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All you need to know to visit Khao Sok

Southern Thailand
731 km from Bangkok
Province of Surat Thani


Recomm. stay
2-3 jours


Practical guide to go and visit Khao Sok

Located in the province of Surat Thani in the south of Thailand, Khao Sok is neither a city nor an island but one of the best-known and most beautiful national parks in the country. To give it the visibility it deserves and make your research easier, I decided to add it as a destination in its own right and no longer just as a visit to do from Surat Thani.

You should know that often when we talk to you about Khao Sok, we mainly talk about its lake, Chiew Lan lake (pronounced tchiao lân) and its sublime decor which is reminiscent of Halong Bay in Vietnam in places but be careful not to confuse the lake with what I call ''the land entrance'' to Khao Sok National Park (where you drop off buses and minivans from Surat Thani, Khao Lak, Phuket or Krabi), both are quite far away. Access to the lake is from the Ratchaprapha Dam, there is a 1-hour drive between the land entrance to the park and the dam. I highly recommend the 2-day excursion with 1 night on a floating lake hotel. It is often one of the most beautiful memories travelers have during their stay in Thailand and one of my favorite tours. It must be said that the setting is magical! And to organize it, you can go directly to the floating hotels on the lake but with the language barrier, it is not always easy. The most practical thing is to organize this with the agency Khao Sok Lake Tour (guide and discussions in English). Other agencies obviously offer it. Otherwise you can also go to the ''land entrance'' of the park and spend a night there. You can take the opportunity to book the basic 2 days / 1 night excursion on the lake for the next day in one of the agencies on the street or directly at your hotel. Last I heard, it cost 2500-3000 THB per person. The bungalows on the lake will be spartan, without air conditioning and without electricity except for 2-3 hours per night but you will not find cheaper. The program is less exceptional, it's becoming more and more of a tourist factory but it's still OK if your budget doesn't allow you more.

It should also be noted that since the post-COVID recovery, the lake of Khao Sok is very popular and in the months of January-February and probably November, there are crazy people. We are more in a place of peaceful nature, especially if you opt for a shared tour. Prices have also exploded, particularly those for nights on floating hotels which, as they are sure to be full, have for some made quite significant price increases so that in the end despite the exceptional setting, one can have the impression of not getting value for money. Overall, disappointments are much more frequent than in the past. For me, the option of spending the night on the lake in a floating hotel is no longer so essential.

khao sok

Accommodations in Khao Sok

Most accommodations in Khao Sok are either concentrated near the small street that leads to Khao Sok Park's "land entrance" or are scattered on Chiew Lan Lake for the floating hotels. The most basic floating hotels have very basic bungalows with just a mattress on the floor and a small basic bathroom. There is electricity only 2-3 hours per night. So no air conditioning obviously and even no fan (because no power), a good part of the night. If you want more comfort, the prices will rise significantly but in both cases the setting will be superb!

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My recommandations

People often ask me what accommodations I recommend in Thailand, here are my recommandations in Khao Sok.

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Practical information about Khao Sok

If you come to Khao Sok with local public transport or passenger minivans, you will arrive at the street that leads to the ''land entrance'' of Khao Sok National Park, where the minivan station. Surat Thani-Phuket buses which also pass through Khao Lak and Takuapa stop there as well as passenger vans from Surat Thani, Phang Nga, Khao Lak and Krabi. If this is the lake you are aiming for and you do not want to spend at least one night near the land entrance, you will need to organize your transfer with the hotel you have booked or with an agency like those I mentioned upper. This is the only way to get directly to the Ratchaprapha dam which is not served by any public transport. And generally speaking, it is better to take an excursion rather than going to the dam on your own and privatizing a longtail boat. It will cost you more for a simple tour on the lake than what you will pay for a complete excursion with treks, cave visits etc... But as said, one of the experiences recommended here is to sleep in floating hotels on Khao Sok Lake even if it has never been as expensive and is more disappointing than in the past.

How to go to Khao Sok ?

If you come to Khao Sok with public buses or passenger minivans, you will be dropped off at the beginning of the street that leads to the 'land entrance' of Khao Sok National Park. This is where buses between Surat Thani and Phuket stop. From Phuket, buses leave from Terminal No. 2. The land entrance is located tens of kilometers from the Ratchaprapha Dam gateway to Khao Sok Lake (Chiew Lan Lake). To reach the lake directly, it is better to privatize a transport or organize your transfer with a lake hotel or a local agency.

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My selection of tours & activities in Khao Sok

2 days / 1 night tour to discover Khao Sok Lake and more Khao Sok

2 days / 1 night tour to discover Khao Sok Lake and more

Offered in Englishenglish guide
Discover the superb Khao Sok Lake. Its limestone peaks planted in the water, its nature, its jungle, the animals and magnificent landscapes of this exceptional national park. You will also discover the local life of a village, a cave and go on a trek in the jungle. A private offer with a very good quality/price ratio!

Private driver with vehicle in Krabi for personalized tours Khao Sok

Private driver with vehicle in Krabi for personalized tours

Offered in Englishenglish guide
Do you need a driver with vehicle for a transfer from Krabi or for a day of sightseeing with vehicle to take you everywhere? Bes is the man you need! It will be your private taxi for one or more days depending on your needs.

How to get around in Khao Sok ?

To get around Khao Sok, in addition to renting a scooter while respecting the rules for driving a scooter legally in Thailand (motorcycle license + international license), you will be very dependent on your hotels because there are no taxis or tuk- tuks circulating.

Weather & climate in Khao Sok

Khao Sok has a tropical savanna climate. Temperatures are fairly stable throughout the year, although the pre-monsoon months (March-May) are ga little warmer. There is a short dry season from January to April, followed by the rainy season from May to December. The strongest rains occur in October and November.

The best time to come to Khao Sok is from January to April. November is particularly rainy and therefore not a good time to come to Khao Sok.

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How to ask in Thai to go to Khao Sok ?

I want to go to Khao Sok / Yak paï ti Khao Sok.
Where is Khao Sok ? / Khao Sok you ti naï ?
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