Khao Sok National Park: The Best and Most Cost Efficient way to see Cheow Lan Lake

Khao Sok National Park: The Best and Most Cost Efficient way to see Cheow Lan Lake

Khao Sok National Park has been on my bucket list since I first moved to Phangnga four months ago.  Finally, two weeks ago, I was able to make the trip.  There is very little information about the national park online so I was going in a little blind.  I’m not much of a planner and have no problem playing things by ear so this didn’t really bother me.  The only thing I knew for sure was that I wanted to stay in the bungalows on Cheow Lan Lake and go hiking in what is supposed to be one of the densest jungles in Thailand.

A lot of travelers these days’ hate to go on organized tours.  They don’t like the structure, the lack of freedom, or being forced to spend time with people that you don’t know.  Well, if this is you and you want to visit Khao Sok National Park, I’m sorry, but an organized tour is the only way to see the best Khao Sok has to offer.  Here’s why:

Cost Efficient:

If you are traveling alone or in a small group, an organized tour is definitely the most cost efficient way to see Khao Sok National Park.  There are two sides to Khao Sok: the water side (Cheow Lan Lake) and the land side (Khlong Sok village).  You will most likely enter the national park by bus on the ­­­land side.  Since the lake is roughly 50 kilometers from where you’ll enter by bus, it can make getting to the lake a bit of a challenge and quite expensive.  Once you do finally arrive at the lake, you will have to pay for a long tail boat for 1,500 baht (~45 dollars) for only 3 hours on the lake.  If you go through a group tour, your transport to the lake and the longtail boat is included!

Longtail boat to Cheow Lan Lake in Khao Sok National Park

Cheow Lan Lake Bungalows:

Probably my favorite part of visiting Khao Sok National Park was getting to stay in these bungalows.  Even after hours of research, I could not figure out how to book a room without going through a tour.  Fortunately, when booking through a tour you not only get a room, but meals are also included and very tasty!

Swimming in front of our bungalows at Khao Sok National ParkSwimming right in front of our bungalow on Cheow Lan Lake

Jumping off the ledge at the bungalows in Khao Sok National Park

One of the many meals served at Khao Sok National ParkOne of the many delicious meals included

Hiking Trails:

I had no idea a hike was even included when I initially booked the tour.  It was definitely a pleasant surprise to see that on the itinerary when we arrived.  The guide took the group by boat to the start of the hike and led us through a cave in the jungle!  I remember wondering how anyone would ever find this hike without a guide.  The cave was filled with water up to my chest so I wasn’t able to snap any pictures.  You will just have to experience the hike for yourself!

Tour guide at Khao Sok National Park

Our tour guide who was for sure judging us for the shot we were about to take

Free Time:

Unlike a lot of organized tours, this one gives you five hours of free time on the lake. So if you’re not a fan of the people in your group, you won’t be forced to hang out with them all day long.  We used our free time to go kayaking and of course, drink a few beers.

Making use of the kayaks provided when visiting Khao Sok National ParkEvery bungalow comes with their own kayak at no additional cost!

View of the bungalows at Khao Sok National ParkHow most people spent their free time…

Cheers to Khao Sok National Park!How we spent our free time haha

 

Khao Sok National Park is a must-see on your trip to Thailand.  Even if group tours are not usually your thing, you are going to want to make an exception in order to make the most of your visit to Khao Sok!

Also while in Khao Sok:

Lost one sandal, missed our bus on the way there, and waited for a bus for 2 hours on the side of the road on the way home(typical Thailand)

If you’ve visited Khao Sok, I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments below!  Did you find it useful to go in a group tour?  Or were you able to see it on your own? Did you make it out with all of your sandals?

~Tar



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