I really want to go jungle trekking to see wildlife and scenery. I will be in sukhothai/Chiangmai and may head south to khao sok. Has anyone had a good experience down here is there better trekking around up north? I am only here for 8 more days and want to get an island in as well for some snorkeling. Please help
#1 Giventofly has been a member since 7/8/2011. Posts: 3
Khao Sok is great for real rainforest trekking and animal-spotting if you start at the crack of dawn, and time on the huge lake is magic, but it tends to be more expensive and harder to arrange quickly than trekking up north. From Chiang Mai you can book 2-3 day treks for around 1200-1500 baht with a group size of 6-12 people and this time of year with rainy season coming to an end the forest is green and lush (and slippery so bring good shoes). Good if you want a more social aspect to your trek with mostly young single travelers. No trekking based in Sukhothai - check out the ruins than head further north.
Thanks captain bob. I think I am going to focus more on the north and skip the potential problems with scheduling a tour in khao sok. I had to do a quick gut check to figure why I am in Thailand. I want to learn about myself and a new culture and reflect more than see animals. I am not as interested in the hill tribe treks but certainly want to experience the scenery and jungle that doesn't exist in the US. Where would you suggest going where I can trek solo and see some cool landscapes and maybe some birds?
Also, being the Chiangmai expert, I would love to attend a meditation class and perhaps a cooking class--any suggestions?
#3 Giventofly has been a member since 7/8/2011. Posts: 3
Just a few of the many possibilities, Doi Inthanon National Park about 60km southwest of Chiang Mai. Best if you can take a small motorbike/scooter and self-drive. Boring highway to get there but once you turn off into the park it's peaceful and quiet with excellent road all the way to the top (2565m highest spot in Thailand). Stop off at the waterfalls and trails, the Royal botanical gardens and the King and Queen pagodas. Park entrance is 200 baht for foreigners plus 20 baht if you have a motorbike. I just was up there and saw quite a few birds. Go soon before the mobs arrive in mid-November.
Another goodie is Chiang Dao 70km north of Chiang Mai. Go stay at Malee Nature Bungalows http://maleenature.com and do dayhikes around the beautiful area, rent a mountain bike, ride an elephant, go trekking, etc. I used it as a base for climbing Chiang Dao mountain last January, and they should start issuing permits again tomorrow.
Or just dayride out of Chiang Mai, up to Doi Suthep and some Hmong villages, coffee plantation, campground, etc. or 15km north to Mae Rim turn off to the Tiger Kingdom, horse riding, elephant camp, waterfalls, or if you're keen ride around the Samoeng Loop (100km, map available in town http://www.gt-rider.com/maps-of-thailand-laos-maps/mae-sa-valley-samoeng-loop-map) or visit Huay Tung Tao lake also just north of CM town about 20 minutes by motorbike or pickup taxi - swim, eat explore trails.
For intro to meditation try Wat Suan Dok temple on the western side of the old city, see http://www.monkchat.net or keep going out the Suthep road and turn off to Wat Umong a forest temple which accepts people on a random basis who want to learn meditation and other Buddist practices.
For a cooking course in Chiang Mai check out Siam Rice http://www.siamricethaicookery.com