What to know about tubing the Khlong Sok River in Khao Sok

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Khao Sok National Park is one of Thailand’s greatest sites, with untouched jungles, massive limestone formations, rare animals & plants and a man-made lake.

Cheow Lan Lake in Khao Sok National Park, Thailand

Imagine peacefully floating down a river in a rubber ring, with nothing but nature surrounding you as you spot fascinating wildlife. Well, in Khao Sok you can. Located on the journey between Koh Phangan and Krabi, Khao Sok is the perfect place to stop over to enjoy the heavenly nature reserve and for the ultimate tubing experience. Everything you need to know about this exciting tubing experience in Thailand’s little-known nature reserve is right here.

Khao Sok, Thailand

The tubing in Khao Sok experience

No matter the weather, tubing down the river banks in Khao Sok is a must. Rain or shine, this experience is a fantastic way to pass a few hours and detox from busy life. The day starts by taking a super short walk to under the bridge where you will jump into your giant rubber ring. From here, lightly float down Khlong Sok River. Every once in a while, you will pass through some river rapids, so hold on tight. No need to worry though, a professional guide will join you on your expedition and will let you know when the strong currents are approaching, and on which side of the river is best to float down. 

The exciting journey will see you drifting among enchanting jungle trees on at each side of you as beautiful limestone cliffs will seem luring over in the distance. You will even pass under a few rope swings that are hanging from the trees. If you’re feeling adventurous, make sure to ask your guide to stop so you can have a go at swinging around like the cheeky monkeys you may spot in the trees above. Also, make sure to keep your eyes peeled for other creatures and critters that live along the river banks,; from snakes to birds, they are all surrounding you.

Khao Sok, Suratthani

Where is Khao Sok?

Khao Sok is located in the province of Surat Thani, which is south west of Bangkok. Khao Sok National Park covers a whopping 739 square kilometers (285 square miles) and is one of the oldest rain forests in the world. Being a rainforest, Khao Sok National Park is home to animals such as elephants, snakes, tigers, bears (oh my!) and over 180 species of birds. It’s also home to the impressive Cheow Lan Lake, which is becoming more and more of an attraction for international tourists traversing through Thailand. 

There are two main areas of Khao Sok National Park: Khlong Sok Town and Cheow Lan Lake. The two hotspots are 65 kilometers (40 miles) apart so it’s important that you choose wisely where to stay. Khlong Sok Town has some lovely budget-friendly huts and hostels to stay, whereas Cheow Lan Lake has plenty of floating bungalows to choose from, but at a much higher rate than those in Khlong Sok Town.

How to get to Khao Sok National Park

With routes available on Bookaway, Khao Sok is conveniently accessible from Thailand’s popular beach resorts such as Koh Phangan, Krabi and Phuket. Located in between the eastern islands and Krabi or Phuket, Khao Sok makes for a great stopover in between the two. It will help break up a long, tiring 7+ hour journey.

With plenty of transport options online, from Thailand’s popular beach resorts such as Koh Phangan, Krabi, and Phuket, Khao Sok is conveniently accessible.  The journey to Khao Sok from the islands is less than a 5 hour trip. It’s as simple as taking a short 3 hour ferry ride to Surat Thani, before hopping on to a bus directly to Khao Sok town. So, consider taking a break from the beach and get your adventure fix. Trade in your bikinis and pools for hikes and rivers.

Ferry to Khao Sok

General information about tubing in Khao Sok


The price of a tubing experience in Khao Sok ranges from 300 – 400 Bhat ($9.74 – $12.98)  for 90 to 120 minutes and depends on which tour operator you use and how many people there are in your party. The more people, the cheaper it works out per person.

How to book

As you walk the town of Khlong Sok, you will notice plenty of tour shops selling tours and activities. There’s no need to book in advance. Just pop into the shop and ask about a tubing trip, pay the price, and prepare for the fun.

Season & times

Unfortunately, tubing down the river in Khao Sok is not a thing all year round. Due to the dry season, between December and April, there may not be enough water in the river to make your rubber ring float, Unless you want to be scraping your bum on the rocks every second, it is best to avoid it. However, between May and November, the river is usually in full flow and you shouldn’t have a problem.

There is no set time to go tubing. You can simply make a booking and leave within ten minutes. However, you won’t be allowed to go once it is dark, as it would be too dangerous, and goodness knows what dangerous animals are lurking in the bushes ready to pounce.

What to bring

Remember to get changed into your swimwear beforehand and to bring along some flip-flops. The tour operator will provide a water-proof bag for you to put your belongings in but it’s best to leave your wads of cash at home, phones and non-waterproof cameras. 

Elephants at Khao Sok National Park

Other things to do in Khao Sok

There are tons of things to do in Khao Sok, especially for nature lovers out there, from motorbiking through nature, taking a canoe trip on Cheow Lake, going on a night safari or taking on one of the many hiking trails. If you’re staying Khao Sok town, you can even take a night trip to Cheow Lake, which will consist of a boat journey on Cheow Lake and a night in one of the floating bungalows. Prices of these tours start at 1,500 Bhat ($48.65) per person. Unfortunately, many tour shops in Khao Sok promote and sell unethical animal encounters such as elephant riding. For humans to be able to ride elephants, they go through unimaginable torture and training to break their spirits and fear their trainers. Make sure to stay away from these kind of animal interactions, so as not to perpetuate such a disturbing practice. Instead, opt to see them naturally in the wild from a distance on one of the safaris on offer.

To finish on a brighter note, Khao Sok is an overall fantastic place to visit and has so many ethical activities to offer, tubing being just one of them. Tubing down the river as the world goes by, spotting animals from a distance and soaking up the beautiful surroundings is a perfect way to see an alternative side of Khao Sok.

Posted December 11, 2019
image of blog writers Katie and Jake
Katie and Jake of Untold Wanderlust
Nature enthusiasts who love nothing more than traveling to off the beaten path destinations around the world. Budget travel is our thing. Currently aiming to travel to every country in the world and write about it on our blog Untoldwanderlust. When we’re not on the move, we’re hunting down a bargain, sampling local beers or chillin’ in our pjs tucking into a film.
image of blog writers Katie and Jake