Khao Sok is a 739 km² national park located about 50km northeast of Khao Lak. Belonging to the Province of Surat Thani it is a low mountainous area (the highest point is at 950m) covered by the oldest evergreen rainforest in the world. The central area of Khao Sok National Park hosts one of the most impressive sites in southern Thailand: the man-made Cheow Lan Lake contained by Ratchaprapha Dam.
Like an inland sea covering 165 km², Cheow Lan Lake has exactly the same characteristics as the world-wide famous Phang Nga Bay located some 100km south: tall limestone karst formations jutting out from the emerald waters of the lake surrounded by sandstone and mudstone hills covered by a vegetation even more diverse than the Amazon forest, makes it a must-visit place.
Floral and fauna
Talking about flora and fauna, Khao Sok National Park houses over 5% of the world’s animal species including tigers, tapirs, elephants, wild boars, white handed gibbons, and much more, as well as extremely rare plants such as the very large stinky flower named Rafflesia (bua phut in Thai).
The topography of Khao Sok makes it one of the wettest areas in Thailand due to the fact it is hit by the monsoon coming from the Bay of Thailand in high season (Nov-Apr) as well as the monsoon coming from the Bay of Bengal in low season (May-Oct). This should not stop you to getting there as the sun always shines between two downpours. Khao Sok National is open all-year round.
How to get there
The best way to get there is to book a day or overnight trip in Khao Sok at any tour agent around Khao Lak. The most popular excursions feature canoeing on Khao Sok River, cruising on Cheow Lan Lake, elephant trekking in the jungle, and hiking in the rain forest. A few hotels are located right next to the park, some of them even feature rooms in the trees.