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Khao Sok (เขาสก)

Thai. Name of a mountain, as well as of a National Park in Surat Thani Province, which covers an area of about 738 kmē. The nature reserve consists of dense virgin jungle, towering limestone karst formations and the 165 kmē Chiaw Lan Reservoir (map - fig.) which is created by the Ratchaprapha Dam (map - fig.) and is home to numerous rafthouses and ranger stations (map - fig.). The national park also features several caves, including the Tham Nahm Thalu tunnel-cave (map - fig.) and Coral Cave (map - fig.), as well as several waterfalls. In addition, the nature reserve is home to rare species such as the giant Rafflesia (fig.), a parasitic flower that attaches itself to the nutrient system of woody lianas (fig.) and can grow to a diameter of up to a meter and is often referred to as the world's biggest single flower. Animals found in Khao Sok include hornbill birds, gibbons and tigers. The lake and park, popular for both daytime and nighttime safaris,  can be explored by boat, as well as on foot, whereas the Khlong Sok River that meanders in and out of the park,  is a popular waterway for rafting, kayaking or canoeing, and river tubing (fig.). See also LIST OF NATIONAL PARKS, PANORAMA PICTURES (1) and (2), TRAVEL PICTURES (1), (2), (3) and (4), as well as MAP (1) and MAP (2).