Any traveller visiting Thailand should go there at least once. The Cheow Lan Lake or Ratchaprapha Dam Reservoir is a truly paradise located in the popular Khao Sok National Park, in southern province of Surat Thani.

In 2014 I had the chance to visit the lake with my friends and a team of professional Thai photographers, and I must say that the Cheow Lan Lake is one of the most beautiful places of Thailand and the world, plus one of the most popular tourist spots in the area.

An artificial lake in paradise

This 165-square-kilometre (64 sq miles) and 200 meters deep artificial lake is situated around 67 km from Khao Sok and within the Khao Sok National Park boundaries, and as in most places in Southern Thailand it is surrounded by huge limestone cliffs, some of them about 900 meters above the water, with the calm waters becoming a mirror image of the karst mountains.

The Cheow Lan Lake is very popular among tourists because the beauty of the area, the floating raft houses and restaurant and its caves, so it’s one of the most desired sightseeing tours in Khao Sok. Tourists, travellers and backpackers usually book the single-day or the 2-day tour at any resort in Khao Sok.

Concerning our trip, a resort in Khao sok village was the point of departure. We took a minivan accompanied by other tourists and a group of Thai photographers and we arrived at the lake in around one hour, going down the lake by a decent, although curved road that crosses the valley.

A must see

Once in the Cheow Lan Lake aka Ratchaprapha Dam pier, after paying the 300 baht admission fee, we stepped into a rickety long-tail boat and began a journey out over the lake toward the paradise. The boat driver was a friendly and chubby Thai man called “Big Man”.

Apart from the obvious beauty of the karsts and the jungle, the lake has a number of caves which can be visited by tourists, we stopped at the Pra Kay Petch Cave which is also known as the Diamond cave, located in the south side of the reservoir and home of a family of spiders. The cave can be accessed by boat only and accompanied by a tour guide.

After visiting the cave and islets, it’s lunch time. The lake has a floating restaurant offering Thai food, situated next to the floating raft houses, simple but exotic, plus located in a outstanding place surrounded by multi-colored fish.

And, to conclude, the amazing Cheow Lan Lake is a very popular, but not overcrowded tour that let’s you spot over 100 islets on the lake by boat and explore wonderful caves. If you decide to to spend the night there at the floating bungalows, it will be an unforgettable experience.

Just take a look at the photos below.


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