fbpx Skip to content

THIS POST IS ALSO AVAILABLE IN : Nederlands

500Rai Floating Resort in Cheow Lan Lake seen with a drone
500Rai Floating Resort in Cheow Lan Lake seen with a drone

500RAI FLOATING RESORT - DISCONNECT TO RECONNECT

500Rai Floating Resort is the most luxurious resort you’ll find on the giant lake of Khao Sok National Park. An overnight stay in a floating bungalow on the lake is an insane experience anyway. But even more special in a floating resort like the one at 500Rai. This resort even has a floating pool in the lake. We were especially charmed by the friendly staff and the wide variety of delicious Thai food. It was not the first time and certainly not the last time we slept on Lake Cheow Lan in Khao Sok National Park. But this was the trendiest accommodation we have slept in the park so far.

DID YOU KNOW?
500Rai Floating Resort opened on 26th of March 2012 and has received numerous awards and nominations in the past. In 2016, the resort was named “accommodation with best location” by Lonely Planet. The team at 500Rai also received recognition for their contribution to the national park.

500Rai seen with a drone during sunrise

Location

The extraordinary resort floats on a gigantic lake called Cheow Lan Lake. There are about a dozen resorts that float on the lake, which is part of Khao Sok National Park. Of these, 500Rai Floating Resort is one of the farthest resorts from the pier. In addition, 500Rai is the most luxurious resort you can find on the lake of Khao Sok National Park. The accommodation is located in the west of the lake where it’s nice and quiet because there is less traffic in the form of longtail boats passing by. 

DID YOU KNOW?
A Thai longtail boat is (often) powered by a car engine to which a long rod with a propeller is attached. A convenient and typical Thai means of transportation in the sea, as well as in the canals and lakes of Thailand. The disadvantage of the longtail boat is loud roaring noise. We can’t wait for the electric version to make its appearance. Just like MuvMi, the eletric version of the tuk tuk in Bangkok. Way less noisy and much better for the environment.

, bye bye noise.

A longtail boat in Thailand

Image: Thailand Magazine

Khao Sok National Park

We just can’t get enough of the surroundings of Khao Sok National Park! Time and again we return to this mesmerizing area located in Surat Thani province. Personally, we think Khao Sok is one of the most beautiful destinations in Thailand! The national park covers an area of about seven hundred square meters and will exist exactly fifty years in 2030. The park’s limestone mountains are “slightly” older than 50 years, namely hundreds of millions of years old. 

DID YOU KNOW?
In the jungle of Khao Sok National Park grows the largest flower in the world, the Rafflesia Kerrii. The biggest chance to see this flower in bloom is from January to March. You can also book a tour for this.

The map of Khao Sok National Park at the pier of Cheow Lan Lake

Image: Thailand Magazine

Once every two years we get the Khao Sok fever and we must return to this beautiful area we love so much. By now we have also become friends with some locals from the village of Khao Sok, a great excuse to visit every time! In July 2022, we first slept one night at Caligo Resort which is on the edge of the lake. Following that, we slept two nights at the beautiful 500Rai Floating Resort on Cheow Lan Lake and then another night visiting our friends in the village of Khao Sok.

TIP!
A good friend of ours is a very professional and passionate local guide in Khao Sok National Park. Through him you can book day tours in the park, but also overnight tours on Cheow Lan Lake where you spend the night in a floating bungalow.

Of course you can also, like us, stay in the most luxurious resort on Cheow Lan Lake, 500Rai Floating Resort.

Gai the guide takes a picture

Image: Thailand Magazine

Cheow Lan Lake, the lake of Khao Sok National Park

500Rai floats on Cheow Lan Lake, many visitors call it the lake of Khao Sok. Cheow Lan Lake was created thanks to the Ratchaprapha Dam, which means “light of the Kingdom.” Not surprising because thanks to the hydroelectric plant, Ratchaprapha Dam and the huge Cheow Lan reservoir, so much power is released that it generates enough electricity for the entire province of Surat Thani. More than 150,000 people use the electricity generated daily thanks to Khao Sok Lake. Think about that when you turn on the lights during your stay at one of the (floating) accommodations in Khao Sok and its surroundings.

DID YOU KNOW?
Cheow Lan Lake is nearly 200 km2 in size and with an average depth of 30 meters. Formerly an inhabited area, today entire villages are hidden underwater. Incidentally, the lake is also written as Chiew Larn Lake.

View of the dam and lake of Cheow Lan

How to get to the floating 500Rai Resort

There are a few well-known destinations in Thailand from which to take the last leg of your route to Cheow Lan Lake pier. Surat Thani is the best known, with visitors arriving at the train station or airport. Then there are the destinations of Phuket, Krabi, Khao Lak and the small village of Khao Sok. From these five destinations, you can easily get to Cheow Lan Lake pier by minivan, car or taxi. 

If you want to read more about the route and how to get to Khao Sok check the article “How to travel to Khao Sok“.

Click here to read how to travel to Khao Sok
Click here to read about Khao Sok's weather and climate

At the pier of Cheow Lan Lake you first pay 320 THB park fee per person, from then on 500Rai takes over. The resort provides the longtail boat that transports guests to the resort. 500Rai has its own office at the pier where guests gather. After “checking in” and getting more information about the floating resort, not much later we left for 500Rai Floating Resort on Lake Khao Sok. 

Check-in desk of 500Rai at Cheow Lan Lake pier

Image: Thailand Magazine

The pier at Cheow Lan Lake

Image: Thailand Magazine

Depending on the weather and stopovers, it’s about an hour and a half boat ride. Without any stop and in good weather conditions you will arrive at 500Rai within 50 minutes. In our case, the captain of the longtail boat made another stop at Khao Sam Klur also known as Three Rocks or Guilin of Thailand, a well-known landmark and tourist attraction on the lake. Time for some photos. Speaking of photos, the surroundings of Cheow Lan Lake are so indescribably beautiful that we have posted a few additional images of the area below. You really must see the enchanting beauty of Cheow Lan Lake and Khao Sok National Park with your own eyes!

Khao Sam Klur on Cheow Lan Lake

Image: Thailand Magazine

The 500Rai lobby  

Once we arrived at the jetty of the 500Rai Floating Resort, we and our fellow passengers were immediately given a warm welcome by some of the staff. Our backpacks were taken off the longtail boat and we were asked to walk with them. We walked into the spacious lobby where we were told that it is also used as a restaurant, bar and gathering point. 

The 500Rai lobby is a large space with almost everything painted white. This gives the common area a serene atmosphere. The lobby has a remarkably high ceiling and a little bridge has been created in the middle. From the little bridge you can look straight into the water of the lake and see the fish swimming regularly. The lobby also sells bags of fish food for 20 THB so you can feed the fish from the little bridge. 

De lobby / restaurant / bar van 500Rai Floatign Resort in het Khao Sok National Park
De lobby van 500Rai waar een bruggetje is vanwaar je vissen kunt voeren uit het water van Cheow Lan Lake

The lobby is also used as a restaurant and bar. The lobby is also used as a meeting point for tours and the like. Actually, the lobby is the common area where everyone gathers. 

DID YOU KNOW?
“Rai” is a unit of area equal to 1,600 square meters. Previously, 500Rai Floating Resort was located in the lagoon which has an area approximately 500 ‘Rai’. This special lagoon is opposite Pa Ka Rang Cave or Coral Cave, one of the most famous activities in the lake. All guests had to trek 1.2 km into the rainforest to get to the resort. Therefore, the resort was moved to its present location. Which is also more convenient for travel and excursions, and has a picturesque view.

The lobby/restaurant/bar of 500Rai Floatign Resort in Khao Sok National Park

Restaurant and bar at 500Rai

The 500Rai restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, at regular intervals. There are about 30 white tables at which comfortable sofas and rattan chairs are placed. In the far corner, just before the walkway to the bungalows, is a bar where you can hang out while ordering and sipping a drink.

Upon arrival at the resort, we were asked to take a seat at our table. In fact, each guest is assigned their own table during check-in where they dine during the stay at 500Rai Floating Resort. We were lucky enough to get a table at the edge of the “lobby” that provides us an spectacular view over the pool, over the lake and up to the limestone cliffs of Khao Sok National Park. We could not have wished for a better place!

Tables overlooking Cheow Lan Lake and the Limestone cliffs at 500Rai Floating Resort's restaurant
Tables overlooking Cheow Lan Lake and the Limestone cliffs at 500Rai Floating Resort's restaurant
Tables overlooking Cheow Lan Lake and the Limestone cliffs at 500Rai Floating Resort's restaurant

500Rai facilities

Compared to other resorts where we have slept at Cheow Lan Lake, 500Rai has a number of facilities that we have not had there before.

Massage

For example, you can book a massage at 500Rai Floating Resort. You then receive this in the resort’s floating massage room. Choices include Thai massage, foot massage, aromatherapy massage and hot oil massage. Prices range from THB 690 to THB 1,700 for an hour.

a massage at 500Rai Floating Resort
Kayaking with a rainbow in the background on Cheow Lan Lake

The floating pool in the lake of Cheow Lan

Really, 500Rai has a pool… a floating pool in the lake, incredible right? There are even two, because the Honeymoon Suite has a large private pool. The resort’s community pool is 5×12 m. and is linked to the lobby by a pontoon. 

The floating pool at 500Rai Floating Resort

Swimming in the emerald greeb lake of Khao Sok National Park

Personally we chose to go for a nice swim in Khao Sok’s lake instead of swimming in the pool. Attached to the bungalows is a terrace with a floating platform attached that makes it easy to get out of the water. We remember well our first jump years ago into the lukewarm waters of Cheow Lan Lake. The emerald green water feels wonderfully warm and that in such a huge lake, something we will never forget. Hopefully you have experienced it yourself or are going to experience it yourself (soon)! Let us know via our Khao Sok Facebook page or Khao Sok WhatsApp Group.

500Rai floating in Cheow Lan Lake in Khao Sok National Park, Surat Thani, Thailand
500Rai floating in Cheow Lan Lake in Khao Sok National Park

Kayaking in Cheow Lan Lake

Each bungalow at 500Rai comes with its own kayak. You may use this for free during your stay at the beautiful resort on the lake of Khao Sok National Park. With the kayak you can explore part of the Cheow Lan Lake where you can paddle along the waterfront of islands with dense jungle. Unreal beautiful and very special to discover the surroundings of Cheow Lan Lake, especially in the early morning or at dusk. (You can also paddle at the resort).

Kayaking in Cheown Lan Lake
Rainbow while someone is supping in Cheow Lake

(No) Wi-Fi and mobile internet

500Rai Floating Resort has no Wi-Fi, which is not surprising with a slogan like “Disconnect to Reconnect. Mobile coverage on the lake is also pretty poor; we ourselves never have coverage there. If necessary, tell the home front in advance that you will be off the grid for a while. Should you suddenly need internet for any reason, there is still internet via satellite. The costs are 350 THB per hour or 1,500 THB per day.

The floating pool at 500Rai Floating Resort

Organized tours and trekkings

During our days at the 500Rai resort, we decided not to do too very much. We had already seen a lot in the previous years of our visit to this amazing national park in Thailand and we wanted to recharge our batteries before traveling to Koh Tao. We decided to only join the morning safari. Our guide Abdullah was very friendly and we could sense from everything that he cared very much about his job and the area where he is a guide. He talked extensively about Khao Sok National Park explaining the nature and history of the park. Unfortunately, we didn’t saw wild elephants, only a few hornbills flying overhead. There is no magic button that makes the wild animals living in Khao Sok National Park appear with a push….

500Rai Floating Resort Tour
500Rai Floating Resort tour

The guides at 500 Rai offer a variety of tours, excursions and treks. For example, you can go to the Tarzan Viewpoint with insane views of Cheow Lan Lake or visit caves such as the Coral Cave (Tham Pakaran in Thai). Prices vary between THB 3,000 and THB 6,000. You can ask about them via the contact information below or during your stay at the resort.

PLEASE NOTE
Not all activities are available at all times due to weather conditions, for example. Safety first!

Tarzan Viewpoint visit as tour of 500Rai Floating Resort
Visiting the Coral Cave as a tour of 500Rai Floating Resort
Visiting a waterfall as a tour of 500Rai Floating Resort

Different types of floating bungalows at 500Rai

500Rai Floating Resort has eighteen floating bungalows in total, ideal for couples, families and groups of friends. A total of six types of floating bungalows can be booked. For lovebirds planning a honeymoon, 500Rai has created a special bungalow, the Honeymoon Suite. For large groups of friends or large families, there is the Family Suite.

All floating bungalows at 500Rai have a safe, fan and some even have air conditioning. They do lack a (mini) refrigerator, but several bottles of bottled water are brought every day. Only ecological bath products like soap and shampoo are used in the clean bungalows. These do not harm the surroundings or the environment, good job 500Rai!

Overview of 500Rai Floating Resort

At 500Rai Floating Resort it’s almost always quiet, the management of 500Rai has deliberately chosen not to place too many bungalows. Some are even placed further away on the water and only accessible by a small ferry from the lobby . For convenience, we have divided the floating resort into four parts. The first part is the lobby which also serves as the restaurant/bar. The second and longest part of the resort consists of three types of floating bungalows; Deluxe, Villa and Family Villa.

The Family Villa are two Deluxe rooms connected together. This spacious bungalow consists of two rooms with double beds and two “attics” with two times two single beds. The Family Villa does not have air conditioning.

The ferry from 500Rai Floating Resort

The wooden bungalows accommodate a minimum of four people. In the Deluxe Room and the Villa, a spacious double bed is placed downstairs. Upstairs, two single mattresses are placed. To get upstairs, you do have to climb a steep staircase. The difference with the Deluxe room and the Villa, is that the Deluxe offers a little less privacy. This is because there are two bungalows next to each other with a partition on the terrace. Our floating bungalow, the Villa is free standing and still gives more of a sense of privacy. Another difference is that the Deluxe’s has no air conditioning.

A room at 500Rai Floating Resort
The loft with two single beds of a room at 500Rai Floating Resort

If you sleep in the Honeymoon Suite with your own pool, you will sleep in the third section and you will have to use the ferry. This is because the Honeymoon Suite floats all alone in the lake about thirty meters from the second part. We think the Honeymoon Suite is the most beautiful bungalow at 500Rai. In addition to a private 5×12-meter pool, this gem has two terraces and an outdoor Jacuzzi that overlooks the lake. In our opinion, there is no more beautiful accommodation on the entire lake of Khao Sok National Park than the Honeymoon Suite at 500Rai Floating Resort.

The honeymoon suite at 500Rai Floating Resort with its own floating pool
The honeymoon suite at 500Rai Floating Resort with its own floating pool
The honeymoon suite at 500Rai Floating Resort with its own jaccuzzi

The Family Suite, the fourth section farthest from the lobby. At a whopping 86 square meters, the Family Suite is the ideal bungalow for large families or groups of friends. With a total of four bathrooms, two bedrooms each with a king-size bed and six single mattresses, the Family Suite can accommodate ten people. Like the Honeymoon Suite, this floating suite is accessed by a floating platform that functions as a small ferry.

PLEASE NOTE!
In the months of November through April 500Rai is regularly sold out. These months fall in the dry season and are the most popular. 

The Family Villa at 500Rai Floating Resort
The Family Villa at 500Rai Floating Resort

Tasty (Thai) food and beverages

We enjoyed the super tasty Thai food at 500Rai’s Ta Lay Nai Restaurant during the three days we stayed at the floating resort. We had an all in package where we got breakfast, lunch and dinner, a total of six meals. Everything we were served was fresh and deliciously prepared by the kitchen team. The resort also offers room service, but we liked eating at the restaurant much better. Thanks in part to our perfect spot with wide views of the lake.

Delicious Thai food at 500Rai Floating Resort
Delicious Thai food at 500Rai Floating Resort

You can also order (mostly Authentic Thai) a la carte dishes at 500Rai’s restaurant. You can do this from 10:00 to 19:30 hours, but the prices are not very cheap. Not surprising since everything has to be transported across the lake. Wondering what was on the menu during our stay? Check out the menu at 500Rai Floating Resort.

DID YOU KNOW?
Ta Lay Nai Restaurant is named after one of the bays in Cheow Lan Lake

Delicious Thai food at 500Rai Floating Resort
Delicious Thai food at 500Rai Floating Resort

Breakfast at 500Rai Floating Resort 

Every morning from 08:00 – 10:00 a.m. there is a breakfast buffet with Thai dishes and a salad bar. We gratefully took advantage of the egg station, where delicious egg dishes were prepared in front of us. We had unlimited coffee, tea, water and juice. Bread and, for example, jam, Nutella or peanut butter could also be taken by ourselves. Too bad the bread did run out very quickly, a small point of criticism. 

Delicious breakfast at 500Rai Floating Resort

Image: Thailand Magazine

Delicious breakfast at 500Rai Floating Resort

Image: Thailand Magazine

Lunch at 500Rai Floating Resort 

Lunch at 500Rai is served from 12:00 – 2:00 pm. We had an all inclusive package and were served lunch twice during our stay. Insanely delicious Thai food, in a floating restaurant overlooking a large lake with limestone cliffs in the background, who wouldn’t want that!

Dinner at 500Rai Floating Resort 

From 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. we ate our dinner once again at our regular spot in the clean restaurant of 500Rai. We feasted on fish, chicken, curries, soup and desserts, among other tasty Thai dishes. Everything was so fresh and very delicious! After an afternoon of vigorous kayaking on Cheow Lan Lake, a meal tastes extra good!

Our table in the restaurant of 500Rai Floating Resort

Image: Thailand Magazine

Delicious Thai food at 500Rai Floating Resort

Image: Thailand Magazine

Delicious Thai food at 500Rai Floating Resort

Image: Thailand Magazine

Beverages at 500Rai Floating Resort 

Nice that there is also a bar in the lobby. We regularly drank a coffee shake and treated ourselves to a cocktail once. That’s something different from a cocktail at one of Bangkok’s many sky bars. A soft drink like cola costs 80 THB and an iced coffee 100 THB. A beer costs 150 THB and a cocktail costs 390 THB.

Tasty drinks at 500Rai Floating Resort

Image: Thailand Magazine

The bar at 500Rai Floating Resort

Image: Thailand Magazine

Tasty drinks at 500Rai Floating Resort

Image: Thailand Magazine

Our own experience at the 500Rai floating resort on Cheow Lan Lake

First of all, let’s say that visiting Cheow Lan Lake is a unique experience! Therefore, we believe that everyone visiting Thailand should go here. Here you can see nature and earth in its most beautiful form, pure and unspoiled. The fact that there is virtually no coverage on the lake only makes a visit all the more enjoyable. No online distractions, just time together with each other, “Connect to Disconnect”!

In July 2022, we slept two nights in our floating bungalow, the Villa as they call it at 500Rai. We walked from the lobby to our room via a floating walkway. We slept in the middle of a row of bungalows. From the wooden walkway, we looked out on the emerald green waters of the lake. 

The ferry from 500Rai Floating Resort

Image: Thailand Magazine

The Villa at 500Rai consists of two parts with a spacious bedroom downstairs with an unparalleled view of the lake from the bed, a bathroom and separate toilet. In the entrance is a small desk and closet containing towels. Free toiletries such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, shower cap, etc., can be requested at the reception. The steep staircase in the entrance provides access to the second floor, a kind of attic, where there are two single mattresses and a fan. Pretty basic, but a great place for the kids!

The corridor of our villa at the 500Rai Floating Resort

Image: Thailand Magazine

The corridor of our villa at the 500Rai Floating Resort

Image: Thailand Magazine

In the bathroom there is a glass partition door for shower room containing a rain shower from which hot water flows. For a floating bungalow on Lake Cheow Lan, this is a luxury; we have experienced other things. Normally we are lucky to get two plastic bottles of water while staying on the lake. At 500Rai you get six bottles of water every day, good thing they use glassware. In this way they too are combating plastic pollution in Thailand. 500Rai Floating Resort operates in an environmentally friendly way. A certified wastewater and waste management system is used.

The bathroom of our villa at the 500Rai Floating Resort

Image: Thailand Magazine

The bathroom of our villa at the 500Rai Floating Resort

Image: Thailand Magazine

The bedrooms of the Villa have a spacious double bed which does not feel too hard, good for sleeping on. The friendly 500Rai team had surprised us with a romantic decoration on our bed. After all, a few weeks later we were to get married on Koh Samui. The bedroom has a fan hanging on the wall and even air conditioning. By the way, air conditioning is also quite unique in a cottage on Lake Cheow Lan. The very best thing about the floating bungalow is the view. From the bed you look out over the terrace with the immense lake beyond. Behind it again the great limestone cliffs that are hundreds of millions of years old. 

The bedroom of our villa at the 500Rai Floating Resort

Image: Thailand Magazine

The bedroom of our villa at the 500Rai Floating Resort

Image: Thailand Magazine

Not surprisingly, we spent most of our stay outside. Enjoying our terrace with a wooden bench or in the water. The terrace is extended with a floating platform made of bamboo that allows you to clamber out of the water (relatively) easily. The platform also serves as a kayak “parking lot.” Even before the sun rose, we spent the early morning outside, enjoying the impressive sounds of nature. From croaking frogs nearby and the howling sound of gibbons in the distance. Of fish floundering in the water and the twittering of hornbills in the sky. Disconnect to Reconnect, the connection with nature was restored for a moment! 

The terrace of our villa at the 500Rai Floating Resort

Image: Thailand Magazine

The terrace of our villa at the 500Rai Floating Resort

Image: Thailand Magazine

We hope that everyone reading this wakes up one day on the lake of Khao Sok watching the sun rise as the morning mist glides over the cliffs in the distance. That you can take a splash in the lukewarm water of the lake before taking a shower. As someone from the resort said to us “Simply is the best” and so it is, in the Khao Sok Nature Park you don’t need much. 

Compliments to 500Rai management for working almost exclusively with locals and providing lots of employment in the area. Materials for the resort are mainly sourced locally and food products are mainly supplied fresh from local fishermen and farmers in Surat Thani.

One point of improvement is the music that was on at a fairly high volume in the public area (lobby/restaurant) from early to late. When we brought this up, we were told that Thai guests prefer listening to music rather than natural sounds. In our experience, the music was not in keeping with the motto “Disconnect to Reconnect”. 

The bedroom of our villa at the 500Rai Floating Resort

Image: Thailand Magazine

Regular information

Check-in at 500Rai Floating Resort can be from 2:00 pm and check-out is required by 9:30 am. This is because the longtail boat to Cheow Lan Lake pier leaves at 10:00 am. For current prices of this extraordinary floating resort, it is best to check Booking and/or Agoda. In addition, you support Thailand Magazine by booking through our partner links. We receive a small commission on your booking. This costs you nothing extra and this allows us to continue working hard on our great passion, sharing our deep-rooted love for Thailand and thus promoting the land of smiles. 

Address: Cheow Lan Lake, Khao Sok National Park, Ban Ta Khun, Suratthani, 84230 Thailand
Address in Thai: 21/100 ถ. สาทรใต้ แขวง ทุ่งมหาเมฆ เขต สาทร กรุงเทพมหานคร 10120
Phone number: +66 7795 3013
Website: https://www.500rai.com/ 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/500rairesort 
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/resort500rai/ 

Kayaking under a rainbow

Thanks!

We would like to thank the entire 500Rai team for our pleasant stay at Cheow Lan Lake! Especially Khun Bua, Khun Ble and guide Khun Abdullah. Of course we would like to thank the team that provided us with a very good service during our stay. Also thanks to the team in the kitchen  that provided us with such delicious authentic Thai food. Thank you all for a fantastic stay in one of the most beautiful places in Thailand. Disconnect to Reconnect, yup it worked!

Some of the team at 500Rai Floating Resort

Image: Thailand Magazine

Tips for your Khao Sok National Park trip

boomhut in de jungle, Klik hier voor informatie over Our Jungle House in Khao Sok
Click here to see our list with best restaurants in Khao Sok
Photo with link, Click here if you want to know everything about the Morning Mist Resort in Khao Sok, Thailand.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT AMAZING THAILAND

Click here for everything you want to know about Koh Tao
Read all about Phuket in Thailand here
Read all about the beautiful beaches and attractions of Khao Lak in Thailand.
Read all about Railay in Krabi province
Check all our In the Picture entries
Click here for all our Picture This artikelen
From Thailand with LOVE! June 2020
Back To Top