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Khao Sok advice

07 Nov 2013 09:39 #1467 by balletchris
Khao Sok advice was created by balletchris
Hi there everyone!

I was wondering if any of you would be able to give me some advice on Khao Sok National Park. My husband and I are travelling there and staying for a week in mid-December and I want to make the most of the trip.
We live in Pattaya and travel to National Parks fairly often. We have been to Khao Yai at least 10 times (had great sightings on all but one occasion) and we have also done Kaeng Krachan, Kui Buri and Sam Roi Yot.
Realistically we are looking to up our birding species list and take any mammal sightings as a great bonus. We also have a trail camera (camera trap) that we like to set out where/when we can and have been successful in getting simple shots of Sambar Deer and Wild Pig in Khao Yai before.
Any suggestions would be greatly received!

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07 Nov 2013 18:36 #1468 by onflipflops
Replied by onflipflops on topic Khao Sok advice
Not that I'm the right person to give advice, I've only been to Khao Sok once on my very first trip to Thailand, but for me it was the first national park where I got to see quite a few mammals. I had skipped Khao Yai because I had read it was the most popular park, which was reason enough for me not to go there. Now I'm living near this park and can't get enough of it.
I've spent 5 days in Khao Sok. Would love to go back there now I have more experience in Thai jungles, but it's such a long way.

Even though controversial, the scenery at the reservoir is absolutely stunning. It's possible to rent long-tail boats to get you around, and possibly stay at the basic floating bamboo huts.
I was on my own, and on a budget and renting a private boat for just myself was too much for me. I don't remember what the costs were, though. While at the 'pier' some tourists arrived and I asked if they were interested to share the costs, they happened to be on a guided group tour, but their guide did not mind if I joined. They were staying at some of those floating bungalows for 2 nights, and so did I. Kayaks (sit-on tops if I remember correctly) were available free of charge. So I spend the days floating along the reservoir banks. Have seen e.g. langurs, macaques, hornbills, wild boar. I've heard it should be possible to visit Khlong Saeng wildlife sanctuary as well. I believe that's where Gaur comes grazing close to the reservoir's shores, but I haven't been there.
I've spend 2 nights at the camping ground at the park entrance (Khao Sok National Park Checkpoint Phanom Surat Thani Thailand; google maps). I was the only one camping, and that was in December which should be quite a touristy month.
Did night walks on my own starting from the camp, saw mouse deer, slow loris, palm civet, bronzeback tree snake, mangrove snake, and heard elephant(s) while heading back to the camp which was quite scary because I couldn't see them and had to walk in that direction. They probably noticed my light and stopped moving and eventually I never got to see them.

I did enjoy the 'Rafflesia'-trail and was lucky to see one blooming.

I did not find much information on trails. There should be a trail to a waterfall, but haven't tried it myself.

So far my experience. I would love to get back there one day and further explore the area. Though have several parks that are higher on my wishlist and not as long of a drive for me...

Enjoy your visit and don't forget to share your experiences afterwards!
The following user(s) said Thank You: Paul T

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12 Nov 2013 21:53 #1478 by Greg M
Replied by Greg M on topic Khao Sok advice
If you stay near the park entrance by the trekking area (there are 2 areas with accomodation: the trailhead and the lake) then you can stop in one of the convenience stores on the main road to the park entrance and pick up a copy of Thom Henley's excellent book Waterfalls and Gibbon Calls: Exploring Khao Sok National Park. I don't know of anywhere else you can buy that book, but he lists numerous trekking possibilities and he also writes a lot about the different birds and wildlife you can see in the park.

We saw Great hornbills just sitting at a table in the awesome Art's Riverside Guesthouse (fantastic food and situated on a bend in the Sok River across from a limestone crag where macaques come down to drink at dusk). Art's fills up pretty quickly these days, so you might try Nung House, which is just down the lane and much cheaper: www.nunghouse.com/ Nung was one of the original guest house operators in the area.
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