Khao Sok National Park is an incredibly beautiful and vast place to visit. It is one of the oldest rainforests on the planet. The exotic wildlife combined with the majestical lake set you up for an unforgettable trip. Khao Sok is a must-see place when you are looking for something to do around Khao Lak.

We have collected frequently asked questions about Khao Sok and written clear and to-the-point answers for you.

How do you pronounce Khao Sok?

Khao Sok National Park is pronounced “cow soak”.

How big is Khao Sok?

Khoa Sok National Park is a vast jungle area that spans 739 km2, including the impressive man-made 169 km2 “Cheow Larn” lake. It is estimated to be 5 times bigger than the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.

When was Khao Sok National Park established?

On December 22, 1980, it became the 22nd National Park of Thailand.

How old is Khao Sok?

It is estimated to be over 160 million years old.

Photo by Babtista L – Flickr

Why is Khao Sok worth visiting?

Khao Sok should be on the top of your list if you are looking for a true tropical jungle experience. The beauty of the area can not be explained in words or video. There is an energy that goes through the area that touches your soul. The epic limestone cliffs, the marvelous lake, the abundance of wildlife, and the overall serenity, simply priceless. Khao Sok is usually one of the top highlights of visitors – that should say enough.

What is Khao Sok known for?

Khao Sok National Park is simply raw natural beauty and wildlife combined with an impressive man-made lake. It is one of the oldest rainforests in the world. There are huge limestone mountains, countless little rivers, deep valleys, caves, monkeys, exotic birds, and so much more!

Khao Sok is home to rare flora and fauna, such as hornbill birds, gibbons, and elephants. Some say tigers and Asian black bears wander around (although very rare). Khao Sok is also famous for the symbolic flower of Surat Thani Province, the huge rafflesia flower (Rafflesia kerrii). The flower can be up to 70-80 cm in diameter, blooming only around October to December.

How many days should you spend in Khao Sok?

While there are day trips to Khao Sok, you can not really experience its respected beauty in such a short time. It is recommended to at least stay 1 night. Several trips offer multi-day packages. You can choose to sleep on the lake in a floating bungalow or come to peace in the middle of the jungle. With several resorts and restaurants, you will not be disappointed to find accommodation that meets your preferences.

Photo by Fabio Siffert – Flickr

What are the main attractions in Khao Sok?

Most people talk about how amazing it is to spend a night on Cheow Lan Lake. Waking up in the middle of a rainforest with just the sound of exotic wildlife is something special. Take a nice morning dive, straight out of your floating bungalow, while there’s a delicious Thai breakfast waiting for you. Spend your time reading a book, listening to music, doing some yoga, and exploring the lake by a complimentary kayak in a picturesque world. You are mostly surrounded by pure peace and silence, it is very relaxing and calms your mind. You can spot exotic wildlife during an early morning or evening safari. There are caves, waterfalls, and hikes to amazing viewpoints. All these experiences make you fall in love with Khao Sok and wish you could stay.

Can you see tigers in Khao Sok?

Some will say there are tigers in the wild, and while that may be true, it would be rare to spot one.

Can you see bears in Khao Sok?

Thailand is home to Asian black and sun bears. Bear populations are found throughout Thailand, including Khao Sok national park but rare to spot one in the wild.

How to get from Khao Lak to Khao Sok?

Can you fly to Khao Sok? No, Khao Sok doesn’t have an airport. Surat Thani, Krabi, and Phuket airports are the nearest. But if you’re already in Khao Lak, you are pretty close. It only takes ~80 minutes by car or motorbike to get to Khao Sok village and ~2 hours if you’re going straight to Khao Sok (Ratchaprapha) pier to get on the lake.

The easiest and most convenient way is to book a recommended tour which includes transfers. You can also take a bus as we will explain next.

Photo by Cristian Valls – Flickr

Can I explore Khao Sok by myself?

Yes, you can. Although tour packages make your life much easier, they are more expensive. You can take a bus heading to Surat Thani (with a layover in Takuapa) that stops at the Khao Sok bus station for ~450 THB and takes 2h30m or rent and drive a motorbike. Near the Khao Sok bus station, you find several resorts to book accommodation in the “Khao Sok village”. If you take the bus, you can rent a motorbike when you arrive and explore the park yourself. To get on the Cheow Lan lake, you could arrange a private longtail at the (Ratchaprapha) pier. Keep in mind there is a 300 THB p.p. entrance fee to the National Park. It is also a 1-hour drive from Khao Sok village to the pier via route 401.

Can you swim in Khao Sok (Cheow Lan lake)?

Yes, swimming in Cheow Lan lake is safe. Most accommodations also provide complimentary kayaks. You do not need to worry about dangerous underwater life. Unfortunately, many fish species died due to stagnant water conditions.

How deep is Khao Sok Lake?

The average depth is 40m, while the deepest point is around 90m deep.

What are recommended tours for Khao Sok?

There are several different tours with unique highlights. You can explore and book them online. There are 1-day and multi-day trips as well as jungle and lake tours. You can also find specific night safaris or cooking classes. Browse all Khao Sok National Park recommendations here, or select a recommended trip below.

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