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Thailand

Khao Sok Holidays

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Khao Sok? Simple.

Beach breaks are understandably the most popular type of Thailand holidays. But if you fancy swapping sunbathing for lake swimming, river tubing or jungle trekking then a holiday to Khao Sok should be top of your list. Located inland, between the Andaman and Gulf coasts, it’s easily accessible from many popular destinations in the south of the country, including Phuket, Krabi, Khao Lak and Koh Samui. So it’s a great choice for a Thailand multi-centre holiday.

Set within the protected Khlong Saeng-Khao Sok Forest Complex, this 739-square-kilometre national park is home to one of the world’s oldest rainforests, believed to date back 160 million years. Its dense foliage comprises bamboo groves, liana vines, buttress roots and coconut palms. Many kinds of fruit also grow in Khao Sok – including wild jackfruit, durian, rambutan and bananas – as does the parasitic rafflesia. Red with white and yellow spots, this enormous plant is the world’s largest, and smelliest, flower.

Khao Sok’s magnificent landscape is dotted with remote waterfalls and bat-filled caves – many of which you can discover on a guided jungle trek. However, the jewel in its crown is man-made Cheow Lan Lake. This vast expanse of shimmering blue is the perfect place to take a dip, but it can also be explored by canoe or long-tail boat. This part of Khao Sok frequently draws comparisons with Halong Bay in northern Vietnam, or Guilin in China’s Guangxi province. And staring up at the mist-cloaked karsts which rise along the water’s edge – some of which soar to over 900 metres – it’s not hard to see why. To truly appreciate the tranquillity of the lake, you should spend the night in one of the floating raft houses, like Elephant Hills Rainforest Camp.

Besides harbouring a diversity of flora, Khao Sok’s also a natural habitat for a rich array of fauna. The canopy shakes with various types of monkey and bird – plus tree frogs and Malayan sun bears – while gaurs and clouded leopards roam the forest floor. Jungle perch, catfish and snakehead fish reside in Cheow Lan Lake and the Sok River and, as night falls, you’ll see hundreds of flying foxes fill the horizon as they head out in search of food. There are still about 100 or so wild elephants in Khao Sok, but for a guaranteed encounter you might want visit one of the park’s ethical sanctuaries. For some people, spending time with these gentle giants is the highlight of a Khao Sok holiday.

Things to do

Wildlife

Hiking

Best time to go

Things to do in Khao Sok

While beach breaks in Thailand centre around relaxation, holidays to Khao Sok are all about exploration. The park is divided into two sections – the rainforest that surrounds Khao Sok Village and the area around Cheow Lan Lake – each of which offers its own range of activities.

Show More
Show Less

One of the best ways to experience the rainforest is on foot. Whether you join a guided trek or go it alone, you’ll likely discover an exciting array of flora and fauna. The Sok River, which runs through this part of the park, provides further opportunities for adventure. Float downstream in a canoe, past soaring limestone cliffs, and spot monkeys playing in the trees and kingfishers diving in the water. Or, for more of an adrenaline rush, give tubing a go. Meanwhile, animal lovers visiting this area can hang out with elephants at one of the park’s ethical sanctuaries.

Over at Cheow Lan Lake, there’s more hiking and canoeing to be done. Alternatively, you can relax as you sail along on a long-tail boat, or simply cool off with a swim. Cave visits are also often included in trips to this part of Khao Sok.

Show More
Show Less

Khao Sok wildlife

Holidays to Khao Sok are a nature lover’s dream. The park’s evergreen rainforest is older and more diverse than the Amazon, and is estimated to contain more than five percent of the world’s species. Expect to be woken each morning by the shrill hoot of a gibbon – although they can be hard to spot as they swing through the trees in search of food.

Show More
Show Less

But, as you explore this vast wilderness, you’ll no doubt come across many other creatures. Over 50 types of mammal, more than 30 species of bat, and countless reptiles and insects call Khao Sok home. Walking through the forest you’ll see butterflies flit between the fig trees and ferns, while Cheow Lan Lake is the best place to spot the majestic great hornbill. With a 150-centimetre wingspan, it’s one of 300 types of bird that live in the park. The further north you move along the lake, the more wildlife you’re likely to see along the banks. While sightings are never guaranteed, you might be lucky enough to encounter gaurs, tapirs, deer, marbled cats or wild elephants – maybe even a tiger.

Show More
Show Less

Hiking in Khao Sok

One of the premier activities in Khao Sok is hiking. There are trails of varying degrees of difficulty, and you can choose anything from a half-day trek to a multi-day excursion. While certain hikes can be done alone, many require you to join a tour or hire a guide. Although it’s an added expense, a guide can share local insights and point out things you may well miss on your own.

Show More
Show Less

Many of the park’s hiking trails lead to waterfalls. Incredibly picturesque, they’re a great place to stop for a picnic or a swim. If your holiday to Khao Sok falls between December and March, besides spotting different kinds of bamboo, orchids and lianas, you can join a special trek in search of the elusive rafflesia. The largest flower in the world, the rafflesia has giant red petals and can grow up to a metre in diameter. Khao Sok is the only place it grows in Thailand.

If you feel like trying something different during your Khao Sok holiday, consider joining a night safari. Venturing into the rainforest after dark, you’ll hear the evening symphony of cicadas and frogs, and encounter creatures rarely seen during the day.

Show More
Show Less

Best time to go to Khao Sok

Khao Sok National Park is open all year round, but the best time to go is during the December-to-April dry season. Even at this time of year, though, the weather can be unpredictable and you should be prepared for at least a few showers. That’s because Khao Sok gets hit by the monsoon rains from both the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea. The park sees an average annual rainfall of 3,500 millimeters, making it one of the wettest places in the entire country.

Show More
Show Less

During the wet season, which runs from May to November, you’ll likely experience at least one torrential downpour a day – although it may only last an hour or two before clearing up to reveal blue skies and sunshine. The heaviest rain occurs between June and October. Leeches and mosquitoes come out in force and certain trails are inaccessible. However, the benefit of visiting Khao Sok at this time is that it’s at its most verdant, and there’s plenty of water for river tubing.

The temperature in Khao Sok varies little throughout the year. Highs are usually between 29-33oC while lows range from 20-23oC. September and October are generally slightly cooler, while March and April tend to be the hottest months. The jungle environment means the park’s always humid, but the worst months for this are June to November.

Show More
Show Less

Things to do

Things to do in Khao Sok

While beach breaks in Thailand centre around relaxation, holidays to Khao Sok are all about exploration. The park is divided into two sections – the rainforest that surrounds Khao Sok Village and the area around Cheow Lan Lake – each of which offers its own range of activities.

Show More
Show Less

One of the best ways to experience the rainforest is on foot. Whether you join a guided trek or go it alone, you’ll likely discover an exciting array of flora and fauna. The Sok River, which runs through this part of the park, provides further opportunities for adventure. Float downstream in a canoe, past soaring limestone cliffs, and spot monkeys playing in the trees and kingfishers diving in the water. Or, for more of an adrenaline rush, give tubing a go. Meanwhile, animal lovers visiting this area can hang out with elephants at one of the park’s ethical sanctuaries.

Over at Cheow Lan Lake, there’s more hiking and canoeing to be done. Alternatively, you can relax as you sail along on a long-tail boat, or simply cool off with a swim. Cave visits are also often included in trips to this part of Khao Sok.

Show More
Show Less

Wildlife

Khao Sok wildlife

Holidays to Khao Sok are a nature lover’s dream. The park’s evergreen rainforest is older and more diverse than the Amazon, and is estimated to contain more than five percent of the world’s species. Expect to be woken each morning by the shrill hoot of a gibbon – although they can be hard to spot as they swing through the trees in search of food.

Show More
Show Less

But, as you explore this vast wilderness, you’ll no doubt come across many other creatures. Over 50 types of mammal, more than 30 species of bat, and countless reptiles and insects call Khao Sok home. Walking through the forest you’ll see butterflies flit between the fig trees and ferns, while Cheow Lan Lake is the best place to spot the majestic great hornbill. With a 150-centimetre wingspan, it’s one of 300 types of bird that live in the park. The further north you move along the lake, the more wildlife you’re likely to see along the banks. While sightings are never guaranteed, you might be lucky enough to encounter gaurs, tapirs, deer, marbled cats or wild elephants – maybe even a tiger.

Show More
Show Less

Hiking

Hiking in Khao Sok

One of the premier activities in Khao Sok is hiking. There are trails of varying degrees of difficulty, and you can choose anything from a half-day trek to a multi-day excursion. While certain hikes can be done alone, many require you to join a tour or hire a guide. Although it’s an added expense, a guide can share local insights and point out things you may well miss on your own.

Show More
Show Less

Many of the park’s hiking trails lead to waterfalls. Incredibly picturesque, they’re a great place to stop for a picnic or a swim. If your holiday to Khao Sok falls between December and March, besides spotting different kinds of bamboo, orchids and lianas, you can join a special trek in search of the elusive rafflesia. The largest flower in the world, the rafflesia has giant red petals and can grow up to a metre in diameter. Khao Sok is the only place it grows in Thailand.

If you feel like trying something different during your Khao Sok holiday, consider joining a night safari. Venturing into the rainforest after dark, you’ll hear the evening symphony of cicadas and frogs, and encounter creatures rarely seen during the day.

Show More
Show Less

Best time to go

Best time to go to Khao Sok

Khao Sok National Park is open all year round, but the best time to go is during the December-to-April dry season. Even at this time of year, though, the weather can be unpredictable and you should be prepared for at least a few showers. That’s because Khao Sok gets hit by the monsoon rains from both the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea. The park sees an average annual rainfall of 3,500 millimeters, making it one of the wettest places in the entire country.

Show More
Show Less

During the wet season, which runs from May to November, you’ll likely experience at least one torrential downpour a day – although it may only last an hour or two before clearing up to reveal blue skies and sunshine. The heaviest rain occurs between June and October. Leeches and mosquitoes come out in force and certain trails are inaccessible. However, the benefit of visiting Khao Sok at this time is that it’s at its most verdant, and there’s plenty of water for river tubing.

The temperature in Khao Sok varies little throughout the year. Highs are usually between 29-33oC while lows range from 20-23oC. September and October are generally slightly cooler, while March and April tend to be the hottest months. The jungle environment means the park’s always humid, but the worst months for this are June to November.

Show More
Show Less

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Whether you're looking for luxury or simplicity, we've got the perfect holiday for you.

Trust

Travelbag is fully protected by ATOL and ABTA, so your booking is completely secure.

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