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Khao Sok National Park: Cheow Lan Lake

Dramatic limestone karsts draped in vegetation and shores blanketed in pristine rainforest, the largest area of virgin forest in Southern Thailand, surround Cheow Lan Lake in the heart of Khao Sok National Park.

Tiny, lush islands once mountain peaks, rise out of tepid, emerald-green waters where water temperatures range between 27°C to 29 °C.

Wildlife in the national park includes Asian elephant, tiger, tapir and bear. A cacophony of jungle sounds fill the air: monkeys and gibbons chatter and howl; hornbills and other exotic birds cry and whistle; and a myriad of insects whine and shrill.

In 1982, Ratchaprapha Dam was built as a source of electricity by blocking off the Klong Saeng River and creating an artificial, 165 square kilometer lake.

Cheow Lan Lake is a popular destination for local and foreign tourists, accommodation provided by rustic, floating raft houses. Activities include trekking to view points, waterfalls and caves; fishing and kayaking; and boat safaris to glimpse wildlife and view the stunning scenery.

We stayed at Prai Wan raft houses, simple bamboo huts floating on the water. We opted for a private tour, that was well worth the money! It included: a knowledgeable and enthusiastic, English-speaking guide; wildlife safaris and cave trip by long-tail boat; hiking through rainforest to a spectacular viewpoint; kayak use and meals.

Here is just a handful from the hundreds of photos I took during our two-night stay. I plan to return to Cheow Lan Lake and to also explore other parts of Khao Sok National Park.

Lakeside raft houses, Cheow Lan Lake, Khao Sok National Park, southern Thailand

Prai Wan raft houses, Cheow Lan Lake, Khao Sok National Park

Lakeside raft houses & long tail boat, Cheow Lan Lake, Khao Sok National Park, southern Thailand

Long tail boat and Prai Wan raft houses, Cheow Lan Lake, Khao Sok National Park

Lakeside raft houses & long tail boat, Cheow Lan Lake, Khao Sok National Park, southern Thailand

Long tail boats at Prai Wan raft houses, Cheow Lan Lake, Khao Sok National Park

Boatman waiting for passengers, Cheow Lan Lake, Khao Sok National Park, southern Thailand

Our boatman waiting for us at a cave, Cheow Lan Lake, Khao Sok National Park

Giant Rock, Cheow Lan Lake, Khao Sok National Park, southern Thailand

Giant Rock, Cheow Lan Lake, Khao Sok National Park

Lush island, Cheow Lan Lake, Khao Sok National Park, southern Thailand

Lush island on Cheow Lan Lake, Khao Sok National Park

Green island, Cheow Lan Lake, Khao Sok National Park, southern Thailand

Tiny, green island on Cheow Lan Lake, Khao Sok National Park

View of Cheow Lan Lake from viewpoint, Khao Sok National Park, southern Thailand

View of Cheow Lan Lake from viewpoint, Khao Sok National Park

Colors of dusk, Cheow Lan Lake, Khao Sok National Park, southern Thailand

Colors of dusk on Cheow Lan Lake, Khao Sok National Park

Boat trip at dusk, Cheow Lan Lake, Khao Sok National Park, southern Thailand

Our guide & boatman on a boat safari at dusk on Cheow Lan Lake, Khao Sok National Park

Colors of dusk, Cheow Lan Lake, Khao Sok National Park, southern Thailand

Colors of dusk on Cheow Lan Lake, Khao Sok National Park

Skeleton trees in water at dusk, Cheow Lan Lake, Khao Sok National Park, southern Thailand

Skeleton trees in water at dusk on Cheow Lan Lake, Khao Sok National Park

Sunrise Colors On Lake, Cheow Lan Lake, Khao Sok National Park, southern Thailand

Sunrise Colors on Cheow Lan Lake from Prai Wan raft houses, Khao Sok National Park

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