Khao Sok National Park was established in 1980 as Thailand’s 22nd National Park. It consists of a thick native rainforest, waterfalls, majestic limestone cliffs and an island stubbed lake. Due to its fascinating history, this National Park still has many secrets hidden in its deep forests yet to uncover. Take a closer look!
Size & Location
Khao Sok National Park is located in Southern Thailand’s Surat Thani province and covers an area of 739 square kilometers. The park extends into parts of the Khlong Yee and Khlong Pra Sang forests as well as portions of the Krai Son and the Khao Pung sub-districts in the district of Ban Ta Khun and the Khlong Sok and Panom sub-districts in the province of Surat Thani. The combined sizes of Khao Sok (739 km2) and its bordering National Parks, Kaeng Krueng (541 km2) Sri Phang nga (246 km2) and Khlong Phanom (410 km2), along with the adjacent wildlife sanctuaries Khlong Saeng (1,156 km2), Khlong Yan (488 km²) and Khlong Naka (480 km2), is over 3,500 square kilometers, making it an area more than half the size of Bali island! Protection is needed for the sake of nature and our future!
Due to the high mountains and the fact that it is influenced by both the Northeast (Pacific Ocean) and Southwest (Indian Ocean) monsoons, Khao Sok has the highest level of rainfall in Thailand (3,500 mm per year). The heaviest rains are between May and November, the driest period is between December and April; although even during that time there can still be some rain – there is always a fair chance to get wet when visiting a rainforest.
Khao Sok has warm temperatures throughout the whole year, with the statistically hottest months being March and April. However, temperatures only change at a range of 4 degrees Celsius during the year, varying between average maximum temperatures of 29 to 33 degrees to average minimum temperatures from 20 to 23 degrees. In fact, as in most tropical regions, temperature variations are higher between 12 o’clock noon and midnight than they are between January and July.
Khao Sok National Park consists of:
40% foothill rainforest
27% rainforest plains
15% limestone crag vegetation
15% lowland scrub
3% rainforest at 600-1000m
The rainforest in this region is one of the oldest in the world, since Thailand has remained in a similar equatorial position throughout the last 160 million years. The climate in the area has been relatively unaffected by ice ages, as the landmass is relatively small and has seas on both sides. Even whilst other places on the planet were suffering droughts, the Khao Sok region still received enough rainfall to sustain the forests.
Biodiversity is high in Khao Sok, as during the last ice age sea levels fell to such an extent that there was a land bridge between Malaysia, Borneo and some of the Indonesian islands. This opened up new migration routes for land-based organisms.
Khao Sok is also famous for its limestone or ‘karst’ mountains. In most of the region, ground level is about 200m above sea level with the average mountain heights around 400m. The tallest peak in the National Park is 960m in height.