Level: very easy (our easiest guided tour)
Season: all year
If watching a wide variety of exotic birds and other animals is a high priority for you, our Khao Sok National Park small group or private tour is just the ticket. It is the ultimate wildlife sanctuary in southern Thailand. Monkeys are very common, especially Dusky Langurs. These gregarious black and silver monkeys are famous for their leaping ability. Luckily for us, they have defined arboreal pathways... just like our ground trails. This means that you can bet that if you see one make a leap, there will soon be others using the same branches.
Pig-tail Macaques, Long-tail Macaques, and even Stump-tail Macaques are common in the park.
If you're into photography, this means you'll have a very good chance to get one of those once-in-a-lifetime wildlife shots!
White-handed Gibbons, an endangered species of ape, are common in the park. Their wacky morning calls will certainly surprise and entertain you.
We have also seen other rare animals such as Malayan Tapirs, Gaur, Serows (a type of rare mountain goat), Yellow-throated Martens, Malayan Sun Bears, Asiatic Black Bears, Muntjac (deer), and Binturongs (a cross between a bear and a cat). We see wild elephants rather frequently too.
Several species of hornbills are frequently seen at Khao Sok, including the Great Hornbill. This ancient bird is so big that its wings make noise when it flies. You can even hear them when they glide. Their massive yellow bills and yellow slash in their wings makes them very easy to recognize in flight. Interestingly, the way you tell the sexes is that the males have red eyes. Females have white eyes. The male also has a black area under the cask, the resonating sound chamber resting on top of the bill. The female’s cask is solid yellow.
Common sightings besides the Great Hornbill include Bushy-crested, Oriental-pied, Wreathed, and occasionally the very strange-looking Helmeted Hornbill. You will hear the bizarre call of the Helmeted Hornbill even if you don’t see one. Their call is very unusual.It starts with a series of 'hoot' and finishes with a laughing sound.
Plus, there are plenty of big ficus, dipterocarpus, leguminosae, mimosoidaeae and other emergent trees, as well as a good variety of epiphytic plant to discover.
Even though our primary interest is ornithology, we have a fairly broad knowledge of the plants of the Kingdom.
There is no rainforest in Thailand. This is tropical evergreen forest to be precise. Prior to the clear-cutting of the indigenous flora Thailand was covered with rainforest; now it's covered by rubber and oil plantations. The best of what's left is in Khao Sok National Park.
Nam Talu Cave offers you a chance to see unique cave creatures. This cave trek takes about three hours to complete. The trail follows a lovely creek. It eventually reaches a large entrance to the cave system. The creek flows through the cave and you'll be in shallow water for a while, then deeper water. Click here to see an image gallery of the Nam Talu Cave.
This is a very popular trek with day trippers from the river area of Khao Sok. We do our best to avoid seeing other tour groups.
We have a variety of hiking trails, mostly up creeks as they are very pleasant and this gives you the option of going for a swim whenever you wish. If you are more into hiking than paddling, you can choose this option... or, if you want to mix it up a bit, that's fine too. We are always flexible.
Another interesting place to visit is the viewpoint. This hike is suitable for moderately fit adventurers. The summit of this viewpoint takes about an hour to reach. The view of Cheow Lan Reservoir and the thick jungle below is well-worth the effort to reach the top. As you hike in Khao Sok, your guide will point out wild edible plants, medicinal plants, and wild fruit.
We stay in unique, low impact, floating bamboo huts on the massive 165 square kilometer reservoir. These accommodations are very basic. They have traditional thin, firm Thai mattresses. It's a small step up from camping, but a small price to pay for being in such a lovely remote setting. We support the national park department and these bungalows are owned and operated by the national park. They do not belong to us.
For a bunch of image galleries of Khao Sok and other interesting things to see and do in Thailand, see our Pinterest page.
You can find answers to many of your possible questions on our FAQ page.
We offer three, four, five, and six-day tours, but longer trips are available on request. This tour includes all transfers from nearest local airport, bus station, hotel in Phuket (airfare not included), all equipment, all meals, accommodations once on the trip, snacks, water, coffee, tea, and insurance. Alcohol, soft drinks, and fruit juices are not included.
Binoculars are a good idea for Khao Sok. You can see the monkeys, gibbons, hornbills, and everything else, but you won't be able to really appreciate them without a closer look. A cheap pair of binoculars will suffice.
Mr. Bao leads most Khao Sok trips. He also runs the survival courses. Dave only goes on big group trips and school group trips, because Thai law dictates that all guides must be Thai. Mr. Bao is fluent in English and is certified in first aid to international standards by Emergency First Response. You're in good hands.Phang Nga Province add-on
If you have the time and like hiking, you can sign up for the Phang Nga Province add-on. This is on the way back from Khao Sok to Phuket. The jungle here is very impressive and it will give you a nice taste of the difference between the two destinations. It can be added as a hike or as a jungle survival add-on.
Dave is an Emergency First Response Instructor and a certified rescue technician through the Rescue 3 International organization. View certifications. All of our professional guides are certified in CPR and First Aid.