Photo: Tubing in Khao Sok.

Eat and meet

A small but decent selection of traveller oriented restaurants are found along the access road to Khao Sok National Park.

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For a cheap and tasty Thai meal, we recommend Thai Herb Restaurant along the access road right off the bat. All prices are between 50 and 100 baht, and they offer a sizeable menu that includes several Thai soups, curries, and stir-fries, including numerous local and vegetarian options. The pak boong fai daeng (sauteed morning glory) and nahm pak lieng (local mild soup with a leafy southern Thai green) were both flavourful and portions were large. They also offer beer, good coffee, and a range of juices and herbal teas. After a long hike in the forest you might try a Black Galangile Juice, which according to the menu cures diarrhoea, weakness, and sex.

If you’re really hungry, check out Thai Style Buffet restaurant right next to Thai Herb for an all you can eat hot pot seafood buffet at 249 baht per person. Take as many trips as you want to a buffet of shrimp, crab, veggies and many others, all of which are cooked by yourself at your table. Popular with locals as well as travellers, this is a good place to indulge in the hot pot and a few beers as well. Open 17:00 till 22:00. If you’re looking for a morning meal or lunch, then try the breakfast buffet and fried chicken shop directly across the road.

Another place with a good choice of Thai dishes is Num Ngern Coffee Shop & Restaurant, found along the main road opposite Smiley Bungalow. Its big menu also has a range of breakfasts, burgers, pastas, plus vegan and vegetarian dishes, priced mostly in the 80 to 100 baht range. Those hoping for a change from the usual instant coffee served at most places will find relief here, too, with lattes, cappuccinos and espressos available. No alcohol, however. If coming to dine here, do give yourself a lot of time since the service is slow.

If you’ve had your fill of Thai food, Pipino Restaurant, located right next to the Sok River near Khao Sok River Lodge, offers pizza hot out of the oven along with all your favourite pasta dishes, sandwiches, and even German style schnitzel. It’s not the best pizza we’ve ever had, but it will do the trick if you’ve got a cheese and dough craving that’s in need of satisfying. The dim lights and river side setting also make for a surprisingly romantic ambience.

If you’re looking to keep the night going there are couple chilled out bars that stay open late -- Chill Out Bar and Rasta Bar -- located near each other along the access road.

Finally, if you have the time before or after a boat trip on Chiew Lan Lake, there’s an excellent authentic Thai restaurant that operates in the visitor’s building near the pier. We tried a chicken green curry with rice and spicy som tum salad, each for 50B, which were not only delicious and spicy but large enough for two to share. The stunning views of the lake from your table are a nice touch.

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Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Khao Sok National Park? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Thailand.

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