We confess this is just an excuse to compile a few pretty pics of south Thailand’s Khao Sok National Park which, with it’s turquoise, jungle-fringed lake and jagged limestone scenery, certainly features some of the country’s most awe-inspiring and iconic landscapes.
The park lies in Surat Thani Province in the south, central section of the peninsula approximately halfway between the Gulf of Thailand and Andaman Sea coasts and consists of nearly 750 square kilometres of tropical rainforest, karst mountains with extensive cave systems and the aforementioned Cheow Lan Lake. (Although 750 does not make Khao Sok one of the nation’s larger parks, contiguous protected areas add up to a vast forest complex of some 5,000 square kilometres.)
The picturesque lake is a relatively recent addition, being formed in the early 80s as a result of the damming of the Khlong Saen River, but the forest – one of south Thailand’s largest stands – dates back millions of years and is said to be even older than the Amazon rainforest.
Thailand’s National Parks Department claims Khao Sok is home to elephants, tigers, bears, tapirs, langurs, gibbons, macaques, gaur, serow and banteng among numerous other mammal species while it’s 300 plus varieties of birdlife includes no less than 9 different hornbills.
Our south Thai tour, Mountains and Rainforests, features a 2-day, 2-night exploration of the park while our Thailand family tour, Jungles and Islands, includes 3 nights at low-key chalet resort on the edge of the park. Activities include nature hikes, boat trips on Cheow Lan Lake, exploring limestone caves and of course just kicking back on your chalet balcony and listening to the sounds of the jungle. Khao Sok is also a popular request on our tailor-made Thai tours but please note the park is a long way from Bangkok and requires either a night train or flight followed by a road transfer to reach it.
Many thanks to Wi for some great photos taken on several recent tours to the area.