Khao Sok Blog

Khao Sok Blog2023-08-04T10:52:38+00:00


Welcome to our Khao Sok blog, a useful insight into all things Khao Sok. Here, you will find over 30 blogs to help maximize your experience from the village to Khao Sok National Park to the best activities. Please check the full list of Khao Sok blogs below, or search by category or keyword. We also regularly highlight other aspects of travel tourism and adventures in Thailand.

Khao Sok National Park Camping – Surviving in Paradise

To be honest, I was initially a little nervous when embarking on this two-day, one-night “survival” trip into the jungle. I am usually quite the outdoor adventurer, but I had just bruised my tailbone while hiking a few days previous. Luckily, through the incredible help and patience of our guide Tuk, my Khao Sok National Park camping fears turned out to be unnecessary. Khao Sok National Park Camping - Day one Our day started with a stroll along a wide dirt road into Kao Sok National Park. Almost immediately, Tuk began to call our attention to the different plants and animals. I was amazed that he could look at the dense mosaic of greens and browns of the rainforest and locate the smallest of creatures. The chameleon on a branch of a tree, the scorpion hiding in a bamboo tube, the girth of one’s thumb. Or the leaf of [...]

Bangkok to Khao Sok – an artist’s adventure

Everything you need to know about the train from Bangkok to Khao Sok The pilgrimage from Bangkok to Kao Sok is everything you want and more for a solo journey into some of Thailand’s most magical jungle landscapes. If you have the time, book yourself a sleeper car on an overnight train. Put together a new playlist full of your road trip favorites. When you book your Bangkok to Khao Sok ticket, check to see if there are any bottom bunks available. This is the seat that converts into a bed next to the window. I didn’t know there was any difference and ended up staying on an upper bed which was still fun. And you can always wander around the cars for a good view. The sleepers run a bit chilly so bring something warm, and have some extra baht on hand. When the sun begins to greet [...]

Best Activities in Khao Sok – Rivers and Lakes – A Personal Review

When planning a trip to Kao Sok there are certain checks on both your bucket list and your packing list that you do not want to miss! This unique Thai landscape offers a jungle adventure like that of no other. Prepare for some once in a lifetime experiences. Enjoy the untamed and wild nature of the climate and ecosystem. When visiting, you would do well you to indulge in both the rugged treks as well as the lazy river tubing experiences. Get the most from what this area can offer you. The trips curated by the Riverside Cottages aim to bring you the perfect balance for any duration of your stay. Read on to discover the best activities in Khao Sok. Best Activities in Khao Sok - Cheow Lan Lake Trip It is 9:00 AM before the bus arrives to take us [...]

What is Karst Topography?

The term “karst” refers to the structures created in limestone monoliths (large homogeneous bodies of specified rock type) by certain environmental conditions.  Karst is both a geologic term and a biologic term.  Geologists use it to focus on the physical aspect off the rock and the chemical conditions that created the rock.  Biologists use it to focus on the unique ecosystem created by the rock.  Karst topography produces dramatic landscapes. You will find a fine example at Khao Sok national park. What is Karst? Karsts (to a geologist) are characterized by holes, lots of holes.  Fractures along which water can drip, drip, drip.  Small holes can become hollowed out into giant caverns by the dissolving action of water. We see little pockets on the surface, and riffles and crevices.  All these features are the result of the unique chemical interaction of limestone and water.  Limestone [...]

A Guide to Khao Sok Village

The real name for this jungle hamlet is Klong Sok but travelers know it as Khao Sok village. It gets its name from the Sok River running through it. You will find Khao Sok village just outside the gates to the Khao Sok national park. It is the main base from which to venture into the park. There are many guesthouses, resorts and other holiday accommodation catering for the park visitors. Among these are tasty restaurants, relaxing cafes and useful shops. How to get to Khao Sok village? The village is situated on route 401, just 36 kilometers from the west coast town of Takua Pa. This road runs all the way across the Thailand peninsula to Surat Thani on the East coast. You will find many options from public buses to minivans and private transport. Find all the information you need here. [...]

Khao Sok after Covid-19

Every part of the world has been effected by the corona virus outbreak. So what can you expect when you visit Khao Sok after Covid-19? Read our blog to find out the latest news from Khao Sok after covid-19 and details of how Khao Sok Riverside Cottages are working to ensure your safety and enjoyment. Thailand and Covid-19 Thailand was very lucky to suffer minimal cases of Covid-19. As of mid-June Thailand recorded only 3129 cases of the disease. The population of Thailand is 66 million so that is a fantastic result. Also Khao Sok has reported no cases at all. Unlike in the cities, all the workers in Khao Sok are local people. This means that the population of Khao Sok did not need to travel back to their villages. Thailand were very quick to take action and close down the country to visitors. [...]

Family Holiday Thailand – how to visit Khao Sok with children

One of our favorite things about Khaosok is its versatility! It is the best family holiday Thailand has to offer. At Riverside Cottages, we take great pleasure in introducing children to the wonders of nature. You can also book a Khao Sok family room at our resort. Additionally, our staff can help you put together an amazing Khao Sok family tour! Keep reading to learn how visiting Khao Sok with children is not only possible, but a great idea. Need a family friendly Khao Sok itinerary? Read on to find out more. Visiting Khao Sok with children - where to stay - Choose a Khao Sok family room As parents, we understand that when on a family holiday Thailand with children, the first concern is safety, followed by good sleep. At Riverside Cottages, we have addressed both of these issues with large, secure and comfortable [...]

Read this before visiting Khao Sok Nationalpark

Compared to other destinations in Southern Thailand, a visit to Khao Sok nationalpark requires a bit of planning. This is a result of its vast size and the distance between attractions. There are many Khao Sok nationalpark tours available from treks and hikes through to a full Khao Sok nationalpark safari. You will also need somewhere to stay. Many travelers will want to stay at the Khao Sok nationalpark floating bungalows. You will need to know how to get to them and about other Khao Sok nationalpark accommodation. To that end we offer this blog. We hope that it will provide a starting point for travelers planning their visit to Thailand’s best kept secret! Table of contents Where is Khao Sok? How long in Khao Sok? What are the best tours in Khao Sok? How do I get to Khao Sok Nationalpark? What animals are [...]

Where to stay in Khao Sok? The best Khao Sok National Park Hotels

Where to stay in Khao Sok? The best Khao Sok National Park Hotels Although we are blissfully far away from shopping malls and mega-resorts, travelers will find no shortage of accommodation here! Tucked amongst the mountains, visitors will find Khao Sok national park hotels with options for all budgets and travel styles. To help sort the wheat from the chaff, we have provided an overview of where to stay in Khao Sok! Here, you can find our recommendations of the best hostel, Khao Sok river lodge, and treehouses. We hope that you find it useful! Where to stay in Khao Sok: Khao Sok River Lodges The Sok River meanders lazily through the village and surrounding forest, and is a defining feature of the landscape. Wondering where to stay in Khao Sok that will allow amazing nature-watching and relaxing opportunities? A Khao Sok river lodge provides [...]

Thai elephant – a guide to the best Kao Sok elephant sanctuary

For many guests visiting the Thailand jungle, visiting a Kao Sok elephant sanctuary is of great interest. This area has many options for a Khao Sok elephant experience. But are they truly ethical?  Not all camps are equal. Thai elephant experts encourage camps that use only local Kao Sok elephants, experienced mahouts, and a low-intensity schedule for the animals. The camps described below are essentially elephant retirement sanctuaries, providing a no-ride program that is fun for guests and the elephant alike. What to consider before a Khao Sok Elephant experience We recommend that the mindful traveler avoid camps that offer elephant riding. While carrying travellers on their back may seem easy, it is still hard work. Even though they are massive, and their strength seems endless, Thai elephants need plenty of time to eat and rest. In fact, a wild Thai elephant spends about [...]

Bikes and boats – A Khao Sok Safari

Emmanuel Caristi shares insight from his recent Khao Sok safari with Riverside Cottages. We arrived to find wooden bungalows surrounded by tropical jungle, a place to find peace and reconnect with the nature. The accommodation was truly beautiful!  Rooms are made with natural materials and beds are comfortable. Best of all, the view from the windows makes you feel like you are in the heart of the rainforest! Khao Sok safari on two wheels - A bike adventure Our Khao Sok safari began with a bike trip. The resort’s in-house guide showed us through Khao Sok village with patience and care. The first place we visited was the local school. Within minutes we were surrounded by smiling, excited children! They immediately started to pose for photos, happy to interact with foreigners. Our next short stop was at a family-run organic farm. [...]

How to find Khaosok – Koh Sok – Koh Sok national park

A guide to the misspellings of Khaosok, and how to find good info online! Almost everyone planning a trip to this area will research their trip on the internet. People often wonder how to spell the name of this area. Most commonly used is Khao Sok, followed by Koh Sok, Kao Sok, and finally Khaosok. This can cause confusion for first time visitors, who frequently wonder how to actually spell Khao Sok? If you have ever visited Thailand, or encountered written Thai, you know that it does not use the Roman alphabet.  Thai has its own unique alphabet representing vowel and consonant sounds, many of which do not exist in western languages.  As a result, expressing the Thai language in the Roman alphabet relies on a process called ‘transliteration.’  This is essentially using the Roman alphabet to approximate the sounds of Thai.  For this reason, Thai place names can [...]

Gateway to the undiscovered: Khlong Phanom National Park

Nestled up against Khao Sok is a primordial landscape unknown to most western travellers: Khlong Phanom National Park. It is overshadowed at every turn by its larger neighbor and nearby Khao Sok Lake. However, Khlong Phanom National Park is rich in natural wonders and opportunities for a Thailand forest tour! In this blog we’ll look at what the intrepid traveler can find in this unexplored section of Thailand jungle! Sometimes spelt Klong Phanom or Klongphanom, the park is just a couple of  kilometres down highway 401 from Khao Sok. Khlong Panom National Park covers just over 400 square kilometers. Most visitors to Khao Sok have seen the park without knowing it. The soaring vertical cliffs of Khlong Phanom can be seen from the road off to the west, and make up some of the most dramatic scenery on the way to Khao Sok Lake. Thailand [...]

Top 6 activities in Khao Sok National Park

Khao Sok NP is part of Thailand’s largest protected area. Within the unspoiled jungle, locals are leading a revolution in the quality of nature tourism. All Khao Sok national park activities are led by local community leaders and well trained guides with strong English language skills. There are just so many things to do in Khao Sok from a relaxing jungle cooking experience to a 10 day deep jungle survival tour! We have picked the Top 6 Activities in Khao Sok to suite everyone’s travel style! Adventure Culture Fitness 1 - Jungle Cooking In Khao Sok we love to make and eat great food! Visit a local Thai family to experience local culture and authentic dishes in a one of a kind wild jungle setting! In a local farm, you will be able to get hands on experience of making traditional Thai [...]

Surat Thani Airport to Khao Sok

The Surat Thani airport is my favorite in Thailand.  This is due to its small size, laid-back feeling, and high ratio of coffee shops to customers.  However, getting from Surat Thani airport to Khao Sok can be challenging. In the following paragraphs, we will discuss getting from the Surat Thani airport to Khao Sok via public transportation.  Afterwards, check out our map and directions page for more travel information. IMPORTANT UPDATE - During Covid times the shared van from Surat Thani to Khao Sok is running on a limited schedule. Please contact us for details. Surat Thani airport to Khao Sok: the journey begins After you exit the baggage claim area in Surat Thani airport, head to the transportation booths lined up against the far wall.  Find the booth selling shared van tickets to Khao Sok.  The cost is 300B/person to the Khao Sok bus station, or 350B/person to the [...]

Khao Sok Elephant Retirement Sanctuary

What is the Khao Sok Elephant Sanctuary & Retirement Park? The domestic Thai elephant typically has 2 choices – carry tourists on their back or pull logs out of the forest. As they age, these jobs become difficult and dangerous to their health.  This is true of the Khao Sok elephant.  In order to offer a better life we have created the Khao Sok elephant sanctuary or retirement park. Here we provide a safe space for the older Khao Sok elephant to enjoy life instead of working in exploitative situations. In addition to organic vegetables and fruit, our farm has plenty of space to provide them with a healthy, balanced elephant diet. Discover more about this Khao Sok elephant experience. The Khao Sok elephant sanctuary and this unique Khao Sok elephant experience are part of an ongoing community based eco tourism program organized and promoted [...]

Rainforest Revival: from Fading Villages to a Vibrant Future in Khao Sok with Community-Led Tourism

Visiting with jungle guides, fruit farmers, and elephants, Alexander Vysniauskas shares how 3 simple concepts are empowering the emergence of Responsible, Community-led Tourism in Khao Sok National Park, Thailand The fight for the preservation of Thailand’s Khao Sok National Park begins in the late 1970s, with an armed uprising deep in the jungle strongholds of present day Cheow Lan lake. Before the National Park was established, student activists, labeled as communists, were able to keep the encroaching logging and mining companies at bay. The fight against exploitation continues to this day, now against the scourges of modern agriculture and mass tourism. Khao Sok National Park in Thailand is one of the world’s oldest and most diverse tropical forests. The vast, untouched tropical paradise is rich with wildlife and more than 1500 plant species, including one of the world’s largest flowers -  Rafflesia kerii. Wild elephants, tigers, [...]

Khao Sok jungle hike: journey to the giant bamboo

In terms of an epic Khao Sok jungle hike, our recent trek to the ‘Chiang Ruun’ bamboo ranks among the best! The hike featured dense jungle with unique karst geography and flora, along with some truly bizarre insect sightings. Additionally, we saw the ‘Chiang Ruun’ bamboo, growing on a mountain ridge high atop a limestone karst mountain. ‘Chiang Ruun’ (ไผ่เฉียงรุน) is a member of the Dendrocalamus family. It is the largest species of bamboo in Thailand, and grows in only a few places throughout the south. One of the sites for this natural wonder is Klong Phanom National Park, just up the road from Khao Sok. Compared to Khao Sok, Khlong Phanom is tiny, with 90% of the park’s area occupied by steep limestone karts. Due to this fact, the park is virtually unknown and almost never visited. As a result, Khlong Phanom has maintained much of its natural [...]

Top Tips for your Cheow Larn Lake Trip

What you need to know before visiting Khao Sok Lake Despite the fairy-tale scenery, Cheow Larn Lake remains a very remote destination of rapidly-increasing popularity.  For this reason, please take time to understand what you are getting into. Armed with the right information about what to expect, you can have a fun, safe lake trip. You should learn about the Cheow Lan Lake floating houses before deciding to stay in them. Here's what you need to know: The good, the bad, and the jungle 4 things to consider… Checklist – what to bring to the lake History of Cheow Larn Lake The Good, the Bad, and the Jungle THE GOOD - Cheow Larn Lake is one of the most stunning locations in the world - tower limestone cliffs rising from the turquoise water surrounded by jungle. The combination of scenery, swimming conditions, and wilderness, means Khao Sok [...]

Taking the train from Bangkok to Khao Sok

One great aspect of traveling through Thailand is easy access to affordable transportation.  For example, bus routes criss-cross the country, passing through, or at least by most villages.   Additionally, airports have sprung up like mushrooms on a log.  As a result, it is possible to get from one distant point to another in the same day.  Finally, there is the rail system snaking through the countryside.  It is the rail system that we’ll focus on here.  Specifically, taking the train from Bangkok to Khao Sok. Unfortunately, there is no direct train from Bangkok to Khao Sok.  However, the rail system does come close.  The nearest train station lies in PhunPhin town, adjacent to Surat Thani, and 100 kilometers from Khao Sok.  Our journey beings about 650 kilometers to the north, at Hua Lampong, Bangkok’s central train station. Finding Hua Lampong Traveling by train from [...]

Khao Sok Night Safari – Full Moon Party (of fear)

The air was alive with sound.  It hung around us, thick and warm, in the velvety air.  Chirping, humming, whirring, croaking and clicking in every pitch imaginable sounded from the darkened jungle close by.  We had stopped mid-step at a word from our guide.  Now we followed the beam of his headlamp, which illuminated two glowing eyes in the trees above.  We were twenty minutes into our Khao Sok night safari trekking adventure, and so far it had been an eye-opening experience! Khao Sok night safari: am I going to die? We had been hesitant to book the Khao Sok night safari.  The jungle, at night?!?  Why would we do that?  The desk staff at Khao Sok Riverside Cottages was helpful in making us feel better, however. “What about all the deadly snakes?,” we asked.   “What deadly snakes?”  Was the reply.  “No [...]

Khao Sok wildlife: A guide to the critters of the Riverside Cottages

Visitors to Khao Sok National Park will soon discover that life is everywhere in the rainforest!  Here at Khao Sok Riverside Cottages, this is especially true.  Due to our environmentally-friendly approach, the surrounding area remains rich in life and diversity.  As a result, guests at the Riverside Cottages will find many types of Khao Sok wildlife just outside their door!  Below is some information on some of the most commonly seen critters. For many first-time visitors, the rainforest can be a strange and intimidating place.  New sights and sounds greet our guests, and it can be difficult to sort these into ‘dangerous,’ versus ‘harmless’ categories.  This uncertainty can create insecurity and discomfort, which can have a negative impact on a guest’s stay with us.  Having moved into the rainforest, we understand this feeling, and believe that honest education is the best solution.  Our guests will [...]

A Khao Sok Jungle Adventure: Journey to Meuang Chon

With the dry season on the way, travelers should begin thinking about their next Khao Sok jungle adventure!  We take adventures seriously at Khao Sok Riverside Cottages, and are always looking for new experiences to share with guests.  Therefore, we would like to tell you the story of our favorite Khao Sok jungle adventure to date.  That is, the trek to the old Chon Mining Area.  In brief, the adventure involves deep jungle camping, an abandoned tin mine in the mountains, towering waterfalls, and pristine nature.  We hope you’ll enjoy our story and consider making such an adventure the highlight of your next Khao Sok trip! The outset of our Khao Sok jungle adventure We met up at the Khao Sok Lake office in Takun, twelve kilometers outside of Cheow Larn Lake. There were eight of us in the group. Bodhi, Nick and I made [...]

Sweat it out: A Khao Sok National Park Weather guide!

Thailand is closely bound with nature, and nowhere is this relationship closer than in the rainforests of the south.  In the Khao Sok jungle village, life revolves around the monsoon, which effect many parts of daily life.  Therefore, before you book your ticket, it is recommended to do a bit of research.  Understanding Khao Sok weather can be challenging, but we’re here to help! Officially, we can divide Khao Sok weather into three seasons: The Hot Season, from March to May The Monsoon Season, from June to October The Dry Season, from November to February However, as life here is so closely related to the monsoon, we’ve broken the year into only two, distinct seasons.  Below, you will find information on the Monsoon season, and the non-Monsoon season! Khao Sok national park weather - The monsoon Monsoon season [...]

Leaving Khao Sok to Koh Samui and beyond

Due to its remote location, departing Khao Sok can seem challenging.  To make it easy, we have therefore prepared this post to help our guests organise their onward trip.  We can also arrange private cars to deliver guests to nearly any location in southern Thailand. Below, we also provide information about public transportation from Khao Sok to Koh Samui, Khao Sok to Koh Phangan, Khao Sok to Surathani, Khao Sok to Phuket, and Khao Sok to Krabi. Please read the details below and then make a booking with reception team when you are at the resort. The final section deals with leaving directly from the lake instead of from our resort. Please note that all prices and times are subject to change, and should therefore be verified with reception on arrival. In addition, the prices we charge for public transportation tickets are the same as all other hotels and [...]

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