Are you looking for something that is unique and different to experience on your next holiday in Thailand? If you are looking for something unique this is definitely the location for you, and it is called 500 Rai Floating Resort in the Khao Sok National Park in Southern Thailand.
500 Rai Floating Resort’s motto is:
Disconnect to Reconnect
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Check out our Youtube video on our time at 500 Rai Floating Resort here.
Facts about Khao Sok National Park
- 500 Rai Floating Resort is located in Southern Thailand’s stunning Khao Sok National Park on Chiew Larn Lake
- It is the ‘oldest evergreen rainforest in the world’.
- Chiew Larn Lake is located in the centre of Khao Sok National Park surrounded by tall limestone (karst) mountains.
- It is home to 311 species of birds
- 48 species of mammals
- 30+ species of bats
- Latest estimation of over 200 wild Asian elephants
- Endangered tigers
- Trekking is a popular thing to do in the Khao Sok National Park
- You can canoe or kayak around the lake
- There are caves to be explored
How Do You Get To Khao Sok National Park
Surat Thani to Khao Sok National Park – you can fly into Surat Thani Airport from destinations within Thailand – the road journey from Surat Thani to Khao Sok National Park takes approximately 1.40 minutes
You can also travel by bus from Surat Thani to Khao Sok National Park and can take up to 2 hours
Phuket to Khao Sok National Park – travel by car from Phuket can take between 3 to 4 hours. You can fly into Phuket Airport from major destinations around the world.
Bus travel is available from Phuket and can take up to 5 to 6 hours
You can catch a bus from Bangkok to Surat Thani which takes approximately 10 hours and then change to a bus from Surat Thani
Krabi to Khao Sok National Park
There are cars and minibuses available from Krabi Airport to Khao Sok National Park
Donsak Pier to Khao Sok National Park
You can organise transfers from Donsak Pier to Khao Sok National Park.
Koh Samui to Khao Sok National Park
The ferry from Koh Samui to Donsak Pier takes approximately 1.5 hours. We recommend travelling with Seatrans Ferry.500 Rai Floating Resort can provide transfers for you - contact them direct here
How Do You Get To 500 Rai Floating Resort
Whatever transport option you choose you will arrive at Chiew Larn Lake Pier (aka Ratchaprapha Pier at Ratchaprapha Dam). From there 500 Rai provides a longtail boat to transfer you to the resort – it takes 1.5 hours. The journey is stunning, you cruise through sparkling turquoise waters past the magnificent towering limestone mountains. It is a photographer’s delight, make sure you have enough battery on your camera.
Our Time at 500 Rai Floating Resort
Our journey started when the alarm went off at 3.30 am. We flew Air Asia from Bangkok to Surat Thani Airport. We had pre-booked our private transfers from 500 Rai. Our shuttle collected us at 9.30 for our journey to the pier arriving at 11 am.
On arrival at the pier, you check in at the 500 Rai Resort counter. Make sure you have Thai Baht with you as there are National Park fees of THB220 to pay per person which the staff at 500 Rai will organise for you.
Our arrival was timed for lunchtime, leaving the pier around 11.30 and arriving at 500 Rai at 1 pm.
We were taken to our table in the restaurant. You will eat all your meals at the same table for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
After lunch, we checked in and were taken to our villa. We were surprised at the spaciousness of our villa at 42 sqm. There was even a mezzanine level that could sleep 2 more. The views from our deck were outstanding. There was a separate toilet on the left as you entered the villa, a small desk, wardrobe, dressing area and luggage area to the right then a hot/cold shower. With the villa air-conditioning is available 24 hours per day.
During the day we turned the air-conditioning off and had the windows and balcony door open to catch the breeze. Before you head to dinner turn your air-conditioning on if required.
The king-size bed with luxurious sheets was so inviting and you could spend all day just lying here looking at the views across the lake. As the rooms are on the lake expect to have a little movement if long-tail boats or the shuttle boat move around the lake. Actually, it is quite soothing!
Our accommodation was Villa 5. There are Deluxe Rooms available, villas, family villas, honeymoon suite with its own swimming pool, deluxe suite and family suites.
Deluxe rooms, family villas and villas are accessed by a walkway at the back of each room.
The Honeymoon Suite and deluxe and family suites are separate to the main accommodation. You can kayak to the Lobby and Restaurant yourself or call for the shuttle boat to come and collect you.
We spent the afternoon just relaxing on our verandah reading. We could not take our eyes off the view and the changing colours of the water and sky as sunset loomed.
In front of the 500 Rai restaurant is the main swimming pool and deck.
Happy Hour is available between 3 pm and 5 pm. Beer (Chang and Leo) Cocktails (Mojito, Pink Lady) soft drinks, smoothies, and appetizers (french fries, fried beans) are available. Buy 1 get 1 free.
Dinner is available from 6.30 pm to 8.00 pm. There are many choices available, even vegetarian options.
Wifi is available – you can purchase packages depending on how long you are staying at 500 Rai and how much you will want to use. If you have already purchased a SIM Card for your travels around Thailand, it will not work here at 500 Rai. We had good speed and a fast connection.
On purpose, we left our curtains open and it was worth it for the sunrise on both mornings. Most guests were up, soaking in the atmosphere and the early morning bird calls as the sun started to rise over the mountains in front of our accommodation. Don’t miss this time – it is very special.
We had a 1-hour morning cruise around the lake booked for 7. It was so peaceful just cruising around and being the only boat out on the lake.
Breakfast is available from 8 am to 10 am.
The rest of the day was spent reading. Lunch was between 12 and 2 pm. Each room or villa is provided with its own kayaks to use and life jackets.
Life jackets are required to be used (National Park rules) if you decide to go for a swim in the lake or to kayak.
500 Rai have experiences available such as trekking, hiking to viewpoints, cooking classes, massages as well as an early evening wildlife safari by long tail boat which we had booked. The boat left at 5 and returned by 7, apart from some birdlife we saw local buffalo as they head down to drink in the cool of the evening. The sunset was spectacular.
Sadly we were leaving to head to Koh Samui. The long boat departed at 9 in the morning and we headed back to the pier.
You really ‘disconnect to reconnect’ at 500 Rai Floating Resort. Even though the journey sounds long to arrive at the resort it is totally worth it. It is spectacular. The staff are excellent and really care for you. We were impressed with the quality of the food and availability of all choices seeing the resort is fairly isolated. We recommend a stay at 500 Rai Floating Resort. They are open 11 months of the year, closing in June for renovations each year.
Our stay at 500 Rai Floating Resort in Khao Sok National Park was sponsored. As always our opinions are our own. We thank the staff of 500 Rai for looking after us so well from the minute we arrived at the Pier till our return.
We recommend taking out travel insurance as soon as you book your flights and pay deposits on any cruises, tours or hotels. Travel insurance offers protection when things go wrong before or during your travels, that is why we highly recommend that you take out travel insurance.
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