Most popular mainland national park
destination in South Thailand
As the oldest evergreen rainforest in the world, Khao Sok National Park is a sight to behold. Characterized by limestone monoliths, caves, lakes, valleys, wild animals, unique flora and much more, the park is a one-of-a-kind world of an area of 739 square kilometres to discover and explore.
The average height of the limestone karsts area around 400 metres with the tallest peak 960 Cheow Larn Lake in the centre of the park was formed when Rhajaprabhar Dam was built about 25 years ago to provide water for a hydro electric power plant. It is about 60 kilometres from north to south and contains more than 100 hundred islands. Many species of wildlife exist in the park as do fauna with Rafflesia, the largest flower in the world, to be found there.
EcoTRAVEL is practiced with many tours available offering opportunities to see the spectacular sights and partake in activities. Recommended safaris of two to five days include jungle trekking, elephant trekking, canoeing, tubing and bamboo rafting and boat tours to Cheow Larn Lake. Ride an elephant through a hidden valley surrounded by rainforest and mountains and learn about and how to care for them. Canoe down the Sok river and watch the panoramic views of nature and the jungle pass by. Take a boat Cheow Larn Lake and view the stunning area and then sleep on a floating Resort at Cheow Larn Lake. The possibilities to discover and learn about the nature and natural history of the park are endless.
The park has a general topographic composition of Limestone Mountains and possesses the scattered peaks of Ka Lo Mountain whose form resembles those of towers. The highest peak to reside in the park measures at 961 m above sea level. The area in which the park is located contains highly acidic, sandy soil that is easily eroded during rainstorms.
Flora and Fauna
Khao Sok National Park is a virgin forest where various types of plant life can be found. This includes a number of very rare and sacred tree species such as the Neobalanocarpus heimil. A few other plants that can be seen in this park include the following: Genus Hoper, Chisocheton and Anisoptera etc., as well as small bushes such as the Rafflesia kerrii, palm, rattan, betel palm, and various types of bamboo.
The park serves as a home for a wide variety of wildlife such as the gaur, banteng, sambar deer, bear, Malayan tapir, macaque, gibbon, serow, mouse deer, porcupine, marbled cat, wild boar, and Asian wild dog. It also acts as the natural habitat for several for several bird species.
Khao Sok National Park is a virgin forest where various types of plant life can be found. This includes a number of very rare and sacred tree species such as the Neobalanocarpus heimil. A few other plants that can be seen in this park include the Khao Sok Nation Park is one of the most beautiful national parks in Thailand. Due to its majestic scenery and biological diversity the park is nicknamed the ‘Gui – Lin of Thailand’, which refers to a very beautiful place in China. The name ‘Khao Sok’ is derived from the word ‘ Ban Sop”, which means ‘house of dead bodies’, The Royal Forest Department declared Khao Sok as the 22nd national park of Thailand on December 22nd, 1980.
The park has a total area of 738.74 square kilometers, which covers parts of the Khlong Yee and Khlong Pra Sang forests as well as portions of the Krai Son and the Khao Pung sub-districts in the district of Ban Ta Khun and the Khlong Sok and Panom sub – districts in the province of Suratthani.
The weather is influence by monsoon winds from both the Indian and Pacific Ocean with rain beginning in late April until late December. Heaviest rain is during May to November. The best time to visit the Khao Sok Park is December to April.
The limestone mountains (known as karsts) are the remains of an ancient coral reef dating back some 225-280 million years ago. This coral reef is said to have been five times longer than Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, stretching from China to Borneo.
Some of the karsts rise up to almost 1,000 metres high, making them three times the height of those in nearby Phang Nga Bay and Halong Bay in Vietnam.
The National Park consists of:
40% foothill rainforest
27% rainforest plains
15% limestone crag vegetation
15% lowland scrub
3% rainforest at 600-1,000 metres
The nature here has more in common with the Malaysian forest than the forest in the north of Thailand. Compared to those of the north, the forest in Khao Sok is taller, darker, more humid and evergreen.