Khao Sok National Park: A Paradise of Biodiversity
Credit pics : https://www.facebook.com/Khaosok.NP.Surat/
Khao Sok National Park, located in Southern Thailand, is a captivating destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike. Known for its dense virgin rainforest, diverse wildlife, towering limestone cliffs, and the enchanting Cheow Lan Lake, the park offers an array of activities that promise a unique and unforgettable experience.
Covering an area of approximately 739 square kilometers, Khao Sok National Park is part of the largest area of protected forest in Southern Thailand. It’s a part of the Khlong Saeng-Khao Sok Forest Complex that spans over 5,316 square kilometers. The park is home to a variety of wildlife species, including Malayan sun bears, Asian elephants, and over 180 bird species.
The park is characterized by its rugged terrain, high limestone mountains, deep valleys, caves, and wild rivers. The evergreen rainforest in Khao Sok is one of the oldest in the world, older and more diverse than the Amazon Rainforest. It hosts a rich variety of plants, including the rare Rafflesia kerrii flower, which has the largest bloom of any flower in the world. The park is also home to a diverse range of wildlife, including gibbons, hornbills, and even the elusive clouded leopard.
Climate and Best Time to Visit
Khao Sok National Park has a tropical rainforest climate with high humidity throughout the year. The best time to visit is during the dry season, from December to April, when the weather is cooler and drier. However, the rainy season, from May to November, offers its own charm with lush greenery and waterfalls at their fullest.
The Attractions of Khao Sok National Park
Overnight Stay in Floating Bungalows
Experience the tranquility of nature by spending a night in the floating bungalows on Cheow Lan Lake. It’s a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the serene wilderness under the starlit sky.
Canoeing on Cheow Lan Lake
Paddle through the calm waters of Cheow Lan Lake, surrounded by towering limestone cliffs and lush rainforest. The lake’s emerald-green waters and the echoing sounds of wildlife create a peaceful and mesmerizing atmosphere.
Three Peaks Hill
A visit to Khao Sok isn’t complete without witnessing the majestic Three Peaks Hill. The stunning limestone formation stands tall against the backdrop of the dense rainforest, offering a breathtaking view.
Viewpoints of Khao Sok and Khao Sam Klur
Hike up to the scenic viewpoints of Khao Sok and Khao Sam Klur. The panoramic views of the sprawling rainforest, the shimmering lake, and the rugged cliffs are truly awe-inspiring.
Exploring the Caves
Venture into the fascinating Nam Talu and Diamond Caves. Marvel at the stalactites and stalagmites, and listen to the echoes of dripping water in these ancient caves.
Rafting on Khlong Sok River
Enjoy a leisurely canoe ride, go tubing, or try bamboo rafting on the Khlong Sok River. It’s a fun and relaxing way to appreciate the beauty of the surrounding rainforest.
Experience the thrill of camping in the heart of the jungle. Listen to the symphony of nature as you fall asleep under the canopy of stars.
Rafflesia Flower Trek
Embark on a trek in search of the Rafflesia kerrii, the world’s largest flower. This rare and beautiful flower is a sight to behold.
Wildlife Spotting on Khlong Saeng
Take a boat ride on Khlong Saeng for wildlife spotting. You might get a chance to see gibbons, hornbills, and even the elusive clouded leopard.
Ton Kloi Waterfall
Visit the Ton Kloi Waterfall, a hidden gem in the park. The cascading water against the lush greenery offers a refreshing retreat.
Bang Laiap Nam
Explore Bang Laiap Nam, a beautiful spot known for its clear waters and abundant aquatic life. It’s a great place for swimming and relaxing.
Bang Hua Rad
Visit Bang Hua Rad, a charming local village. Experience the local culture and lifestyle, and enjoy the hospitality of the villagers.
Immerse yourself in the lush wilderness of Khao Sok National Park, a haven of diverse flora, fauna, and breathtaking landscapes.
How to Get There:
- By Car : From Phang Nga, take Route 4 (Phet Kasem Road) heading north. After passing Takua Pa, turn right onto Route 401. Continue on Route 401 for about 40 kilometers until you see the sign for Khao Sok National Park. Turn right at the sign and continue for a few kilometers until you reach the park entrance.
- By Bus : From Phang Nga Bus Terminal, you can catch a bus heading to Surat Thani. These buses pass by Khao Sok National Park. Tell the bus driver that you want to get off at Khao Sok. The journey takes about 2-3 hours. From the drop-off point on the highway, it’s a short walk or taxi ride to the park entrance.
- By Tour Agency in Phang Nga : Many tour operators in Phang Nga offer day trips or multi-day tours to Khao Sok National Park, which usually include transportation, meals, and a guide.