Khao Sok National Park and Cheow Lan Lake - excursion, how to get, prices

In one post I tried to make an information squeeze on the Khao Sok National Park and Cheo Lan Lake, which is located on its territory. Many of the posts I have read on the Internet have caused me only confusion, since they do not contain the necessary details. Perhaps, if you go on an organized tour from Phuket / Samui, then you don't need to know all these nuances, but if you go on your own, then they are very much even needed. At least, while I was preparing for the trip, I did not immediately find answers to my questions..

The content of the article


If you go with an excursion from Phuket, Koh Samui, or Khao Lak, then the information in this post most likely will not be useful to you. I duplicate my recommendation here in the post - there is a good and proven agency Alfa Travel, where you can buy a tour and go to Khao Sok without any problems. For the money, it will come out exactly the same as if you went on your own, if not cheaper, since you will save on transportation costs and overnight stays. Write to them, see the description on the website, they will be picked up from the hotel and taken wherever you order.

+66622100091 (Whatsapp, Viber, Line, Telegram)

Excursion to Khao Sok>

For independent travelers. The easiest option to visit Khao Sok National Park: come to a hotel in Khao Sok in the Visitor Center area, check in for a few days, climb the jungle for 2 days, go on a tour to the lake (you can take one day, you can spend the night in a house on the water , leaving your belongings at the hotel), return to the hotel, spend the night and move on along your route the next day.

Individual travelers, as well as those who are going to buy a tour on the spot in the national park, will find it useful to read my post.

  • First of all, you should understand that there are conventionally two points on the map where they go in this national park: the jungle and the lake. These places are not located nearby, but about 70 km from each other! Therefore, if you read someone's review, consider this point, otherwise they often do not mention this, and it seems that you need to come to one point where all the interesting things will be concentrated at once. Therefore, if you want to get around as much as possible, and visit both there and there, then you need to lay at least a few days.
  • You also need to keep in mind such a moment that when you just arrive at the lake, in splendid isolation (not in a group), it is not a fact that you will like the price for a small trip on the lake or delivery by boat to a house on the water. And in general, on the pier, it is not a fact that it will be possible to immediately buy a tour of the lake, including moving by boat, lunch, swimming in the lake, visiting a cave, etc., rather it will be an individual excursion, as agreed.
  • If you come to the pier yourself, the price of the boat will depend on your bargaining ability. Usually boatmen deliver to the raft houses and back for 2000-3000 baht (for the whole boat). You can also arrange for the same boatman to take you from the raft house on the lake in the morning or in the evening to the cave. Usually the boatmen themselves know all the places of interest to tourists and take them exactly to them, in the case of a visit to the cave, the boatman will also act as a guide.
  • During organized tours from Phuket, you will be brought along the way to a couple of temples with monkeys.

Khao Sok National Park

Jungle tour

Entrance to the national park 300 baht, not included in the tour price.

The main hiking trails in the jungle of the National park Khao Sok start near the Visitor Center near the entrance to the National Park. The main attraction here is the park's rainforest itself, its rivers and waterfalls, flora and fauna. There are several routes through the tropical rain forest. The paths through the forest run along the hills, along the beds of rivers and streams, past waterfalls, of which there are only eight in the park. Khao Sok waterfalls are not very spectacular, but you can swim and refresh in them. All of them are located a few kilometers from the visitor center..

In addition to the waterfalls in Khao Sok, you can also see numerous caves. But we must remember that during the rain they are flooded.

Two paths start directly from the visit center: a large and a small one. Bolshaya is about 7 kilometers long and runs along the channel of the Sok River. It has signs and diagrams and is wide and well appointed. The complete route along the large trail will take almost a whole day. Especially if you turn to all the waterfalls. The smaller trail is more neglected. During and after rain, it is better not to walk in the jungle - the paths are flooded with water, they become very slippery. Leeches capable of jumping can also crawl out onto the trail. So it's better to dress in something that covers your legs..

Another popular route through the park is the walk to the Rafflesia. These are huge flowers, about 1 meter in diameter, which are often depicted in tourist booklets of the park, this is one of the symbols of Khao Sok and one of its main attractions. Rafflesia is a rather rare flower, therefore, rather than looking for it yourself, it is better to go with a local guide, then the chance of finding one of the main wonders of the park will be much higher.

Map of Khao Sok National Park - you can get an idea of ​​where the rafflesia are

Map of Khao Sok National Park - you can get an idea where the rafflesia is

From the visitor center, trekking to Cheow Lan Lake is also possible, directly through the jungle to it is closer than along the road. But this option is rather possible only with a guide..

In addition to morning and afternoon treks, night safaris are held in the park. This is either a guided walking tour, a boat trip on the lake or rafting on the Sok River on a raft or kayak. Also, almost all travel agencies in the village at the entrance offer canoeing, rafting, tubing, elephant trekking. Tours in the tourist village of Khao Sok are sold at almost every hotel. The price is about the same everywhere.

In general, there is a lot of information on Khao Sok on the Internet. If you are interested in full details, you can read another informative thread on Vinsky's forum, there is a lot of useful detailed information in the report and in the comments: Long way to rafflesia - Khao Sok, Cheo Lan.

Hotels in Khao Sok

Between the entrance to the national park, where the Visitor Center is located, and highway 401, there are most of the hotels, including on the highway itself towards the lake. And when they talk about Khao Sok hotels and about the national park in general, they usually mean this particular place. Not Lake Cheo Lan, but this particular area. I stayed at Khaosok Treehouse Resort - a cool hotel with a bungalow in the trees, right in the jungle, here my detailed review about him.

There are also hotels in the vicinity of the lake on the way to the pier and the dam, but there are very few of them, and as I understand it, they are not very popular. Usually, if they spend the night on land, they spend the night near the visit center, from here they go on excursions in the jungle (for example, to the rafflesia flower), here they ride elephants, and go to the lake on a 1-2-day tour bought at the hotel. You can also spend the night in houses on the water (raft houses). A kind of immersion in a protected nature, where the Internet does not catch, electricity is given on schedule, and there is only silence, stars and wild animals around. Near some raft houses there are tracks through the national park, including to the rafflesia.

Hotels on land (near the visit center, near the lake) can be easily booked through RoomGuru - I highly recommend this resource when planning a vacation on your own. In terms of its functionality, it is on a par with the best in this segment, and here you often come across more profitable offers. For ease of acquaintance with the service, here's a green button with a direct link to the metasearch engine.

Hotels near Khao Sok>

But with raft houses it is more difficult. Houses on Lake Cheo Lan are divided into owned by the park administration and private. Now there are about 20 floating hotels. You can reserve the bungalows of the national park through the official website of the national parks of Thailand or on the spot, at the office of the national park. The rest of the bungalows are reserved through Thai travel agencies.

Prices for a day in floating bungalows start from 500 baht per person (the cheapest are bungalows belonging to the administration of the national park), for private bungalows the price starts from 1000 baht per person per night. The most expensive bungalows are up to 5,000 baht per person. The price also includes three meals a day. In the simplest bungalows, there are neither amenities nor actual furniture, only mattresses on the floor. In more expensive houses, conditions are closer to civilization. Bungalows, although floating, are still not in the middle of the lake, but rather close to the shore. Everyone who spent the night in a hut on a lake in the middle of the jungle says that it was one of the brightest impressions of the trip and it is definitely worth taking a two-day tour with an overnight stay.

Map of hotels on Lake Cheo Lan

Map of hotels on Lake Cheo Lan

Small houses on the water (raft house), toilet on land

Small houses on the water (raft house), toilet on land

Inside a house on the water, maybe better or worse

Inside a house on the water, maybe better or worse

Point on the map where the entrance to the park is

Most hotels are located along the road from Highway 401 to this point..

Nat. Khao Sok Park

Nat. Khao Sok Park
One of the largest and most famous national parks in Thailand, located 160 km from Phuket, on the isthmus that separates the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand. The territory of Khao Sok National Park is well developed, there are roads, guesthouses, cafes and marked trails for walking. The most famous object of the park is Lake Cheo Lan, 70 km from this point. More about nat. the park.

Khao Sok National Park and Cheow Lan Lake - excursion, how to get, prices

One of the largest and most famous national parks in Thailand, located 160 km from Phuket, on the isthmus that separates the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand. The territory of Khao Sok National Park is well developed, there are roads, guesthouses, cafes and marked trails for walking. The most famous object of the park is Lake Cheo Lan, 70 km from this point. More about nat. the park.

Excursion to the lake Cheow Lan (Cheow Lan)

Entrance to the national park 300 baht, not included in the tour price.

The easiest and cheapest option to visit the lake is to buy a group tour in one of the hotels in Khao Sok. As I wrote above, usually the tours are bought in hotels near the visit center. In my opinion, this option gives much more freedom than buying a tour directly in Phuket / Samui and is akin to an independent travel. Because you can independently decide how much time you need to walk in the jungle, how much time to go to the lake, how many days to spend the night at the hotel, how to get to Khao Sok and from where. When traveling to Cheow Lan with a tour from Khao Sok, things can be left in the minibus that takes from the hotel to the lake. This also applies to luggage, if after the tour you are going to go by bus further.

I did the same: I arrived at the hotel in the evening, bought a tour to the lake for tomorrow, and then after the lake I moved on about my business. Since I was in my car, I agreed that I was going from the hotel to the pier for a transfer minibus, and then at the end of the lake excursion, the minibus leaves without me back to the hotel, and I drive towards Suratkhani along my route.

  • One day tour to Lake Cheow Lan costs 1500 baht and includes transfer from the hotel to the pier (starting at 8:30 from the hotel), boat trip on the lake, lunch at the rafathaus, trekking in the jungle and a visit to the cave (all together 3 hours) , return trip by boat and transfer to the hotel (usually return by 18:00). The scheme is worked out, the cost is adequate and there are almost always free places. This option is ideal for singles and couples as it saves on the entire event. If you take a boat at the pier on your own, then just a couple of hours trip along the lake will cost 1000-2000 baht per boat. Read how I went to excursion to Cheow Lan, just for one day.
  • A two-day tour to Cheow Lan Lake costs 2500 baht and includes an overnight stay on the lake in a simple bungalow right on the water. After settling in the raft houses, the so-called night safari is possible - a boat trip on the lake and dinner at a floating hotel. The second day (a little earlier than dawn) begins with a morning safari on the lake from a floating hotel, then tourists are returned to the hotel for breakfast, then a trek to the cave, lunch at a raft house. You can also swim at the floating houses, rent a small kayak. There may also be something else in the program, a visit to a viewpoint, waterfall. There is a variant of the 2-day camping tour for 2,000 baht.
  • Alternatively, you can book a tour from the pretentious raft house 500 Rai Khao Sok Floating (not through the booking system, but on the website). This will cost, for example, 9,900 baht for a two-day tour. I did not initially consider this option for myself, so I will not tell you the details, but their website has all the info. Their one-day tour also costs 1,500 baht, since the most expensive thing for them is the overnight stay itself. But one day tour, judging by the description, without a cave.
  • There is an option to see only the lake - to come to the pier and agree with the boatman about a private boat for a couple of hours. Then they just take you back and forth and that's it. It will take 2-3 hours. The cost is somewhere between 1000-2000 baht, depending on the duration of the trip, the desire to visit something other than the lake, the ability to bargain. The option is good when you are a company of several people and you can share the cost for all, or if you are interested in an express inspection without a tour.
  • There is an Information counter near the pier in the building to the right of the road, where you can book your stay on the water and buy a tour. But! All the catalogs they have are in Thai and they don't speak English either.

The prices for the one- or two-day tours I listed are fixed, so in terms of prices it does not matter at all in which hotel you take the tour. Except perhaps the 500 Rai hotel. At the same time, the excursion program, service and comfort in the houses on the water will depend on which company is lucky for you. But in general, everything is about the same. A year ago, the forums recommended traveling through Smiley Bungalows (in common people «Smilies») due to the best quality / price ratio. They have a bungalow complex near the visit center and their own raft house on the lake where they take them. Judging by the description of the tour, in addition to the lake, they show a waterfall and a cave. But now there are already enough negative reviews, they say, the two-day tour has turned into a get-together with alcohol, and indeed the conveyor.

Warning at the hotel about the cost of tours to Cheow Lan

Warning at the hotel about the cost of tours to Cheow Lan

Here is a directory in Thai in Information near the pier

Here is a directory in Thai in Information near the pier

Prices for delivery from pier to raft houses on Cheow Lan lake

Prices for delivery from pier to raft houses on Cheow Lan lake

And I did not know through whom 🙂 I bought it at the hotel Khaosok Treehouse Resort and my tour included: a lake, a cave, lunch at a rafthouse. Start at 8:30 from the hotel, return at 18:00. By the way, you can live in one hotel and buy a tour in another. Or even book a tour with Smiles by mail (they make reservations via the Internet, but not too early), and then just drive up to the bungalow at the right time or directly to the pier.

Near the pier is one of the attractions of the lake - hydroelectric power plant Ratchaprapa Dam and a dam 800 meters long and almost 100 meters high, on which you can walk. Also on the hills nearby there are observation decks, a park, a cafe. Highly recommend this place, admission is free.

Point on the map with a pier

Lake Cheo Lan

Lake Cheo Lan
The most famous site of Khao Sok National Park is Cheow Lan Lake. At this point there is a pier where excursion boats start. On the lake you can stay overnight in raft houses (floating houses).
More details.

Khao Sok National Park and Cheow Lan Lake - excursion, how to get, prices

The most famous site of Khao Sok National Park is Cheow Lan Lake. At this point there is a pier where excursion boats start. On the lake you can stay overnight in raft houses (floating houses). More details.

How to get to Khao Sok from Phuket / Koh Samui

By car

In my opinion, Thailand is the easiest way to travel by car. I have a separate post about car rental. Especially, this is true if you are several people, then the cost can be divided among all. For example, if you go from Phuket, then you can meet in general in 1 day, arriving at the lake in the morning and leaving there in the evening. You can take a multi-day trip by walking in the jungle, spending the night on the lake and stopping on the way to the resort town of Khao Lak.

The road to Khao Sok is good all along. There is a serpentine when the mountains begin, but I would not say that it is serious and annoying, especially since the distance is short. From Phuket to the national park 130 km and 2 hours drive. You need to go first along Highway 4 and then along 401. There is an option «cutting down» 4240 and 4090 each, but it should take longer just because of the larger serpentine. From Phuket to the lake 140 km and also go about 2 hours. First at 4311, then at 415 and 401, and a piece without a number from 401 to the pier. See for yourself which point you go first, to the park or to the lake. And even in Phuket itself, you can lay a 30-50 minute drive, depending on where you go from..

In order not to get lost, use regular Google Maps, it builds the route correctly. We must go as he suggests. All roads are signed there, look - it's not difficult to figure it out.

You must book through Economybookings. He will show offers from large proven distributors. And the price will be lower than directly booking.

Rent a car with a discount>

By bus

Getting to Khao Sok by bus is quite easy both from Phuket and Khao Lak, and from Koh Samui. Along the Andaman Sea, the road runs from Krabi through Phang Nga, Phuket, Khao Lak, and at Takua Pa turns to Surat Thani. From Phuket, you can go by bus to Takua Pa, and from there either by bus or minibus to Surat Thani. All these routes pass through Khao Sok. You can also take a bus directly from Phuket to Surat Thani. After the town of Takua Pa, you need to ask the driver to stop at the turn to Khao Sok. In any case, the bus will take you only to the turn to Khao Sok (1 km to the village on foot, but if you have a hotel reservation, then most likely you will be met at the highway for free, the ride there is only 5 minutes, just do not forget to inform in advance about your time. arrival). It takes an average of 5 to 7 hours to get from Phuket to Khao Sok, from doorstep to doorstep.

To go to Khao Sok from Phuket, you must first come to Phuket Town, to the bus station Terminal 1 or Terminal 2. From Terminal 1, buses go to Khao Sok without konday. The newer bus station is Terminal 2. From there, there are more comfortable large buses, about 6 trips a day. The first bus leaves at 7:30 am. Bus schedule Phuket-Khao Sok: 7:30, 8:20, 11:00, 12:20, 13:30, it runs 5-6 hours, costs 180 baht. Minibuses leave the station from 7:00 to 16:00 almost every hour, the fare is 200 baht. In Phuket travel agencies to Khao Sok, tickets are sold from 600 baht.

How to get to Khao Sok from Koh Samui: from Don Sak pier to the national park - 185 kilometers, first you need to get to Surat Thani, and then change to a bus that goes to Phuket via Takua Pa. Before reaching Takua Pa, there will first be a right turn to the Rachaprapa Dam (Lake Cheo Lan) and after 50 kilometers - to Khao Sok.

There is also a bus from Khao Lak to Khao Sok in the morning, its stop is located next to the guest house Monkey Dive Hostel Khaolak.

Back from Khao Sok, buses to Surat Thani leave from 7 am to 2 pm, every hour. The journey takes 1-2 hours, the journey costs 80 baht. You can also leave Khao Sok for Phuket and Krabi via Khao Lak, from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. Bus leaving Khao Sok at 8:30 arrives in Phuket at 12:00.

If you are traveling on your own by bus and get off at the turn to the dam, you need to travel 15 kilometers to it. Usually you can easily catch a ride or take a taxi there..


Everywhere you can take a taxi (transfer), if you don't want to rent a car. The cost is appropriate. For example, from Khao Sok to the pier, a taxi will cost 1200-1500 baht. Below is still a photo with the prices that hung at the pier, you can ask the price.

Taxi (transfer) from Khao Sok and Cheow Lan Lake

Taxi (transfer) from Khao Sok and Cheow Lan Lake

P.S. If I remember, I'll add something else. And I will be glad to your comments with information from personal experience. The topic is quite voluminous, so it is impossible to take everything into account at once..