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How to do Khao Sok national park independently

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As part of Thailand’s largest contiguous wildlife preserve, the ancient jungles and emerald waters of Khao Sok National Park should be far more than an after-thought while on a Thai island holiday.

Khao Sok is a must for nature-loving travellers to south Thailand, but given the sparse info available online, the park can be a tricky one for the independent traveller. Yet, we explored Khao Sok totally tour-free, and we want to let you in on how it’s done.

Magestic. Photo taken in or around How to do Khao Sok national park independently, Khao Sok National Park, Thailand by Lana Willocks.

Magestic. Photo: Lana Willocks

Part of the reason Khao Sok seems such a daunting place to tackle on your own is that the 646 square kilometre park is only directly accessible from two places. The first is the main visitor centre area—or the “land section”—with access to a substantial network of hiking trails at the park’s far west near Khlong Sok village, which is where buses from Surat Thani or Takua Pa drop travellers heading to Khao Sok. The second is the launching point for Chiew Lan Lake—or the “water section”—near Ratchaprapa Dam and the town of Baan Ta Khun at the park’s far eastern side.

There are no roads cutting directly into Khao Sok, so these two jumping off points are the only places from which to start your explorations. Seeing as they’re 50 kilometres away from one another along Route 401, the park’s land and water entry points tend to feel like two totally different destinations. While a host of traveller friendly services and guesthouses are found on the Khlong Sok side, the Ratchaprapa Dam area has yet to see any substantial tourist ... please log in to read the rest of this story.

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Popular attractions in Khao Sok National Park

A selection of some of our favourite sights and activities around Khao Sok National Park.

What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Khao Sok National Park.
 Check prices, availability & reviews on Agoda or Booking
 Read up on where to eat on Khao Sok National Park.
 Check out our listings of things to do in and around Khao Sok National Park.
 Read up on how to get to Khao Sok National Park, or book your transport online with 12Go Asia.
 Do you have travel insurance yet? If not, find out why you need it.
 Planning on riding a scooter in Khao Sok National Park? Please read this.
 Buy a SIM card for Thailand—pick it up at the airport when you arrive.
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See below for more sights and activities in Khao Sok National Park that are listed on

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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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