Khao Sok is a small town that has one main road running about 1.8 km from the bus station on Highway 401 to National Park Headquarters, which is dotted with resorts, restaurants, minimarts, coffee shops and local homes.
It is a nice change of pace from the beach and easily accessible from Phuket, Krabi, and the islands of Koh Samui and Koh Phang Ngan. Main attractions include hiking the well-marked trails of the national park, visiting nearby Cheow Lan Lake, and during the wet season, tubing and canoeing down the Sok River that runs through the town!
Khao Sok is ideally located between east and west coasts and easily accessible from Phuket and Surathani.
Hourly buses go back and forth between Phuket and Surathani from 9am to 5pm, stopping at the Khao Lak and Khao Sok along the way.
Public minivans run the Surathani - Khao Sok route hourly from 9am to 4pm, with a stop at the Surathani Train Station.
If you are coming from Samui, Pha Ngan or Koh Tao, most ferry companies offer transport from Don Sak to Surathani for a small fee.
To Krabi, there is a public minivan that leaves at 8am daily, and returns from Krabi to Khao Sok at 11am, though private transport is easy to get and takes about the same amount of time as it would coming from Phuket.
For more information on getting to and from Khao Sok, take a look at our Map/Directions page here.
Cheow Lan Lake is 45 minutes by car from Khao Sok, but getting there on your own can be difficult as it involves taking a bus, a taxi, and a boat; most drivers don’t speak English.
Khao Sok offers accommodation for all types of travelers from budget bungalows to top-notch tree houses. Location is something to consider, as there are resorts along the main road that offer convenience and others off the main road that are a bit more secluded, while there are still others a few kilometers outside of town. We have listed a few Khao Sok Hotels based on quality of accommodation, hospitality, and local ownership.
For travelers on a budget, Palmview (087 1292 662) and Khao Sok Island (086 1209 476) offer accommodation a few minutes walk off the main road near the national park.
If you are looking for accommodation along the main road, Khao Sok Green Valley (086 2710 526) offers low cost accommodation as well.
Baan Khao Sok (081 9580 185) offers midlevel accommodation set along the Sok River, while Khao Sok Nature Resort (086 1200 588) provides nice accommodation a bit further down the highway past the bus stop.
Since this is our website, we of course recommend Our Jungle House for travelers in search of a unique experience. Here’s why: Our Jungle House is the only location that offers tree houses in primary jungle on the Sok river, with beautiful a cliff right across the river to boot! We have over an hour of nature trails on our property, a friendly English-speaking staff, and are actively involved in many community projects here in Khao Sok and nearby villages. To learn more about these projects visit our ecotourism page here.
There is always something to do in Khao Sok!
Year-round activities include hikes, elephant trekking and lake tours. Tours on the lake can include hiking, fishing, scuba diving and many other activities.
Though it often rains between May and October, most activities are still available and enjoyable. During the wet season, the river gets deep enough for tubing and canoeing, while homestay activities and cooking lessons are also great ways to spend rainy days. Khao Sok activities only during the dry season include seeing the giant Rafflesia flower and hikes to more remote waterfalls.
Full details on the activities available in Khao Sok can be found here
Many restaurants line the road, making it easy to find a meal but hard to decide where to go, here are a few of our favorites:
Pawn’s Place – A favorite among locals, this place has many unique and delicious dishes!
Chill Out Bar – A friendly spot to have a drink with locals who can speak some English.
Nang Sau Noodles – Fresh noodle soups or rice with different curries prepared daily.
Rasta Bar – A great place for a sunset drink, with good views of the mountains.
Khao Sok Country – This café offers delicious home-made baked goods and coffee.
Da Pipino Pizzeria – Next to the bridge, and made fresh, so plan on waiting for 15-20 minutes.
Our Jungle House – our kitchen is among the best in town, with authentic Thai dishes and a sampling of western food, more details here.
Internet is pretty widely available at local resorts, and the internet café across the street from Khao Sok Country has a fast, reliable connection and a very nice owner who is also a local guide and bird expert.
There are several convenience stores (also known as minimarts) that sell snacks, drinks, toiletries, and some clothing. Morning Mist, Baan Rimnam, and Secret Khao Sok are the most consistently stocked.
There is a fruit stand next to the Noodle shop run by Pi Pa, who usually carries a nice assortment of fruit. Pa Moon’s shop also sells fruit at good prices, but is a bit further toward the highway. If you’re in town on the right day you’ll be able to check out the local farmers market at the bus stop.
Money can be changed at the internet shop in town. Very few places in town accept credit cards, though there is an ATM at morning mist, which can occasionally be out of order due to the high volume of use.
The nearest hospital is 40 minutes by car in Takua Pa, with more extensive medical facilities in Phuket, about 3 hours away. Basic medical supplies can be found in most minimarts.
Make sure to bring any special or personal medications with you to Khao Sok as there are no full-service pharmacies in town. Extra cash is helpful, as the ATM in town often runs out of money.
Hiking shoes are useful, but they should be light and quick-drying. Leech socks and ponchos/rain jackets are recommended for treks if you want to stay dry and comfortable. For trips to the lake, also consider bringing binoculars, a waterproof bag for cameras, light & quick-drying clothes.
|Khao Sok Overview|
|Lake Cheow Lan|
|Khao Sok Wildlife|
|Khao Sok Ecotourism|