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A peaceful sail on the Thai Amazon

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Southern Thailand

Joanna Horanin

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Last updated at 16/06/2024, 11:00

Hi, I'm Joanna, the author of The Blond Travels. In the worlds of Thailand and Portugal, I feel like a fish in water - and it's no coincidence! I've been exploring Thailand for over a decade, and I've settled in Portugal for 6 years now. My mission is to support Dreamers - just like you - in discovering these fascinating countries and helping those in love with them find their own place on Earth, preferably for good! Let's uncover these unique corners of the world together.

Have you ever heard/heard of the Thai Amazon? I hadn’t either until I went to Khao Sok National Park and took a scooter tour of the area. The Thai Amazon is certainly a lesser-known place in Thailand, but it is a beautiful attraction and well worth a visit. In this post, I’ll tell you a bit more about it and give you practical information about the Thai Amazon.

I found out about this place completely by accident. Most of the time, when I go somewhere in Thailand, I stop at one point, explore what I have to visit and then spend a few days driving around the area on my motorbike. Before I hop on my two wheels, however, I look for nearby attractions on a map. That’s how I found the Thai Amazon.

Pyś and I rode from around the entrance to Khao Sok Park and headed towards the town of Ta Kuapa. We stopped a few times along the way to admire the views. We weren’t sure at first if it was even worth taking a cruise through the ‘Amazon’ canals, but in the end we made a bet that whatever it was, we wouldn’t regret it anyway. This is exactly what happened.

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    Thai Amazon explained

    The Thai Amazon is actually a network of canals located by the sea and by flowing streams. The official name of the place is Klong (canal) Sangne.

    The surrounding area is covered with mangrove, bamboo, reeds and various exotic trees. It is home to many animals, birds and reptiles, and fish.

    The main attraction is to take a boat or canoe (guided only) through the canals and admire nature. There is virtually complete silence all around, so you can actually spot quite a few animals, including monkeys.

    A black bird sitting on a branch on Thai Amazon, Khao Sok Park.
    We didn’t see any monkeys, but saw a lot of birds.

    The entrance to the Sangne Canal

    As Pyś and I drove and were already approaching the entrance to the Thai Amazon, we could see signs, flags, marking the car park and solicitors from a distance. We both have a slight aversion to such places, as we immediately feel that someone wants to rip money off us. We were about to turn back when we finally stated ‘what the hell. We’ll give the attraction a chance’.

    The guides were older men who spoke very little English. We got talked to them in Thai and ended up paying 100 BHT per person for a canal cruise.

    We were seated at a table, given water and asked to wait until the canoe was set up and we could get in.

    After a few minutes, our guide came and we were put into a three-person canoe.

    Sailing through the Thai Amazon

    At the very beginning, our path passed by old, abandoned buildings. After a while we were able to see floating monitors (a type of varanus). There were really quite a few of them and we saw them every few minutes. Some were big, others a little smaller.

    The mangroves, and the large trees standing on the water, created an atmosphere of mystery. A horror film or thriller could be shot here.

    A picture of a woman with short hair sitting on a canoe and sailing through mangrove forest in khao sok park, thai amazon.
    Kayaking through the Thai Amazon was amazing.

    From time to time, our guide showed us beautiful birds and lizards basking in the sun. Once, he tried to draw our attention to a snake that was supposedly in a tree, but we both could not see it in the thicket of leaves.

    You can also read on Google that some visitors had the chance to see monkeys and large snakes. We unfortunately weren’t so lucky.

    Is it worth visiting the Thai Amazon?

    The area around this canal you will definitely visit because of the cruise on Cheow Lan Lake and the visit to Khao Sok Park. I would perhaps not specifically advise adding a day to your stay to cruise the Amazon, especially if you are in Thailand on holiday and don’t have much time.

    However, if, like me, you happen to have an extra day, I would highly recommend driving over to the town of Ta Kuapa and visiting the place on the way. The surroundings are beautiful and the whole cruise, although short, is extremely enjoyable.

    How to get there?

    The Thai Amazon (Thai Amazon) is located at Khao Sok Park, near the town of Ta Kuapa. You can get here by hiring a driver from, for example, 12GoAsia. You can also hire a guide for the whole day. This is definitely a great option. I recommend TakeMeTour. They organise wonderful tours in Thailand and tailor them to you and your needs.

    Opening hours and payments

    The attraction is open from 9am until sunset, seven days a week.

    Admission, guide and kayak tour costs around 100 BHT per person.

    A cruise on the Thai Amazon, or Sangne Canal, is an excellent, lesser-known attraction in Thailand. I would especially recommend it to people who enjoy nature and who want to get away from the hustle and bustle of tourist destinations.