Floating Bungalows

Floating Bungalows Khao Sok National Park: The BEST Guide To Floating Bungalows In Khao Sok [2024]

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Not sure what to expect from your tour of the floating bungalows at Khao Sok National Park? This guide will cover everything you need to know about the various accommodations, what to pack for your trip, where your guides may take you and MUCH more.

Certainly one of the more unique experiences you’ll have in Thailand is the floating bungalows in Khao Sok National Park. In fact, off the top of my head, I can’t think of another place in Thailand where you can stay in floating bungalows, they’re truly unique!

The most famous lake where most of the floating bungalows in Khao Sok are found is Cheow Lan Lake. Cheow Lan Lake is home to numerous floating bungalows in Khao Sok that come in at various prices. You’ve got to decide whether you’re on a traveller’s budget or want the full experience in a luxury bungalow.

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If Khao Sok National Park has made your Thailand itinerary then you’d be a fool not to spend at least one night in Khao Sok’s floating bungalows.

So let’s dive into the BEST guide to floating bungalows in Khao Sok and the activities you can expect to do!

When Is The Best Time To Visit Khao Sok National Park

The best time to visit is during the dry season, from December to April when there’s minimal rainfall and temperatures range from 24 to 32Β°C. This creates ideal conditions for trekking, wildlife spotting, and exploring the park’s diverse ecosystems.

It’s crucial to avoid the monsoon season, typically from May to November, when heavy rains may lead to flooding, limiting outdoor activities and in some cases cancelling the trip.

Planning a trip during the dry season maximises the opportunity for an immersive and enjoyable exploration of Khao Sok National Park.

Packing List For Your Trip To The Floating Bungalows In Khao Sok

When booking a tour of Cheow Lan Lake while staying at the floating bungalows in Khao Sok, most backpackers will spend one or two nights in this accommodation. Your packing list for one or two nights should be as follows:

πŸ“Œ Not sure what to pack for your trip to Southeast Asia? Check out our guide here!

  • Swimwear
  • Microfibre Towel
  • Sliders or Flip Flops
  • 2/3 Breathable Tops
  • Exercise Shorts
  • 2 Pairs of underwear and socks
  • Toiletries – Shampoo, Conditioner, Toothpaste, Face Wash and so on.
  • Toothbrush
  • Hairbrush if necessary
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug/Mosquito Spray
  • Phone and Phone Charger
  • Travel Adapters
  • Power Bank
  • GoPro – Check out our guide on the BEST GoPro For Underwater Here!
  • GoPro Accessories
  • Money – In case you want to rent a kayak etc.

During my tour items like headlamps, helmets, waterproof bags and life jackets were provided so this isn’t totally necessary but if you don’t like sharing equipment you can get these also.

How To Visit Cheow Lan Lake

There are three main ways you can visit Cheow Lan Lake these are:

  1. Book a one or two-night tour to the floating bungalows on Cheow Lan Lake.
  2. Book a Private Floating Bungalow Resort
  3. Book a day trip to Cheow Lan Lake – you’ll see the floating bungalows but not stay in them.

We will break down what you can expect from each.

One Or Two Night Tour To The Cheow Lan Lake Floating Bungalows

This is the most common way people will stay in a floating bungalow. Upon arrival at Khao Sok Village, you’ll be able to book your Khao Sok Floating Bungalows Tour.

πŸ“Œ The price of a tour is usually 2500 THB (Β£56)

Included in the package is:

βœ… Transportation to the pier and the boat

βœ… Accommodation at the Khao Sok Floating Bungalows

βœ… Food

βœ… Activities like Hiking, Kayaking, Cave Exploring, Wildlife Safari and much MUCH more.

Not always included in the price is the:

❌ 200 THB Park fee (this is what I paid but I have seen other bloggers say its 300 THB)

❌ 50 THB Pier fee

This is the trip I did when I was in Khao Sok and I can safely say it was one of the most spectacular trips during my time as a Southeast Asia backpacker. 

To stay on the lake, in one of the Khao Sok bungalows, is something I will cherish forever. It’s not considered a premium destination in Thailand when you can visit other places like Koh Phangan, Koh Tao or Koh Samui but it is DEFINITELY something you should include in your Thailand Itinerary.

If you’re not coming from Khao Sok you can book a one or two night tour online. Some of the best tours include:

Book A Private Floating Bungalow Resort

For those who aren’t a fan of basic accommodations maybe one of these floating resorts will be of interest to you.

The two main resorts of interest are:

  1. 500 Rai Floating Resort
  2. Panvaree Resort

πŸ“Œ 500 Rai Floating Resort

If you want to stay on Cheow Lan Lake in absolute luxury then 500 Rai Floating Resort is the place to be.

If you book through Booking.com or Agoda then NO TOUR is included in the price. If you book directly through 500rai.com a tour is included in the price.

500 Rai Resort has facilities like:

  • Outdoor Pool with unbelievable views of the lush greenery.
  • An onsite Restaurant serving Western and Local cuisine.
  • Two bedrooms with air conditioning.
  • Ensuite private bathroom.
  • Two-seat Kayak and life jacket provided.
  • Sunrise and Sunset capabilities from inside the cabin or on your balcony.
  • Shuttle service from Surat Thani at an additional cost.

Staying in this accommodation is a significant improvement from the floating bungalows offered as a part of the usual tours which offer just basic accommodation.

If I could go back in time the one thing I would change is that I would’ve loosened my wallet a bit and booked a luxury cabin, to get the full experience of life in overwater bungalows.

πŸ“Œ Panvaree Floating Resort

Stay at a luxury floating bungalow as part of your Cheow Lan Lake Tour.

This luxury resort offers a free transfer from the pier to the floating bungalows and is equipped with a 24-hour front desk and tour desk.

This Floating Resort includes:

  • Accommodation on the lake
  • A Restaurant on Cheow Lan Lake
  • Room Service
  • Free WiFi
  • Bar
  • Extremely comfy rooms and much more.

Compared to the normal government floating bungalows, the bungalows at the Panvaree resort are state of the art.

You DO NOT want to miss out.

Your time in Khao Sok Lake Floating Bungalow should be special and remembered as one of the BEST places on your Southeast Asia trip, I would really recommend loosening the wallet strings for this one.

Day Trip To Cheow Lan Lake

Day trips to Khao Sok Lake usually all have similar itineraries:

  • Pick up from your accommodation in Khao Sok Village, Khao Lak, Krabi, Phuket etc.
  • Head to the pier and pay the relevant entrance prices depending on whether it’s covered by your tour or not.
  • Make the journey on the boat and admire the natural beauty of Khao Sok and some of the famous spots.
  • Visit bat caves.
  • Go trekking in the jungle and arrive at some awesome viewpoints.
  • Head to some of the Khao Sok Floating Bungalows for lunch.
  • Go swimming, kayaking on the lake or go sunbathing.
  • Head back to your accommodation.

Tours from Khao Sok Village for a day trip will cost you 1300 THB plus the park fee of 200 THB and the pier fee of 50 THB. This is a total of 1550 THB which is approximately Β£35.

Some of the best day trips from surrounding cities are as follows:

Khao Sok Floating Bungalow Overnight Tour – Example Itinerary For 2 Days

A traditional itinerary of Khao Sok floating bungalows on Cheow Lan Lake is as follows.

Day 1

Your first day will start with an early morning wake-up and pick-up from your accommodation in Khao Sok Village. 

If you’re coming to Khao Sok from other places like Surat Thani International Airport, Khao Lak etc. Make sure to check the transfer is included in the price else an additional cost will be payable.

Before arriving at the pier, you’ll swing by the local 7-Eleven so you can stock up on any fluids and snacks you think you’ll want during your Khao Sok floating bungalow trip.

Arrive at Ratchaprapha Pier board the longtail boat and make your way across Cheow Lan Lake. The distance between where you depart and where the floating bungalows in Khao Sok are is fairly lengthy so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to capture the natural landscape of Khao Sok.

Before arriving at your accommodation you’ll visit some of the famous locations around Khao Sok including the famous Three Brothers Rocks (Guilin Rocks).

After this, you’ll go and see your accommodation for the first time. If you’re on a basic tour package then the accommodation isn’t too spectacular. This is why you should consider spending a few more dollars to secure a more memorable experience.

Once you’re settled and had some lunch you’ll head out for a jungle trek to either a bat cave (this is what I did!), a waterfall or a viewpoint. 

During your jungle trek, you certainly get a sense of how much of an expert your Thai tour guide is as they show you different parts of the jungle from lagoons to helicopters…not real helicopters but you’ll have to wait and see…

Once you reach the caves your tour guide should provide a headlamp but if they don’t, the torch on your phone will suffice. Or just go behind someone with a torch lol. 

Inside the caves, there’s a variety of wildlife including bats (of course), huge spiders and many other species you’ll have to find out πŸ‘€.

Once it’s time to leave the caves you’ll get back on your boat and head back. It’s quite common to see monkeys, toucans, hornbills, and gibbons so make sure you stay alert!

On arrival back at the floating bungalows there will be dinner waiting for you as the sunsets in the background. A perfect way to end the first day before heading to bed for an early night.

Day 2

For your final day, you can start it from your balcony or inside your floating bungalow. Make sure you get up nice and early so you can experience a beautiful sunrise.

My lazy A** didn’t wake up in time so I missed it but a few of the people on our tour said it was special.

Your bungalow should be equipped with shower facilities so grab yourself a shower before heading to one of the boats for your morning safari.

Just like when you come back from hiking to a cave you’ll have the chance to see much of the national parks wildlife.

If you’re really lucky you might see some free-roaming elephants!

Once you return from the morning safari you’ll head to one of the floating bungalows for breakfast.

Now you have some free time, what’s your options:

  • Kayaking 
  • Sunbathing
  • Swimming
  • Chill in the restaurant

You’ll get a shout from your Thai tour guides that time is up and you’ll check out of your stay at Cheow Lan Lake. Hop back onto your longtail boat and head back to Rachapraba Pier. This is your last chance to take in the beauty of the area so get that camera out and take as many pictures as possible.

Your stay at Khao Sok National Park floating bungalows has come to a close and it’s time to get back on the minivan back to Khao Sok Village.

What Else Is There To Do At Khao Sok Village?

Around Khao Sok Village there are numerous other activities you can take part in, some include…

Khao Sok Trail Jungle Walk

The Khao Sok Jungle Walk is located at the base of the village and will cost you 200 THB to enter the grounds.

Points 1 to 3 you can do alone, whereas points 4 to 7 you’ll require a tour guide which has an additional cost. 

So what can be seen during your hike:

  • Venture into one of the oldest rainforests in the world!
  • Discover a wide variety of wildlife including monkeys and elephants.
  • Admire the unique plants and trees of the rainforest.
  • Stop off at waterfalls and natural swimming pools.

It’s a very peaceful experience but my word does it get hot so make sure you bring adequate water, this hike isn’t short.

Night Safari

Through the same stretch of woods if you feel you’ve seen all that Khao Sok has to offer in the daylight why not try the night safari and see what species operate at night?

As twilight descends, the guided trek reveals the park’s hidden nocturnal wonders. Khao Sok Park is home to all sorts of species and insects can be spotted including:

  • Malayan Tapirs
  • Clouded Leopards
  • Malabar Gliding Frog
  • Fireflies
  • Atlas Moth
  • Slow Loris
  • Scorpions
  • Snakes
  • Tarantulas and so on

If the dark and fear of the unknown scare you, this trip isn’t for you!

This immersive journey not only unveils the secrets of the jungle after dark but also introduces you to the diverse and enchanting creatures that come to life in the nocturnal embrace of Khao Sok.

Elephant Rescue Centre 

Look after some elephants at the local elephant sanctuary 

This Elephant Sanctuary Is 100% Ethical!

So what can you expect from this trip:

  • Learn about the history of elephants in Asia from Dan the owner.
  • Feed the elephants
  • Walk with the elephants
  • Cleanse the elephants
  • Mud bath with the elephants

I met the elephants in Chiang Mai so this wasn’t an activity I participated in but from the reviews, I can see if you haven’t met the elephants this rescue centre is a great place to go.

Final Thoughts

So there you have it your guide to the best floating bungalows in Khao Sok.

Your visit to Khao Sok will include a variety of floating bungalow options and my recommendation to you is that this is the one trip you might want to consider spending that extra cash to make your stay in Khao Sok National Park truly memorable.

It’s best to spend a bit more for your stay in a Khao Sok floating bungalow than be disappointed with basic accommodation!

If you’re looking for other boat trips or popular activities to do in Southern Thailand then check out some of our other articles here: