Resorts in Khao Sok boast an impressive list of activities to offer guests of all ages, interests, and ability levels. From river tubing and jungle camping, to Thai massage and overnight lake trips, your resort can book just about anything. However, there are a number of local sights and activities that visitors to Khao Sok can do by themselves. This is especially true for guests driving to Khao Sok. Here, we’ll review a few of these things to do in Khao Sok!
Things to do in Khao Sok
In addition to the jungle, river, and restaurants, guests can find quite a few things to do. For example, there is a beautiful Khao Sok Waterfall just outside of town. Additionally, cave temples are numerous, if you know where to look! The easiest way to cross the following activities off your list is if you are driving to Khao Sok or have rented a motorcycle. There are many rental shops in town that stock new, automatic bikes for about 400B/day. Our front desk staff will be happy to drop you off at a rental location!
Useful tips for motorcyclists:
- Scooters and motorcycles are known as ‘moto-sai’ in Thai
- Moto-sai are at the bottom of the food chain on Thai roads. As a result, drivers should be constantly on the look out for cars, people, and animals.
- Drivers should aim to stay as far to the left as possible. However, be aware of erosion along the road edge. This can produce dangerous potholes.
- Always, always, always wear a helmet!
- Avoid venturing into palm or rubber orchards without first asking permission.
Sok Valley Viewpoint and Khao Sok Waterfall ‘Mae Yai’
A few kilometres from Khao Sok town lie the Sok Valley viewpoint, and the Khao Sok Waterfall ‘Mae Yai’ beyond. A visit to the two makes up one of the cheaper, easier things to do in Khao Sok.
Close by, and easy to find, guests will not regret taking time to visit these locations. However, due to their popularity, these can get busy with day-trippers from Khao Lak. Therefore, we offer the following tips to help guest enjoy these things to do in Khao Sok:
- Early morning and early evening are the best times to visit these spots. Tours from Khao Lak begin passing through from around 09:00 to 16:00, which will result in noisy crowds.
- There is no shade at the viewpoint, but plenty at the waterfall.
- Guests may consider bringing a picnic lunch to the waterfall – it is a lovely place to spend an hour
- Keep in mind that both of these locations are subject to weather conditions. Clouds can obstruct the vista, and lack of rain will shrink the other wise beautiful Khao Sok Waterfall.
- The viewpoint is open 24 hours, and is a wonderful place to view a full moon!
How to get there: Together, the viewpoint and Khao Sok Waterfall ‘Mae Yai’ make up two of the easiest things to do in Khao Sok. This is especially true if you are driving to Khao Sok. To get there, simply take Highway 401 towards Takuapa/Phuket. The viewpoint is first, on the left-hand side of the road. Guests will recognise it as a flat, graveled patch overlooking the valley. Currently there are neither structures nor signs at this location.
The waterfall is a further kilometre up the road, on the right hand side. Guests will first see the road-side parking area and entrance way. Parking is in front of the waterfall, below the level of the road.
A note on the Khao Sok Waterfall
Despite many steep mountains and heavy rainfall, it is difficult to find a classic Khao Sok Waterfall without a trek. The ‘Mae Yai’ Waterfall is a notable exception to this rule! For guests hoping to spend some time with a beautiful, cascading Khao Sok Waterfall, we can help organise treks to the following:
- Khao Sok Waterfall ‘Bang Hua Ret:’ this is more of a series of rapids than a cascading waterfall. It is quite impressive, however, and can be reached without a guide.
- Khao Sok Waterfall ‘Tone Gloy:’ this is one of two classic falls in Khao Sok. It can only be reached on a full-day hike with a guide.
- Khao Sok Waterfall ‘Tan Sawan:’ probably the most famous waterfall in the area. It can only be reached on a full-day hike with a guide.
Wat Tham Panthurat
Of the various things to do in Khao Sok, this is at the top of our list! All ‘Wat Tham’ are cave temples, but in contrast to other locations, this temple’s cave tends to go unnoticed. The temple is mainly known for it’s troupe of long-tailed macaque monkeys, which attract many visitors daily. While these are fun to watch, we urge visitors to resist the temptation to pet, feed, or pose with them.
The gem of Wat Tham Panthurat is the ‘Tham,’ or cave. It is located high up on the cliff face above the temple, and is accessible by a steep, narrow staircase. As a result, the climb is exhilarating, and the cave is large and extensive. Common cave-sitings include bats and insects. Guests should keep in mind that there are no lights or walkways in this cave. Therefore anyone entering should come prepared, and proceed at their own risk.
How to get there: One of the closest things to do in Khao Sok, this temple is located along the main highway. Guests will find it just past the National Park road. Keep your eyes open for the traditional temple buildings, boundary wall, and soaring karst cliff.
Note: Keep in mind that this is a religious site. While guests will not be prohibited entry based on attire, it is advisable to dress modestly for your visit. Those driving to Khao Sok will find parking on site.
Wat Tham Wararam
This cave temple is another excellent choice of things to do in Khao Sok. Unlike Wat Tham Panthurat, this cave is easily accessible, and is complete with walking paths and electric lighting. This is a common point of departure for a few canoe companies in Khao Sok, but otherwise remains quiet.
Guests that venture through the cave will emerge onto the river. Here are great views of the surrounding forest, as well as massive boulders, sculpted by millennia of fast-flowing river water. Additionally, the monks and locals that support the temple here have made a tradition of feeding fish in the river. As a result, there is a massive school of fish that lives in the river at the cave exit. Feeding these fish is great entertainment, and bags of food can be purchased at the cave entrance for 10B.
How to get there: Of all the things to do in Khao Sok that we’ll mention here, Wat Tham Wararam is one of the most challenging to find. It is located along Highway 401, approximately 15km from Khao Sok, in the direction of Surat Thani. The temple is on the right, immediately after the 3rd bridge. It can be recognised by the blue sign out front, and the massive cliff face just next to the river.
Note: Keep in mind that this is a religious site. While guest will not be prohibited entry based on attire, it is advisable to dress modestly for your visit. Guests driving to Khao Sok will find parking on site.
Takua-Pa and the Little Amazon
While not located in town, the proximity of Takua-Pa means we must include it in our list of things to do in Khao Sok. Just 45 minutes from Khao Sok, Takua-Pa is a small, rural town, with a rich history from the glory days of Thailand’s Tin mining boom. Guests can find out more information on this history via the internet. Here, we will focus on two of Takua-Pa’s most notable attractions.
- The old market. Located just behind the bus station, the Takua-Pa old market is one of the best outdoor/covered markets in the area. Guests arriving in the morning and early evening will find plenty of stalls selling fresh fruit, homemade snacks, and local produce. Additonally, the covered market is open all day, providing ample browsing opportunities, and an authentic look into daily Thai life.
- The Little Amazon. We had to include this on our list of things to do in Khao Sok! Almost completely unknown, even in Takua-Pa, this gem remains one of the best-kept secrets in the area. The little Amazon is a small tributary of the Takua-Pa river known as ‘Klong Sang Neh.’ Guests can explore the area with a guide via canoe or long-tail boat. Paddling down the river, guests will enjoy an unbelievable sight of contorted stranger-fig trees soaring over head. Home to birds, and monkeys, as well as a few snake species, the figs trees form a complex overhead network of branches and trunks, all wound and bound together. It is a truly exceptional sight, and one that we highly recommend. Click here for their Facebook page.
How to get there: Whether by car or motorcycle, Takua-Pa is easy to reach from Khao Sok. However, guests driving to Khao Sok in a car will find the journey much easier. Simply follow Hwy 401 West, until is merges with Hwy 4. Keep straight on Hwy 4, and follow this into town. The old market and bus station are on the right hand side, opposite the Big C, just before the bridge.
The Little Amazon office can be found down the fourth street on the right after crossing the bridge. The sign is unmistakable. For information on tours and prices, call Oy at +66(0) 87 898 0179.
Curious about other things to do in Khao Sok?
Khao Sok National Park is the ultimate place for a nature adventure! In addition to these do it yourself activities, guests will find tons of things to do in Khao Sok! You can enjoy traditional jungle cooking, heartwarming elephant experience or refreshing river activities. For those wanting more action, a full day lake trip, a mysterious night safari or jungle survival tour would be the way to go! Be sure to check out our Top 6 Khao Sok activities!
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!
Find your perfect Khao Sok accommodation and start planning your next big adventure at the tropic paradise we call Home!