I'm travelling to Thailand mid October (yes I know it'll be wet ) and I was planning to visit Chiang Mai before hitting Ko Tao but now I've just read about Khao Sok National Park near Surat Thani and it looks like a great alternative tro Chiang Mai. Has anyone been there, would you recommend it? I prefer to book things directly and can see how to book the Jungle House but not so clear with the floating raft houses on the lake - anyone have a direct contact?
I was in CM a little while ago and I absolutely loved it. In fact I was practically crying when I left. Haven't been to Khao S. so I can't compare. But in CM you can travel on up into the Golden Triangle, it's fantastic.
Enjoy either way.
Khao Sok vs. Chiang Mai. That's a tough one, although I probably prefered Khao Sok National Park. Compared to other places in Thailand is still seems unspoiled and the lake surrounded by mountains is really stunning. I don't think you can book the raft house accomodation directly, but any guest house in Khao Sok town will arrange that for you. They all offer 2-3 day trips and we really had a fantastic time in the 'jungle'. Not only our guide was a cool guy who knew heaps about the area also our group only consisted of six people in total!
In Khao Sok we stayed at Jungle Huts, a nice place to chill out, eat great food and the owners were very helpful. Can only recommend it!
Hope that helps and if you have any more questions let me know,