Welcome back to another travel post!
This time to Khao Sok National Park.
Khao Sok National Park is situated in Southern Thailand and is a nature reserve containing jungles with wild animals. It is also where the man-made Cheow Lan Lake is located.
The reason I wanted to visit this place despite its distance from Bangkok together with the fact that there is less information about this park online is that primarily of its scenery. Second is my excitement to be exploring a well-preserved park in Thailand and all the adventure it entails.
When I visited a national park in Brunei, I really had a great time so I was feeling the same anticipation for this trip. In addition, I wanted to be away from the city for a while. The further away to Bangkok means less to zero pollution. In the past months or so, Thailand was under a huge problem with air quality. I was wearing a mask almost every day and I hated it. Traveling to Khao Sok meant fresh and good quality air to breathe once again. I was looking forward to that.
Furthermore, when I searched “places to go” in Thailand, Khao Sok National Park always places to the top. Aside from Phuket, Krabi and many others, I thought the park would be worth visiting.
Bangkok to Khao Sok
To travel from Bangkok, we could take a bus, train, and plane to get to the park. Foreigners usually take the overnight train from Bangkok to Khao Sok. However, since I found out that the round trip plane fare was almost the same price to the train fare, we opted to fly to Surat Thani instead. Khao Sok Park is in Surat Thani province. In this way, we could save time and be more comfortable traveling.
The only thing we didn’t anticipate on this trip was after knowing that from Surat Thani, public buses and vans operate only until 4 PM to transport visitors to the park while the earliest trip is at 7.00 AM. I only learned about this after I booked the flight which we would be arriving at 8.30 PM.
As a result of this, our options were either staying one night at the nearest accommodation in the airport or sleep at the airport itself. I was already planning on bringing my own little blanket and imagined myself lying down on the chairs or floor if we decided to minimize our expenses. In the end, though, comfort won over avoiding spending money. I found a hostel online for 600 THB per night including breakfast. It was a good decision because I ended up having a migraine upon our arrival in Surat Thani. I don’t think sleeping on the floor at that time would alleviate my situation.
On the next day, we woke up fresh and ready for the next adventure. We ate our breakfast and booked a van for 200 THB/person to Khao Sok National Park.
The ride took around 1.30 hours. Once we were dropped at the van station near the park, we had to walk approximately 20 minutes to our accommodation.
Accommodation: Smiley Bungalows
We booked with Smiley because we planned in joining their overnight lake tour the next day. The lake tour was actually what I was really excited the most for this trip.
I loved the view and the ambiance at Smiley. Greeneries and mountains surround us which provides fresh unpolluted air I was looking for.
Another thing I appreciated other than nature is the simple slow-paced life in the park. It’s pretty obvious when the locals were not in a hurry to do transactions with us. It made me think about how lucky they are because they seem to have all the time in the world. They do what they needed to do on their own pace and they looked happy with what they have.
If you have been living in an environment where almost everything is done in a rush, you seem to forget about simple things like time.
Ultimately, the short moment we spent at the park was what I perfectly needed- strolling around, eating when hungry and taking naps when sleepy.
It was my much awaited holiday.
Stay tuned for my next post of our Khao Sok adventure.