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Khao Sok National Park long tail boat

Khao Sok National Park: One of Thailand’s Best Kept Secrets

Stop Searching for Paradise: It’s in Khao Sok National Park!

Towering Limestone karsts. Crystal clear water. Wild wandering animals. This is a place that showcases Thailand at its best. Presenting the picture-perfect postcard views that you’ve seen before you left, Khao Sok National Park is growing in popularity. Time to jump in before the rush.

When you’re planning your trip to Thailand, no doubt you have a lengthy list of things to see. The beaches, that’s a given. Huge, towering limestone, for sure. Elephants and other wild animals, a once in a lifetime experience.

Well how about a place that can offer it all in one place. You won’t have to travel for hours and hours by bus. You won’t be trekking for days. Khao Sok National Park is a place where you can relax and enjoy all of Thailand’s biggest hitters without any hassle. The best part is that it is relatively unknown at the moment, so play your cards right and you’ll be getting in before the rush.

Where is Khao Sok National Park?

Khao Sok is in the southern part of Thailand, just north of Phuket and west of Koh Samui or Koh Pha Ngan. The location makes it perfect for a break from the partying of the islands and is a great choice to enjoy rural countryside at its best. You’re only looking at a short 3 hour journey from Phuket or Krabi, and 2 and a half hours from Surat Thani (if you’re travelling by ferry from Koh Samui or Pha Ngan).

You can travel from all the above-mentioned places by bus or pay for a private transfer. Obviously, the latter will be considerably more expensive.

Things to Do in Khao Sok National Park

You’ll be wishing for more time once you’ve got to Khao Sok , so do make sure that you budget enough days to relax as well enjoying everything that it has to offer. We’ll split this into 6 separate sections to explain each in more detail. The first two on the list are our must-do activities but if you have longer (3 days plus) then definitely explore the other activities too.

Staying in the Jungle

This is the stuff that dreams are made of. A night right in the heart of the jungle, waking up with the local wildlife to incredible sunrises. There are two places that are the most popular for a night under the stars. Head for either the riverside or Cheow Lan Lake. They’re about an hour apart and easily arranged once you’re in the park. We highly, highly recommend staying on a floating raft house. The sunrise behind the limestone karsts with the local gibbons howling is a memory that will last a lifetime. If staying in slightly more rough and ready locations isn’t for you, we’d recommend booking one of the superb guesthouses or hostels. Make sure to arrange in advance though!

Boat Tour on Cheow Lan Lake

The boat tours on Cheow Lan Lake are offered at different time lengths but we’d recommend a full day to fully explore. The best of the tours offer the opportunity to eat dinner at a local fishing village and learn more about how local people live.

Jungle Cooking Class

Cooking classes are always great fun but one right in the jungle with ingredients plucked from nearby is an awesome experience. You’ll cook incredible Thai dishes and you’ll also learn some of the decorations that are traditionally used to pretty up each plate. The best part? Once you’re finished you get to eat what you’ve made.

Kayak Tour

In a similar vein to the boat tour, but this one allows you to explore some of the quieter waterways. You’ll be able to get up close and personal to jungle life, both human and animal. You’ll regularly spot monkeys going about their business, marvel at the colourful fish swimming nearby and see the local way of life on the riverbanks. Don’t panic, you won’t get lost thanks to the guide who will accompany you.

#BodegaHostels Insider Tip

Don’t rush this trip. You’ll want to allow enough time to fit it all in. Some people go for a quick visit, others stay for a week or more. Do your research, find out what you want to see the most and work out your schedule.