Khao Sok National Park, with its beautiful limestone formations and nature, is a gem and was one of the highlights of our journey through Thailand. This blog post contains everything you need to plan your perfect Khao Sok National Park tour.
How to get there
We came to Khao Sok by overnight bus from Bangkok. It’s the most comfortable and cheapest way to arrive by bus. Also, when we left Khao Sok, we took the bus to Phuket. From Phuket, it is a 3 hours ride to get there and from Khao Lak, only 1 hour. Please take note that Khao Sok Village is not yet the lake itself. It takes you about 1 hour to get to the lake for your tour from Khao Sok Village.
Best time to visit
Khao Sok National Park can be visited all year round. The weather seems to be very changeable in this area, and the chance is high that you’ll have some rain during your stay, but it’s not that bad. However, due to the lush jungle, Khao Sok has a humid environment year-round, which is most noticeable during June through November, when downpours are at their most frequent. We had rain during our trip in November, but it was still warm and pleasant, and the rain never lasts a long time. The temperatures are usually the highest in March/April and the lowest in September/October.
Where to stay near Khao Sok National Park
We decided to stay in the area for one night before and after our boat trip to the Khao Sok National Park. Doing so made the trip less stressful for us, and we had more days in the beautiful area. We chose to stay at Khao Sok Riverside Cottages and were very happy with this decision. It’s a very relaxing place with cute huts that are surrounded by jungle. It was raining heavily before our boat trip, but we felt super cozy at the cottages.
How to plan your Khao Sok National Park tour
You can only visit the Khao Sok National Park with a guided tour. We booked our trip ourselves with Khao Sok Lake Tours. Most accommodations in Khao Sok offer to organize boat trips for you if you prefer that.
You have the choice, either visit the national park with a group tour, which is, of course, the cheaper way, or a private tour. A two day trip with staying in a raft house on the lake overnight with a tour package will cost you 2’500 TB (around 80$) per person. This price includes all the meals, the boat tour as well as the night at the bungalow. A group tour is the cheapest way of visiting the Khao Sok National Park.
We chose to book a private tour for which you have different options for comfort and price class. We booked the cheapest private tour that they offer, which is called “Bamboo Bliss”. Included was the pick-up/drop-off at the hotel, a boat for ourselves, all the meals, and a private hut at the raft house. We stayed at the same raft house as some of the group tours, and the standard was basic but perfect for one night. We paid 6’400 TB, which is around 210$ per person.
You can choose the duration of your trip as well. There is the possibility of making a day trip without sleeping at one of the raft houses. Also, you have the chance to book a more extended tour of 2 or 3 nights if you wish. We can recommend staying for one night on the lake because it was a wonderful experience to be surrounded by nature.
What to expect from your Khao Sok National Park tour
We don’t want to take the surprise away here, that is why we won’t go into the experience too detailed. But we will give you an overview of what the tour will include:
- First, you will meet your guide at the office of Khao Sok Lake Tours, and if you want, he will take you to the local market to get some food for the trip.
- After that, you will board the long-tail boat (at the harbor, you will have to pay a fee for the National Parks of 300 TB, about 10$, per person)and will be on a boat ride for about 2-3 hours on the lake where you will enjoy to be surrounded by the beautiful limestone rocks and turquoise water. Tip: If you have booked a private tour, tell your boat driver or guide if you want to stop at a place to take photos.
- After this ride, you will arrive at the raft house to put your belongings into your hut and have lunch.
- In the afternoon, you will go on a jungle hike and a sunset boat tour where you will spot some wildlife.
- In the evening, you will have dinner at the raft house and spend the evening meeting other people, playing cards, and having fun.
- You will go up early and go on a morning mist boat safari with your guide to spot some wildlife. In the National Park are a lot of exciting animals, but you will learn everything about it from your guide.
- After that, you will return to the raft-house for breakfast, and after breakfast, you will have some time to enjoy the lake with swimming or kayaking.
- Right after lunch, you will return with another beautiful boat ride through the lake.
Tip for Vegans/Vegetarians: usually, the meals that they cook at the raft house contain meat & fish. But you have to tell your guide after you met him that you are vegan/vegetarian, and he will bring you to the local market and buys you all that you need. We chose to bring tofu, some nuts, and different fruits. Your guide will inform the people in the kitchen at the raft house, and everything will work like a charm. They did a great job with our meals and prepared the tofu in different ways every time. Take enough tofu; your trip will include two lunch and one dinner ;).
What to bring for your Khao Sok National Park tour
Last we want to give you a few tips about what to bring to your trip to Khao Sok National Park:
- 300 TB per person in cash for the National Park fee
- Sunscreen / Sunhat / Sunglasses
- Swimwear to swim in the lake
- A towel (we didn’t have one in the hut)
- Bug spray
- Biodegradable/natural toiletries (you will be in the middle of nature and shouldn’t put anything chemical in the water)
- We brought a silk sleeping bag and felt comfortable with that. There would be a blanket in the hut, but it’s a thick and old wool blanket.
- Water-sandals (we have Tevas) because the jungle hike we did went through a waterfall – yes, you read that correctly 🙂
Overall we are thrilled that we made this experience and can highly recommend it. It’s just the best feeling to wake up surrounded by nature. If you like that just as much as we do, then this trip is definitely for you.
Khao Sok National Park is a must for all nature lovers and truly a hidden gem in Thailand. This tour was one of the absolute highlights of our month-long travels around the country. We loved how traveling the national park by boat and staying off-grid allowed us to completely disconnect from the outside world and immerse ourselves in the natural beauty of this place.