view of limestone cliffs from a boat on a Cheow Lan Lake Tour

Cheow Lan Lake Tour – Explore a Natural Wonder [2023 Guide]

If you’re planning a trip to Thailand, don’t miss the chance to visit one of its hidden gems on a Cheow Lan Lake tour. 

Located in the Khao Sok National Park, Cheow Lan Lake offers visitors a unique and unforgettable experience. From towering limestone cliffs to diverse wildlife, a Cheow Lan Lake tour is sure to be a highlight of your trip.

Cheow Lan Lake Tour Itinerary

Not everyone realises that Cheow Lan Lake. is actually a man-made lake also known as Ratchaprapha Dam Reservoir. It was formed in 1982 when the Ratchaprapha Dam was built on the Sok River in Surat Thani Province, southern Thailand. 

The flooding of the surrounding valleys and canyons created the lake, which covers an area of approximately 165 square kilometers and has a maximum depth of around 100 meters. 

The best way to experience the lake is by taking a tour. A typical itinerary includes a boat ride to explore the lake, followed by a hike to a scenic viewpoint, and a visit to the floating bungalows. 

The tour also includes a delicious Thai lunch on the boat, giving you a chance to enjoy the scenery while savoring the local cuisine.

 For those who want to stay longer, there are options for multi-day tours that include activities such as kayaking and camping.

Top 4 Cheow Lan Lake Tours

1. Cheow Lan Lake: 3-Day Floating Resort Luxury Experience

If you’re looking for a unique and tranquil getaway, a tour of 3 day Cheow Lan Lake is the ultimate choice. You get to stay on the lake at 500 Rai Floating Resort which offers luxurious accommodations with breathtaking views of the lake. The tour includes a variety of activities, such as jungle walks, cave exploration, and wildlife safaris.

One of the highlights of the tour is the opportunity to relax on the terrace of your floating room and take in the panoramic view of the lake. The resort’s infinity pool is also a great place to unwind and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.

You’ll also get to go bird-watching long-tail boat ride and plenty of free time to explore the lake on your own. The buffet meals provided by the resort are mouth-watering and offer a great selection of food.

Overall, the 3 day Cheow Lan Lake tour is a perfect way to explore this amazing location and connect with nature. It’s an experience you won’t soon forget.

2. Khao Lak: Khao Sok, Cheow Larn Lake, and Coral Cave Day Trip

If you’re looking for a Cheow Lan lake tour from Khao Lak that combines adventure and natural beauty, this day tour from Khao Lak is a fantastic choice. The tour offers a glimpse into the daily life of the locals at Ban Ta Khun Market, followed by a scenic drive with a photo stop at Cheow Lan Lake Viewpoint.

The highlight of the tour is the longtail boat ride to the lake’s hidden lagoon, where you can admire the stunning limestone mountains and emerald-green waters. The adventure continues with a jungle trek, where you can see native Thai wildlife up close.

One of the tour’s unique experiences is riding a traditional bamboo raft to Coral Cave, where you can marvel at the stunning stalagmites and stalactites. Lunch at a bamboo house is another highlight, offering a chance to taste delicious Thai cuisine.

After lunch, you have free time to relax, swim, or kayak. The tour ends with a photo stop at Khao Sam Kloe, the iconic rock formation on the lake.

Overall, the Cheow Lan Lake and Khao Sok National Park tour is an excellent way to immerse yourself in Thailand’s natural beauty and it’s a great option for those seeking adventure and unique experiences.

3. Khao Lak: Cheow Lan Lake Overnight Trip with Elephant Care

Embark on an unforgettable adventure with a Cheow Lan lake overnight tour that promises to invigorate your senses and recharge your spirit. With towering mountains, emerald green water, and fascinating wildlife, this tour offers a perfect blend of sports, leisure, and exploration.

The first day starts early with a scenic drive and photo opportunities before boarding a long-tail boat to explore the lake. Admire the famous Gui Lin rock formation, try bamboo rafting, explore Coral Cave, and indulge in a buffet lunch at the floating resort.

The second day is packed with exciting activities such as bird watching, bamboo rafting, creating your own lunch dish, visiting Mea Yai waterfall and Khao Sok Viewpoint, and meeting friendly elephants at a sanctuary. Enjoy the stunning scenery and learn about the local life in Southern Thailand.

The tour promises a unique experience, offering relaxation, adventure, and an opportunity to connect with nature. With an excellent guide, delicious food, and comfortable accommodation, this tour is a must-do for anyone visiting the area.

boat shown on a Cheow Lan Lake tour

4. Cheow Lan Lake Tour from Phuket

If you’re looking for an adventurous Cheow Lan Lake private tour during your Thai vacation, this full-day Khao Sok tour is a great choice.

The tour includes a visit to the beautiful Sarasin Bridge, trekking through the lush greenery of Khao Sok National Park, and a thrilling rafting or canoeing experience down the Khao Sok River. You’ll also get to visit the Wat Panturat or “Monkey Temple” where you can interact with the playful monkeys.

The day ends with a visit to the stunning Khao Sok Viewpoint, where you can capture some amazing photos of the rainforest terrain. This tour is a great way to experience the natural beauty and wildlife of Thailand.

Top Attractions of Cheow Lan Lake

One of the main attractions of the lake is its stunning limestone cliffs, which rise up from the water and are covered in lush vegetation. 

You’ll also have the chance to spot a variety of wildlife, including monkeys, birds, and even elephants if you’re lucky. Another highlight is the Ratchaprapha Dam, which created the lake and provides electricity to the region.

Wildlife and Nature

The lake is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including over 300 species of birds. The area is also known for its rare and endangered species, such as the Asian elephant and the Malayan tapir.

Be mindful of the environment and practice responsible tourism to help protect these animals and their habitat. 

It’s important to have realistic expectations when it comes to seeing wildlife, the animals are here but they are hard to spot on a short visit to the area. 

Where to Stay at Cheow Lan Lake

For an authentic experience, consider staying in one of the floating bungalows on the lake. These simple but comfortable accommodations give you the chance to wake up to the sound of nature and enjoy a swim in the cool waters before starting your day. We have written a detailed guide to Khao Sok Floating Bungalows but our top pick is the 500 Rai Floating Resort is the perfect destination and one of the best places to stay on the lake.

Each bungalow features two comfortable bedrooms with air conditioning, perfect for a restful sleep after a day of exploring. The en suite bathroom is equipped with shower facilities, and the toilet is separated from the shower area, ensuring maximum comfort and convenience. 

They have a pool, a great restaurant, and a location to die for.

One of the best ways to get here is to book on to a tour. This will take you from Phuket, Khao Lak, Krabi, Phang-Nga, Surat Thani, or Khao Sok and take you to the park and on to the 500 Rai Floating Resort.

This means you won’t be worried about travel connections to get here plus it includes all your food, non-alcoholic drinks, and sightseeing trips like a jungle walk, bamboo rafting, birdwatching from a longtail boat, and cave exploration at Coral Cave.


500 Rai Floating Resort is a fantastic destination for those seeking a unique and unforgettable experience with stunning scenery, an outdoor pool, and delectable cuisine, it’s the perfect escape.

If you prefer to stay on land, there are jungle camps and lodges available in the national park.

This is your best bet if you are looking for low-cost accommodation or for out-and-out luxury. Find your perfect hotel here.

Tips for a Successful Cheow Lan Lake Tour

To make the most of your visit, make sure to bring sunscreen, insect repellent, and comfortable shoes for hiking. 

Be prepared for the possibility of rain (this is the wettest place in Thailand), and bring a waterproof jacket or poncho. If you are doing some hiking be prepared for leeches, I got covered in them the first time I came here!

Remember to respect the local culture and environment, and follow the guidelines provided by your tour guide.

How to Get to Cheow Lan Lake

Getting to Cheow Lan Lake can be an adventure in itself. The nearest city is Surat Thani, and you can reach the lake by car or bus. If you’re up for a longer journey, you can also take a train from Bangkok to Surat Thani, followed by a bus to the lake. It’s important to plan your trip carefully and check the weather forecast, as heavy rain can make the roads difficult to navigate.

If you’re coming from the popular tourist destinations of Krabi or Phuket, the easiest way is to take a bus or minivan.

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From Krabi, you can take a direct minivan to Khao Sok National Park, which takes around two and a half hours. Another option is to take a bus from Krabi town to Surat Thani, followed by a minivan to the national park. The journey takes around four hours, but it’s a great way to see more of the Thai countryside.

If you’re coming from Phuket, the journey is a bit longer. You can take a direct minivan to Khao Sok National Park, which takes around three hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus from Phuket town to Surat Thani, followed by a minivan to the national park. The journey takes around five hours, but it’s a great way to see more of the region.

It’s important to note that the roads to Khao Sok National Park can be winding and steep, so if you’re prone to motion sickness, it’s a good idea to take medication beforehand. Additionally, during the rainy season, the roads can become muddy and difficult to navigate, so it’s important to plan your trip accordingly.

If you are coming from Khao Lak, Phuket, or Krabi it’s possible to visit Khao Sok and Cheow Lan Lake on an organised tour. There are day trips and multi-day trip options. It’s well worth staying a night or two to make the most of your visit as a Cheow Lan lake tour from Krabi or Phuket involves a lot of driving. But, if you are short on time they can still be worthwhile.

Once you arrive at the national park, you can book a tour or accommodation directly through one of the local operators but it’s a good idea to book in advance, especially during peak travel season, to ensure availability.

Final Thoughts on Cheow Lan Lake Tours

A visit to Cheow Lan Lake is a must-do for anyone looking to explore the natural beauty of Thailand. With its breathtaking scenery, diverse wildlife, and unique accommodations, it promises to be a highlight of your trip. 

I highly recommend staying the night on a floating resort for the full Cheow Lan Lake experience.

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