Seakayaking in Khao Sok & Chew Lan Lake by Sea Canoe (Thailand) Co., Ltd. : Original Sea Kayak Tour Operator Since 1989

Khao Sok National Park

Khao Sok National Park is located on the mountain ridge that separates the east and westcoasts of the Thai peninsula. It is situated in the west of Surat Thani province, in Ban Ta Khun and Phanom districts. Established in 1980, Khao Sok National Park was the 22nd park to be designated out of the 77 Thai National Parks. It covers an area of 738.74 square kilometers. Originally, the north side of the park was bounded by the Pasaeng River. However, since the construction of Rachabrapah Dam in 1982 and the formation of the artificial lake, the boundary of the park has been extended to include the reservoir. The reservoir itself covers an area of 165 square kilometers. Beyond the lake extends the wildlife sanctuaries of Khlong Saeng and Khlong Nakha and Kaeng Krung National Park. To the west of Khao Sok lies Sri Phang Nga National Park. Lying astride the junction of the provinces of Ranong, Phang Nga and Surat Thani, these reserves make up the largest area of continuous forest preserve in the Thai peninsula with 4,000 square kilometers. It is only in this area that large mammals such as tigers and elephants have survived in the south of Thailand, although little is known about their status.

Khao Sok National Park Khao Sok National Park Khao Sok National Park

Khao Sok National Park Forest Types
Khao Sok National Park contains 3 distinct forest types.
1. Rain Forest (Tropical Evergreen Forest)

This is the principal forest type covering the majority of the national park area. These forests are dense and stratified structures dominated by tall emergent trees that are often supported by buttress roots. A large proportion of these trees belong to the Dipterocarpaceae family and are easily recognized by their two winged fruits. The middle level of the forest is an aerial tangle of figs and lianas (woody climbers). Below is the dense under-area, where evergreen ground flora such as bamboo, rattan, ferns and palms compete for light.
2. Limestone Forest

This occurs on the steep limestone karsts which are scattered across the park. The various species growing in this environment can survive without very much water. Their roots are able to grip into small cracks in the rock. Of particular interest is Mayburretia Furtadoana (Maak Pralatoo), a small palm species endemic to Khao Sok National Park and the surrounding areas.

3. Secondary or Disturbed Forest

This occurs in areas that have in the past been logged or disturbed by human activity. The vegetation growing here is characterized by invasive and fast-growing robust plant species. In Khao Sok National Park this forest type is found around the banks of the Rachabrapah Dam and lake.

Namtaloo Cave Caves

Caves are formed by underground water and are characteristic of limestone landscapes. Khao Sok National Park has many limestone caves, such as 'Kangkow' cave, 'Namtaloo' cave, 'Seeroo' cave. These caves were formed through a chemical process called carbonation in which the calcium carbonate of the limestone is dissolved by water containing carbon dioxide. The rock is gradually eroded. Small cracks form and gradually enlarge until a tunnel is created. Under certain conditions, the process is reversed and calcium carbonate is deposited within the cave in the form of stalactites and stalagmites.
Stalactites are limestone "icicles" that hang down from the cave ceiling. They are formed as water drips down from cracks. As the water enters the cave, the carbon dioxide from some of the molecules diffuses out into the air and the remaining calcite crystals cling to the formation. As the water continues to flow down the stalactite, calcite crystals are deposited along the outer surface and on the tip, enlarging the formation.
khao sok and Chew lan lake Map Click here
The richness of the tropical forest flora, the abundance of fresh water, and the shelter of the mountains all provide excellent habitats for many wildlife species. Khao Sok National Park makes up part of the largest continuous forest area remaining in the Thai peninsula. This provides the only viable habitat in southern Thailand for large mammals needing extensive areas of undisturbed forest for their survival.
Mammals: Elephants, tigers, gaur, and banteng are known to be present. Tracks are seen regularly, although actual sightings are very rare. The status of these animals is therefore still uncertain.
Many smaller mammals are frequently encountered, such as monkeys, langur, wild boar, and deer. The call of gibbons is often heard along the forest trails.
  • Birds.
    One hundred and eighty-eight species of birds have so far been recorded in Khao Sok National Park. The most spectacular and distinctive to such rainforest environments are the Hornbills, of which there are five confirmed types. The Argus Pheasant, another rare bird, has also been seen in the forest.
Reptiles and Amphibia.
Very little research has been carried out to determine what species of reptiles and amphibia inhabit this area, despite the obvious abundance of these creatures, including many varieties of snake, lizard, frog and tortoise.
Thailand's geographical position makes it uniquely rich in insect life. There are literally thousands of different insect species in Khao Sok: ants, beetles, butterflies, stick insects, dragonflies, and spiders. Insects play a vital role in the breakdown of matter, decomposition on the forest floor, and pollination, which are all critical to the forest life cycle. Without these decomposers, life in the forest would eventually grind to a halt for lack of available nutrients
Cheow Lan Lake
Cheow Lan Lake Map showing available Hikes, Caves and Floating Bungalow
This simple raft house is deep in the dam so nice and quiet with the nature surrounding and not many tourists and concern with Wild Life Sanctuary of National Park
All view are from the view point near the raft house
Wildlife photo from the raft house Talu Cave View point from the Dam
Dusky Langur - sitting in the tree Kayaking on Cheow Lan Lake  
Tourism on the lake :    

"Nowhere in the Kingdom of Thailand can one find a more spectacular setting for karst topography than the flooded reservoir of Cheow Lan."(The Cheow Lan Lake provides extensive tourism potential.) Apart from the fascinating limestone cliffs and evergreen rain forest jungle, . the National Park area is inhabited by a large range of mammals such as tigers, elephants, tapirs and many monkey species. Birds such as Hornbills, Banded Pittas and Great Argus are as well forest residents. Not to forget the less commonly seen reptiles King Cobra, Reticulated Python or Flying Lizard. The reservoir area includes the Khlong Saeng, Khlong Nakha and Kaeng Krung wildlife sanctuaries where rare animals can be found. West of Khao Sok National Park lies Sri Phang Nga National Park which extends the area of preservation to up to 4,000 square kilometers.
This lures an increasing number of tourists to the Khao Sok Lake/Cheow Lan Lake. Since the late 80's tourists have begun to discover this beautiful place in Southern Thailand. It hcontinues to become a more well-known, and ever more popular destination for foreigners and locals alike. Activities around the lake include trekking to view points or waterfalls, cave explorations, kayaking, scenic boat tours,animal watching and fishing.

The village Khao Sok is located in the entrance of the National Park (about 60 kilmoeters west of the dam) and continues to build more resorts to increase its capacity to visit this jungle region. The access to the lake at Ratchaprabha dam is further south-east in the Ban Ta Khun distinct, reachable on highway 401 approximately half way between Khso Sok and Surat Thani. The dam is the only place from where the lake is accessible by boat. Around the reservoir 17 different "Floating Bungalows" accommodate tourist form all over the world. Each located in their own sort of bay, the bungalows float on rafts docked to land. Only descendants of original inhabitants of Cheow Lan village and officials of the national park are allowed licenses to own and operate these bungalows.
SeaCanoe Tour Highlights from Phuket
Trip Duration Price/PAX(Baht)
Cheow Lan Lake Expedition
3 Days 2 Nights
Multi-Award winning company, Sea Canoe has developed this truly remarkable trip with the assistance of park rangers and local guides, all with Sea Canoe's world famous sense of fun and adventure. more infomation
Khao Sok & Chew Lan Lake 3 Days 2 Nights 20,100
Explore the cave system. Inside there are some truly amazing stalactites and stalagmites, bats of various species, spiders, and also some strange luminous white fungi. more infomation
Cheow Lan Lake Expedition
4 Days 3 Nights
Multi-Award winning company, Sea Canoe has developed this truly remarkable trip with the assistance of park rangers and local guides, all with Sea Canoe's world famous sense of fun and adventure. more infomation
Cheow Lan Lake Expedition
2 Days 1 Night
Multi-Award winning company, Sea Canoe has developed this truly remarkable trip with the assistance of park rangers and local guides, all with Sea Canoe's world famous sense of fun and adventure. more infomation