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 encounter wildlife here, but we hope that well-informed visitors will have no problems putting our Khao Sok wildlife in the ‘harmless’ column. What comes next is the fun part: a growing appreciation of the natural world, and our role in it. This is the point that a simple trip turns into a life-changing experience, and this is the moment we all wait and hope for!
Khao Sok Wildlife: Mammals
Burmese Striped Tree Squirrel
Also known as the Himalayan striped squirrel (despite its presence here in the jungle). By far our cutest resident, this adorable critter flourishes in the healthy forest that surrounds the Riverside Cottages. Feeding on insects, fruits, and vegetation, this athletic animal loves to nest in the trees surrounding our restaurant lounge area! Keep your eyes on the branches overhead, and you will surely spot one of these adorable little creatures!
This iconic Khao Sok wildlife species is usually one of the first to get checked off our delighted guests’ ‘must-see’ list! These boisterous, communal monkeys are plentiful in Khao Sok, both in wild and developed areas. Khao Sok Riverside Cottages has a resident tribe of Long-tailed Macaques as well! They are most commonly spotted on the riverbank opposite our restaurant, and the karst cliff of our nature trail. Mid-morning, and early evening are great times to see these playful animals.
Nearly as misunderstood as spiders, and just as useful, our bat population represents another fascinating branch of Khao Sok wildlife! Here, guests are likely to encounter two types of bats: insect eaters and fruit eaters. Similar to our guests, insect-eating bats find our riverside restaurant to be an excellent place to find food. As a result, our guests will often see these winged mammals flitting overhead, snapping up insects drawn to the lights.
Fruit-eating bats are rarely seen by guests, even though they often share a space: the balcony. On occasion, you may exit your room in the morning to find seeds and half-eaten bananas on your balcony.These are the leftovers from a fruit-bat’s night of foraging! The nets installed in our balcony ceilings keep most fruit bats away. However, guests awake late at night may be able to surprise bats that have found a place to chill out and eat their fruit.
Khao Sok Wildlife: Lizards
Lizards are some of the most common Khao Sok wildlife that guests will see at the Riverside Cottages. These reptiles come in all shapes and sizes in the Rainforest! However, here we will look at three of the most common.
‘Jing-Jok’ – the Common House Gecko
Found in nearly every dwelling in Southeast Asia, the common house gecko, or ‘Jing-Jok’ is a resilient, harmless lizard. Due to its small size, a Jing-Jok can make its way into nearly any space. Thus, is it not uncommon to find this cute little lizards hanging out in our bungalows and restaurant! Guests have nothing to fear from this lizard, however, as they are very mild-mannered and non-venomous.
One of the most iconic jungle critters of Southeast Asia, the Tokay gecko is famous for its unique call. Guests at the Riverside Cottages often hear this lizard calling: “Too-kaay, Too-kaay, Too-kaay.” Similar to most Khao Sok wildlife, the Tokay poses no threat to people, as long as it is left alone. Guests should be aware that this lizard does possess a strong bite, however. As a result, it is recommended to avoid grabbing or poking these critters.
One of the most interesting animals encountered in Khao Sok is also one of the most overlooked! This is genus Draco: the flying lizards. Small, slender, and perfectly camouflaged against tree bark, most guests to the Riverside Cottages walk feet away from these critters. Similarly, it is all too easy to mistake one of these lizards as a leaf as it glides from tree to tree.
Khao Sok Wildlife: Insects and Spiders
By far the most abundant, diverse and some would argue most fascinating, life forms in the Rainforest are insects. Khao Sok National Park has too many different species to count, all occupying their own niche in the forest. Here, we will look at two of the most common insect families found at our resort.
A true master of disguise, the praying mantis comes in a huge range of shapes, sizes, and colors. Remaining perfectly still, and blending seamlessly with their surroundings, these hunters lie in wait for prey to pass by. When dinner is within striking distance, the mantis lunges, using specialized arms to grab and hold the unfortunate insect. Despite being fierce predators Mantises are harmless to people. Guests can find them along the railings of our raised walkways, or hanging out in our hanging orchid pots.
Upon arriving at Khao Sok Riverside Cottages, there is one question that guests will ask within minutes: “What is that sound?!” The answer, always, is “Cicadas,” the most vocal of the Khao Sok wildlife. Our resort is home to dozens of cicada species, and the sound is the mating song of males. Unlike crickets, which rub their legs together to produce their trademark chirps, cicadas vibrate membranes called tymbals. These produce a rhythmic drone, which soon combines with the calls of nearby males of the same species to produce a hum which fills the forest. Want to test your jungle skills? Try to spot one of these insects as it sings from a nearby tree!
It is estimated that throughout your entire life, you are never more than 10 feet from a spider.
In the western world, the small size of most spiders allows them time hide quite easily. However, like most things in the rainforest, Khao Sok spiders can be quite a bit larger. While these spiders can give many people the heebie-jeebies, it is important to know that almost all of Khao Sok’s spider population are completely harmless! Here, we will look at two of the most commonly seen types.
Golden Orb Weaver
Even arachnophobes will have to admit: this is an amazing creature! Unlike other spiders, the Golden Orb Weaver uses gold silk to make its web. This golden gleam is especially easy to see in the morning, and is how this spider earned its name. Additionally, this fascinating example of Khao Sok wildlife builds some of the largest and strongest webs in the world! Nevertheless, these gentle giants are unaggressive, and harmless to humans.
Extremely common throughout Thailand and southeast Asia, this spider is known locally as ‘Maeng-mum Baan,’ the House Spider. Thais have been living with these critters for centuries, and view them as important means of pest control! Another odd feature of this arachnid is the odd crab-like scuttle that this critter uses to move around. While fast-moving, these spiders are completely harmless. If you see one, simply pretend that it is not there!
You can find the full activities list and suggested itineraries on Riverside Cottages website. Once you’re in Khao Sok our staff will make sure you get the most from your time here! Be sure to visit our blog page for other useful posts on Khao Sok National Park!
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