Khao Sok National Park + a day on Cheow Lan Lake

After spending over a year of my life in Thailand, and seeing so much of the country, I still had not made it to Khao Sok National Park. It was high on my list of places to visit in Thailand on my second trip there in 2018. Let me tell you, it did not disappoint.

The national park has gained a lot of popularity in the past few years (thanks to the gram)! Rightfully so, this place is a dream destination. From the bright blue waters of Cheow Lan Lake to the lush green forests, the natural beauty is something out of a travel magazine! There are no words to describe how it feels riding in a long-tail boat next to towering limestone rocks skewering up to the sky.

This is most definitely a bucket list experience to have in Thailand. Here’s how to experience this beautiful national park for yourself!

Getting to Khao Sok

To get to Khao Sok, we had to fly from Bangkok to Surat Thani, the nearest airport to the national park. From there, we were picked up at the airport and transferred to our accommodation in the national park, about 1.5 hours away. You could take this same route and opt for a bus to get you to your stay, but if you’re traveling in a group it’s likely that car transfer would be just as cheap.

Khao Sok Accommodation

We stayed at Our Jungle House right in the national park and near Khao Sok town. They offer a wide range of tree houses and bungalows tucked right into the jungle. You are surrounded by the wilderness and even some fun animals like monkeys! The bungalows are so cute the entire grounds are so well kept with flowers and trees of all kinds.

The staff was incredibly friendly and helpful, and with limited options for where to eat in Khao Sok, the food was amazing at our accommodation, and also not overpriced. They offered many traditional Thai dishes for us to try!

Our Jungle House offered every type of tour or activity that you could dream of doing in Khao Sok and they were able to set it up for us right from the reception, even on short notice. It made our 3 days there so much easier. 

Best of all, staying here was budget-friendly. In looking at the photos on their website, I thought, “Oh hell no. There’s no way I can afford this place!” But that wasn’t the case. The accommodation, food, and tours offered are really affordable and comparable to every other place I saw in Khao Sok. We paid about $185/person for 2 bungalows, airport transfer (both ways), any and all transport in the park, all of our tours (lake day included), all of our food, and all of our drinks for 3 full days! That’s about $60 a day for EVERYTHING! 

Things To Do In Khao Sok National Park

There are so many options for things to do in Khao Sok. But, the main thing I recommend doing is spending a full day on Cheow Lan Lake. It’s breathtaking, and the water is actually as blue in person as it looks in all of the amazing photos!

Riding around in the picturesque Thai long-tailed boats, next to the towering limestone formations is something you will never forget. The landscape just screams Thailand and it’s so unique. There’s no describing how little you feel sitting in the boat next to those giant rock formations. 

The blueness of the water comes from the depth of the lake (at some points it is over 350 ft deep!!) and the sun hitting it. The water is nice and refreshing. After the boat tour in the morning we had time to swim and kayak on the lake. If you have more time you can also choose to stay overnight for a night on the lake in the little cabins there!

Beyond visiting Cheow Lan Lake, you can also visit the Khao Sok Elephant Sanctuary, go hiking, bird watching, rafting, take Thai cooking classes, get a Thai massage, do some jungle yoga, and so much more! There is definitely no shortage of things to do in Khao Sok National Park.

I am so glad to have finally made it to Khao Sok, and more specifically to the famous blue lake that I’ve dreamed of visiting for so long! This area of Thailand is most definitely worth exploring.

Sam Timmerman

Sam Timmerman