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How to Visit Khao Sok National Park; Cheow Lan lake and Thai jungle

Khao Sok National Park is a huge 739 km2 nature reserve located in southern Thailand, between Suratthani and Khao Lak.

It is a spectacular area to which few tourists end up arriving, especially if it is their first trip to Thailand. If you are thinking of traveling to Thailand and want to take a tour, it is a great option to include a few days in one of the country's national parks, Khao Sok is an incredible area and in this post I will tell you how to visit it, what you can do and where to stay.

It could be said that the Khao Sok National Park is divided into two zones: The jungle zone where the river is located and you can go on excursions, and the Cheow Lan Lake part, where you can spend the night in one of the their floating cabins.

Ideally, to visit this national park is that you spend at least 2 days. So if your trip to Thailand does not exceed two weeks, I recommend that you read my Thailand itineraries, to make the most of your time.


To visit the Park, the first thing you have to do is get to the town of Khao Lak, where if you need it you will have the option of spending the night. It is the cheapest option to stay.

To get here there are buses, which depart from different parts of Thailand. If you come from Bangkok the bus will cost you about 25 euros, the journey and person and the journey lasts about 15 hours. It is recommended that you better look for an itinerary where you visit places between Bangkok and Khao Lak. Or you arrive at the town from another destination.

You can also take a flight from Bangkok to Surat Thani, and from there take a bus or taxi to the park.

The best option to visit this national park is to do it from Phuket.

From Phuket Town to the national park you have approximately 160km, which you can do by bus, taxi or rental car.

View rental car deals in Phuket


To make the information clearer, I am going to divide you into zones.

When entering the Khao Sok National Park (either the jungle part or the Cheow Lan Lake part) you have to pay THB300 for adults or THB150 for children. Thais or foreigners residing in Thailand have lower prices.

Jungle area + central offices

This is where you will find the central offices and the main access to the park.

At the gate of the park there are several accommodation options for all budgets. In these accommodations they offer you all the time of activities that you can do in the park; from trekking to rafting. Although you do not need to book any excursion. You can go touring the park on your own. (I will explain later everything you can do).

As soon as you enter and pay for access to the park, they will provide you with a trail map that you can follow to get to know different places. They are excursions parallel to the river, with some detours to see waterfalls or other places of interest.

On the map you will see 9 points that can be visited. The first of them almost 3 km from the entrance to the park and the furthest about 7 km.

Although there are some signs in the park that tell you that you cannot do it for free, that you need a guide, once you ask at the entrance they tell you that it is possible to do it for free. There are only 3 points of interest, with a little more risk in which a guide is recommended so as not to get lost.

All these trail routes are in the middle of the jungle, where you can see some animals along the way. Like huge lizards, a great variety of birds, monkeys, insects… We were lucky to have rainy days, so we were safe from leeches. In this area, if it has rained recently, the leeches come out in search of your blood, so it is recommended that you always wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts and even protect your legs with plastic wrap.

In other places in Thailand, I have had the honor of meeting these little friends, and although it is not pleasant, it is not hysterical either.

If the leeches stick to your legs, the best way to remove them is to locate their mouth and use your fingernail and finger to press them loose. In case you don't realize it, once the leech is filled with your blood, it will detach itself from the skin. It is best to simply remove them, without killing them, and leave them back in their environment.

They do not cause pain, nor do they carry diseases, the worst of all is the bad time they make you go through because of the anguish or the disgust that it causes you, nothing more.

Throughout the treks you will be able to see waterfalls, streams, the main river and some lagoons that are formed. Although it is not recommended to bathe, there are even signs that do not prohibit it, we saw many people skip this rule. Leeches are in humid areas, so if you feel like taking a bath, make sure they don't get caught where it hurts the most :) hehe

In this area there is also an elephant sanctuary, a bamboo forest and bamboo boat rides on the river, there are areas for rafting...

Cheow Lan Lake Area

Lake Cheow Lan Lake, or Ratchaprapa Dam, is an impressive area, huge and inviting to relax.

It is an immense artificial lake of 165 km2 surrounded by enormous limestone cliffs and jungle with abundant vegetation.

Here you can see rock formations very similar to other areas of Thailand and even neighboring countries.

In the lake you can do activities such as kayaking, bathing and even stay in some of the floating accommodations there are.

The lake is located almost 70 km from the main entrance (which I told you about before) and about 14 km from Ban Ta Khun town.

Staying at the lake is a unique experience, waking up at dawn with the morning mist floating above the water is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Khao Sok National Park.

There are many accommodation options on the lake, do not expect great luxuries, yes, all of them offer packages included with activities.

They are not very cheap options, they are usually around 200 euros/night. Double up.

Floating accommodations on Lake Cheow Lan, my recommendations:

To go from the jungle area to the Lake, there is the option of private transport (taxis) or public bus at the entrance offices. If you have a rental car, there are signs that tell you where to go (although it is not lost).

If you don't want to spend so much staying at the lake, you can look for accommodation in Khao Lak town or Ban Ta Khun town.

I hope you enjoy the Khao Sok National Park a lot, it is a beautiful place and it is worth knowing it. You can continue reading Thailand articles on the blog to complete your trip.


I hope you enjoy your trip to Thailand very much and that this article has been useful to you. You can continue reading many more related articles on the blog.

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A hug and see you soon!


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