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  • On this website some experienced Chiang Mai hikers post open invitations to join their hikes in the area.
  • We use the date format YY/MM/DD where YY is the year, MM is the month and DD is the day of the month.
  • Hike descriptions may be posted at short notice. So it may be worth checking the website frequently.
  • Hikes may be cancelled or varied at short notice due to weather conditions or other factors. So it is advisable to check the website beforehand on the day of the hike.
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Anders Granstrand, 1955-2018: An Appreciation

Anders, a great Chiang Mai Hiker and our beloved friend, passed away on 1st December. Although his health had been noticeably poor since the middle of last year and he had returned to his native country of Sweden for hospital treatment in recent months, his death was a sudden shock. He had been chatting over the internet with one or two of us in his usual good-humoured way only the day before. It seems a chill from the Nordic winter suddenly aggravated his emphysema.

Anders came to Chiang Mai in 2009 after meeting Khun Ramida, and they married. Anders quickly began the habits of exploration that would make him a leading trailfinder of the province. His friend Ulf encouraged him soon afterwards to start joining our Sunday and midweek trips, in which he came to contribute an immense amount in advice, comradeship and his legendary good spirits. He was one of our principal hike leaders and report-posters from 2013 to 2017, and was always on hand to offer the benefit of his route knowledge to others. With Ramida he organized a memorable overnight hiking trip and party for us in October 2014.

Anders’ adventurous hiking was well-balanced by his enthusiasm for fun socializing. We owe the strength of our traditions in apres-hike drinking and (though now much-diminished) evening meet-ups to his influence. He danced a joyous dance. Although we may not manage to raise as many glasses of beer in his honour as he would raise in ours, we should – and will – treasure his memory.


Some of our good memories:




18/12/16 Doi Pui Valley Loop

Featured image

This hike is moderate to difficult on account of it being about 23 km in length and has a total ascent of just under 1000 metres. The first half of the hike is mainly uphill and reasonable pace is required to avoid an excessively long hike time.  That said, it is a pleasant hike with good views and varied terrain and will take about 7 hours to complete. The hike commences from the Standing Buddha at Huay Tung Thao and initially follows a route up to Dtad Mork Waterfall but, instead of going upstream to the waterfall we will cross the stream and join the dirt road that leads up towards Ban Chang Kian. We follow this road for about 3 kilometers to a large junction where we turn right and make a long loop that runs uphill through forest and then through fruit orchards before it re-joins the same road much higher up the mountain.
The hike is mainly on good trails and dirt roads but wet feet may be encountered at the single stream crossing. We will take lunch at a nice spot where the track crosses a small stream, just before commencing our descent.

If you want to join:

Read the “What to do” and Things to bring” sections.
Just turn up at the meeting place on the day and on time.
We cannot accommodate groups.

Meeting Point and Time:

We will meet at 0745 next to the Golden Buddha on the west shore of Huay Tung Thao (See map for directions). You will need to buy a ticket to enter the lake area (Thais 20Bht everyone else 50Bht). Huay Tung Thao is 12 km out of town from the north west corner of the moat.

Driving around the outside of the moat turn left onto Huay Kaeow Road after the Chiang Mai Ram Hospital. This is the road running out from the NW corner of the moat.
You will pass Central Kad Suan Kaeow after about 100 m on the left.
Drive on through the Amari Rincomb intersection, to the Phucombe intersection. The Phucombe intersection is the second major 4 way, traffic lighted, intersection, it is 2 km from the moat.
Turn right onto the Canal Road and keep going for 6.8 km.
You will see a sign for the turn off for the Huay Tung Thao lake on the left. Turn left.
Continue for 2.2 km to the lake.
When you get to the lake turn left and go around the lake for another 1.1 km.
You will see the large standing Buddha. We will meet near there.

Items to bring/prepare:

  • at least 2 litres of water and/or rehydration drink
  • energy snacks and/or a picnic brunch
  • strong footwear with good grip and ankle support
  • sticks recommended
  • sunhat, sunscreen, insect repellant
  • long sleeves/pants recommended
  • plenty of energy, enthusiasm, team spirit and good humour

2018/12/09_Trip report_Roller Coaster Ridge

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Even more than usual, a big thank you to all the leaders of the various independent options this week. Also to the drivers, report writers and photographers – sorry not to include all your great photos. We had 23 hikers in total, and only two vehicles missed the junction to the (unlocked) barrier to the Doi Radar road, but we all made it to the start point in time for an 08.50-ish start. (Sorry to the last-minute arrival who we didn’t have room for.)

P_20181209_092706_vHDR_OnFour of us took Option 1, walking up only to the first peak in the series. It took an hour to get there, and we spent more than half an hour enjoying the 360 degree view while eating our sandwiches. On the way down we encountered a trekking group of about a dozen people including four or five local porter/guides. At the end we found three national-park rangers waiting for us. They told us they had been informed about us by the trekking guides. Since the incident of the boys’ football team trapped in a cave earlier this year, there have been increased concerns about the safety of park visitors.


12 hikers took option 2, the hike to Doi Pha Ngom.  Weather was great & clear views up to the ascent of our summit at over 1700m.  As we climbed, the clouds rolled in &, on arrival at the top, the view had disappeared.  After lunch break we descended out of the cloud, with a little light rain.  On the return hike, the clouds cleared, revealing spectacular views of the surrounding peaks.  Distance 10km, up & down nearly 1000m.  Total hike time 5hrs to 5hrs 40 mins.


Seven hikers did the full monty, option 3. Up/down 1423m, 16.2 kms, in under 7.5 hours. It’s quite a strenuous workout and we perhaps started a little too fast when we should have paced ourselves with the whole day’s effort in mind. Some tired legs from time to time and one unfortunate face-plant, but the midday clouds were atmospheric rather than disappointing and the few very brief rain showers not enough to dampen enthusiasm for the glorious views all around. No wildlife to report, just small pieces of wreckage from the military plane crash up near the peak 30 years ago.






2018/12/09_Roller Coaster Ridge

View from after first peak to the second (steep cliffs to R) and third (far horizon highest point)

The weather forecasts are very varied and volatile, but let’s go ahead, ready for occasional rain/storms. See you at Susco!

There are three options for this Sunday’s hike, all along the same high “Roller Coaster” ridge and back to the same start point at “Doi Radar”, but of very different lengths (distance- and time-wise) and elevation gains. You must be ready to tell which option you are choosing at the meeting point so that transport for the separate groups can be arranged. No changes can then be made.  Option 3 is for ‘known’ hikers by prior agreement only.

I wonder why it’s called the “roller coaster”? … choose to turn back at 1, 2 or 3.

Option 1. Shorter hike. Just the first, unnamed peak (almost 1700m) and back.  Recently-cleared trails all the way, including cut steps in places. Great views of the whole area from the top. About 3-4 hours total, including snack/photo time. Only 4 kms or so but some steep/narrow sections. Yellow squares on trees remind hikers of the route back but we’ll have a separate leader for this option. (Hint: stay on the ridge, don’t fall off; there are no trail junctions to confuse you.)

Option 2. Our traditional roller coaster route to the second peak (Doi Pha Ngom, 1700m) and back. About 5-6 hours, 10kms, up/down 900m. (NB, some maps label it Doi Mae Tho.) Two leaders arranged.

Option 3. The full monty to the third peak, Doi Lanka Luang (2020m), Thailand’s 8th highest, and back. About 8 hrs, 16 kms, up/down 1400m. This will be for pre-approved, fast, strong hikers only, and will have few stops, to ensure we’re back before 5pm, when the barrier may be locked and the key man goes off duty. Motorbikes can get round the barrier; cars cannot.

We start high, at an elevation of 1400 meters. There are pine smells, cool breezes, and many great views.  The trail is mostly shady but the sun can be very strong at this altitude.

Meeting time: 07:15 so that we can arrange transport (parking is very limited at the trailhead) and leave by 07.30.

Meeting point: <18°48’48.69″ N  99°01’52.92″ E>  The Susco petrol/gas station, opposite the Suzuki car showroom.  From the city centre, head NE along Kaew Nawarat Rd towards CenFes (Central Festival shopping mall), past H.11 superhighway, then middle ring road, then Sansai Noi (Sam Yaek) market traffic lights, and continue 400m straight on the CM-Doi Saket-Rd, H.118 towards Chiang Rai. It’s on the left. Fuel, toilets and convenience store available.  If leaving a vehicle, please park outside the petrol station.

From the meeting point, we will drive for about 50 kms towards Chiang Rai, taking about 50 minutes. There are dusty bumpy roadworks at many points later on the route. The last 3 kms are up a steep, narrow, private road – surfaced all the way but a little gravelly towards the top. We may need to phone 081-3878243 to ask (in Thai) to get the barrier unlocked on the way in and/or out.  Drivers please note the phone number in case you find the barrier locked on exit. If it is not locked, please close (but do not lock) the barrier after you pass through.



If you’re thinking of joining…

Please carefully read the general advice and warnings on this website as well as the three specific hike option descriptions above. If you still think one of the hikes is for you, just turn up at the meeting-place on time: there is no need to tell us you are coming. Lifts in the cars of other hikers are usually available but cannot be guaranteed.  No groups. Please don’t repost on social media.

Possible aprés-hike refreshment venues: Wat Pang Faen or Calendar Girls restaurants, but the latter is maybe too near very dusty roadworks. Option 3 hikers especially may want to check what time Doi Saket hot springs closes.

Bring :

  • at least 2 litres of water (more for option 3), snacks & picnic lunch
  • strong footwear, sunhat, insect repellent and sun-block, rain wear (rain is forecast)
  • Strong knees and trekking poles/sticks recommended for multiple steep climbs and descents
  • energy, team spirit, enthusiasm and a good sense of humour
  • If a passenger, please contribute THB 100 per person to fuel costs
  • Bring change of shirt/clothes for return journey, if car sharing.


18/12/02 Report Mae Hai – Bits and Pieces


Eighteen hikers and 3 K9s mustered at the rendezvous point unfortunately, only 17 + 3 K9s made it to the start point.  To our missing hiker, we hope you got back alright and sorry that you missed out but, we did wait for you.

The hike began on a nice flat road but that only lasted for a short while, enough to dust the cobwebs off, before beginning the first of two ascents.  Although we were on a dirt road it had suffered from flash flooding during the rainy season and made the trek a bit tricky in places, but everyone made it without any mishaps.  Leaving the dirt road, the group followed a rocky trail which lead down to the Crying Dogs waterfall where a break was taken to take in the view of the waterfall and cliffs.  One of the group had bought along a watermelon which he generously shared with everyone, many thanks!  Following a trail next to the stream, we descended a bit and the crossed it then took a trail which linked up with the second part of the hike, an old favourite loop which is now, sadly, not suitable for a Sunday hike, but the bit we did is and has some of its best features.   To get to them though we had our second ascent, not as steep but longer, a bit more exposed and on a rocky trail, there’s always a catch!  This did not present a problem to the group and we were soon up in a sheltered gorge and on a trail which, sort of, contoured around the hillside before taking a short, steep trail down to stream bed where the main break was taken.

The route back was the same, except for the last 1.5kms where we took a much more gentle trail and missed out the steep, rutted dirt road we had taken earlier.  Arriving back at the start point there was some confusion as there was two choices of hostelry; one that serves the amber nectar and noodles and the other that has a full food menu but no amber nectar.  Individual priorities were set and all was sorted out…….eventually!

Thanks to all who came along making it a great morning in the hills.  Thanks to MM for the photo.

For those interested in stats about 10kms, about 470mtrs vertical in about 4hrs.

18/12/02 Mae Hia – Bits and Pieces


This Sunday’s hike is a mixture of bits of 2 loops, Crying Dogs and Valley Café, and has 2 water features.  The start and finish point is also where we will take our post hike refreshments, so there will be no mad scramble to get changed etc.  We will start the hike on the Crying Dogs loop and go anti-clockwise up to the waterfall and involves a fairly steep climb on a dry and well rutted dirt road leading to a rocky trail through the forest.  From the waterfall we will go down stream a bit and then contour over to the Valley Café loop, crossing 2 streams in the process (no wet feet involved).  This section is on a well defined trail but, there is a lot of vegetation and it is rocky (small ones) so strong footwear, preferably with ankle support, is essential.  The trail ascends about 250mtrs before contouring along a narrow gorge which we shall follow for a while before descending on to the rocks and following the stream for a few hundred metres where we will stop for the main break of the hike.  The return leg is almost the same way except we will take a less steep route and miss out the rutted dirt road.  The hike is about 10km with 500mtrs total ascent and actual walking time about 4hrs, actual start/finish time depends on the stops.

Please note that this is a low level hike and fairly exposed to the sun in places so it can be hot, bring plenty of fluids, etc.

If you want to join:
If you are sure this hike is for you, after reading our “dangers”, “what to bring” and “what to do” tabs, just turn up at the meeting place on the day; there is no need to let us know you are coming. No groups please. Seats in cars are usually available but cannot be guaranteed.

Meeting Place:
We will meet at 0740 for a 0745 start from the open ground immediately after the first traffic lights south after Suthep market on Canal Road (H121), just after the PTT petrol station (which has toilets, 711 and fuel).  Meeting place GPS co-ordinates: 18° 47.002′ N 098° 57.512′ E

Items to bring:

  • at least 2 litres of water or re-hydration drink
  • a snack
  • strong footwear with good grip and ankle support
  • sticks recommended
  • sunhat, sunscreen, insect repellent
  • long sleeves/pants recommended
  • a change of clothing if you are getting a lift
  • plenty of energy, enthusiasm, team spirit and good humour










2018/11/25_Report_Huay Tung Tao – Mae Nai Loop Hike

Twenty two hikers and two canine volunteers turned up for this now triannual hike. At the highest part of the dirt road, about one hour fifteen minutes into the hike, two hikers decided to turn back [as the pace of the others was too brisk for them. Actually, they wandered a little further, along an alternative path before turning back and rejoining the leading group at the end of the loop.]

Laggard and pooch

As the hike leader had stayed with the two laggards while the rest of the group continued, the former had to jog (slowly and to the bemusement of a number of locals) for about one km before he caught up with the tail-enders. Everyone regrouped at the lunch point which, with clear skies, provided a good viewpoint while the canine volunteers enjoyed most of the hike leader’s sandwich. The buffaloes had moved from the corral but still managed to signal their displeasure at the presence of the canine volunteers but without serious incident. With a small group of hikers surging ahead the group became spread out over the last stretch and some hikers (including hike leader) took a wrong turn in the forest, but this was quickly corrected. The front group finished the hike at about four hours forty five minutes and the stragglers at about five hours ten minutes, giving an average and reasonably impressive walking pace of 3.2kms per hour over the 16km hike. Afterwards most hikers retired to a nearby restaurant for much needed refreshment.

Hike leadership and report by SRR. Photos by Janet.