some of them hundreds of meters high. Add to that the mysterious morning mist and we were off to a spectacular start of the tour.

Misty mountains on the way to Khao Sok National Park

Photo credit: chaoswalker

Early mornings in Khao Sok National Park

Photo credit: Pavel Kirillov

Boat ride across Cheow Lan Lake

When we got off, it was sunny and our boat was ready. Our guide, Quei, went to the boat to make some final preparations; the perfect opportunity for us to have a look around the local market, which had literally everything. There was chicken, fish and you could even buy an entire pig carcass, still intact.

Somewhat dumbfounded, we got on the boat to start our magical tour of the lake. The more we progressed, the more the natural beauty, the peace and the landscape impressed us. Sometimes Quei would see a monkey in the trees and stop the boat. Noiselessly, we approached the banks of the lake where the dense jungle began.

At the tops of the trees curious monkeys inquisitively watched our boat. Soon enough, however, they’d disappeared and the only audible sound was that of the insects.

Boat trip across Cheow Lan Lake - Khao Sok National Park

Photo credit: Andaman Discoveries

Sleeping in a floating cabin

After nearly an hour we arrived at our lodgings in middle of Khao Sok National Park and they looked fantastic. We could see something like twenty floating bamboo cabins with straw roofs.

The cabins were very primitive, as the only thing they contained was a mattress. That was it.

It had a tiny little window, a low hanging ceiling under which it was nearly impossible to stand up straight, but the view of the lake, surrounded by rocks and jungle, was absolutely amazing! It wasn’t long then, before we took two steps outside our cabin and jumped in the water for a refreshing dip.

One of the floating villages in Khao Sok National Park

Photo credit: Stefan Magdalinski

Climbing the viewpoint

After our swim, we entered the jungle of Khao Sok National Park.

Immediately we started on an arduous 300 meter climb, which meant that everybody was sweating profusely and completely exhausted in matter of minutes. Our guide as well had some trouble with the steep hillsides, though he did try to keep the pace high.

After a lot of hard work we reached the top and were treated to fantastic view of part of the park. Awesome!

View from San Yang Roi Viewpoint on Cheow Lan Lake in Khao Sok National Park

Photo credit: unkle_sam

In search of the Gibbon

Our guide told us we were in the natural habitat of the gibbon. Different species of gibbon are threatened with extinction because areas of tropical rainforest are being converted into agricultural areas.

Fortunately for the gibbon, Khao Sok National Park is a protected area. Their very distinctive cries, territorial and drawn-out, could be heard in the park virtually all the time. Our guide assured us we would see it in the flesh soon.

Night Safari in Khao Sok

The sun disappeared behind the rocks and in the evening we were ready to go on the night safari. Armed with flash lights we got on the boat and went past the banks of the lake. It was like all of the monkeys were making sounds at the same time. Even though we didn’t see a single one of them, they were clearly all around us.

After a long search, we managed to see some gibbon silhouettes that quickly disappeared back into the jungle. Just that experience would have been enough, but the starry sky was really impressive as well. Hundreds, if not thousands, of stars could be seen brightly shining from above.

As we were in a nature area and there was barely any light pollution, stars and the Milky Way were visible with the naked eye. Amazing!

One of the floating villages in Khao Sok National Park

Photo credit: Kent Wang

Finally the Gibbon!

The next morning our alarm went off at 6:00 AM. We’d barely been able to sleep because of the jungle noises and the uncomfortable bed.

Still sleepy, we made the amazing two-hour trip across the lake. Despite the fog, we were able to make out mountains, mysterious trees and… gibbons. Finally we got to see them in the light of day! That was the icing on the cake and, at the same time, the end of our tour through Khao Sok National Park.

What great experience in such a short space of time. We would really recommend it to anyone!

Getting to Khao Sok National Park

Khao Sok National Park is located in the south of Thailand, about 100 kilometers from Surat Thani’s airport, train station and bus station. Buses from Surat Thani to the entrance of Khao Sok National Park leave every hour between 7:00 AM and 6:00 PM.

You might like to consider booking a domestic flight to Surat Thani. Don’t worry, they’re super cheap. You can book flights from Bangkok for as little as 800 to 1,200 Thai Baht.

The two-day tours usually start in the morning and finish in the afternoon of the next day, meaning there will be ample time left in the day to continue your travels. The guide will know the best way to go. If you’re on your way to Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, Koh Tao, Phuket or Krabi, there’s every chance you’ll arrive there the same evening.

Recommended tours

These two-day jungle tours can be easily arranged at any hotel near Khao Sok National Park. However, if you would prefer a private tour or would like to book it from home, we recommend Khao Sok Lake.

Khao Sok Lake is an sustainable organization and organizes tours through Khao Sok National Park. You’ll be staying in the park’s floating (bamboo) bungalows on the stunning Cheow Lan Lake and you’ll be trekking through the jungle with a local guide besides whom you’ll discover Khao Sok’s natural beauty, the lake, its caves and its wildlife.

Tours are suitable for children from the age of two. Family bungalows are also available. Click for more info.

A group tour is heaps of fun - Khao Sok National Park

Photo credit: Stefan Magdalinski

Best Hotels Khao Sok National Park

Riverside Cottages - $

At Riverside Cottages, a welcoming resort located on a prime location by the river, you’ll be staying in the middle of nature. The simple wooden cottages are equipped with fans and mosquito nets. The hotel organizes great day trips and offers a free shuttle service.

The Hotel Khaosok and Spa - $$

The area (and swimming pool) surrounding this hotel is phenomenal. The bungalows are slightly dated, but this is more than amply compensated by the lovely staff and the facilities. It’s the perfect place to stay before or after going on a jungle trek and ideally suited for families with children.

Have you been to Khao Sok National Park as well? Do you have any more tips for other travelers? Share them below!

Sander

Author Sander

Former elementary school teacher, storyteller, sports enthusiast, and adventurer. Love to do the "impossible", which is usually the exact opposite of what’s expected.

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