2-day trip Khao Sok National Park -Thailand – Swimming, kayaking and hiking in Khao Sok NP

Khao Sok National Park had long been on my ever-growing list of places to visit in this beautiful world. When I was in Thailand in spring 2023, it finally came to pass. I booked a trip to go swimming, kayaking and hiking in Khao Sok National Park. And, of course, an overnight stay on the beautiful turquoise-coloured waters of Khao Sok.

Swimming, kayaking and hiking in Khao Sok NP

When you start reading up on a 2-day trip Khao Sok National Park, you cannot escape the beautiful pictures with the clear turquoise-coloured water. How much I was looking forward to swimming and kayaking in that beautiful water. And of course, you then also take a few beautiful hikes in Khao Sok National Park if you book a two-day trip.

Happy to see this view - Cheow Lan Lake - 2-day trip Khao Sok National Park
Cheow Lan Lake – 2-day trip Khao Sok National Park

Coming & Going Khao Sok NP

When I went to Khao Sok National Park, I had just come from Koh Mook island. I caught the bus from Trang to Surat Thani and from there the bus to Khao Sok NP. From there, it is then a half-hour walk to the village at the entrance of Khao Sok National Park. I had already booked a nice hotel and so was able to check in right afterwards and take a fresh shower. I had started early in the morning from Koh Mook and was over by late afternoon. Just in time to start the evening relaxed.

On google maps, you can find the bus stop below Khao Sok Van Station. (GPS Khao Sok Van Station) When you get off the bus, walk right and immediately turn into the road to the right. Follow this road for a good kilometre and you’ll be in the village near the entrance of Khao Sok NP.

A mini bus from Surat Thani is the most common one to take if you want to go to Khao Sok NP. This one takes you close to the village. This one will cost you around 5 euros. Similarly, the bus from Trang to Surat Thani took mintens twice as long.

Get to Surat Thani by bus or by plane.

First night eating at Bamboo Bistro Bar - Khao Sok NP

Ps. I had my dinner at Bamboo Bisto that evening. I can really recommend that place, especially sitting on the second floor with this view!

Stay near Khao Sok National Park

Even before you walk into the busier village, you have a number of accommodations sitting there. That’s also where I had my fine hotel, Khao Sok Nature Place. I thought it was a nice hotel. They didn’t provide breakfast when I was there but of course I could find plenty in the village. The room was spacious, very clean and I had a nice balcony.

Hiking in Khao Sok NP

The first two nights I was near the entrance to the jungle Khao Sok and of course did a fine trekking there. I know you probably come for the beautiful blue lake but a fine trek here is also recommended. Without a guide, you may hike the first 3 km. You then walk up to the Bang Hua Rat Waterfall. There you can buy something to drink and sit for a while.

Hiking in Khao Sok NP, Thailand

Hiking in Khao Sok NP, Thailand
If you take a little time you will still see surprising creatures along the path

There is a wider road leading to the waterfall. Make sure to take the small trails along it. You’ll really be walking in the jungle and along the water. I didn’t realise this at first but saw people walking there with guides. I then started walking those trails too. This is obviously much more fun and take it from me, you can’t get lost there. You stay between the river and the wide road, it is only a narrow strip but there is plenty to see. More in terms of insects and reptiles though. I did hear some monkeys but otherwise didn’t see any larger animals.

  • You pay 200 baht as a foreigner, if you’re Thai you pay 40 baht, entrance and then get some explanation and a small simple trail map.

Hiking in Khao Sok NP, Thailand
The river you keep on your left every time you walk to Bang Hua Rat waterfall in Khao Sok NP

Costs 2-day trip Khao Sok NP with overnight stay – floating bungalow

Through the Khao Sok Nature Place, I also booked my 2-day trip Khao Sok Tour with overnight stay on the lake at Keeree Warin Raft House. I paid 3000 Baht for it, which converts to about 77 euros. And then you’re all set. All meals, coffee, tea and water are included. Unless you incur costs at the hotel in terms of soft drinks or alcohol or extra food/snacks.

You do pay another 200 Baht entrance fee for the park itself. You may pay this yourself before boarding the boat. For children, you pay 100 Baht.

Happy with this view - Cheow Lan Lake - 2-day trip Khao Sok National Park

You can also choose a slightly cheaper option of 2,500 Baht but make a shorter hike and there is no hike on the second day. So this one is slightly less active as the one I booked. This one would then have the stay at Kraison Raft House.

Back to Basic on Khao Sok NP

Both 2-day trip Khao Sok trips did not have air conditioning.

I did have a fan in my room and I had it on when I went to sleep and the beginning of the night. Everything was solar powered and so when the energy ran out it stopped. Sometime during the night it must have come on. I slept soundly and when I woke up the next morning, the fan was off.

Tip: So keep in mind that if you want to charge a device like your phone or a photo camera you need to do so with a power bank with you. I always have one with me and make sure it is always full on trips like this. There was also an option to charge your phone at the restaurant during the day.

No WiFi in Khao Sok NP

I had not bought a local Thai ticket and so the entire time I spent in Khao Sok National Park I had no internet. I often abstain from a local ticket because it keeps me more focused on my outside world. With internet, you quickly find yourself sharing everything in Instagram stories and replying to comments anyway. For me, it’s fine and then better to just not be able to go online. Maybe you can still get internet at the hotel if you have a local card.

Map of Khao Sok National Park

As you can see from the map of Khao Sok National Park below, the beautiful Cheow Lan Lake is not all that matters in this national park. At the bottom left in green, you’ll see lots of directions. That’s the village you’re likely to go to when you visit the area. That’s where I stayed at Khaosok Nature Place and that’s where the entrance to the park is. If you want to hike or do some trekking in Khao Sok National Park, that’s the place to be.

Map Khao Sok NP - Surrouding of Khao Sok National Park

2-day trip Khao Sok National Park – Thailand

Day 1 – 2-day trip Khao Sok National Park

The morning the 2-day trip Khao Sok started, I was picked up by a minivan that already had a number of tourists in it, with a few more joining along the way. When the van was full we set off. After an hour we made a stop along the road where we could get something to eat, buy souvenirs and if you still needed it a waterproof bag or something. I bought some snacks and a bottle of soft drink.

If you want some snacks and drinks for the evening on your terrace or on the road, this is another handy place to get some.

After this, we drove on towards Khao Sok NP again. The landscape started to get rougher and rougher, in the background I started to see some karst stone rocks. And then I stepped out near the amazing lake and was just dazzled by its beauty!

Cheow Lan Lake - 2-day trip Khao Sok National Park -Thailand - Swimming, kayaking and hiking in Khao Sok NP

Cheow Lan Lake – Khao Sok NP

When we arrived at Cheow Lan Lake, I was immediately really impressed by the beautiful turquoise colour! It really is just like in the pictures…. It sometimes wants to disappoint huh when you have been looking forward to something for a long time. But that really didn’t happen here. What a beautiful colour!

Cheow Lan Lake is the lake located in Khao San National Park on which I would spend the night in a floating bungalow. The lake was created by the Rachabrapha dam built there in 1987. Since then, the dam has been a major supplier of electricity. Besides, of course, a beautiful lake was created which brought with it the necessary flora and fauna. And that was what I came for, of course.

On Cheow Lan Lake by Longtail boat - 2-day trip Khao Sok National Park

On the way, you have most beautiful views from the longtail boat. The high karst stone rocks protrude proudly out of the lake in many places and give the panoramas wonderful depth. There is still quite a bit of sailing across the big lake to get to your Keeree Warin Raft House but I really didn’t mind. Part of this trip is precisely also exploring the beautiful Cheow Lan Lake.

The floating bungalows of Keeree Warin Raft House

Keeree Warin Raft House - 2-day trip Khao Sok National Park
Keeree Warin Raft House

At Keeree Warin Raft House, we were all given our keys to our floating bungalow on the water. They also explained how things worked at the restaurant. A kayak paddle could be borrowed for some collateral so of course they got it back neatly. We were then given a few hours to swim, relax and kayak. I was pleasantly surprised with my floating bungalow on Cheow Lan Lake. Between the two mattresses on the ground, I could even look at the water through the glass. And my terrace was lovely too!

Keeree Warin Raft House - 2-day trip Khao Sok National Park

Swimming in Cheow Lan Lake - Khao Sok NP

And of course I went swimming right away, just to cool off. From my room, I dived into the beautiful Cheow Lan lake. Then I went into the surrounding area by kayak. I heard a gibbon sitting in the trees further on so that’s where I went. I had to kayak quite a way to get there and then spent some time lying quietly off the shore. Eventually I did see them move but I must honestly acknowledge that they did a good job of staying out of sight. Then back again, another swim and sunbathe and then got ready for the hike to the waterfall.

Not gibbon was spotted by me - Khao Sok NP Thailand
Behind me I heard the gibbons but they did not show themselves

Exploring Cheow Lan Lake - Khao Sok NP - Thailand
The stunning views from Cheow Lan Lake – Khao Sok NP

For the walk in the jungle of Khao Sok, we of course all had to get back in the longtail boat and sailed for another stretch on the beautiful Cheow Lan Lake. On the shore you naturally try to spot some wildlife but I didn’t see more than some birds. Arriving at the hike, we went straight into the jungle and up. We were already told that the waterfall would not be what, as it was far too dry and so we would just have a nice walk in the jungle.

Hiking in the jungle of Khao Sok NP - Thailand
Impressive trees in the jungle of Khao Sok NP

Jungle walk before 2-day trip Khao Sok NP

Hiking in the jungle of Khao Sok NP - Thailand
Our guide quickly spotted this beautiful flying dragon in front of us

Hiking in the jungle of Khao Sok NP - Thailand
And yes, I couldn’t resist when everyone went to take a picture here to do a yoga pose then too.

This first day of the 2-day trip Khao Sok tour ended with a sunset.

I really have to say that I found this a disappointing experience. The sun didn’t leave us hear but the place they picked for it was really nothing to it. An empty sand island was picked out and a number of boats of people walked on it to watch the sunset. No exceptionally beautiful background or anything … Actually nothing that made it exceptionally beautiful. Just very oddly chosen I think.

Sunset Cheow Lan Lake - Khao Sok National Park

Sunset Cheow Lan Lake - Khao Sok National Park
Sunset Cheow Lan Lake – Khao Sok National Park

Fortunately, I had the whole evening left and could enjoy the peace and sounds of nature on my terrace. The gentle rocking of my floating bungalow on Cheow Lan Lake. I loved it, it felt really super to be there. Just peering out in front of me for hours! Hearing the sounds of birds and monkeys in the distance.

2-day trip Khao Sok National Park – Thailand

Day 2 – 2-day trip Khao Sok National Park

Starting your early morning with a coffee is a must - Khao Sok NP

Day two started very early as we took to the water even before the sun was actually up. I was just in time to do have a cup of coffee before we got on the longtail boat. We again went in search of some wildlife along the shore of Lake Cheow Lan. Just as we were sailing away from the floating hotel, we saw a buffalo in the distance, it just wanted to have a drink. And later, along the water’s edge, we saw a big monitor lizard and some monkeys (macaques) in the jungle fringe.

A cloudy sunrise over Cheow Lan Lake - Khao Sok NP - Thailand

After this, we went back for a sumptuous breakfast, some time for kayaking and swimming and then checked out and set off to go to Pra Kay Petch cave. When we landed there, it was already a great spot and super photogenic.

Walking in Khao Sok National Park – Safe and Healthy Travel

Pra Kay Petch Cave - Khao Sok National Park, Thailand
Like walking right into a fairytale landscape… On the way to Pra Kay Petch Cave

After a short walk, we arrived at the cave entrance. A beautiful staircase took us into the cave and then look back before stepping inside. I thought it was the most beautiful view!

Pra Kay Petch Cave - Khao Sok National Park, Thailand
Pra Kay Petch Cave – Khao Sok National Park, Thailand

Coming inside there, we saw some bats and, of course, big spiders on the wall. It is chilly and dark inside, so I brought my lamp and was able to make some light for myself. When you shine the lamp around, the spider’s eye catches the eye immediately, as it is illuminated by the light. Otherwise they are well camouflaged and you would overlook them of course.

Spider in Pra Kay Petch Cave - Khao Sok National Park, Thailand

2-day trip Khao Sok National Park -Thailand - Swimming, kayaking and hiking in Khao Sok NP

3 Sisters – Famous rockformation of Khao Sok NP

After this, it was time to sail to our last stop. This was a visit to the famous spot with the iconic rock formation they call the 3 sisters. They are some beautiful karst stone rocks in the turquoise blue water. I must confess that I had not come across this in my search when I went to Khao Sok National Park but agree that it is a beautiful place. For that reason, of course, it was crowded and we queued up with other boats to take a photo there. One by one then to the front of the boat and posed for a while.

Of course a photo with the 3 sisters in Khao Sok NP

The 3 Sisters on 2-day trip Khao Sok National Park
Posing in front of 3 sisters

How nice then that in the meantime a Spiderman passes by to sell you an ice cream. This one also appears to have made a name for himself because some people were not as surprised as I was when this man sailed by. Just goes to show, being well prepared has advantages and disadvantages.

Sure bought a nice ice cream at Spiderman - Khao Sok NP
Sure bought a nice ice cream at Spiderman – Khao Sok NP

After this, the 2-day trip Khao Sok National Park really did come to an end. We set course at the Ratchaprapha Marina to go ashore again and board the bus to our next destination. Everyone had a different destination and to keep that on track, we were first taken to Chiew Larn Lake View Point.

Saying goodbye – Khao Sok NP at Chiew Larn Lake Viewpoint

There we got a simple lunch. We could buy a nice coffee there and go to the toilet for a while. I ate lunch in the little park next to the lake. I cast a few last glances over the beautiful Cheow Lan Lake. To the guide, I mentioned that I had to go to Surat Thani airport and that was no problem at all.

Arriving at the airport, I was able to use the wifi to find a hotel in the area and booked a flight for the next day to Bangkok.

Chiew Larn Park - Khao Sok NP - Thailand

I stayed that night at the Baan URT airport hotel. There I had a lovely room, they had a fine menu which I ate deliciously from and I was given a breakfast packet the next day as I left very early. I can definitely recommend this hotel for a night.

Baan URT airport hotel - Surat Thani, Thailand
The hotel was behind me in this neat street

Attending a Yoga class in Khao Sok?

The day before I had booked this 2-day trip Khao Sok National Park and so just went for a walk in the park itself, I attended a yoga class in the evening. How wonderfully relaxing that was too. Read more about that sunset yoga class.

Yoga class at Khaosok Yoga

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I hope you enjoy this beautiful world as much as I do