Khao Sok National Park , Khao Sok National Park is one of the most beautiful national parks in Thailand, in fact it is so pretty that even those of you who are not crazy about wild nature won’t be disappointed from its breathtaking beauty.
Khao Sok National Park is located in southern Thailand in Surat Thani province. The park spreads over 740 square Km. and it includes the magnificent Cheow Lan Lake.
Road number 401 which leads from Surat Thani in the east to Takua Pa in the west is the main road to the national park. It is also the park’s southern border.
There are no roads on the national park grounds, and the only entrance is via a short road (1.5 Km.) off road number 401 next to Khlong Sok village on the national park’s west side.
This road leads to the visitor center where the walking treks to the different waterfalls begin. There are a few resorts, guesthouses and restaurants located along the road to the visitor center.
Note: it is important to note that the entrance to Cheow Lan Lake is approx. 50 Km. east of the visitor center which might lead you to think it is a different national park, however this is not the case. It is the same national park and the lake is by no means its most magnificent tourist attraction.
Khao Sok National Park is part of a huge complex of national parks which includes – Sri Phang-Nga National Park, Khlong Phanom National Park, Khlong Nakha National Park and Khlong Saen National Park. All in all the complex stretches over 3000 square Km. – but there is no doubt Khao Sok is the complex prettiest national park.
The world’s oldest rainforest is found on Khao Sok National Park grounds as well as huge limestone cliffs, beautiful valleys, waterfalls, rivers, lakes, caves and much more.
The oldest rainforest in the world, estimated at 160 million years covers Khao Sok National Park. It is older and prettier than both the Amazon and central Africa’s rainforests.
There is a great diversity of animals in the national park. Over 180 species of birds, many species of flowers, among them the world’s biggest flower – Rafflesia Karrii Meijer – which can weigh up to 7 Kg. with a diameter of up to 75 cm. The Rafflesia is Surat Thani province official flower, where Khao Sok National Park is located.
As I wrote, Khao Sok National Park’s best attraction is its huge lake, (167 square Km.), Cheow Lan Lake. Visiting the national park without seeing the lake would be an unfortunate loss! In light of its importance, I decided to write a separate article about the lake.
A real trip to Khao Sok National Park and especially the lake should include an overnight stay there. I will review all overnight stay options a bit later. (Overnight stay possibilities will also be discussed in my separate article about the lake).
In addition to Cheow Lan Lake, Khao Sok National Park offers walking treks. The treks begin at the visitor center and there are signs as you go along them. On top of the walking treks, the park also offers Elephant treks, tubing, canoes and bamboo rafts.
Please take into consideration that not all the walking treks can be done by families with children and in addition there are leeches, especially in the rainy season, which can climb on your feet shortly after you begin the trek. It is highly advised that you consult with a national park guide before you go on any of the walking treks in the park.
The weather: Khao Sok National Park receives the biggest amount of precipitation in Thailand – an average of 3500 mm a year. Most of the rain falls between May and November and the dry season is on December through April.
Overnight stay in the area: there are very few overnight arrangements on the park grounds, (near the visitor center), and they are not recommended.
There are many resorts in the area right next to the park’s entrance however most of them are pretty mediocre!! (there was one good resort but it started to deteriorate lately). I have crossed the national park many times in order to find a good resort for you and located only 2-3 good resorts that I can really recommend to our tourists.
** The above relates only to overnight stay arrangements at the visitor center area. A review of overnight stay options near Cheow Lan Lake will be given in my separate article about it – click here to read my article about Cheow Lan Lake.
Please Note: Khao Sok National Park, including Cheow Lan Lake, is included in TipTop-Travel southern Thailand quality tour program and in the ultimate Thailand experience – TipTop-Travel Coast to Coast tour.
As always, here is a video I prepared for you about Khao Sok National Park (you can watch a video about Cheow Lan Lake and the surrounding area in my separate article about it).