Kao Sok Rainforest Adventure
One of the greatest rainforests in the world you can discover in southern Thailand. The Kao Sok National Park invites interested people to access these wide regions of untouched tropical forests grown over 300 millions of years. Individual hikes and guided trecking tours of different duration are offered to nature friends.
For me the destination, Kao Sok is a real travelers hop. The atmosphere there is not like in some of the most popular places you find foreigners in Thailand. It is still very rural and undeveloped. To hang around the small tranquil village is easy and you will find a cheap place to stay for sure.
In Kao Sok, it is still ok to sit in front of a shop and have some beers with friends. But still, you are able to eat an almost real pizza there or get in touch with other travelers in the many restaurants and bars in the evening. I wouldn’t say it is a place for partying, as it goes to sleep early like the most untouristic places in Thailand but the evenings can be longer and everyone is used a bit better to the wish of foreigners to stay up late.
Throughout the day there is so much to do and see, you can easily plan a week or two to stay there. If you like real nature this is the place to come through. It is like everywhere in Thailand, most things are not for free but if you stay a while and start to get connected with some residents I am sure here and there some doors open and you will have the chance to get a very special experience.
Best Places To Travel In Thailand
This is part one of a series of places I will put together for you. The best places to travel in Thailand are spread all over the country and you might decide which ones you want to visit at a time.
To call these places “the best places” is, of course, subjective and choices of my own experience. I will talk about places, easy to access, not too famous but with some infrastructure and natural phenomena.
I was traveling the US for 18 months and have seen a lot there. We had our own car in which we also slept and checked the map to get around and find important sites. Here in Thailand, I would probably not sleep in the car every night, as there are very cheap places for rent here. The food as well we prepared in the US ourselves, which isn’t necessary here as you get great food almost as cheap but better and already made.
Kao Sok National Park
Here you find a huge area of virgin rainforest, more diverse and older than the famous Amazon rainforest in Brazil. The park stretches over 739 km² of mountains, waterfalls, rivers and dense jungle. Also belonging to the great park is the biggest artificial lake in southern Thailand. The Cheow Lan Lake covers an area of 165 km² and was built in 1982 by the Thai electricity Generating Authority. (Check here) my previous post.
Only since some ten years, this remote region is open to the public and now starts to become a favorite site in southern Thailand. To get there is quite easy, from both sides, west, and east. Kao Sok lays almost in the middle of the Malayan peninsula in the rainiest region of Thailand.
Kao Sok belongs to the big southern district of Surat Thani. You have to follow highway 401 either from the Surat side turn off highway 41, big signs drive under the huge bridge or from the Andaman side, turn off highway 4 outside of Takua Ba town, here it’s actually driving straight, only the number changes and the road gets smaller. Both crossings are marked visibly and you won’t miss it.
Of course, if you don’t have your own vehicle you can always take a public bus or check in a private tour, managed from Phuket, Krabi or Bangkok. If you are a tough bike driver you can also rent a moped at the place of your stay and hit the road by your self. It is quite far, from Phuket about 150 km and from Krabi about the same. No matter from where you take off, once you enter the region the ride will be so much fun and you won’t believe your eyes.
When you arrive at the small village of Kao Sok you will quickly see, there is a lot of walking, hiking, and camping going on in the forest. Many guides offer their services like jungle trips with an overnight stay or just daily tours into the tropical forests.
The guided (recommended) one-day trips are starting early in the morning. The guide will lead you to wonderful sites you would not find by yourself. There is a meal for lunch included but the walking has to be done by yourself. Some hikes last until the evening and you will be quite exhausted when you arrive back in the village.
On the way, there are limestone caves and waterfalls to see and enjoy. You will be explained some exotic fauna and see wild monkeys, maybe a snake or big loud birds. The trails are very individual, as every guide has his own preferred ways to get around the jungle.
The guided (recommended) overnight trips include all the food necessary and a tent where you will sleep surrounded by the sounds of the wild. Cooking with nature is famous here and you can learn how to use a simple bamboo pole to prepare your rice and stuff in it.
Try to find a guide that you think is sympathetic to you and you will have a time you’ll never forget. Most of the guides here are locals that know the jungle in and out. They grew up in this different environment and learned to survive in the jungle for days or weeks while hunting and collecting treasures.
Some of the older guides might not speak English much but talking is not the thing you are looking for in the rainforest. Listen to the sounds of nature and enjoy the exciting atmosphere. Take a swim under a waterfall or climb into caves used as shelter and hideouts for hundreds of years.
Elephant safari into the dense jungle is a special experience you might not want to miss. Check out the local tour organizers and get a better deal. You have to negotiate the price you pay, often you can get a discount for all kinds of reasons. Low season or group discount or at resorts you argue that you stay for some days.
The treatment of the elephants is said to be most ethical here around Kao Sok but still, it should be a free animal and just to watch it move around makes me feel nature of the finest. I did Elephant rides as a child and much enjoyed it for some thirty minutes.
Rafting the wild rivers through the jungle in the valleys below the steep limestone rocks is one of the greatest adventures you find in the Kao Sok National Park. Actually, rafting, kayaking or tubing on the many rivers is great fun. All these ventures are available as long as the weather is playing along.
There are lots of more and less wild rivers to play on in the vast tropical area of Kao Sok. Some bungalow resorts are even located right at the river shore and kayaks or tubes are provided for free. The only thing you have to observe are the leeches that live in and around the water and love to get some of that fresh blood of yours:) No problem though, take them off and no harm is done.
Rock climbing in Kao Sok must be just fantastic. I have researched the topic a bit and found out there should be possibilities to climb but they are not very famous yet. The unguarded climbing seems to be not allowed by the authorities and guided tours are hard to find. Must be a new business model lol.
Now I know, I got it confirmed by my friend in Kao Sok. There is NO rock climbing possible at the moment.
Caving is possible. If you, like me like to explore the inside of the earth there is a great cave tour waiting for you in Kao Sok. The main three caves, Coral Cave, Nam Talu and Diamond Cave are worth a one day trip. These are the bigger and most famous caves of the park but there are numerous other less popular caves for you to explore.
Lake adventures on lake Cheow Lan I recommended on another post. (Check here)
Treehouse living adventure is the last thing I have to mention here. Kao Sok is famous for its tree house resorts. You can stay on top of trees in nice well-built bungalows and enjoy the nature around you. This way of living is a bit more costly but for a once in a lifetime experience sure worth it.
Get a better picture by watching this little video
Weather in Kao Sok
As I mentioned before the region around Kao Sok is the most blessed with rain. It can actually rain all year long, not at all like the rest of Thailand. Like everywhere in Thailand though there is also a rainy season, when visiting the place might be rather wet. As you can see below, the rainy season starts in April and lasts until November.
The temperatures stay almost the same all year long, a fine 30°C and humid like in a sauna.
Kao Sok Green Valley Resort
I made friends with this great guy called Kraisak Puttasupa in Kao Sok. He helps me with information on this website and is the owner of the Kao Sok Green Valley Resort. His place is really beautiful and not even expensive. From Kraisak you can also get the best information on lake adventures and tours to the National Park, canoe rides and so forth. (Check his video here.)
The place is clean and the price is fair. Only 1000.00 Baht a night for a bungalow for two, which is ruffly $15 a person.
Our unique guided trip to the southern Thailand
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