Thailand's South

KHAO SOK NATIONAL PARK

Global Mark : 11.17

Ratings by criteria : 

Charm Scenery Parks Culture Minor. Market Relax Fiesta 

Cost

AVER.
4 5 1 1 1 1 5 1 2 9.33

Ratings by backpackers :

Surveyed Liked  Comeback  Recommend  Range AVER.
2 100% (2) 50% (1) 100% (2) 10 to 16 13.00


Description :
A relaxed jungle experience

Comments : On the way between the east and the west coast, have a break here and rest from all the sand, sun, clear water, exotic fishes and beach parties of the previous days...

What to do ?  Explore a new environment, without any mask nor tuba / If this is too difficult, hunt fishes in the crystal clear river / Listen to the water from your bungalow / Enjoy camping (tent for rent B50) / 

What you may not like ?  The relative high cost of food / The limited cheap accommodations (B100-150) / The entrance fee to the park : B10 (no problem) or B20 for vehicles (what are vehicles doing here ?) / The pushy guides (you don't need any to walk around but they certainly know the place better than you do...) / The humidity under the tent / 

How long ? A few days

How to reach ?  Bus between Phuket and Surat Thani via Takua Pa on route 401 stop near the entrance, 1.5km from the road. 

Backpacker's Tips : Kelley Turner, USA (April 06)
 
The entrance fee into the park is now 200THB per 24 hour period. When you reach Khao Sok a group of guesthouse employees will greet you with free rides up the hill to their respective guesthouse. If you know where you'd like to go, just ask- a representative is probably there. I recommend catching a ride with someone as the journey up the road was farther than I had expected. We stayed at Nung House (www.nunghouse.com), one of the original guesthouses in the area. Their website also has detailed bus info on how to get to
Khao Sok from various locations. They have a wide range of bungalows available; a basic bamboo hut ran 150THB. Everyone was very nice and they served great food at their restaurant. However, they did really push going on one of their pricey tours. We didn't take any of the tours and instead spent our time in and out of the park bird watching; we saw some amazing species including an Asian Paradise Flycatcher (white morph) and a Great Hornbill.

To get back to Bangkok from Khao Sok we used the Track&Trail agency in town which arranged an overnight bus from SuratThani to Bangkok for 400THB per person. Since your bus ticket also functions as your receipt, I really recommend requesting a separate receipt with all of the vital info and company names and numbers. We took a local bus on our own from Khao Sok to Surat Thani (our guesthouse gave us a ride down to the bus stop). Once we reached Surat Thani we were swarmed with touts really pushing tours and transportation. Showing them our pre-paid ticket kept them at bay until our bus driver dropped us at a random street intersection. There didn't appear to be any legitimate bus station around, but there were many buses in the vicinity. We found our travel agency, and though our bus wasn't leaving for another 2 hours, they were very insistent on us giving them our tickets, which they
have to turn in to receive their pay. This is where your additional receipt could come in handy. Since we did not have one, we said we would only turn over our tickets when we actually boarded the bus to Bangkok. This worked for awhile, but we gave our tickets up when a taxi picked us up to take us to the bus. The driver took us to the wrong place and almost left us there with no bus in sight. After some major confusion we were finally transported to the corrected location to wait another hour for our very late bus. Without any paperwork proving we had paid for our ride, we were very apprehensive that we would actually make it to Bangkok. Fortunately, our bus did pick us up and we made it to Bangkok safely with only sunscreen stolen out of my bag. Definitely keep your valuables with you in a smaller bag.

 

Next destinations : Ko Pha-Ngan or Ko Samui or Ko Tao via Surat Thani / Phuket