Floating River Huts in Thailand

Our little hut for the night

Khao Sok National Park is one of my favourite places in Thailand and that’s saying something when you consider the fact that Thailand is my favourite country in the world. It’s a reserve in Surat Thani, southern Thailand, and has some of the country’s best preserved jungles and wildlife. A huge artificial lake was created in the park in 1982 with the damming of the Pasaeng River.

We spent a couple of days in the national park and during that time we had one night staying in the Floating River Huts and this is one of the many instances that I feel like my words can’t do the place justice so just take a look at some of these photos.



There were about 20 bamboo huts lined up in a neat little row. We were in the middle of the jungle so they couldn’t have possibly looked more out of place but this gave it a magical kind of feel. A rickety walkway joined the huts together and in the middle there was a bigger hut where we ate our meals in a communal dining area. There were toilet blocks but no showers because the river was so clean and warm that everyone just washed in there. The huts were very basic with nothing more than a mattress on the floor with a mosquito net around it. Sleeping at night was pretty hot and uncomfortable but being able to listen to the sounds of the jungle all night was well worth it.

To get to the huts we took a speed boat followed by a slightly more relaxing long tail boat to the huts and allowed the sprays and splashes to keep us cool as the boat skimmed through the clear water. It was a deep turquoise colour that looked like it had jumped straight out of a postcard. We zoomed past little islands and stopped a few times while the driver pointed out animals in the trees

We were in the water at the first available opportunity and quickly scrambled into canoes to explore the area. We pulled up to the little islands that peaked out of the water and people pointed out Gibbons swinging in the trees, other monkeys and eagles.

It was around about this point that I decided that I’m probably blind because I could see nothing. We were with a guy who kept insisting I borrow his binoculars because he felt so sorry for me. I just pretended most of the time and I ‘Ooooo’ed’ and ‘arrr’d’ along with everyone else.

At least I could hear the Gibbon’s as they ‘Ooooooo’d louder and louder and for longer and longer as they built up the courage to swing from tree to tree. I felt a bit sorry for the Gibbons because they were trapped on the islands that were created when the lake was created.

After working up an appetite with all the swimming and kayaking we feasted on a huge fish banquet and spent the night being lulled by the gentle swaying as we bobbed on the water.

We got up at dawn the next day and were taken out on a kayaking tour by a guide to do some professional wildlife spotting. We paddled over to the islands where we could see Gibbons yelling and swinging from the trees and, thankfully, I actually saw them this time!

We then pulled up to a larger island and went on a trek around it and through the forest. The guide showed us tracks from different animals and pointed out some of the biggest bugs and spiders I’ve ever seen in my life. He was amazingly good at finding where the trapdoor spiders were hiding.

How we got there:

We booked the trip through Limestone Lake Tours who organised everything in the national park for us. This included flights from Bangkok to Surat Thani, transfers and a night in the Cliff and River Jungle Resort, transfers and a night at on the floating river huts, transfers and a night Art’s River Lodge (with elephant trekking) and then transfers to Ao Nang. It was by far one of my favourite experiences in Thailand so if you get the chance, I would definitely recommend it.

I will be blogging about the other places every Tuesday in my new ‘Track-Back Tuesday’ feature where I will bring you the best from my travels in SE Asia. I spent 6-months in Asia before I figured out how to blog so I have a lot of stories to share!


  1. northierthanthou 9 years ago

    Okay now this looks like it was a gorgeous place to stay. I hope you got some time to just relax there instead of following guides around the whole time.

    • TheTravelHack 9 years ago

      Yes, there was just enough time to relax and take a tip in the lake. Paradise!

  2. Carlo 9 years ago

    Great stuff Monica. Ya just can’t beat Thailand in fairness. I was in Surat thani while on route to/from the islands last summer. I didn’t know there was a reserve there or I’d have probably checked it out.

    Keep the stories coming….. 🙂

    • TheTravelHack 9 years ago

      Thanks Carlo 🙂 It seems like people are saying ‘Yes, I’ve been here and it was amazing’ or they’ve never heard of it all. It’s a shame but also a blessing, this is the kind of place you want to keep all to yourself!

  3. Sandra 9 years ago

    This is definitely a dream of a vacation/adventure 🙂
    I could imagine to live there for every^^
    Like having an airplane crash and never come back home *lol*

    • TheTravelHack 9 years ago

      Haha, I secretly wish I was on that plane that crashed on Lost too! It was gorgeous but I actually wouldn’t want to stay here for too long. It was boiling hot and there were no fans or anything to stop all the insects crawling into bed with you. Great for a few nights though.

  4. Bobbi Lee Hitchon 9 years ago

    That looks incredible-minus the spider.

    • TheTravelHack 9 years ago

      Yep, the spider freaked me out a bit but other than that it was amazing!

  5. Lindsey 9 years ago

    This place sounds almost perfect! I’d never heard of Khao Sok National Park but it’s just made it to the top of my list of places I *have* to visit in Thailand.

    I can’t wait to read more.

    • TheTravelHack 9 years ago

      It’s on my list of places I HAVE to go back to. I usually like to go to new places but I’ll definitely be going back here one day.

  6. Looks like you had a great adventure. I would love to stay in one of those floating huts. When it gets warm, I guess you can just take a swim 🙂

  7. OMG, this is like staying in an overwater bungalow somewhere in the South Pacific, but without having to pay $400-$1000 a night! PERFECT! Gosh, I love you! 😉 😀

    seriously though, I’m so excited you wrote about this place. It looks LEGIT

    – Maria Alexandra

  8. PS – that spider is HUGE. Was it poisonous?! I would be freaking out!

    • TheTravelHack 9 years ago

      I’m not sure if it was poisonous and, to be honest, I’m so so glad I didn’t ask because that would really freak me out!

  9. Jody-Lea 9 years ago

    This sounds amazing. My boyfriend and I are currently saving to go travelling to Thailand and are looking for things to do when we are there. How did you hear about this place and stay there? I’d be really interested in going 🙂 thanks for sharing this post!

  10. […] can see more from my stay in Khao Sok National Park, Thailand, here:Cliff and River Jungle ResortFloating River Huts in Thailand  /* Related posts:The Four Island TourSunset Sunday: Koh Lanta, ThailandSunset Sunday: Boats […]

  11. jmayel el-haj 9 years ago

    this does look amazing! is it possible to visit without a guide or tour though? We live in Chiang Mai and drive the country a lot. So we like to discover places that we can explore ourselves.

    Hate spiders though.

    • TheTravelHack 9 years ago

      I’m sure you would be able to visit by yourself and then hire canoes from the huts to go exploring by yourself. I wasn’t a big fan of the spiders either!

  12. Brendon 9 years ago

    Wow… What a nice traveling place in Thailand! I’m fan to those places and want to make a tour to visit and enjoying those places. Thanks!

  13. Francesca 7 years ago

    This looks amazing!
    I am just wondering how you got there and how you got to the lake?
    I’m thinking of going and getting a bus to the national park but I don’t know how I’d get to the lake!!

    • TheTravelHack 7 years ago

      Hi Francesca. I actually booked everything through Limestone Lake Tours and they organised it all – including transfers.
      If you’re planning to get the bus to the national park, I wouldn’t worry about actually getting to the lake because I’m sure there will be a lot of other travellers in the same situation. You usually find that if there’s a bus, there will be people waiting in tuk tuks or information waiting for you when you arrive. I know it’s daunting to arrive somewhere without a proper plan but there will have been thousands of travellers who have done the same.
      If you plan to stay in a river hut you’ll need to book it in advance so they will have information when you book it.

  14. […] created my own custom tour which included one night in a tree house, one night in a floating river hut and one night in a luxury villa in a remote jungle resort. We went on wildlife tours, elephant […]

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