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Whether you are on armchair explorer vicariously visiting Khao Sok or a rugged adventure about to embark on a trek traversing the park' s uncharted terrain, you are about to enter part of the oldest and richest terrestrial ecosystem on Earth.

The world has spared few places as wild, wonderful or wildly diverse as Khao Sok National Park. Together with two wildlife sanctuaries (Klong Saen & Klong Nakkha) and two adjacent national parks (Sri Phang nga and Klong Phanom Nat. Parks), Khao Sok is part of the largest protected area in South Thailand at 4,400 sq km. Larger in size than Malaysia' s Taman Negara National Park (4,362 sq. km), Indonesia' s Gunung Leuser National Park (900 sq. Km) and Sarawak' s Mulu National Park (528 sq. Km), Khao Sok is in fact one of South East Asia' s most vital wildlife habitats.

By virtue of elimination these areas have become critical refuges, oases of life in landscapes that are now comparative biological deserts of oil palm and rubber plantations and logged over scrublands.

Khao Sok, and the few places like it, stand apart in South East Asia' s geography of hope--hope for the region' s last remaining wildlife, the world' s greatest diversity of plant life, and last but not least, hope for the human spirit.

It is wonderful to watch Khao Sok cast its spell on people.....those magical mornings when the world seems new like the dawn of time and gibbon songs echo in the morning mist. There is the sheer joy of plunging into some of the coolest and cleanest rivers in Thailand at the base of a private waterfall. There' s excitement when a flock of feeding hornbills compete for the same fig tree with more species of birds and small animals than exist in many countries.

There are those magic moments when the whole world seems green in every conceivable shade and every conceivable shape, then suddenly one comes upon an 80 cm red blossom bursting from the ground, one of the largest flowers on Earth.

There is the power of tropical thunder storms, deluges of rain and raging rivers in this the wettest region of the Kingdom. One seeks shelter under an umbrella-shaped palm blade only to discover it' s a new species and the rarest palm on Earth.

And there is the park of danger, the remote but ever-present possibility that one might come face to face with the largest cat on Earth--that orange and black striped phantom that barely survives now in a world that has be come all too tame for tigers.

These are images Khao Sok indelibly etches in the minds of those who know her intimately, those who make only a short acquaintance and those who see her only in the mind' s eye. In a world changing in every way with unprecedented speed it is comforting to know that there are such places, vast, untrammeled woodlands with mysteries so deep we may never fully fanthom them.

It is easy for visitors to Asia to be awed by the grandeur and antiquity of great human achievements--like Angkor Wat in Cambodia. As you explore Khao Sok' s tropical forest try to remind yourself that this in Nature' s greatest achievement--it's 200,000 times older than Angkor Wat, and more importantly. It' s still alive, functioning, and evolving


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Phuket Trekking Club Co., Ltd.
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