Best things to do in Khao Sok National Park with kids

Khao Sok National Park is such an awesome destination for a family holiday.  The kids will absolutely love staying in a treehouse, exploring the jungle, spotting wildlife and spending the night in a floating bungalow on the lake.

These are just some of the very best things to do in Khao Sok National Park – there are so many fun adventures to be had!

Located in southern Thailand, the Khao Sok National Park is a stunning natural gem that offers a wide range of activities and experiences the entire family will just love. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or a mix of both, this pristine rainforest and its stunning landscapes won’t disappoint.

If you’re in the early stages of planning your trip to the area, it can be difficult to work out just exactly what to do in Khao Sok National Park, as well as the best way to visit the area.

But that’s why you’re here and you’re in the right place, as this guide is going to help you with everything you need to know about visiting Khao Sok National Park with the kids.

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Areas of Khao Sok National Park

If you’re not familiar with Khao Sok National Park, it is worth explaining its two main areas before we get into all the Khao Sok things to do.  The two main areas are the Khao Sok Village and the Cheow Lan Lake – it’s about an hour’s drive between these two locations.

Most people coming to Khao Sok National Park want to visit Cheow Lan Lake – but you’ll likely need to stay in the village at least a night before or after.  And I highly recommend you do stay at least a few nights as there is plenty to do and see there too, as you’ll see in the article below.

Khao Sok National Park Entrance Fee

Also, before we get into all the fun Khao Sok activities, it’s worth mentioning that entry to the National Park is 300 baht per adult and 150 baht per child.  A ticket is only valid for the day.

The Khao Sok Village is located outside the national park, so you don’t need a ticket just to be in the village.  However, many of the things to do are in the national park, so a ticket is required.

So if there are a few things you’d like to do that are inside the national park, it’s worth planning them on the same day so you’re not having to buy multiple tickets.

A little tip is if you buy your ticket after 4.30 pm, you can still use the ticket the next day.

Things to do Khao Sok National Park map

Before we start on all the top things to do Khao Sok National Park offers for families, check out the map below to help you plan your itinerary. This map shows the location of everything we’ve covered in this guide.

Zoom in and out for a better view.

 

Best things to do in Khao Sok National Park with kids

Below, we cover the best things to do in Khao Sok with kids. 

Stay in a floating bungalow on Cheow Lan Lake

Of course, the main reason most people come to Khao Sok National Park is to see Cheow Lan Lake.  This gigantic man made reservoir is slap bang in the middle of the jungle and is surrounded by some spectacular scenery.

The best way to really explore and appreciate Cheow Lan Lake is to spend at least one night (two is better) in a floating bungalow directly on the lake.

The bungalows are floating connected by wooden walkways directly on the lake. They offer a unique place to stay amongst the stunning scenery while soaking up the lake’s peaceful atmosphere. 

Most floating bungalow stays are an all inclusive experience, including accommodation, meals, tours and activities.  As well as boat tours around the lake, you can enjoy jungle hikes, swimming, kayaking and wildlife expeditions.

We opted for a tour with Elephant Hills, where we stayed a night at the Elephant Sanctuary close to the Khao Sok Village and a night in their floating bungalow (pictured above).  You can read all about it here.

Alternatively, read our guide on choosing a family friendly floating bungalow here.

Day tour to Cheow Lan Lake

If you don’t have the time to stay overnight at Cheow Lan Lake, then you can still explore this iconic area of Khao Sok on a day trip.

Via boat, most day trips will take you across the lake’s crystal clear water to see the spectacular limestone mountains that rise hundreds of metres out of the lake.  Some tours will include time to explore one of the region’s many caves as well as a stop for lunch at one of the floating bungalow resorts.  

Prices for a day trip to Cheow Lan Lake start from around 1500 baht per person. These trips will include return transport, a boat trip on the lake, a visit to a floating resort, and usually a stop at a cave and a small hike in the jungle.

Tours can be arranged through your hotel or agency in Khao Sok Town.  If you prefer to book in advance, then you can do so through the Get Your Guide website. 

Generally, the tour price won’t include the fee for visiting Khao Sok National Park (300 baht per adult and 150 baht per child).  Plus, there is an extra entrance fee of 20 baht for visiting Cheow Lan Lake.

Wildlife night safari

Take the kids on a guided night safari to see nocturnal animals and insects that are active after dark. You may spot creatures like civets, snakes, flying squirrels, and various frog and insect species.

A night safari can be booked directly at the National Park Office or via your accommodation.  Safaris start at around 700 baht per person for a 2-3 hour walk, plus the entry fee to Khao Sok National Park (300 baht per adult and 150 baht per child). 

We ran out of time do to this tour – but I’ve heard from others who thoroughly enjoyed it.

River tubing

A must for any family visiting Khao Sok is to take a river tubing tour down the Sok River.  As the name suggests, this is where you float downstream while lying in a heavy-duty inflatable ring.  Hands down, this was my favourite activity we did in Khao Sok!

Tubing in Khao Sok typically begins with a short drive to the starting point on the river.  You then set off downstream, where you’ll be surrounded by the stunning scenery of towering limestone karsts, dense rainforest, and the sounds of nature.  At all times you are accompanied by a guide.

All up, a river tubing tour takes about 1.5 hours, including your return trip from town.

To book a tubing Khao Sok tour, just ask at your accommodation and they’ll arrange the trip for you – can easily be arranged same day. 

Expect to pay around 500 THB per adult and 300 THB per child (4-10).

Kayaking or canoeing

Kayaking is an awesome way to explore the Sok River or Cheow Lan Lake in Khao Sok National and offers a truly unique perspective.  

Whether you take a guided tour or hire a kayak for some DIY exploring, it’s a fun way to see the stunning limestone karsts, lush jungle and some wildlife if you’re lucky.  During our tour, we saw plenty of monkeys in the trees, as well as a few snakes and even a frog. 

To book a guided kayak or canoe tour, just ask at your accommodation and they’ll arrange the trip for you.  Expect to pay around 800 THB per adult and 600 THB per child (4-10) with trips taking a total of 2 hours.

Bamboo Rafting

For something a little different, take the kids on a bamboo rafting tour along the Sok River. 

These tours are similar to the kayaking or canoeing, however part way through you’ll take a coffee break.  The coffee is made in a bamboo stick and served in bamboo cups which you can take home with you.

To book a bamboo rafting tour, just ask at your accommodation and they’ll arrange the trip for you.  Expect to pay around 900 THB per adult and 500 THB per child (4-10) with a return trip taking around 2 hours.

Caves

There are many different caves to explore in Khao Sok National Park,  each with its unique features and natural beauty and many adorned with stunning stalactites and stalagmites. 

Some caves require guided tours, while others can be explored independently.  Some caves can be reached via a hike, while others can only be reached by boat.

Some of the popular caves to explore include:

Nam Talu Cave: This is one of the most accessible caves in Khao Sok and is located near the park headquarters. The cave features impressive stalactites and stalagmite formations, as well as a crystal-clear stream that runs through it. Visitors can explore the cave’s chambers and admire the fascinating limestone formations.

Pakarang Cave: Located in the Khlong Sok area, this cave is known for its impressive limestone chambers and intricate rock formations. You’ll have the opportunity to venture deep into the cave with a guide who can provide insights into the geology and history of the cave.

Coral Cave (Tham Pla): This cave is situated near Cheow Lan Lake and is named for its unique coral-like formations. The cave is accessible by boat, and a guided tour allows you to explore its striking interior. Keep an eye out for bats and other cave-dwelling creatures.

Ta Pan Cave: Also known as “Bat Cave,” Ta Pan Cave is named for its large population of bats. At sunset, thousands of bats emerge from the cave, creating an impressive spectacle. This cave is accessible by boat from Cheow Lan Lake, and visitors can observe the bat exodus from the nearby viewing area.

Diamond Cave (Tham Prap.): This cave is located within a short drive from Khao Sok Village. It features stunning limestone formations and a relatively easy walk through its chambers. It’s a great option for those seeking a less strenuous caving experience.

Elephant Sanctuary

I can’t imagine a child on this planet who wouldn’t be thrilled about visiting an elephant sanctuary while in Khao Sok.  And the good thing about Khao Sok is there are several places in town where you can have an ethically responsible elephant encounter.  

These elephant sanctuaries in Khao Sok are homes for former working elephants, so they can’t be returned to the wild.  The sanctuaries give them a safe place to live out their lives and having tourists visit ensures there is plenty of money to ensure they are well provided for.

While visiting the sanctuaries, you’ll have the chance to assist in preparing the elephant’s food, feed them and watch them as they freely roam around the sanctuary.

While we were in Khao Sok, we visited the Elephant Hills Sanctuary, which can only be visited as part of a multi day tour.  You can read more about our time there here.

Other elephant sanctuaries you can visit in Khao Sok include the Khao Sok Elephant Sanctuary.

TIP: Don’t visit any elephant sanctuaries where you can ride or bathe with the elephants, this is not an ethical experience.

To book an elephant encounter, just ask at your accommodation and they’ll arrange it for you.  Expect to pay around 1200 THB per adult and 600 THB per child with a return trip taking around 2.5 hours.

Wat Tham Phanthurat ( Monkey Temple)

 

Wat Tham Phanthurat, also known as the “Monkey Temple”, is a temple located within a cave, which is also home to a number of macaques that freely roam the area. 

Although the temple is not overly spectacular, the kids will love watching the cheeky monkeys.  But do keep a close eye on the kids and don’t let them get up too close, and certainly don’t let the kids feed them.

We spent around 30 minutes here checking out the temple and watching the cute little monkeys.  There were heaps of babies when we visited which were so adorable to watch.

The entrance fee to the monkey temple is 20 baht.

Jungle Hike

 

Khao Sok is famous for its lush rainforest, which is over 160 million years old and one of the oldest rainforests on the planet. 

Within the Khao Sok National Park, you’ll find a range of animal and plant species. There is the giant Rafflesia, the largest flower in the world, and wildlife such as macaques, langurs, hornbills, kingfishers, gibbons, and even tigers also live in the dense forests. 

The best way to explore the rainforest is by taking a jungle hike.  There are a range of hikes in the National Park, as well as in the surrounding areas.  Hikes range from a short walk to a few hours and day hikes, so no matter how much time you’ve got, there is something for all.

One of the more popular hikes is the Ton Kloi Waterfall Trail, which, as the name suggests, includes a number of waterfalls.  This 7 km hike starts from the main entrance, which is on the main street in Khao Sok Town.

The Cheow Lan Lake Viewpoint Trail is also a popular hike, which offers a breathtaking vantage point over the stunning Cheow Lan Lake.  From the elevated viewpoint, you’ll enjoy panoramic vistas of the emerald-green lake and the iconic limestone karsts that rise dramatically from the water’s surface. 

If you’re heading into the National Park, you’ll need to pay the entrance fee, which is 300 baht per adult and 150 baht per child.  This is paid at the entrance to the park and is valid for one day.

It’s also recommended that tourists don’t hike without a guide.  If you’d like to arrange a guide, this can be organised at the Khao Sok National Park Headquarters or through your accommodation.

For a guided tour, expect to pay around 700 THB per person for about 3-3.5 hours – this doesn’t include the National Park entrance.

Visit a Waterfall

While in Khao Sok, families can visit several waterfalls.

One of the easiest waterfalls to see is Mai Yai which is on the main road and is the only waterfall in the area you can reach by car.

All other waterfalls in Khao Sok require a hike to get there.  Ton Kloi Waterfall Trail, as mentioned above, is a great hike to do as along the way, you’ll see several waterfalls, including Wang Phai Nga, Wing Hin Waterfall, Bang Hau Rat, Wang Yao, Bang Leab Nam, Tan Sawan Waterfall, Tang Nam Gorge and the Ton Kloi Waterfall.

Unfortunately, we didn’t get time to visit any of the waterfalls while in Khao Sok – but I really wanted to do the Ton Kloi Waterfall Trail as I’ve heard great things about the waterfalls along this hike.

How to get to Khao Sok National Park

Now, you could be coming to Khao Sok National Park from a range of places around Thailand or elsewhere in South East Asia – so let’s narrow it down to say that the park is best reached from either Phuket, Krabi or Surat Thani.

Phuket, Krabi and Surat Thani are the closest destinations to Khao Sok National Park that you can fly into.  There is no airport in Khao Sok; the closest airport to Khao Sok National Park is one of these destinations.

You can also fly into Koh Samui – however, unless you plan on spending time on Koh Samui, this would be the least cost effective way, as flights to Koh Samui tend to be fairly expensive.

So do your research on flights from wherever you’re coming from and choose one of those destinations to start from.  

I recommend checking flights on Skyscanner first, then booking with the airline directly.

Click here for a more detailed guide on how to get to Khao Sok National Park, as well as details on how to get there from other Thailand destinations.

From Phuket

The cheapest way to get to Khao Sok from Phuket is by taking a bus from the Phuket bus terminal 2.  From the Terminal 2 bus station, you take a bus via Khao Lak with a 20 minute stopover in Takua Pa en route to Khao Sok National Park.  The entire journey takes around 4 hours and costs 370 THB per person.

There are no buses leaving from Phuket Airport to Khao Sok, so in this case the next best option is to take a shared minivan.  A shared minivan departs from Phuket Airport to Khao Sok Village a few times daily, costing around 1000 THB per person.  This trip takes about 2.5 to 3 hours.

The most convenient way to get to Khao Sok from Phuket is via a private taxi.  This costs around 3000 THB, and the journey will take approximately 2.5 to 3.5 hours, depending on whether you’re coming from the Airport or town.

Click here for our more detailed guide on getting to Khao Sok National Park from Phuket.

You can book your bus, minivan and private taxi here.

From Krabi

There are no buses leaving from Krabi to Khao Sok National Park, so the cheapest way to go is via a shared minivan.

A few shared minivans depart from Krabi town to Khao Sok before noon each day.  These cost around 500 THB per person, and the trip takes 3 to 5 hours.

No vans leave from the Krabi Airport Khao Sok, so you’ll need to make your way to the Krabi Bus Terminal first.  There are only two minivans going from the airport to town each day, which costs 150 THB per person and takes just 20 minutes.  

Otherwise, a taxi will cost around 500 THB to get you from the airport to the bus station – you can then take the minivan to Khao Sok from there.

You can also take a private taxi service from Krabi directly to your hotel at Khao Sok Village.  This will cost around 2600 to 3000 THB.  The trip takes about 2.5 to 3 hours.

You can book your minivan and private taxi here.

From Surat Thani

The cheapest way to get to Khao Sok from Surat Thani is by taking a bus from the bus terminal or train station in town.  Buses leave a few times a day with a journey time of around 2.5 hours and fares cost 280 THB per person.

The most convenient way to get to Khao Sok from Surat Thani is via a private taxi.  This costs from around 2000 to 2600 THB; the journey will take approximately 2 hours.

A shared minivan is a happy medium between the two.  Minivans tend to leave from the bus station which takes around 2.5 hours and costs 300 THB per person.

You can book your bus, minivan and private taxi here.

Best Accommodation

While visiting Khao Sok, it is best to allow a few days in the small Khao Sok Town as well as a few days in a floating bungalow on Cheow Lan Lake.  It may even be best to spend a day in town on either side of your time on Cheow Lan Lake.

Below are our top picks on where to stay with the kids in Khao Sok Village.  You can find our full guide on where to stay in Koh Sok Village here.

Click here for our full guide on choosing a floating bungalow to stay in with the kids.

Khao Sok Tree House Resort

 

Check out the colourful and quirky rooms at the stunning Khao Sok Tree House Resort, which is only 950 metres from the town centre. There are a few restaurants within a short walk. We stayed here for one night in the village and found it pretty good – although it’s not the closed accommodation in the centre of town but if you want to stay in a treehouse then this is the best option.

Khao Sok Tree House Resort has a bean shaped pool, a bar and a restaurant, all built into their forest surroundings. Breakfast is included in the room price – although it’s not that great. 

The property has just 15 rooms on offer, all within the trees between 4 to 15 metres above the ground.  Family treehouses, sleep up to 4 people in 2 double beds with nets. 

For larger families, there are two treehouses that sleep up to 10 people. In fact, these may be the only bamboo house Khao Sok has for larger families. 

Rooms feature air conditioning, a fridge, a TV, a fan and a shower in the ensuite.   There is also a private outdoor seating area.

Keep in mind being a treehouse, there are plenty of stairs to be climbed everytime you come and go – which may not be ideal for younger kids or anyone with mobility issues.

Click here for more information and to check the price.

Khao Sok B&B

 

The Khao Sok Bed and Breakfast is just 50 metres from the centre of town and the National Park entrance is 400 metres away. 

Good sized family rooms sleep up to 4 people in a double and 2 single beds. The rooms are light with a neutral decor and have air conditioning, a fridge, a TV and a desk. There is a shower in the ensuite. 

This hotel has a restaurant, free WiFi and a tour desk.

Click here for more information and to check the price.

Morning Mist Resort

 

The Khao Sok Morning Mist Resort has it all – great views, good quality rooms, excellent customer service and that all important jungle vibe. It is situated next to the Klong Sok River, 120 metres from the town centre and only a 5 minute walk from the national park entrance. 

This resort has 9 lovely little bungalows across the property, with a family bungalow able to sleep 4 in 2 double beds.  In addition, these bungalows feature a soft chair, a fan, a kettle, a clothes rail and a bathroom with a shower. At the front of the low rise bungalow is a porch with seating and either garden or river views. 

The resort has a small pool and a restaurant with lovely views where you can enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner, as well as snacks throughout the day.

 Click here for more information and to check the price.

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I hope you enjoyed this guide on all the best things to do in Khao Sok National Park with kids.  Other guides that you might helpful include things to do in Phuket with kids, things to do in Khao Lak with kids (coming soon) and things to do in Bangkok with kids.

 

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