Explore the natural wonders of Khao Sok National Park in southern Thailand, just north of Phuket. What is Khao Sok? Khao Sok national park in Thailand is a reserve dominated by a 100-mile (165 square kilometer) lake surrounded by ancient rainforest, some of the oldest and most extensive virgin forest in Thailand. The landscape features limestone peaks towering out of thick jungle above the lake and rivers.
The picturesque park provides excellent opportunities for spotting wildlife wild mammals including Malayan Tapir, Asian Elephant, Tiger, Sambar Deer, Bear, Guar, Banteng, Serow, Wild Boar, Pig Tailed Macaque, Langur, White handed Gibbon, Squirrel, Muntjak, Mouse Deer, reptiles. and a multitude of bird species, including the hornbill, kingfisher, heron, and egret. The world's largest and rarest flower also grows here, the Rafflesia.
Khao Sok offers a plethora of outdoor activities including Lush jungle hikes, wildlife tracking, study and spotting, elephant camp activities and elephant trekking, rafting expeditions, swimming, kayaking, and canoeing on the Klong Sok River and sublime Chieow Laan Lake (Khao Sok Lake), which stretches for 35 miles beneath an amazing panorama of rugged limestone peaks.
Hiking to the several waterfalls in the park can also be organized. For families with older or more adventurous kids, there are amazing cave networks in Khao Sok for exploration, with options for night safaris with longer hikes with overnight camping.
Our Elephant Hills Jungle Experience spends two days and one night from Phuket. A once in a lifetime experience with Asian Elephants, the largest land animal in this part of the world.
Day 1 | Phuket to Khao Sok
After arrival in Phuket Airport, or pickup from your resort in Phuket, Khao Lak, Phang Nga, or Krabi, transfer to Khao Sok National Park. En route, glimpsing of rural life here in southern tropics of Thailand can be seen along the way. Following arrival at the elephant camp, we'll meet our new giant friends, seeing, touching and finding out about the life of Thai Asian elephants and about the elephant project the company is running. Also the guide will explain about the mahout (caretaker of the elephants). From we'll depart on an elephant trek through the lush tropical rainforest or other elephant experiences (below)
Option 1: During our Elephant Experience get close to and experience hands on these magnificent animals, interacting with them and learn the secrets of their mahouts, preparing and feeding the elephants and later, bathing them in the river. Learn about their dietary needs, including supplements that help with digestion and overall well being, and planting crops which will feed them at a subsequent time.
Option 2: Trekking with your elephant through rainforest through the bucolic karst scenery learning about the pristine ecology of the park and spotting birds and other wildlife.
Returning from the jungle with a huge appetite you will appreciate the Thai buffet lunch that is served, a variety of Thai dishes cooked that are not too spicy. After lunch taking a jungle river canoe trip, paddling down the beautiful Sok River, drifting along the primitive jungle and limestone scenery. From the canoe we will experience a world that has changed little in thousands of years, some of the last areas of primary rainforest. Here, we'll spot hornbills, flying high overhead and reptiles basking in the sun on the riverbanks.
After canoeing, return to relax, take a dip in the pool, and admiring the panoramic views of the surrounding jungle covered mountains. A wide selection of cocktails, wines, and spirits are available at the Jungle Explorers club bar. This evening, dining to the sounds of wildlife in the park.
Tonight, overnighting in luxury safari tents with comfortable beds, reading lights, hot water, and Western-style toilets enjoying a comfortable night's sleep close to the heart of the rainforest. The tents doors and windows are covered with mosquito netting as well as canvas flaps so insects and reptiles are not a problem. Temperatures at night cools in the well ventilated tents but cotton blankets keep you snug in the cool of the night.
Day 2 | Khao Sok - Phuket
Wake up to the cacophonous sound of nature as hundreds of birds calling from the bushes close to the tent. When the sun comes up and clears the mist over the mountains and jungle to the south of Elephant Hills the gibbons swing by, making their morning hooting calls that echo down the valley. Tea and coffee making facilities are available in
the tent for early risers and buffet breakfast is at your leisure.
Having trekked on elephant back, been paddled by canoe along the river, now it's ti me to come face to face with the jungle by exploring it on foot. It is not a army survival exercise, there are no prizes for the fastest trekkers, snakes and spider do not jump out at you, it is just an oppo11unity to explore the ecology of the park. After returning to the camp, enjoying another fine meal while savoring the surrounding landscapes. In the afternoon, freshen up before returning by private car to Phuket (about 90 minutes) or other destinations in the area.
Accommodations in Khao Sok vary from Robinson Crusoe-style simple floating bamboo raft houses, to jungle canopy treehouses, to luxury safari tents featuring air-conditioning, hot baths, and wifi at a resort (below). The 20 tents are tailor -made and set in the largest area of rainforest in Southern Thailand. Each tent features twin beds, fan, kettle, and a luxurious bathroom with toilet and hot shower. The tents provide ample space and are well protected against mosquitoes and other intruders. The furniture is handmade by craftsmen using natural materials adding to the jungle style decor.
The camp cares for 16 elephants now supported by the camp's travelers rather than logging which is now outlawed. Learn hands-on at the camp how to care for the gentle giants. Also available at the camp are a Thai cooking class and spa treatments for mom and dad after a long day hiking or simply relaxing by the poolside. The camp also organizes dance performances are organized each night by one of the local schools, providing students a chance to meet you and your own children, delighted to share broken English they learn in school.