Khao Sok National Park
Khao Sok National Park was established in 1980, making it the 22nd national park in Thailand. Khao Sok is considered the world’s oldest rain forest!
There are only a few places in the world that remain so beautiful and untouched by man. Khao Sok National Park has been described as ‘Thailand’s secret garden’, making it one of Thailand’s most popular ecotourism destinations.
Khao Sok National Park is in the heart of southern Thailand, in Surat Thani province, and covers an spectacular 739 square kilometers. The park boundaries include areas of the Khlong Yee and Khlong Pra Sang forests, and parts of the Krai Son River. Khao Sok is bordered by four other national parks: Kaeng Krueng (541 km2), Sri Phang Nga (246 km2) and Khlong Phanom (410 km2).
Khao Sok is located near the same tectonic plate that created the Himalayan mountains. The cliffs in the park formed around 50 million years ago, when the plates that divide the continents of Asia and Europe began to meet. Khao Sok was created when an enormous earthquake pushed the mountains up to form their peaks. It is believed that the forests in the area are older than the Amazon rainforest in the Amazon basin.
There is a number of hotels and restaurants around Khao Sok Village if you are looking to spend a few days in the area. Some of the most popular accommodation in Khao Sok National Park is in the vicinity of Cheow Larn Lake (or Cheow Lan Lake) in the heart of the park. The Khao Sok lake is surrounded by lush jungle, virgin forest and limestone cliffs, providing magnificent and unique views from the floating bungalows available to stay. The water is a deep green colour that contrasts beautifully with the lush greenery. Cheow Larn Lake was created in 1982 as part of a damming project that was supposed to generate electricity for the park. The Khao Sok river offers a convenient way to visit the park and provides the perfect ecosystem for more than 100 species of fish and many other species of birds. Khao Sok is home to an array of unique wildlife, including over 1,300 species of mammals and amphibians, and over 2,300 species of birds and insects. The asian elephant, tigers, malayan sun bears, and a variety of birds live in the protected area, far from the influence of human activities.
It is possible to canoe or swim in the lake, and to explore the lake by long tail boat. Staying in one of the many accommodation lodges located within the park will allow you to experience the natural beauty of Khao Sok National Park. There are many hotels in Khao Sok that offer guests a peaceful experience. There are many attractions and visits in the National Park to keep you busy for days. Some of the best things to do include doing the Ton Kloi waterfall trail, bamboo rafting, jungle trekking, a Khao Sok Lake tour or even setting a jungle camp to stay overnight!. You may be able to plan a day trip to Khao Sok National Park if you have a short time limit if you are close enough or if you are island hopping from the Andaman sea to the Gulf.
We recommend visitors to avoid commercial ‘elephant treks’ and instead visit a conservation park. There are many elephant facilities in our area that promote ‘doing no harm’ to people who plan to take tourists there. Elephant facilities allow tourists to not only meet the magnificent creatures, but also feed, water and interact with them in an ethical way. It is an experience that is truly amazing, and it forces you to interact with nature in a way that is truly amazing.
Visiting Khao Sok National Park is like travelling back in time and one of the best places to visit in Thailand for a break from sun and beach. It is truly an amazing place to relax, discover and wonder. There is nowhere more romantic to spend your honeymoon or holiday in Thailand. The park is the same province as popular South Thailand destinations like Koh Samui, Koh Phangan or Koh Tao in the Gulf of Thailand, and not too far from other locations within the Andaman Coast vicinity (for refernece 2 to 3 hours drive from Phuket). If Khao Sok leaves you hungry for more rainforest adventure, Khao Lak National Park is at around 1 hour drive.
If you are an adventure type of visitor, if you are travelling with kids or if you are looking for a unique experience to get in touch with mother nature, don’t miss the opportunity to visit Khao Sok.
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