Khao Sok National Park

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Khao Sok National Park
Khao Sok National Park

Situated in South Thailand, Khao Sok was established as Thailand’s 22nd national park in 1980 by The Royal Forest Department. The park covers 739 km² land area of Amphoe Phanom and Ban Takhun in Surat Thani province and includes the Cheow Lan reservoir dammed by the Ratchaprapha dam.

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Khao Sok National Park

Khao Sok is part of Khlong Saeng – Khao Sok Forest Complex covering around 5,316 km², incorporating 12 protected areas including some offshore islands in the Andaman Sea.

The relatively convenient distance to Koh Samui, Phuket, Krabi and Khao Lak makes this park the most popular national park in South Thailand. While the park is home for many exotic wild mammals such as Asian elephant, Malayan tapir, gibbons it is more famous for the symbolic flower of Surat Thani Province, the huge Bua Phut (Rafflesia kerrii) flower found on a trail starting from main road south of the park.

Malayan tapir
Malayan tapir

Khao Sok has Thailand’s largest virgin forests and said to be one of the oldest evergreen rainforest in the world, according some sources more diverse than the Amazon Rainforest (arguably, should be taken with a pinch of salt).

The wet season is between late April and December with heavy rain between June-November, the dry season is January to April, average temperatures ranging from 22°C to 36°C all year around.

The entrance fees are 300 THB for foreigners (children 150 THB) and 40 THB for locals (children 20 THB). The entrance and visitor center to the park is in a short walking distance from the road where most budget guesthouses are located. There are also many floating raft houses all over the Cheow Lan Lake. Raft houses are one of the main attractions of the park with beautiful views over the lake, accessible from the area around dam on south east side of the park, 65km from HQ.

Cheow Lan Lake
Cheow Lan Lake