Discover Khao Sok National Park: How to reach and what to see
Discover Khao Sok National Park: How to reach and what to see

A guide to Khao Sok National Park: How to get there and what to do

Khao Sok national park guide


Khao Sok National Park is located in Surat Thani province and is considered by many travelers as one of the few untouched gems of Thailand. Khao Sok spans 739 square kilometers and includes the Cheow Lan Lake, a hydro dam for Southern Thailand's electricity.

This article aims to connect visitors—those looking to indulge in the kaleidoscope of natural spectacles of Thailand to the undiscovered beauty of Khao Sok. Read on to find reasons to visit Khao Sok National Park, how to travel to Khao Sok National Park, additional tours you can take from Phuket, and what to do in Khao Sok.



i. Why visit Khao Sok National Park 

ii. Best time to visit Khao Sok 

iii. How to get to Khao Sok

     1. From Phuket
     2. From Surat Thani
     3. From Krabi
     4. From Khao Lak

ii.  Day tour to Khao Sok from Phuket

iii. What to do at Khao Sok National Park


i. Why visit Khao Sok National Park


If you’ve clicked on this article and have read this far, Khao Sok is probably already on your visiting list. But if you are still unsure whether a trip to the most gorgeous rainforest in Asia is worth it, we will convince you why.

1. Rich Biodiversity

The national park is home to one of the planet's most diverse biodiversity, with a reported 200 different plant species per hectare. It hosts some of the world’s rarest plants and animal species such as Rafflesia (the biggest flower in the world), great hornbills with a wingspan of 1.5m, pangolins (scaly anteaters), and more. A visit to Khao Sok will get you closer to nature than ever before.

Khao Sok rich biodiversityKhao Sok Rich biodiversity 

2. Worldly scenery

You will find turquoise water, lush green riverbanks, limestone mountain karst, and prehistoric caves that make the sceneries of Khao Sok out of this world. Those passionate about nature photography will find Khao Sok’s diverse landscape a desirable subject to photograph.

 Khao Sok bridge


3. Total tranquility

Due to its remote location, Khao Sok is far from all touristic attractions. Its distance can put many off but good things don’t come easy. All year round, you will find the national park with fewer people compared to other attractions making this park the perfect place for relaxation and going off the grid.

Khao Sok total tranquility 


4. Travel back in time

Khao Sok rainforest is said to be as old as the Amazon Forest having survived the ice age and other major events. A visit to Khao Sok would be like traveling back in time to when the earth was uninhabited by humans. Visitors can find proof in the mountain karst protruding from the water, intricate cave channels with fossil corals, and huge uncut trees that are almost too hard to believe.

Khao sok travel back in time


ii. When's the best time to visit Khao Sok?


Khao Sok is unique because it can be visited all year round and the national park maintains its green and lushness despite the season. 

From June to December, visitors will find more frequent rainfalls. However, rain usually subsides after a while.

If you’re looking for clear days, we recommend visiting Khao Sok from December to March.


iii. How to get to Khao Sok


Khao Sok National Park Guide

To reach Khao Sok, you can travel from Phuket, Krabi, Surat Thani, and Khao Lak, each route differs in duration. Those taking joined transportation from Phuket, Krabi, Surat Thani or Khao Lak will be dropped off right outside Khao Sok Village and can hail one of the local taxis to be taken to your accommodations.


1. From Phuket

From Phuket to Khao Sok, buses are leaving from Phuket Bus Terminal 2 to Surat Thani every hour starting at 7 am to 3 pm approximately. You can ask the driver to drop you off at the Khao Sok entrance and from then continue by a local taxi. The journey from Phuket to Khao Sok takes about 4 hours.

From Phuket Airport: Take the Airport public bus line number 8411 to the Phuket Bus Station.


2. From Surat Thani

To get from Surat Thani to Khao Sok, there are buses leaving from Surat Thani Bus Terminal and train station. The journey takes about 2 hours with buses departing every hour from 6AM to 4 PM. You can also book online via Phantip.

From Surat Thani Airport: Catch a bus from Surat Thani Airport to Surat Thani Town via Phantip. Visit their counter upon your arrival and wait for your bus to be filled up. The fare is around 100 baht. You’ll be dropped off at the headquarters where you can grab your bus from Surat Thani to Khao Sok.


3. From Krabi

Visiting from Krabi to Khao Sok takes around 3 hours by van from Krabi Town. You can find a tour operator that offers buses to Khao Sok from the street of Krabi Town also at Krabi Bus Terminal.

From Krabi Airport: Alternatively, you can also catch a bus from Krabi Airport. The journey takes 4 hours and you can the tickets being sold at Pichet Travel counter or booking through 12goAsia.


4. From Khao Lak

Traveling from Khao Lak to Khao Sok National Park is relatively straightforward and can be accomplished by several means of transportation. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you make the journey smoothly. Head to the Khao Lak bus station, where you can buy a ticket to Khao Sok at the bus station.

 It’s advisable to check the bus schedule in advance as departure times can vary. The ticket typically costs around 150-200 THB per person. The journey by bus from Khao Lak to Khao Sok takes approximately 2-3 hours. Enjoy the scenic drive as the bus travels through lush landscapes and rural areas.


iv. Easier option: Visit Khao Sok from Phuket on a day trip


Instead of navigating through the many blogs on the best way to get to Phuket, why not join an organized day trip from Phuket or Khao Lak? There are tours with hotel pickup and dropoff in Phuket that take you straight to Khao Sok National Park for one day.

You will travel by a safe, and air-conditioned van without the fear of being scammed.

Here’s why taking a day trip from Khao Sok is recommended:

  • One stop transportation
  • Experienced and professional team
  • English-speaking tour guide
  • Lunch
  • Hotel transfer
  • Includes activities such as: Boat ride to the famous Choew Lan Lake, bamboo rafting down the river, kayaking, relaxing in a raft house, and bathing Khao Sok's elephants.

Book your Khao Sok Day Tour from Phuket!

Khao Sok National Park Day tour from Phuket 

Khao Sok Day Tour from Phuket 


v. What to do at Khao Sok National Park


1. Explore the Cheow Lan Lake

One of the most iconic features of Khao Sok, Cheow Lan Lake, is a man-made reservoir surrounded by towering limestone cliffs and dense jungle. The best way to experience its beauty is by taking a long-tail boat tour. You can also stay overnight in floating bungalows, giving you a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the serene environment.

Khao Sok Cheow Lan Lake 


7. Visit an Elephant Sanctuary

Khao Sok is home to ethical elephant sanctuaries where you can interact with these gentle giants in a responsible manner. Learn about their conservation, feed them, and even help with their daily care. This experience offers a meaningful connection with one of Thailand's most beloved animals while supporting their protection.

elephant sanctuary Khao Sok


8. Bamboo Rafting

For a traditional and peaceful way to explore the park's waterways, try bamboo rafting. Guided by local experts, you'll float along the calm rivers, taking in the stunning scenery and spotting wildlife along the way. This activity provides a unique and immersive experience of the park's natural beauty.

 Bamboo rafting in Khao Sok


2. Hike Through the Ancient Rainforest

Khao Sok is home to one of the oldest rainforests in the world, dating back over 160 million years. There are several trails to choose from, catering to different fitness levels and interests. Along the way, you'll encounter exotic flora and fauna, including the elusive Rafflesia flower, which is known for its gigantic size and pungent smell.

Khao Sok hiking


3. Go Wildlife Spotting

The park is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts. Join a guided safari to spot some of the 48 mammal species, 311 bird species, and countless reptiles and insects that inhabit the area. Keep your eyes peeled for gibbons, hornbills, and even the occasional wild elephant or leopard.

Wildlife spotting at Khao Sok National Park


4. Experience a Night Safari

The adventure doesn't stop when the sun sets. Khao Sok offers night safaris where you can witness the nocturnal creatures in their natural habitat. Armed with a flashlight and a sense of curiosity, you'll get a chance to see civets, slow lorises, and various species of frogs and insects.

Night safari khao sok


5. Kayak Down the Sok River

For a more tranquil experience, rent a kayak and paddle down the Sok River. The gentle flow of the river allows for a relaxing journey, with opportunities to spot wildlife along the banks and admire the stunning limestone formations.

Kayaking at Khao sok


6. Cave Exploration

Khao Sok is dotted with caves waiting to be explored. The Nam Talu Cave is a popular choice, featuring impressive stalactites and stalagmites. Be prepared for some wading and crawling as you navigate through the cave's narrow passages.

Khao Sok cave exploration



Khao Sok National Park is a destination that promises adventure, tranquility, and an intimate connection with nature. By participating in the diverse activities available and packing the right essentials, you'll ensure a memorable and enjoyable experience. Whether you're hiking through ancient rainforests, exploring mysterious caves, or simply soaking in the serene beauty of Cheow Lan Lake, Khao Sok will leave you with memories to cherish for a lifetime.

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