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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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2019/07/21_Report_Nam Mae Kwong water margin hike

A total of thirteen people (including hike leader) and one canine volunteer turned up for the new hike. One young hiker was faced with the considerable embarrassment of having his teacher on the same hike, but put on a brave face and diplomatically refused to say another negative about his teacher despite constant prompting. With somewhat overcast skies it was good hiking conditions and we reached the river in about forty five minutes, with several hikers then taking the opportunity to change into their river footwear. When we waded into the river the canine volunteer (a Labrador) displayed a degree of enthusiasm and energy that put most of the human hikers to shame.

In the two weeks since our exploratory visit the water level had risen by about an estimated four or five inches but was still manageable, and with practice making perfect the hike leader discovered a more efficient river path which involved less river crossings. Since out last visit word had spread in the Water Buffalo community and a small head of about fifteen had gathered to meet us half way around the river, waiting and watching on a grass bank in a forlorn hope that a hiker had brought some Water Buffalo snacks.

The only other “wildlife” sighting was of a large unknown bird which made a hasty takeoff as one hiker approached. As we approached the bamboo bridge, with the end of the hike in sight, one hiker had one of his priceless form rubber flipflops, sucked down in a small quagmire and lost to the world. We finished the hike in about four hours and fifteen minutes, with the shorter route and more efficient river path reducing the distance walked to just under twelve Kms. Afterwards we retired to the “white cat” restaurant for refreshments and to dry out.

Hike leadership and reporting by SRR. Photos by Michael.

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2019/07/21_Nam Mae Kwong water margin hike

This is a new hike in the Nam Mae Kwong area which has resulted from an exploratory hike in this area two weeks ago. We will start at the ranger station (same starting point as existing Nam Mae Kwong hike) and follow the existing path about one third up the hill. Then we will divert onto a new unhiked path which is a ridge walk with some good views, which eventually meanders down to an agricultural area beside the river. From there we will follow the river as it meanders back towards the ranger station. There are no trails but a series of water buffalo paths (we should meet said animals somewhere in the river) and flat grass banks that allow us to follow the river. The hike will involve zigzagging across the river with a total of twenty five crossings (hence the hike title) and in some places the water is over two feet deep, so hikers must be prepared to get both feet and lower legs wet. Some hikers may want to bring a second pair of shoes specifically for the river crossings.

The hike is about fourteen kilometres long and should take about five hours and can be considered of moderate difficulty, suitable for most of our regular hikers. Afterwards we will stop at the “white cat” restaurant for refreshments. Since the driving time is about 35 minutes, we should get back to the meeting point before 4pm.

Hike leader: SRR

If you would like to join: Please ensure you have read the general advice on this website (see tabs above) as well as this particular post. If you still think the hike is for you, just turn up at the stated time and place. No groups, please. Lifts in cars to the hiking area are almost always available but cannot be guaranteed.

Meeting time and place: 7.45am in front of the Susco Service Station-Highway 118. See map below.

 

19/07/14_Trip Report_Baan Buak Chan Loop

Hikers descended on, or (more accurately) ascended up to, the village from all points of the compass. It turns out the area is very popular with bikers of all sorts and the myriad access routes are widely known. A total of 22 prospective hikers gathered at the impromptu car park in front of the kindergarten along with one very happy-looking K9.

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The fire observation tower was a big draw for most and did not disappoint with some panoramic views in ideal weather conditions. It seems humans are not the only creatures to enjoy a view and a large snake had taken the trouble to scale the heights to shed its skin while admiring the surrounding countryside. Fortunately the previous owner had vacated before one of our number decided to try it on for size.

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A new take on the feather boa

The hike parameters were somewhat overblown in the hike description and a number of hikers expressed astonishment when the vehicles appeared after only 4 hours and 11km of hiking, with total elevation gain only 650 meters. It was a nice little hike, though, and conducted in perfect weather conditions, with high-level cloud and a cooling breeze.

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First lunch at a construction camp

On the drive back we stopped off for a second lunch in a new restaurant (for the group) by the side of the highway, about 500m short of the usual. This is a big upgrade in terms of service and food quality. We had to wait a while until earlier customers were fed, but our orders were meticulously taken down, meticulously delivered and meticulously prepared.

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Second lunch with all mod cons

Thanks to Tom for the photos.

 

2019/07/14_Baan Buak Chan Loop

The name of the village will be unfamiliar to most, but it is the large Hmong village overlooking Samoeng, at the western end of the well-trodden Samoeng Ridge hike from Baan Pha Nok Kok.

After driving up a steep and winding, but paved, road we will park in a large open area in the village. From there it is but a short, but sharp, uphill hike to the famous fire observation tower. Those with a head for heights can scale this tower for a spectacular panoramic view of the surrounding hills and valleys.

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Continuing along the ridge in the direction of Baan Pha Nok Kok we will turn left about half way along and descend on a forest trail to the valley floor. Thence we follow an upward trajectory through farmland and patchy forest back to our starting point in the village.

It is tempting to rate this hike as easier than average. However, the GPS shows 12.5km horizontal distance and 1,100 meters of total elevation gain, so it is no pushover. The total elevation gain is comprised of a number of ups and downs and no continuous climb is more than 350 meters. However, the sting in the tail is that the longest climb comes at the end of the hike.

We will take a snack/lunch break just before starting the final climb. Total hiking time with breaks is expected to be between 4 1/2 and 5 hours.

Organisers:

Tom and Richard

If you want to join:

Make sure you have read the general advice on this website as well as the specific hike details in this post. If you still think this hike is for you, just turn up at the meeting place on the day, on time. No need to inform us in advance. But we cannot accommodate groups.

Meeting Point & Time:

We will leave the meeting place at 07.30 sharp.

We will meet at the open area 50 meters past the PTT gas station on Canal Road about 500 meters south of the Suthep Road intersection (see map below – click on map to enlarge).

 

We will travel in convoy south along Canal Road to the Samoeng Road intersection and turn right along Highway 1269 towards Samoeng. Just before reaching Samoeng we will turn right onto a steeply-ascending paved road that will take us up to Baan Buak Chan.

Items to bring:

  • At least 2 liters of water or re-hydration drink.
  • For passengers: 100 Baht towards fuel costs and a change of clothes/ footwear.
  • A picnic brunch.
  • Appropriate footwear.
  • Sunhat, sunscreen, insect repellent.
  • Long sleeves/ pants recommended.
  • Plenty of energy, enthusiasm, team spirit and good humour.

 

2019/07/07_Report_Nam Mae Kwong exploratory hike

A total of eight persons (including hike leader) turned up for this exploratory hike. At the starting point there was an unusual amount of traffic as a tree planting ceremony was scheduled for later in the day, but we were waved through the gate and made the turnoff to the new unhiked path in about twenty minutes.

Once on the new path we faced a dilemma as the path quickly forked into a low and higher path. We stayed on the higher path and had a pleasant ridge walk through forest with some nice views, with the path eventually meandering down towards the river. At the agricultural area beside the river we met a farmer who informed us that the village was at least a further ten kms away but, as hoped, we could walk back along the river to the ranger hut.

On the satellite map it appeared that there were a number of steep rock banks along the river and there were, but never on both sides at the same time, so we were able to simply wade across the river (we made a total of twenty five crossings) to a relatively easy path on flat grass islands on which the grass had been chomped to almost lawn like levels by water buffalos, whose paths along the river we gratefully followed.  We eventually came upon two of said creatures having a mid morning wallow in the river, and who regarded the passing group of hikers with considerable disdain. The rest of the herd we discovered about one kilometer further on, both in and out of the river.

The river meandered  back and forth several times but by following the buffalo paths and zigzagging across the river we had a relatively easy hike. When we reached the former park area the tree planting ceremony had already taken place but a sizeable crowd remained, listening to a bizarre medley of easy listening western songs sung by Thai singers on a PA system.

We reached the cars in a time of four hours and forty six minutes with a distance of almost fifteen kms walked. The unanimous verdict was that this hike would be appropriate for the Sunday group as it was not particularly hard with few hills and easy paths and some good views and a nice river, although with the river over two feet deep in parts hikers must be prepared to get both feet and lower legs wet.

Leadership and reporting by SRR. Photos by Richard

 

2019/07/07_Report_Tat Krok Waterfall Hike

Short and sweet. 14 hikers. A little over six km in a little over two hrs. Good company. Swimming facilities for dogs at the half-way mark. Coffees and pad kra pao gais for the humans at the end.

Leadership and reporting by Michael. Photos by Michael and Janet.

 

2019/07/07_Nam Mae Kwong exploratory hike

This is an alternative exploratory hike. For a shorter and more definite hike, scroll down to the next post.

The hike is ON

This is an exploratory hike to find a new route in the area hiked by the group on 2019/06/16. We will follow the original hiking trial partly up the hill but then follow an existing (but unhiked) path down into the far valley and agricultural area and river. The intention is to follow the path down to the river and (A) follow the river back as it meanders back to the ranger hut or (B) find the path that leads on to the village. The intention is to follow either the river or clearly defined paths only.

This exploration is mostly on existing paths but ones which have not been hiked before. Some of these paths may not prove suitable or more difficult than anticipated and there may be some backtracking. It is therefore difficult to give a time estimate for the hike.

Initiator: SRR

If you would like to join: Please ensure you have read the general advice on this website (see tabs above) as well as this particular post. If you still think the hike is for you, just turn up at the stated time and place. No groups, please. Lifts in cars to the hiking area are almost always available but cannot be guaranteed.

Meeting time and place: 7.45am in front of the Susco Service Station-Highway 118 (Doi Saket Road). See map below.