Thailand Diaries // Khao Sok National Park

So, here’s the next installment of my ‘Thailand Diaries’ series – our trip to the jungle! It seems like such a long time ago since we got back it’s really lovely to look through all the photos again and relive the memories!

We decided to visit Khao Sok on a bit of a whim. It’s not really on what you would consider the main tourist routes and not that many people have heard of it. However, we got the idea from our Lonely Planet ‘Ultimate Travel Book’ (which details some of the most beautiful places in the world) – and once we’d looked it up online we were sold! We knew we had to go, it was truly stunning.

We thought it was going to be a bit of a headache to get to and it certainly wasn’t as well connected as the other more ‘mainstream’ places we went to – but it definitely wasn’t as difficult as we envisaged. Khao Sok National Park is reachable by minibus from both Krabi and Phuket if you want to fly in (a few hours drive) or from Surat Thani which is the main rail station in the area. We caught the overnight sleeper train from Bangkok which is 14 hours and really not as bad as it sounds! We paid a little extra (£30 each at the most!) to have First Class which gets you a private lockable cabin and pretty comfortable beds. The train leaves Bangkok in the evening and you wake up in Surat Thani early morning! We found it remarkably simple.  TIP: don’t make the mistake of leaving train bookings too late. Thailand rail are yet to get on board with an online booking system so you need to pay a travel agency in Bangkok to physically get them from the station for you in advanced, and you pick them up when you arrive. We used 12Go Asia who were fantastic and efficient from start to finish.

Anyway, we turned up at Surat Thani station at 5am on Christmas Day slightly concerned we had no onward travel booked and imagining we may have to wait a while for the first bus of the day. We needn’t had worried! Even at that time the station was packed with locals offering taxis, mini vans services and breakfast. We only had to pay 150 baht for the 1hr30 drive to the national park.

Once we had actually got there we needed to locate our hotel – ‘Our Jungle House’, which was located right next to the national park entrance and it pretty well hidden! It was worth the trek to find it though. This beautiful, secluded hotel is right in the heart of the jungle and it’s made up of a series of beautiful rustic treehouse rooms and a quaint wooden building with a restaurant and bar. In the day it was tranquil and relaxing and at night it wasn’t! It was so amazing to be so close to the wildlife and hear the monkeys running about on our roof!!

During our short two nights in the National Park we went on two trips and enjoyed a delicious Thai ‘Christmas buffet’ which was served at the hotel! The rest of the time we went on a few (short) self guided hikes and just soaked up the true wonder of nature. After the madness of Bangkok, Khao Sok is the perfect antidote. The first trip we went on was on Christmas day which was a short excursion to a natural hot springs in the hills. It is popular with both local people and tourists, but luckily the tour operators at our hotel pre-empted this and took us earlier in the day which meant that we missed the hoards and had the place virtually to ourselves.

On Boxing Day we went into the national park on a day trip to the famous Cheow Lan Lake. If you’ve every seen any wildlife or tourism documentaries about Thailand; this lake will be in it. It was absolutely breath-taking and one of the highlights of our trip. Most of the trip was spent relaxing and swimming by the lake, but it also included an hours wildlife spotting hike and a trip to the limestone caves. I’ve always thought of myself as a beach person but this lake was probably more beautiful than any beach I’ve ever seen. The water was like glass and the backdrop was simply amazing. We were lucky enough to have brilliant sunshine that day – but during our afternoon we saw a 30 second rainstorm! It was incredible, literally passed over us in less than an minute and then it was gone.


For more information on where we stayed you can click here. I loved Our Jungle House but if we were ever to go back to Khao Sok I would LOVE to stay on one of the floating bungalows you can rent on the lake. Imagine waking up to that view each day! We had an incredible experience in the jungle, so different from any other holiday we have ever been on! We would have loved to have stayed longer, but I can’t say that we are particularly natural intrepid explorers! We never ventured far on our hikes for fear of getting lost! There are A LOT of creepy crawlies in the jungle so be sure to take some spray and watch out for the mosquitos.  Next time, we move on to the blissful beaches of the South!

54 Comments

  1. Jenny February 22, 2017 / 11:28 am

    It looks beautiful! Sometimes it’s nice to visit places that aren’t filled with tourists x

    LuxeStyle

    • Jessica Emily February 22, 2017 / 1:23 pm

      Thanks, it was so peaceful ☺ x

  2. Zaanri Sharp February 22, 2017 / 8:06 pm

    Oh my this looks fabulous. It’s so beautiful… Not too sure about the little monkeys though ☺

    • Jessica Emily February 22, 2017 / 8:08 pm

      Oh they were amazing! Really friendly ☺

  3. Ryley February 22, 2017 / 8:13 pm

    These photographs are so beautiful! I’m so jealous of you for going on this trip! It seems like you had an amazing time 🙂 Great post!

    • Jessica Emily February 22, 2017 / 8:16 pm

      Thank you! Yes we loved every minute 🙂 thanks for reading xx

  4. Claire February 22, 2017 / 8:37 pm

    I am so jealous! You pictures are absolutely beautiful and so colorful as well (unlike here in England). I am glad you had such a lovely time x

    • Jessica Emily February 22, 2017 / 8:42 pm

      Thanks lovely! Xx

  5. Penny February 22, 2017 / 8:39 pm

    This looks and sounds amazing. I have never been, despite having a sibling who lived there for a while. Like the bikini too!

    • Jessica Emily February 22, 2017 / 8:43 pm

      Haha thank you! Xx

  6. Gemma February 22, 2017 / 8:53 pm

    Your trip sounds amazing, and Thailand looks so beautiful! It’s one of the places I’d love to visit one day x

    • Jessica Emily February 23, 2017 / 8:19 am

      It is, defo get it on your bucket list! X

  7. bryony baker February 22, 2017 / 9:10 pm

    reading your blog always makes me want to travel so much, Thailand seems like such an amazing place to go to. All of your pictures are stunning too x

    • Jessica Emily February 23, 2017 / 8:19 am

      Thanks lovely – means a lot 🙂 xx

  8. Jenny Jo February 23, 2017 / 4:50 pm

    What an incredibly exhilarating experience that must’ve been. Just another reason that I want to visit Thailand in all its glory! Its crazy seeing how National Parks differ in all areas of the world, this one is just stunning I can only imagine how wonderful it mustve been standing there live in person! Thanks for sharing this wonderful place with us all!

    xo, JJ

    • Jessica Emily February 24, 2017 / 4:33 pm

      Thank you for your lovely comment Jenny 🙂 xx

  9. Rachel February 23, 2017 / 5:02 pm

    The scenery really is quite something. I am not too sure I would want to come home x

    • Jessica Emily February 24, 2017 / 4:34 pm

      Exactly how I felt haha! Could have done with less bug bites but I guess that’s all part of it 🙂 xx

  10. Helena February 23, 2017 / 11:49 pm

    I’d love to visit here one day, sounds so amazing!

    • Jessica Emily February 24, 2017 / 4:35 pm

      Definitely one for the bucket list 🙂 xx

    • Jessica Emily February 25, 2017 / 7:55 am

      Thanks lovely! Yes they were adorbs! 🐒 x

  11. Eloise February 24, 2017 / 9:06 pm

    Wow this sounds like an amazing trip!! Your photos are so lovely as well, I also think I could stay there for ages if I went!

    Eloise xx
    http://www.isthateloise.co.uk

    • Jessica Emily February 25, 2017 / 7:56 am

      Thanks Eloise! It sure is beautiful there x

  12. Lola Bellouere February 24, 2017 / 9:24 pm

    Wow what an amazing way to spends Christmas how incredible. Its great to know that steering away from the touristic spots arent that tricky to get too! Good tips! X
    Lola Mia // http://www.lolitabonita.co.uk

    • Jessica Emily February 25, 2017 / 8:18 am

      Yep – it was certainly different from Christmas at home but I like different ! Thanks for your comment xx

  13. Maya February 24, 2017 / 9:34 pm

    What a great post and how lucky am I to find it. We’re thinking of going to Thailand this year, so I’ll have to come back to your posts for research. We’re no idea what we want to do yet, so any inspiration will be really handy.

    Maya | londondamsel.co.uk

    • Jessica Emily February 25, 2017 / 8:22 am

      I would seriously recommend a trip to Khao Sok as well as the Elephant sanctuary up north which I wrote about previously . They’ll be more posts on the way! X

  14. Jadirah Sarmad February 26, 2017 / 11:45 am

    I LOVE your travel posts a lot and they make me feel as if I just visited the destination with you! Stunning photography! 🙂 x

    Jadirah Sarmad at Jasmine Catches Butterflies ʚϊɞ

    • Jessica Emily February 26, 2017 / 1:27 pm

      Thanks Jadirah! X

  15. Chloe February 26, 2017 / 12:08 pm

    Looks like you had an amazing time! I would love to visit Thailand in a couple of years! x

    • Jessica Emily February 26, 2017 / 1:27 pm

      It’s brilliant , such a diverse country I’d really recommend it for a holiday ☺ xx

  16. Holly March 1, 2017 / 10:32 am

    Thailand looks absolutely beautiful. It must have been breathtaking to experience it.

    Brilliant blog & photo’s

    Holly x
    http://www.hollysbeautybox.co.uk

    • Jessica Emily March 1, 2017 / 7:10 pm

      Thanks so much Holly x

  17. Poppy Mayy March 6, 2017 / 7:41 am

    What an amazing trip 😍 I’d love to go to Thailand ❤️

  18. olivia March 9, 2017 / 7:30 pm

    looks incredible so jealous! always wanted to visit

    • Jessica Emily March 10, 2017 / 6:45 pm

      I would recommend it. Thailand makes a great holiday because it’s so diverse and you can get beach and jungle in one! xx

  19. Alaska March 16, 2017 / 8:37 am

    Cool spot! I would love to stay in a floating bungalow too. Just so otherworldly. Haven’t been there myself, but the individual karsts coming out from the ocean look amazing. 🙂

    • Jessica Emily March 16, 2017 / 6:56 pm

      I know those floating bungalows are a must for me 🙂 thanks for your comment xx

  20. Emily March 16, 2017 / 12:16 pm

    WOW!!! What a way to spend Christmas day!! This place looks absolutely out of this world.. such a good experience 🙂

    • Jessica Emily March 16, 2017 / 6:57 pm

      It was pretty unusual! But amazing 🙂 Thanks for reading xx

  21. Ana De- Jesus March 16, 2017 / 2:42 pm

    Your jungle house looked amazing but I agree try out the floating bungalows next time because they are equally as breathtaking. Beautiful photos x

    • Jessica Emily March 16, 2017 / 6:58 pm

      I know I can’t wait to try them next time!! xx

  22. Stella the Travelerette March 16, 2017 / 5:25 pm

    I have that Lonely Planet book too! It’s full of great inspiration. I love your jungle stay with the monkeys-too cute! But staying in one of those floating bungalows would be even more fun, I agree.

    • Jessica Emily March 16, 2017 / 7:00 pm

      The monkeys were so amazing! Lovely to see them so wild as well because in a lot of places in Thailand they are really tame and used to people. Thanks for your comment xc

  23. Abby March 16, 2017 / 6:26 pm

    I love the jungle stay, minus the creepy crawlies. Did the monkeys ever try to enter your jungle house? I remember when I was young we had been to this hill resort place in India called Matheran. One of the monkeys tried to take my sister away, (at that time she was hardly 5) but my dad fought the monkey off with a butter knife.

    • Jessica Emily March 16, 2017 / 7:07 pm

      Oh my god that’s awful!! They try to get in and steal food when the guests are out apparently so they advise you to lock up thoroughly. But we didn’t have any trouble! In other parts of Thailand however it’s a different matter. In the cities the monkeys have learnt to form criminal gangs and mug tourists for cameras and phones in the street – no joke!!! x

      • Abby March 19, 2017 / 10:00 am

        The monkey trying to steal my sis has become one of those stories that always come up when discussing those vacation memories. 🙂 I’ve heard about the gangs of monkeys. Haven’t seen them in action yet though.

  24. Nuraini March 17, 2017 / 12:34 am

    🙂 It looks lovely. I’m glad you actually liked the monkeys clambering across the roof. Some tourists are put off by that. And yet go to a rainforest park, go figure.

  25. Rimsha March 17, 2017 / 5:51 am

    I love visiting places that are less touristy. It looks like you had a really great. Also, love those pants you’re wearing in the last photo! I bought so many of these on my trip to Thailand lol.

  26. you.theworld.wandering March 17, 2017 / 7:06 am

    Your pictures are incredible hun! I’d never heard of this place and haven’t been to Thailand before but would love to squeeze in a trip from Maldives! The private cabin in the sleeper train actually sounds like an enjoyable ride! Thanks for all the great tips!
    Kristie – you.theworld.wandering 🙂

    • Jessica Emily March 17, 2017 / 8:07 pm

      Thanks so much Kristie! X

  27. Steph March 19, 2017 / 4:02 pm

    It looks absolutely stunning! I’d love to be there right now. And that train looks a LOT more comfortable than the last long train ride I took in Thailand. Granted, that was over 10 years ago, but 1st class definitely looks worth the upgrade.

    • Jessica Emily March 19, 2017 / 6:14 pm

      haha I’ve heard the railways have come a long way in the last few years! I was pleasantly surprised I must admit! Thanks for your comment x

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