Park treks and night safaris

The vast majority of visitors choose to join a guided trek at some point during their stay in the park. Though the trails are waymarked and easy to navigate alone, the guided experience alerts you to details you’d certainly miss on your own – the claw marks left by a sun-bear scaling a tree in search of honey, for example, or the medicinal plants used for malarial fevers and stomach upsets – and is both fun and inexpensive; prices are fixed but exclude the national park entrance fee.

The usual day trek (B700–900) goes to Ton Kloi waterfall, and from about December to March there’s also a special route that takes in the blooming of the world’s second-biggest flower, the rafflesia kerrii meier, a rather unprepossessing brown, cabbage-like plant whose enormous russet-coloured petals unfurl to a diameter of up to 80cm; it’s also known as “stinking corpse lily” because it gives off a stink like rotting flesh.

After-dinner night safaris along the main park trails (B600–800 for 2–4hr) are also popular, not least because they’re good for spotting civets, mouse deer and slow loris and, if you’re exceptionally lucky, elephants and clouded leopards as well – more likely on darker nights away from the full moon.

You get to stay out in the jungle on the overnight camping trips (about B2300), usually around Tan Sawan falls.

Reputable and long-serving guides include those booked through Bamboo House, Nung House and Khao Sok Rainforest Resort and at Khao Sok Track & Trail.

Any guesthouse can also arrange elephant-rides (B800–900) and fix you up with equipment and transfers for tubing and canoeing trips along the Sok River (from B300/B600).

Cheow Lan Lake tours

The Australian–Thai-run Limestone Lake Rainforest Tours offers a big range of lake-based tours, including a two-hour trip (B1800/boat) and a full-day trip with optional overnight in a rafthouse (from B2500/3700 per person for up to three people, including park entry fee, or cheaper with larger groups).

Khao Sok guesthouses charge B1500 for a day-trip to the lake and around B2500 for two-day, one-night trips. It’s also possible to simply turn up at the dam and hire a boat for around B2000.

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