Are 3 days in Khao Sok Enough?


Arguably, if you’re right into nature then you could easily spend a lot longer here. With 3 days in Khao Sok you will be able to accomplish all of the activities listed here in this guide.

Watch this video to see all the stuff to do with 3 days in Khao Sok!!

If you had longer than 3 days in Khao Sok, there are a number of hiking trails that can be completed (check out Tanah Rata in The Cameron Highlands if you enjoy hiking), most of them require you to hire a guide. There are also multiple day tours that can be booked which involve trekking, animal spotting and cave exploring.

For most people though, 3 days in Khao Sok is the ideal amount.

What’s Khao Sok All About?


Khao Sok is a national park that covers 739km² 

The park is home to some diverse wildlife, and unlike many other parts of Thailand, is less touched by the human hand … except for the fact that in the 1980’s they flooded 165km² with the construction of a dam, thus creating Cheow Lan Lake.

For a deeper dive into the in and outs of Khao Sok check out this Khao Sok travel guide. 

The travel guide will tell you all about the town itself, the weather, how to get there, and even where to do laundry. This post is here more so to illustrate the cool things that you can do with 3 days in Khao Sok National Park.

Things to do With 3 Days in Khao Sok


For those who are unaware, which should hopefully be nobody  if you’ve read this far, Khao Sok is a national park, all of the activities here will be outdoors, amongst nature, with the bugs and mosquitoes (see here for a guide to malarial tablets and areas of Southeast Asia where they are recommended).

There are a number of activities that can be done here, some people come here to bird watch, others to see elephants in the wild (rather than in a sanctuary), some for hiking the jungle trails and of course there are those here to see the incredible Cheow Lan Lake and its beautiful scenery.

The majority of these activities can only be done as part of a larger tour, some of the hikes require the use of a local guide, the caves can only be accessed by guided tours as well. To book these tours is easy, you can do it once you arrive in Khao Sok, or in advance through a street travel agent.

The activities below are listed individually to give you an idea of what you will be able to do, but note that these were mostly done as part of a bigger tour that I will review further in a future post (which will then be linked here for continuity).

Explore Khao Sok National Park


What is it?

The national park is 739km² of reserved land, but more importantly for you the traveller, it is a place with hiking trails, waterfalls, swimming spots (so long as the water is not too fast flowing) and the chance to go looking for wildlife.


How much does it cost?

฿300 entry, every day.

If you buy your ticket after 16:30, then you can re-use it for another day. If you do a tour where you remain in the park overnight, you will only pay the entrance fee once.


Opening Hours?

08:00 – 18:00

The park is open year round.


What do you do here?

Hiking, wildlife spotting, kayaking, cave exploring (if you are in the lake part of the national park), photography etc.


How do you get here?

The national park has two main areas, which are 67km apart. The one covered here is the part of the national park that is at end of Khao Sok Village. From anywhere in the town you can walk to the entrance of the national park.


How long will I spend here?

This is entirely up to you and where you plan on hiking to. If you plan on doing One of the larger hikes like to Ton Kloi Waterfall (shown below) then you will need between 6-8 hours depending on your pace.

If you want to just explore the easier parts of the park and swim in the easily accessible designated swim areas, allow for a few hours to properly enjoy it.


When to come?

If you are hiking, get in here early, if you’re swimming you might prefer to let it heat up a bit.


Do you recommend it?

Absolutely, the price to enter is unfortunately more than 4x more expensive than it is for a local to enter, which is pathetic by the Thai authorities, but if you get a good day out of it then it is not too big a cost to bear.


(Shot with the Sony A7R III using the Sony FE 16-35mm f/4).

Nam Ta Lu Cave


What is it?

Nam Ta Lu Cave is a cave that stretches for 700m and has water flowing through it. It is an exciting walk/swim through the cave, headlamps are required.


How much does it cost?

I have yet to see any way to do this as an individual activity, it must be guided and is normally part of a bigger tour. I personally did it as part of the Smiley Bungalows Overnight Lake Tour for ฿2,500 + National park entrance fees of ฿300.


Opening Hours?

This will depend on the tour that you are doing, but the only time this will not operate is if there has been recent rainfall and it is not safe to get through the cave. The cave has water all year round and can not be passed through when the water floods rapidly.


What do you do here?

Get ready to get wet! Get your shirt off like old mate, wear shoes that you are happy to get wet and that are sturdy, then go exploring. You will get wet up to your shoulders, but you don’t have to swim underneath submerged passages or anything dangerous like that.

If you go through Smiley Bungalows, you will get one of the most charismatic guides you will ever meet, his name is “Rookie Rookie” … or “Looky Looky”. I was never actually sure, but you will know him when you meet him.

Not only is it very refreshing to be in the water, but the whole thing is educational, he will show you the wildlife that resides in the cave and explain how they hunt, what they eat and how they have evolved to be able to prosper in the caves.


How do you get here?

Via longtail boat, then a 3-4km long jungle trek to get to the entrance to the cave. The jungle trek is not that challenging but you are not allowed to wear thongs, there are multiple water crossings and slanted slippery slopes along the way.


How long will I spend here?

Because you need to trek to the cave, through the cave, and then back again, this varies a lot depending on the size and speed of your group. It took our group about 3 and a half hours from disembarking the longtail boat, to getting back on.


When to come?

This isn’t up to you really, but if you can plan it for the dry season you have a higher chance of not being rained out.


Do you recommend it?

Shit yes.

It was fucking awesome, I have never done anything like that, it wasn’t a thrill in the sense that it is never life or death sort of stuff, but it is something completely different that you don’t see very often.


(Shot with the GoPro Hero 7 Black).

Ton Kloi Waterfall


What is it?

The Ton Kloi Waterfall Trek is one of the more popular treks in the national park, or so they say.

I did it, and I saw one other person on the trail for the entire day, I didn’t cross paths with anyone for 4 hours, so I am not sure how popular it really is. I think the path towards Ton Kloi is the most popular trek, but as you get closer to the waterfall, there are no people left, they all just go to the swimming spots and turn around.

I will cover the trek in further detail in a future dedicated post, which will then be linked here.


How much does it cost?

So, this gets tricky.

฿300 – National Park Entrance Fee.

฿600 – Guide for half a day.

฿1,200 – Guide for a full day.

This path is doable for the first 4km without a guide, but to go further you need to hire a guide, if you are quite fit then you should only need to pay for the half day. Guides need to be organised the day before you need them.

In saying that, I did the trek myself without a guide, my own belief is that it is simply a money grab, I have seen that they have deliberately removed the trail markers from the trees, I saw them broken on the floor where the trail gets difficult.

BUT! This is not an easy trek, get the guide if you are uncertain or liable to panic, it is difficult to navigate even with MAPS.ME, which is essential to completing this trek by yourself! (It is one of the most essential apps for travellers).

At the end of the day, the decision is yours, but be careful.

To read the dedicated post describing the trail then click this.


Opening Hours?

The national park opens from 08:00 – 18:00

If you want to stay past 18:00 then you actually really do need a guide.


What do you do here?

The waterfall itself? Take photos, or relax, but it is a challenging jungle trek, I think a lot of people just do it for the fact that it is somewhere to go, it gives the hike a purpose.


How do you get here?

Walk, for hours. Quite challenging.


How long will I spend here?

The trek will take you anywhere from 5-8 hours depending on your pace, the weather, what you’re carrying and how often you stop.


When to come?

Start at opening time if you can, after a hearty meal and with some snacks and a shit load of water.


Do you recommend it?

No, for most people.

I had both legs cramping, I had to filter river water with my GrayL GeoPress (affiliate link) on the way back with over 3 kilometres to go, just to try and stop my legs from cramping. The waterfall is cool, I had the place to myself, but the pay off is not equal to the amount of work put in.

If you’re a hiker, then yes, if you are just mildly interested, then no, don’t do it.

Ton Kloi Waterfall Hike Video Guide


(Shot with the Sony A7R III using the Sony FE 16-35mm f/4).

Diamond Cave


What is it?

This is another cave, similar to the one above but much easier and less intense, it is a dry cave, there won’t be any sections requiring you to swim.


How much does it cost?

This is done as part of a tour, so the cost will vary depending on your tour. But as an example, the overnight tour that I did cost ฿2,500


Opening Hours?

The tour guide will bring you here on their schedule.


What do you do here?

Walk through the large cave and admire the sparkling stalagmites (on the ground) and stalactites (those on the ceiling). The sparkling is where the name Diamond Cave comes from, but they are not diamonds.


How do you get here?

This cave is the most easily accessible and is much more family orientated. In the wet season the lake even allows longtail boats to drive right up to the entrance for disembarkment, in the dry season (shown below) you will have a small walk of about 600m to the cave entrance.


How long will I spend here?

This cave is not too involved, the guide will determine how deep you go and when you come back out. If there are multiple groups all in the cave at once you will spend less time in the caves due to the limited oxygen inside.


When to come?

This cave can be visited even in the rainy season.


Do you recommend it?

Sure, it’s nice enough, it is quite a large cave and the scenery at the entrance is very nice, although I think it would look even better in the wet season.


(Shot with the Sony A7R III using the Sony FE 16-35mm f/4).

Cheow Lan Lake


What is it?

Cheow Lan Lake is the other area of the national park, the pier for the lake is over an hours drive away from Khao Sok Village. The lake is man made, after the Thai authorities dammed the river to generate electricity.


How much does it cost?

Entrance here is the same as it is at the other side of the national park, it is ฿300 every day that you enter, but if you’re staying overnight in raft-house accommodation then you will only pay the once.


Opening Hours?

08:00 – 18:00


What do you do here?

This is the more scenic part of the national park, but the only way to get around is by longtail boat, because you know, water.

Although it is possible to arrange accommodation and longtail boats for yourself it will be much cheaper and easier to organise to do this as part of a tour. Tours can be anywhere from 1-4 nights, and are best discussed in person with a travel agent so you know you’re getting the activities that interest you.


How do you get here?

If you are coming by yourself, you will need to ride east on the main road (401) for 53km before turning left on road 3062 and riding a further 10km to the pier.

But seriously, do it through a tour, you’ll be picked up from your hotel.


How long will I spend here?

You can spend multiple days on the lake, it depends how many of the things you want to see, the longest tours that I have seen are 4 days / 3 nights.


When to come?

I think this is somewhere that you come regardless of the season, because if you’re in the area then you will want to see it.


Do you recommend it?

Yes indeedy lemon squeezy.

The sunrise tour we did on the longtail boat was one of the better tours I have ever done, you couldn’t take a bad photo if you tried when the sky is lit up like it’s on fire and clouds linger on the mountain tops.

However, in the interest of showing more detail and colour, the photo below is from later on when the sun was up. Still sexy as Frasier.


(Shot with the Sony A7R III using the Sony FE 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6).



So there you have it, all of this is easily doable with just 3 full days in Khao Sok national park, but if that isn’t enough for you then there are still more activities that can be done for those with more time on their hands, or for those who don’t find the above all that interesting.


Other Activities to do With 3 Days in Khao Sok


Some of the other activities you can do include;


Possible Itinerary For 3 Days in Khao Sok


Day 0 (Travel Day) – The day that you travel into Khao Sok is the day that you should organise your tour on the lake, because accommodation on the lake can sell out. Try and organise it for two days time.

Then after 16:30 on your first day you can go pay the ฿300 national park entrance fee, allowing you to reuse the ticket the following day. Have a look around the national park for an hour if you feel like it.

Day 1 – With your ticket that you purchased the night before, or if not then the one you purchase this morning, you can spend the full day inside the national park, feel free to do the hikes to the waterfalls if you are up for it.

Day 2 – With any luck you will be picked up in the morning to start your overnight tour.

Day 3 – Get dropped back to your accommodation, you can use the day to organise transport to your next destination, clean your things and go through your photos, get ready for the travel day tomorrow.

The 1 Activity I Regret Not Doing


The best part of the whole trip was the sunrise boat tour on Cheow Lan Lake, so if there was another way to do that for very little money then sure, but the other activities on offer I don’t feel like I missed too much.

I actually don’t regret missing out on anything here. I would love to spend 2 nights camping in the jungle, but the costs are quite high for solo travellers, and you actually need a minimum of 2 people to even book a tour. 3 nights in the jungle seems like too much for me, when a lot of the best parts are seen by boat.

A Map Showing The Activities Locations


Normally I would create a map showing where everything is, but as luck would have it, the Thai National Parks website has an interactive map of all of the activities and points of interest for all of the Thai National Parks in the whole country.

Follow this link to be taken to the page for Khao Sok National Park and click on the Interactive Map which you will find right at the top of the page.


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