Khao Sok – about Khao Sok in Thailand

This is one the most fascinating regions of Thailand, so much so that you could fill an entire website writing about Khao Sok. Lovers of wildlife, plants and flowers will especially enjoy visiting. Khao Sok was officially declared a national park in 1980, to help protect its indigenous flora and fauna. It comprises sections of the Khlong Yee and Khlong Pra Sang rain forests, which are home to animals that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. On the mainland quite close to Phuket, Koh Samui, Krabi and Khao Lak, the park is within easy traveling distance for a day trip. Cheow Larn Lake is especially worth visiting for two special types of experience out in nature. It may be an oxymoron, but you can experience camping out in luxurious style. Opt for a deluxe tent on land or a “raft house,” which looks like a mini houseboat, with private canoe mooring (canoe included in the price).

Khao Sok in Thailand Thailand, Khao Sok
 

Getting there

Among Khao Sok’s many attractions, one it is most famous for is its unique and stunning rock formations. As you approach Khao Sok by boat you will immediately notice these rocks sticking out of the water straight up into the air. The best way to get there from Bangkok is by plane taking a flight to Surat Thani Airport. Train is another possibility, but the train service is almost always completely reserved, so it’s not the best option. Surat Thani has frequent bus lines running to the park.

If you traveling on the cheap, you can save the cost of a night’s lodging by taking the night bus from Bangkok. Buses also run from Khao Lak (a 2 hour ride) and Phuket (4 hours). These buses stop along the way at Takua Pa, where there is an interesting market, worth taking a break to see. From Krabi, mini buses run to Khao Sok. Koh Phi Phi, Koh Lanta and Koh Jum also offer bus routes to this magnificent park.

Thailand, Khao Sok Khao Sok in Thailand
 

Activities

There is so much to do at Khao Sok, you can pick and choose, custom designing your own itinerary and your own vacation experience. Seeing the local wildlife and nature is number one on just about everyone’s list. After that, it’s up to you. Rafting and kayaking on streams through the rain forest are definitely recommended. There are all kinds of exciting tours, which include meals and accommodation so you can just relax and enjoy, without worrying about where you will stay in the jungle. One exotic type of lodging you might want to try, if only for a night, is one of the beautiful – and relatively spacious – tree houses you’ll see in the area.

Hiking in the jungle is a unique activity, not to be missed. Go with an experienced guide who will choose the best routes and explain exactly what it is that you are looking at. You’ll catch sight of many unusual plants and animals, as well as mysterious secret caves hidden in the forest. You can really see a lot in the course of a day trip, although staying overnight is fun.

Khao Sok is a great place for a family vacation if your children are old enough to walk for long periods and know how to swim. Of course, you should only consider this type of active, get close to nature type of trip if the whole family is eager to go along. In the jungle you won’t have all the amenities of home. For some of the hikes, you need to be quite physically fit. Arrange with your guide to go to places that are suitable for your particular group. Visiting the elephants and then canoeing on the Sok River is one interesting tour. Don’t forget to bring sunscreen and sun hats to protect yourselves from the sun’s strong rays.

For golfers there are a challenging 18 hole course in the area Rajjaprabha Dam Golf Course, lots of water and nature, close to a impressed dam, well worth a visit, if have some time over.

In January and February, which happen to be some of the pleasantest months of the year to visit the park, you can see the amazing rafflesia plant in bloom. Its bright red flowers can grow up to a meter in diameter and weigh as much as 10 kilos. Be sure to visit the caves at Chiew Lan Lake. You might want to arrange to go bamboo rafting inside the caves. If you are a nature lover, don’t forget about Khao Sok when you plan your Thailand itinerary.

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