How to get from Bangkok to Khao Sok National Park
From Bangkok to Khao Sok
One of the most spectacular national parks in Thailand, Khao Sok National Park in Suratthani province is often skipped by travellers hurrying up from the capital to star island destinations of the Gulf – Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao – or of the Andaman – Phuket, Koh Phi Phi or Koh Lanta. If you have a couple of days to while away, call to Khao Sok National Park and you will be rewarded with stunning scenery, lush jungles, impressive limestone cliffs, spectacular waterfalls and lakes.
Suratthani is the most convenient base for travelling to Khao Sok National Park with buses departing from Suratthani bus station throughout the day, but if you do not want to make a layover in Suratthani, there are direct buses from Bangkok, which cover the distance of 750 km between Bangkok and Khao Sok in about 16 hours. After a day or two spent in the national park, you will be able to hop onto a bus heading to your next destination – be it Suratthani, Krabi or Phuket.
From Bangkok to Khao Sok by direct bus
There are direct buses from Bangkok to Khao Sok National Park. All of them are normally night buses leaving Bangkok between 6pm and 8pm and bringing you to the park before noon the next morning, right by the time guesthouses and resorts start to check-in new guests. Buses take about 16 hours to get to the park and make several stops en route at large gas stations with convenience stores, food courts and toilets. There are toilets on board, too, soft reclining seats and some snack and water along with blankets are provided on the bus, making the long trip not as bad as it sounds. So why not have a look at virgin rain forests teeming with wild life before putting your toes into blessed sands of the beach?
Direct bus tickets from Bangkok to Khao Sok cost anywhere between THB850 and THB1100, but be careful choosing your bus operator. Not all of the services operating from Khao San Road enjoy good reputation, so if you are going to start from there, double-check the company you are travelling with. Among the most common problems with Khao San buses is on board theft – keep your valuables close to you, not in your luggage, no matter where you are going to put it (in the luggage compartment or right by your seat).
One of the reliable operators to recommend is Paradive Travel. Find their buses at Hua Lamphong train station.
From Bangkok to Khao Sok via Suratthani
If a long haul bus trip is not what you are dreaming of, then a more convenient or faster way to get to Khao Sok is via Suratthani. Night trains with first and second class sleepers (THB1500/THB1000) are a great way to travel around Thailand. Take a train from Bangkok to Suratthani and sleep comfortably all night through. All trains take under 12 hours to get to Suratthani. Your best bet is train #85 leaving Bangkok at 7.30pm and arriving to Suratthani train station at 7.10am the next morning. If this one is full, also worth considering are trains #83, #173 and #167.
Tip: Second class fan sleepers cost slightly less than AC sleepers but are generally ok, especially for travelling during ‘cold’ months. Expect to pay THB800 for a berth.
You can fly to Suratthani from both Don Mueang (Thai AirAsia & Thai Lion Air) and Suvarnabhumi (Thai Smile) airports in Bangkok. Thai Smile is usually a more expensive choice, but with low-cost airlines based in Don Mueang you can buy tickets for THB700-THB1000 one way. This price may or may not include checked luggage – it depends on the airline, so inquire in advance. There are over a dozen flights from Bangkok to Suratthani a day to choose from.
Khao Sok is located mere 120 km west of Suratthani. Vans need about two hours to bring you there from the town (THB250-THB300). If you arrive by train or by plane, there is no need to go to the town first as transfer to Khao Sok from Suratthani train station and Suratthani airport is also available.
Note that vans to Khao Sok from Suratthani train station meet night trains arriving before 9am. If you reach Suratthani after that hour, you may need to go to the town to catch a van to Khao Sok or take a taxi (it is advisable to book it in advance). Last vans from Suratthani airport depart around 4.30pm to reach the park before the darkness falls.
Private transfer from Suratthani to Khao Sok by a 9 pax van will cost around THB3200. Consider this option if you travel as a group of friends/a family.
Why go to Khao Sok
Khao Sok National Park is definitely one of the wonders of Suratthani province. Khao Sok is arguably the wettest region of the country with annual rainfall reaching 3500 mm. The driest months are from December to April, but even during this period rains are not unheard of. Expect hot and humid weather during ‘high’ season and daily rains the rest of the year.
Thanks to its unique geographic location and relative remoteness the park boasts incredible biodiversity, which easily surpasses the one of the famous Amazon rain forests. Khao Sok shelters over 5% of the world’s wildlife species and an abundance of plants, i.e. a beautiful Rafflesia.
Where to stay in Khao Sok
Basically there are three main areas to choose from. The majority of travellers stay in Khlong Sok village by the park entrance. The choice of accommodation is wide there and if you are after budget-friendly digs, this is the area to be explored in the first place.
For scenic and upscale resorts as well as a high degree of isolation, head to Khao Sok Valley. Note though, that you can reach it only with your own wheels.
Cheow Lan Lake rafthouses cannot be beaten in terms of setting and atmosphere. Staying in a rafthouse will give you that distinctive feel of being close to nature and of isolation, which is considered by many the most precious experience of visiting the park. Note that many package tour trippers stay around Cheow Lan Lake, too. So if you are against organized activities, just opt for simple huts, not AC bungalows.
Things to do in Khao Sok
There are plenty of activities on offer in Khao Sok including jungle trekking, elephant encounters, canoeing, cruising Cheow Larn Lake or bird watching. Well, even sitting on your guesthouse terrace and taking in amazing views is already greatly rewarding! The park offers package multiday tours, but you can as well come all by yourself and tailor-make your vacation in Khao Sok right on the spot.
Onward travel from Khao Sok
80 km and 1½ hour southwest of Khao Sok lies another worth visiting national park, Khao Lak. There is bus service linking Khao Sok to Khao Lak National park and proceeding to Phuket afterwards. Travel times are two and four hours respectively.
If you decide to reach beautiful beaches and world-class shopping and dining of Phuket from Khao Sok directly, without calling to Khao Lak first, then you will cover the 150 km to Phuket in about three hours.
Going south from Khao Sok you can get to Phang Nga (80 km, 1½ hour), the most underrated destination in Thailand with breath-taking karst scenery, emerald waters and close-to-nature eco experience.
Krabi, 150 km and 2½ hours away, makes for an excellent starting point for exploring the amazing islands of the Andaman, from the cult former backpackers’ hideaway Koh Phi Phi to the secret luxurious paradise of Koh Nhai.
Bangkok to Khao Sok @ train, bus, van Aug 27, 2017
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From Hua Lamphong to Khao Sok by train+van joint ticket
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From Hua Lamphong to Khao Sok by van
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From Khao San Jolly Travel to Khao Sok by van
Passenger reviews out of total 28,437 passengers traveled with us on this route
At 12Go our operators offer three types of service:
Cheap, Fast, Good - but you can usually pick only two of them!
Cheap & Fast won’t be Good. (e.g. buses from/to Khao San Road, local buses or 3rd class trains)
Cheap & Good won’t be Fast. (e.g. VIP trains in Thailand)
Fast & Good won’t be Cheap. (e.g. private limousine services, or VIP24 buses vs Express buses)
Make your choice! Please remember that though we are closely monitoring services, we are still an agency marketplace - meaning we focus on ticketing service and route availability / coverage rather than on factual seat recline angle you got today ^_^
Nice staff and clean train. Bed was big enough for 2 persons. We would recommend it totally
The train was full of bugs!
We booked 2 lower births on the train however the lower birth can easily fit 2 people so next time would be comfortable to book one lower and one upper in order to leave a lower for someone else. Exit 3 at the Bangkok Railway station has some good and inexpensive restaurants while you are waiting for your train to depart. We ordered takeaways there. Much better than the train food at a fraction of the cost.
Many thanks for the perfect service. 100% recomendation!
1st class surprisingly comfortable
Nice staff and clean train however no electrical plugs
Despite timely reservation, our 6 beds were not close together. Also no light and water in toilet, no water to clean hands, bedlights broken. Nighttrain is still a comfortable way to travel
Train delayed of 3 hours. A/C too cold for sleeping.
Very nice trip. But today our train got late. Still this time I m in train. I don't what will be position of my further reservation from Suratthani to Phuket
12goAsia handled everything perfectly. They are not at fault. However, the train itself was literally crawling with bugs. Not just one or two, but an infestation. All sizes and kinds. They would literally run over our arms while we were reading. Made for a very unpleasant journey, and very little sleep.
I travelled on a first class cabin with air conditioning, although it was too cold the night was good. As you board on the train the staff comes to ask you for dinner and breakfast. ( Do not expect anything ). Prepare yourself, They don't speak English so well. Later They come to prepare beds.
It was a very nice trip thank you for your wonderful service
A perfect way of travelling. Comfortable. Good beds, Good food on board
All good - except for excruciatingly many roaches all around us on that train.
12go staff in Bangkok were friendly and efficient. Train was a pretty cool adventure. One thing - traveling as a couple you really should be allocated one lower and one upper bunk. We were allocated 2 upper bunks and this was pretty hard to manage in an enclosed space, with people also trying to get into their lower bunks. (The couple on our block who had the lower bunks had a lovely time!) Train staff were very efficient. Beds were clean. Food in the dining car was pretty good. Train arrived on time. Overall quite enjoyable!
Sufficient space for luggage. Had foldable tables so could play cards before going to sleep. Beds were completely prepared for us. Can get food and non alcoholic drinks on the train. Sleep was ok. Trunk beds good to stretch out only for body size up to 185cm.
Service at the DOB office in BKK was great. Very quick, helpful and kind. The Panthip bus after the fine train ride was a bad experience though. The agent started yelling at me loudly, hitting me twice!, and telling me off before I even saw her coming because I was doing as suggested and walking INTO the Panthip office/restaurant. She accosted me right off the train. Asked if we could stop to grab a water bottle and she nastily yelled no, so we went to the bus and sat on it for nearly an hour before departure. Then came on the bus and told me and my wife off there too for not knowing she was the agent. On top of that, they failed to mention the toilet on the bus is out of order and so it can be quite uncomfortable after 1 hour wait + 1.5 hour ride to ferry ! Just fly or go with another company than Panthip for bus and boat.
Airco was too cold. Got no water. Had no idea where I was in the country or if there was a delay or anything.
The train was very good and we had a nice trip. They gave us breakfast and lunch. We arrived on time.
Did the job. Staff good, bed comfy- what more do you need!
Good value in 2nd class. Only downside was the uncomfortably stiff pillow, but maybe I'd sleep fine if I brought my own. I'd do it again.
Travel was oke! Service on line good, but rules about refund not clear. After all got 15% back in stead of promised 80. And tickets were all changed from lower to upper bed. Pity
Train was really nice with comfort beds. A/C is very cold bring some warm clothes with you
Excelent service. The train is comfortable.
12Go staff were organized and picking up tickets was not a problem. Train was noisier and rougher than expected, but we could have known this...
There is a huge difference between a Class 2 train ac or fan. The one with fan is way older in all aspects, less comfortable and Hot. Didn't like that this train stopped at so many stations. Water in toilets and sink were not always there. Next time we definitely go for Class 2- ac
It was an old train. My bench fell apart and the table was dirty. There was no food car and the meals were way too expensive. The only nice thing was that the bottom bunk was wide so I could sleep next to my boyfriend.
My seat was broken, the backrest contstantly went all the way back. The leggrest didn't work at all. The staff was verry unfriendly and rude. During the whole trip they said anything about what was going to happen next. And the end it worked out fine, but it was nicer to know what was happening.
Comfortable journey to Surat Thani. Bring your own food. Food offered in train is mediocre and no value for money.
Our car was very loud.
Nice trip, very friendly personal. Only one negative remark : In Bangkok the train was cleaned by a water shower, but unfortunately that was not enough to remove the dust from the windows. For better outlook they should be cleaned by wishing with a brush.
The cabine was old, the toilet very dirty
Really good service! We took a train plus a bus from bangkok to krabi. We arrive faster than planned!
The air conditioning was really cold. Difficult for our friends on the top bunks to sleep because the lights stayed on the entire time. People came on the train selling food periodically which was nice. Overall, really comfortable and convenient.
Excellent service would definitely use again
Great way to get to Koh Panghan with the four of us. Train was comfortable with beds able to fit me at 6'4" (194cm) and was able to sleep In between frequent stops and general loudness of the train journey. Do not expect the Orient Express here but for the price, great value. Breakfast was average. Efficient departure from the train with a little wait in the local cafe. On to bus for 1 hour to the port. Departure ok ferry right on at 10:15. Staff very helpful all along the entire journey. 12Go has been a great way to go!!
Very pleasant trip. 12go booked very nice lower berths.
Friendly staff, comfortable beds, no issues whatsoever
Very comfortable trip. A/C was very cold, but the blanket provided was sufficient.
Confort du train moyen. Couloir éclairé a fond toute la nuit ! Pourquoi ? Obligé de se coucher à 20h . toilettes vétustes . Réservation en ligne archaïque car obligé d'aller quand même chercher les tichets vers la gare. Difficile de loger les bagages. J'ai du dormir avec ma valise sur le lit !!
Beds were very comfortable. Was easy getting the ticket and finding my train and sit. Thanks!
Relaxte treinreis. Basis was oke. Vaak geen handenwas mogelijkheid. Maaltijden en drinken worden regelmatig aangeboden.
No complaints, everything was as promised. Easy pick up of the tickets near the station. Very smooth. The train was nice, the 1sth class cabine was spacious and cosy.
12go we're really helpfully when our transport was late arriving to pick up tickets, they offered to come to the train platform with them when we were in a panic. The overnight sleeper (2nd Class with AC) was really comfortable and fun. The service was incredible and the food (dinner and breakfast) was great. We had always wanted to do this trip and look forward to the return leg. 12go and the railway company are awesome!
No complains... pleased
We had a 1st class sleeper and traveled with 2 kids (7&8). Everything was ok
Friendly helpful staff. Train on schedule and informed us of arrival etc. comfortable journey. Just needed a bed ladder and toilet door to be fixed but very good overall.
Pleasantly surprised. The attendant was helpful with beds and bags. The food prices and coffee prices are way above the going rate .
Really well organised and easy to find ticket office. Train was a great experience too
The lower bed is super comfortable, the beddings were like new and the staff made the bed for us (great gesture). I had a nice sleep and good journey overall.
Good train but can't sleep very well
Great trip and experience!
Expected aircondition. OK but hot and difficult to sleep
If the lights were down it would be great. It was fairly quiet, blanket was really warm and the bed was clean. We were traveling as a couple and we had enough room on lower berth which was quite spacy, but the upper berth was full of our two backpacks. If traveling solo I would not recommend taking upper berth as there will be no room for your baggage when otherwise if you take lower berth you can sleep safely with the baggage. Whole car is fully booked by 12go so you don't travel with Thai people. I think it was quite safe and no worry about being robbed. Also you are woken up just before arrival. Only 45 minutes late which is acceptable.
Great trip, everything went smoothly! Would recommend!
Great calm ride. Only 20 minutes late.
It was comfortable enough, it was a little filthy but I would recommend it over the 2nd class car because of the privacy and the option of turning the light off.
Great as expected
Easy to navigate to platform, simple to board. Cosy cabin. Good menu. Fresh sheets and blanket. Good air con. Left late but there was torrential rain and it made up the majority of the time overnight ! Only waited for half an hour for onward connection. All in all quite pleasant.
Great experience, car attendant very caring, train on time, toilets clean with toilet papers, food was good, eating arrangement was nice, best part was the bed being prepared by the attendant! Thank you.. One tip - the lower is very wide and great for a good night's sleep.
Train on time. Clean beds, but the curtains - which you will touch occasionally as you sleep - were pretty dirty. Other than that for the price there is no better alternative.
12 go Asia were fab, they had a tickets ready when we got there and it was a quick and smooth process! However, the train ride wasn't the best as the aircon had stopped working and the cabin was incredibly hot!
It was cold in the morning, air conditioner was too powerful for such a car. Everything else was really great, conductors do their work perfectly
News @ Khao Sok
Torrential rain has caused extensive flooding in a few areas of the southern peninsula region of Thailand. Provincial authorities in Suratthani, Phang Nga, Krabi and Satun all reported submerged roads and flooded residential areas over the weekend.