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HOW TO TRAVEL TO KHAO SOK?
The Romans once said “there are several roads that lead to Khao Sok” and these people were absolutely right! 😉 The village of Khao Sok, Khao Sok National Park and the Cheow Lan Lake (what it’s all about) are a few hours drive from the cities of Phuket, Krabi and Surat Thani. In this article we explain how to travel to Khao Sok.
Don’t miss the beautiful Khao Sok National Park when you go on holiday to Thailand!
Use the table of contents to quickly find what you are looking for!
- Khao Sok village
- Cheow Lan Lake
- Travel from Bangkok to Khao Sok by plane
- Travel from Bangkok to Khao Sok by train
- Travel from Bangkok to Khao Sok by bus
- Travel from Chiang Mai to Khao Sok
- Travel from Kanchanaburi to Khao Sok
- Travel from Ayutthaya to Khao Sok
- Travel from Phuket to Khao Sok
- Travel from Khao Lak to Khao Sok
- Travel from Krabi to Khao Sok
- Travel from Surat Thani to Khao Sok (best option)
- Travel from Koh Phangan to Khao Sok via Surat Thani
- Travel from Koh Samui to Khao Sok via Surat Thani
- Travel from Koh Tao to Khao Sok via Surat Thani
- From Khao Sok bus stop to the center or accommodation in the village
Khao Sok is a small village on the edge of Khao Sok National Park. This large national park consists of beautiful jungle and the area is over 160 million years old. Besides the jungle, the area also consists of the Cheow Lan Lake, a huge man made water reservoir. Cheow Lan Lake is about an hour’s drive from the village of Khao Sok. That’s why many people spend the night in this small but nice village.
Many people first stay one or two nights in Khao Sok and then go to the Cheow Lan Lake for a day trip or multi-day tour. After the lake visit you can (in some cases) travel right on to your next destination, but you also can choose to sleep one more night in Khao Sok and travel on the next day. There are also a lot of nice tours in and around the park. Khao Sok has quite a few hotels, hostels and even some luxury resorts and good restaurants.
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Khao Sok village | Image: ThailandMagazine.com
When a lot of people say Khao Sok they often they mean the Cheow Lan Lake which is an hour’s drive away. Cheow Lan Lake is an immense blue-green man-made reservoir. Thanks to the Ratchaprapha dam tens of thousands of people have electricity in the meadow area. Think about it when you turn on the light switch in your hotel room in Khao Sok… Around Cheow Lan Lake, giant limestone rock formations tower into the sky, covered in an oasis of lush green jungle. An unique world where numerous life flourishes, grows and lives. With a lot of luck you will see wild elephants and with a lot of bad luck a tiger! There are also many species of monkeys that you can see and hear here regularly, as well as the many special birds that spend the day here whistling in the air.
Stay at least one night in a floating cottage on the Cheow Lan Lake. There are different types of cottages from very basic to luxury. Read all about the beautiful lake in our extensive article.
Cheow Lan Lake | Image: ThailandMagazine.com
The fastest way to travel from Bangkok to Khao Sok is by plane. From both Don Mueang Airport (DMK) and Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) there are several daily flights to the nearest cities Surat Thani, Krabi and Phuket. From all three cities it’s about a 1.5 hour flight. The cheapest plane ticket we ever found costs € 35,- per person including 15 kg luggage. This was from Bangkok to Surat Thani with Air Asia. Usually the prices to Krabi and Phuket do not differ much. How to travel from the different airports to Khao Sok can be read further on in the article.
If you want to know what a plane ticket costs, check the tool below which allows you to view and compare your flight tickets through Skyscanner.
If you prefer not to travel by plane or there is no good plane ticket available anymore, then you can considering traveling by (night) train from Bangkok to Surat Thani. This will take about 12 hours and the train ticket will cost you around € 25,- per person.
Despite the fact that the train journey from Bangkok to Surat Thani is quite a long ride, we really enjoyed it! Traveling by night train is quite an adventure in itself and you will have to do this at least once when you travel in Thailand! An additional advantage of travelling by night train is that you save one night in a hotel! You can spend that amount of money in Khao Sok or on Cheow Lan Lake! Once arrived in Surat Thani there are several possibilities to travel on to Khao Sok, these are described here.
Prices and departure times of trains from Bangkok to Surat Thani
We always book our train ticket in advance via 12GoAsia. This company has never disappointed us and we have regularly used their services in Thailand. By the way, they have a very good customer service! For example the time we wanted to rebook tickets or they helped us find a sold out train ticket. Using the form below you can see which trains depart from Bangkok to Surat Thani for example. Fill in the departure point and check what time the trains leave, how long the journey takes and what the ticket price costs. Super handy!
Travel with the sleeper (night) train in Thailand | Image: ThailandMagazine.com
The cheapest and miraculously faster-than by-train-way is travelling by bus from Bangkok to Khao Sok. This takes between 10 and 11 hours (depending on the traffic on the road) and you can buy a bus ticket from € 16,- per person. You will then depart from the southern bus terminal Sai Tai Mai in Bangkok. Keep in mind that you still need to be able to get here.
If you first make a trip through the north of Thailand, for example in the region of Chiang Mai, you can also fly directly from Chiang Mai to Surat Thani, Krabi or Phuket. We recommend a flight to Surat Thani but maybe you first want to explore the surroundings of Krabi or Phuket. Of course that is also possible. Further on in this article you will read how to travel from these destinations to Khao Sok in the easiest way.
Chiang Mai Airport | Image: ThailandMagazine.com
If you first want to explore the surroundings of Kanchanaburi, such as the bridge over the River Kwai and/or the Erawan Falls and then want to travel on to Khao Sok, it is wise to travel to Bangkok first. And after that you can travel from Bangkok to Khao Sok. See below what your best option is via 12GoAsia.
At the airports of Bangkok and Phuket you will find The Coffee Club, one of our favorite coffee shops in Thailand!
The Coffee Club at DMK Airport (Bangkok) | Image: ThailandMagazine.com
If you choose to travel from Phuket to Khao Sok, you’ll be between two and four hours on your way. This of course depends on the type of transport, the hustle and bustle on the road and how many stops you have to make. Below we will explain you what transport options are available.
By bus from Phuket Town to Khao Sok
From the bus station in the city of Phuket there is a public bus to Khao Sok for 160 baht (around € 5.50) per person. Tickets can be bought at the station itself. Keep in mind that you are about 4 hours away. The bus, with its final destination Surat Thani, also stops in the places Khao Lak and Takua Pa. From 7 AM till 3 PM there is a bus every hour from Phuket to Khao Sok.
By bus from Phuket Airport to Khao Sok
From Phuket airport to Khao Sok you are 4 to 5 hours on the road, the price in total is 210 baht (around € 6,-). Unfortunately the busses don’t leave at the airport itself but at the police station about 10 km from the airport. From the airport you take the bus to Phuket Town, but you have to get off earlier. Tell the bus driver you want to get off at the bus stop to Khao Sok (near the highway police station). The cost to travel from Phuket Airport to this stop is 50 baht (around € 1,50). Then you change to the local bus that goes to Khao Sok for a price of 160 baht (around € 5.50). However, keep in mind that this bus also makes a number of other stops.
With a shared minivan or taxi from Phuket to Khao Sok
Also from your location in Phuket Town you can arrange your own transport, but it’s a lot easier to book in advance via 12GoAsia. For a taxi or minivan you pay an average of € 100,- in total. A minivan fits eight people and a taxi fits four, provided you don’t carry too much luggage of course. The cheapest way is to make sure your minivan or taxi is as full as possible, so you share the cost of the ride to Khao Sok. Add yourself to our public Facebook group Phuket in Thailand where you can make a call to travel together and share the costs. The ride will take about 3 hours depending on the traffic. Via the widget below you can see what your costs are and what possibilities there are with regard to minivan or taxi.
Rent a car in Phuket and drive to Khao Sok yourself
Of course you can also choose to rent a car yourself and drive from Phuket to Khao Sok. There are two possible routes you can take, the fast route that takes about three hours to get to Khao San and the scenic route that takes half an hour longer. There are numerous car rental companies at the airport and in Phuket Town. You can rent a car somewhere else on the island as well, there are many rental locations at the island of Phuket. You can get more information about the possibilities and prices via the tool below.
FIND A RENTAL CAR
Phuket Airport | Image: Phuket@Photographer.net (Flickr)
The public bus that leaves from Phuket Town also passes Khao Lak, from here it is another two hours drive. For a journey by bus from Khao Lak to Khao Sok you will lose 120 baht. Of course you can also choose, especially if you are with a group, to book your own minivan or taxi. Assume 50 euro for a two hour ride for a taxi and a minivan that can take nine people will be a tenner more expensive. More info via our 12GoAsia link.
It’s also possible to travel from Krabi to Khao Sok. We do advise you to make sure you are in Ao Nang or Krabi Town before you travel to Khao Sok. For example, stay a few nights in the beautiful Railay and/or the lively Ao Nang before you leave for Khao Sok. If you want to travel directly from Krabi airport to Khao Sok, you will need to travel to the bus station in Krabi Town first. A taxi costs no more than 400 baht and you’ll be at the bus station in fifteen minutes.
Travel with a shared minivan from Krabi Town to Khao Sok
From Krabi Town from on 10:30 AM shared minivans leave for Khao Sok. The travel time here will also be between four and five hours with a higher chance of arriving in Khao Sok earlier than via Ao Nang. The price for this ride will be the same as from Ao Nang, namely about € 10,- per person.
Travel with a shared minivan from Ao Nang to Khao Sok
From Ao Nang you can travel to Khao Sok from 10:00 AM. The travel time is between four and five hours, you pay approximately € 10,- per person. More information can be found via the 12GoAsia widget below.
Travel to Khao Sok by taxi from Krabi Town, Ao Nang or Krabi Airport
The costs for a private taxi to Khao Sok are on average € 90, -. Of course this depends on the place of departure and whether you want to rent a car or minivan. You are on average 3 hours on the road. If you want to save costs you can make a call to the public Krabi Facebook group, to travel together.
Rent a car in Krabi and drive to Khao Sok yourself
At the airport of Krabi, in Krabi Town and Ao Nang you can easily rent a car with which you can drive to Khao Sok yourself. It’s a great adventure but don’t forget to drive on the left… Depending on your departure point and how fast you drive you will arrive in Khao Sok in about three hours. The route from Krabi Town can be found here. Via that link you can also fill in another departure point. Looking for a rental car? With the widget below you can see what the possibilities and prices are if you want to rent a car yourself.
FIND A RENTAL CAR
Surat Thani is a frequently used place to travel from to Khao Sok. You can make a stop there by plane if you come from Chiang Mai or Bangkok, for example. But also the ferry from Koh Samui and Koh Phangan stops here. And finally you can also travel from the train station to Khao Sok if you came by (night) train.
Travelling from Surat Thani Airport to Khao Sok
Personally we think flying from Bangkok to Surat Thani is the easiest, fastest and also the best option. The flight takes about an hour and a half. From the airport of Surat Thani (URT) you can be in Khao Sok with a shared minivan from Phantip in two or two and a half hours. A ticket costs € 11,- and can be ordered via the tool below. If you order a ticket via 12GoAsia, please report to the Phantip desk in the arrival hall, from that moment everything will be arranged for you.
From Surat Thani airport we won advise you to take the public bus to Khao Sok. This will take you unnecessarily long and will only save you a few euros in the end. Time is also money so just take the shared minivan as described below if your budget allows it.
By sleeper (night) train to Surat Thani and to Khao Sok with shared minivan
If you arrive in Surat Thani by (night) train you can choose to travel to Khao Sok with a shared minivan from the train station. The last minivan leaves at 4:30 PM but keep in mind that it can be full. Then it’s not a bad idea to book a shared minivan. The journey from Surat Thani train station to Khao Sok takes 2,5 hours and costs € 6,-. You can book using the form below.
Travel by bus from Surat Thani to Khao Sok
The public bus that leaves Phuket has its final destination Surat Thani, this means that it also travels the same way back and passes Khao Sok. The public bus leaves from the train station and the bus station in Surat Thani. From the train station a bus departs between 7 AM and 3 PM every hour, a quarter of an hour later it arrives at the Surat Thani bus station, where you can also get on. A bus ticket costs 120 baht per person and the public bus takes about three hours to Khao Sok.
With a shared minivan from Surat Thani to Khao Sok | Image: ThailandMagazine.com
Rent a car in Surat Thani and drive to Khao Sok yourself.
With regard to rent a car in Surat Thani, the same applies as for Krabi and Phuket. Also here you can easily rent a car at various locations and drive to Khao Sok yourself. The trip will not take more than 3 hours but take it easy and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. View the route from the airport of Surat Thani to Khao Sok here. You can easily change the departure point via our link in Google Maps. Have a good trip!
FIND A RENTAL CAR
From the (party) island of Koh Phangan the easiest way to travel is via Surat Thani to Khao Sok. It’s not fast because the journey takes 7 to 8 hours. First you take the ferry to Surat Thani which takes at least 4 hours to travel and then you have to go from Surat Thani to Khao Sok. Via the tool below of 12GoAsia you can easily book the entire trip in once that brings you from Koh Phangan all the way to Khao Sok. The total price per person varies between 15 and 25 euro (depending on which ferry you choose). Via the link you can also find more information about the exact departure times and costs.
The ferry from Koh Phangan to Surat Thani first stops at Koh Samui. The travel time is a bit shorter (1 to 2 hours) compared to the trip from Koh Phangan but otherwise the same. You can buy your tickets at the pier or a local travel agency. If you would like to book your trip in advance you can use the widget below, first check the prices and travel times can also be done using the form below.
Ferry to Surat Thani | Image: Fabio Achilli (Flickr)
If you want to travel from Koh Tao to Khao Sok you take the same ferry to Surat Thani as Koh Phangan and Koh Samui. On these two islands a stop will be made first to drop off passengers or let them on board. After that you can continue to Khao Sok as explained above. The price varies between € 25,- and € 40,- . The travel time is between 7 and 10 hours. The travel time depends on the ferry company you choose. Our advice, leave as early as possible so you do not arrive too late in Khao Sok.
Unfortunately the regular busses and even regularly the shared minivans don’t drop you off in the center of Khao Sok but at the edge of the village. You’ll have to take a taxi from a local. For 100 baht per person you will be dropped off at your hotel, resort or hostel in Khao Sok village. Of course you can also check if someone from your accommodation can come and pick you up, sometimes this is a service from the hotel.
Do you have any questions about the trip to Khao Sok or about Khao Sok and Cheow Lan Lake or do you want to know more about the park or lake? Join our special Khao Sok in Thailand Facebook group. Here you can ask questions about Khao Sok and surroundings and share information with each other. You may also be able to save costs by arranging transportation together.
Bus stop at the edge of Khao Sok village | Image: ThailandMagazine.com
Hotels and other fun things to do in and around Khao Sok can be found in the info box below!
If you want to read more about these locations check out our article about the (according to us) best hotels in Khao Sok.
If you want to read more about these locations check out our article about the (according to us) best restaurants in Khao Sok.
- Pawn’s Restaurant
Our personal favorite! Try the Massaman curry here and you’ll see why!
- The 99 km Coffee House Khao Sok
Maybe the best coffee from Khao Sok! Wake up with the phenomenal view this coffee shop has to offer!
- Bamboo Bistro Khao Sok
Bamboo Bistro is run by a very friendly man who speaks very good English, let’s put it this way, his English is as good as his dishes – very good!
- Chao Italian Ristorante and Thai Food
For pizza you have to be at Chao’s! This restaurant is also known by locals for having the best pizza! Ciao bella ciao!
- Wind Song Bar & Restaurant
Top place for a snack and a drink like the delicious cocktails they serve here. That sounds like music to our ears!
- The Misty Restaurant
This restaurant belongs to the Khao Sok Morning Mist Resort. Looking for good food in a restaurant with an amazing view of the limestone cliffs of Khao Sok go along Misty!
MUST READ ABOUT KHAO SOK!