After spending a month in Vietnam, I decided Thailand would be my next destination. I previously visited Thailand in 2013 and covered parts of the north (Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Chiang Rai) and southeast (Koh Samui, Koh Tao, and Koh Phangan). I focused on the southwest this time.
One of my first destinations was Khao Sok National Park, where I spent two nights. I didn’t know much about the park before visiting, but a friend who is an avid traveler recommended spending at least a night there. I booked a room at Khao Sok Good View Resort.
To get to Khao Sok, I took a three-hour bus ride from Phuket. Upon arriving at the resort, Mr. Bao, the owner, welcomed me and ushered me to my room. After I settled into my room, Mr. Bao presented me with tour options. I decided to do a full day tour that included a cruise on Cheow Lan Lake and a hike. Mr. Bao lent me a dry bag since the hike involved wading through water.
The next morning, a guide named Vivek picked me up from the resort. Our group consisted of nine other people from Poland, the Netherlands, and Germany. We boarded a longtail boat to cruise through Cheow Lan Lake. The water was a beautiful turquoise, and we passed many karsts. It was quiet, and I saw no more than five other boats. The scenery reminded me of Halong Bay, but I thought Khao Sok might have been even prettier due to the lack of crowds and pollution.
After about an hour, we reached a raft house, where we had lunch and prepared for our hike. It was the beginning of the rainy season (June), so we couldn’t visit the caves that were located in the park as the water inside the caves was too high. Vivek said we would hike to a waterfall instead and pass by the caves.
The hiking trail was muddy, but our shoes were cleaned when we crossed through several streams. The water reached my waist at a couple of points. The day was hot and humid, so the crossings were a refreshing break.
I found three leeches on my legs at different parts of the trail. They seemed to love me; I got the most bites out of our group. Luckily, one of my hiking mates was good at getting the leeches off me. The leeches didn’t freak me out too much since I had already survived my hike up Lang Biang, but I was still grateful that I spotted them before they had sucked a lot of blood.
After hiking for about an hour, we reached a waterfall. We spent time taking photos and wading through the water.
We took the same trail back and returned to our longtail boat. It was an excellent day, and we were lucky to have clear skies.
Khao Sok Good View Resort was a big reason why I loved my stay in the national park. Mr. Bao was very attentive, answering all my questions and providing me with everything I needed for my tour. He gave mini Thai lessons, making sure I knew basic phrases like “hello” and “thank you.” He also drove me to the bus stop to return to Phuket.
There are five rooms at the resort, all of which have a balcony. Since you’re in a jungle, it’s inevitable that bugs will enter your room. If you really hate creatures with more than four legs, Khao Sok may not be a good destination. Only a few bugs entered my room at night, so I was fine with letting them hang out with me. My room was clean, and it was a luxury to have it to myself after staying in hostels.
Khao Sok was a highlight of my stay in Thailand, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it. If you have the time, Khao Sok is absolutely worthwhile.