Khao Sok National Park is a hidden gem of Thailand. It has one of the oldest rainforests on earth, huge limestone mountains shooting straight up in the air, deep valleys, breathtaking lakes, exciting caves, wild animals and much more. We did a 2-day jungle tour and this was an unforgetable experience!
We stayed in Khao Sok Riverside Cottages, which had comfortable wooden cottages in the middle of nature. We already made a reservation for the jungle tour via this hotel, as the tour has small groups.
On the day of the tour we were picked up early in the morning by a minivan. We had a group of 12 persons. After half an hour enjoying the views of mountains and forest, we arrived at the lake. We bought the tickets for the park and hopped into the longtailboat which seemed not very stable (luckily this was not the case). With two boats our group went across the lake and before we knew, it was only us and nature. It felt like entering Jurassic Park and see dinosaurs around the corner of the lake. Ofcourse that didn’t happen but it was just magical. We heard sounds of birds, insects and monkeys but couldn’t see them.
After an hour we arrived at our “basecamp” in Cheow Lan Lake which existed of a floating pier and around 20 basic floating bungalows. The bungalows are made of bamboo and have a matrass only. No electricity and we could hardly stand up but the view was amazing!
Hiking for an incredible view
We all went for a swim in the clear refreshing water. After this we made ourselves ready for a hike to one of the best viewpoints. It’s quite difficult with a lot of climbing so you have to be physically fit. The viewpoint is around 300 meters and we had to follow a path trough dense rainforest, waterpools and rocks. (watch your steps!)
On the way to the top our guide looked out for wildlife and gave information about the park. As it’s very humid, we were heavily sweating in to time. Just take it easy and drink loads of water. At one point some of us had small leeches on our arms and legs (me included). They could be removed easily but I was suddenly much more alert on my surrondings. When we finally reached the top, the view was just unbelievable. Is it safe? Not really, but who cares with a view like that!
Afer the climb to the viewpoint we were exhausted and head back to our floating bungalows. Every bungalow has a canoe which we used to explore the lake. In the evening we had a delicious meal with fresh fish from the lake, rice, fruit and a lot more. The sky is full of bright stars and the best of all: No mosquitos! We had such a nice group and talked, drank, danced and laughed with each other for a long time.
The next morning we had another tour to spot some wildlife. We saw some waterbuffalo and monkeys. After the tour we had breakfast and headed back around noon to our hotel. This was such a great trip and I can recommend it to everyone who loves to go on an adventure!
How to get there
Khao Sok National Park is situated in the south of Thailand, 100 km south of Surat Thani. From here you can arrange a minivan to take you to the park/hotel near the park, it takes about two hours. We took a minivan from Krabi, which takes 2,5 – 3 hours. The minivans are comfortable with airconditioning and before you know, you’re already there.
Khao Sok Riverside Cottages
Because all tours leave in the morning, we stayed the night before in one of the wooden cottages hidden between forest trees and tropical gardens, just acros the river. The resort is located a few kilometers east of the Park Headquarters. They have a cosy restaurant with riverview and good food. The cottages are not fully closed so it’s possible you get some company from frogs and spiders.
Try this: You can take a rubber band and float down the river, which is really cool and fun!