When to Visit Khao Sok
When to visit Khao Sok
Choosing the right dates for your holiday is always an important element of planning and we’re often asked for advice on when to visit Khao Sok. This is a very difficult question to answer for multiple reasons – the main reason being that Khao Sok weather isn’t as changeable as many other destinations; it’s wonderful at any time of year!
Nonetheless, to give you a bit of guidance we have collected some pointers to help you determine the ideal time for your holiday to Khao Sok.
Khao Sok Opening Hours
There are two main areas of Khao Sok National Park, the rainforested area which surrounds the visitors’ center, and the scenic area of Cheow Larn Lake. Both areas can only be visited by first passing through the visitors’ center and paying the required entrance fee.
If you’re trying to decide when to visit Khao Sok you’ll be pleased to know that it is open year-round, although access to the park is generally restricted to the hours of 8 am until 5 pm. However, opening hours do vary, which is one of the reasons that we suggest guests take advantage of a recommended tour, allowing them to stay in the park or right next to its borders.
Khao Sok National Park Entrance Fees
Guests to Khao Sok Park are charged an entrance fee that contributes toward the upkeep of the park and ongoing conservation efforts.
A reduced rate is available for nationals of Thailand in order to encourage a passion for the natural environment and to make Khao Sok accessible to all of the nation’s citizens.
If you choose to visit Khao Sok on one of our recommended tours, entrance fee to the park is included within your package price.
The Weather in Khao Sok
Khao Sok weather can be changeable but is best predicted by the seasons (as discussed below). Due to the lush jungle habitat, Khao Sok has a humid environment year-round which is most noticeable during the months of June through November when downpours are at their most frequent.
Notably, the tropical weather in Khao Sok means that temperatures are their coolest during wet periods as the rain goes some way to reduce the heat.
Khao Sok Temperatures
As with the weather in Khao Sok, the temperatures don’t go through the same peaks and troughs as you may expect in other parts of the world. In fact, the predicted highs and lows over the course of the year only vary by a degree or two in either direction. September and October represent the coolest months on average, March and April the warmest.
A consideration when deciding when to visit Khao Sok is that the drier months are also the hottest, while the wet months are slightly cooler; which version of weather conditions suits you best is completely personal.
Khao Sok National Park and its Seasons
It is often stated that unlike other parts of the world which have four seasons, Southeast Asia only has two – wet and dry. This is particularly true where Khao Sok is concerned.
You can (and should) expect the weather in Khao Sok to forecast rain on any day of the year. While the seasons on Thailand’s Andaman (West) and Gulf (East) Coast are determined by monsoons, Khao Sok lies right in the center of the Kra Isthmus, which means we do get rain from both the East and the West monsoons.
And yes: The towering limestone mountains, reaching up to 960 meters into the sky, certainly play their part in ensuring that water-laden clouds rise, condense and rain back down upon Khao Sok!
Having said this, regardless of your decision of when to visit Khao Sok, or any rainforest for that matter, you certainly need to be prepared to get wet. Tropical downpours are very different to the rain you might be used to at home. The drops are heavy and warm; it’s the type of rain that you want to dance in.
Imagine lying in your warm, soft bed with a good book. Outside as the night draws in, frogs croak and cicadas chirp tranquilly. The only thing that could make it more relaxing? Fat drops of rain patting on your canvas roof, nourishing the earth and sending you off to blissful sleep. Visiting during the rainy season only adds to the atmosphere and enhances the authenticity of your experience.
With this in mind, instead of asking when to visit Khao Sok, rather ask “where do I want to head afterward?” You can access Khao Sok from all of Southern Thailand’s most popular locations. For sun-seekers, we recommend that if you visit Khao Sok in November to April, you combine it with a trip to the West Coast to make the most of the weather, of the East Coast from May to October.
The Rainy Season in Khao Sok: What to Expect
In terms of the weather in Khao Sok, the rainy season is during the months of April through December, with the heaviest rain in June through November. This represents a significant portion of the year, so should you avoid these months when deciding when to visit Khao Sok National Park? Absolutely not!
To quickly shatter a common misconception, the rainy season doesn’t mean that it rains 24/7. Instead, we get a torrential downpour of an hour or two, before and after which you’ll enjoy blue skies and sunshine. As the weather in Khao Sok may involve higher humidity and temperatures than in your home country, you’ll likely welcome this downpour as a delightful cool-down. The most important element of any weather occurrence is to be prepared.
What to Bring to Khao Sok
To ensure you don’t get caught out, whether you’re visiting Khao Sok for a day trip or overnight tour, we recommend preparing for all possible types of Khao Sok weather when you’re packing. Here are a few of the most important items:
- Shoes with good tread
- Long trousers and tops
- Insect repellant
A light poncho or rain jacket is a must, ideally something that can easily be packed into a day bag so that you always have it to hand. We also suggest bringing plenty of spare socks – nothing spoils a walk through Khao Sok than trekking with soggy feet! On that note, waterproof walking shoes or boots are also worth putting on your Khao Sok holiday packing list.
When visiting Khao Sok National Park there is the beautiful Cheow Larn Lake which is not to be missed. Its waters are wonderful for swimming in, so don’t forget to bring a swimsuit along to make the most of this stunning body of water.
Trousers and a long sleeved top may be the last thing you want to pack when traveling to a warm destination, however they’re well worth investing in. Not only will they protect your legs from branches and bristles as you walk through Khao Sok National Park, they’ll also offer a layer between you and mosquitos. Don’t worry, Khao Sok isn’t a malaria area. Nonetheless we recommend packing an eco-friendly insect repellant to stay comfortable on those balmy evenings.
Other than these key items, you can largely pack as if you were traveling to any warm holiday destination.
Khao Sok During School Holidays
Providing that you are not bound to school holidays, we highly recommend you visit Khao Sok outside of school holiday seasons. Groups are smaller, there is wider availability, and quite often you can strike surprisingly good deals as guest houses are trying to fill their rooms (especially in the months of May, June, September, and October).
Should you prefer to travel inside of school holidays, we recommend that you book early to secure the best availability and rates.
All of our recommended tours are small group adventures, usually with between 12 and 20 participants. This allows you to meet fellow travelers but also ensures that your experience never feels crowded.