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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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17/04/23_Trip report_Wat Pang Faen loop

A strong team of 14, including 6 biker hikers, assembled at the temple, via Susco and Bangjak Doi Saket, and began walking at 08.22, swapping the smoky air of Chiang Mai for the slightly less smoky air out past Doi Saket.

start photo

The early gentle gradient didn’t last long and soon the ascent began in earnest ranging from “steepish” to steep (on the CM Hiking Index!) for the next hour or so but, with a good track, overcast skies and a relatively cool temperature it wasn’t too bad and the ridge was made by all in a very respectable time, despite the large tree which had blocked the road since Weds.

pied piper at work

Pied piper at work

Arnie, whose thighs had returned to normal size after last week’s mishaps, then led a small group of three round the basic loop we had planned (8.45 kms, up 460m, 3 hrs 24 mins) while the first XI made speedy progress along the optional extra route and were keen to then continue even further along the cool breezy ridge, despite the hazy views made worse by some local burning bringing smoke down from the N.

tree 1

In the end, we reached the point where our Weds explorers had earlier identified an “interesting” new trail back down to the main highway, so one leader took a couple of willing side-kicks down that route (10.5 kms, up 670m, 4 hrs 6 mins, to be used for a new Sunday hike in the near future) past new mulberry fields, while the other led the slightly depleted main group back along the planned return route (12.7 kms, 736m up, 4 hrs 33 mins), following (mostly) in the footsteps of the earlier group.  The descent from the ridge was quite steep and rocky to start with but comes down into fairly gentle farm land for the final section of the hike back to the Wat and a nice cool drink and something to eat.

Arnie: After a short rest at the ridge connection Chan, MM and I hiked down on the trail south, after seeing a big eagle on the way up. A real huge one! Circulated on the termic winds like an airplane, looking for a lunch meal (not us I hope). It was great to see!!  We manage the hike down easy, and after 3h and 24 minutes we were back at the temple. We calculated that the main group was about 1 hour behind us, a correct guess. “Meanwhile in the jungle”, MH was on his exploration hike with 2 fellows. In the middle of my first beer, and in the start of my food (sorry – Ed), he called me, and requested a  pick up service. When I drove at the highway I spotted some lonely souls walking on the sidewalk towards me ……

J tree 2

A little cooler and breezier than feared, especially on the higher ridge.  Thanks to our photographers, Arnie for special driving services, and to all five intrepid explorers who’ve helped out (and bushwhacked) in this area on three occasions over the past three weeks. Report cobbled together by Arnie, MH & PGB.  More photos expected soon.


Arnie red, plus PGB purple, plus MH grey

17/04/23_Wat Pang Faen loop


A new loop for the group to the N side of the Chiangrai road H.118, just before the Kha Moo Phuket restaurant junction with H.1252. We start and finish quite low, so be ready for a hot sunny ending, but we reach a nice breezy ridge at about 1200m in the middle and we’ll be parked by a good, cheap refreshment stop/restaurant. The uphill is all on an almost-unused dirt vehicle track, though it’s quite steep at times. Options to just do the basic loop (8.5 kms, up/down 500m, 4 hrs+breaks?) or walk a little further along the high ridge for a while (11.5 kms, up/down 600m, 5.5 hrs+breaks?) before coming down a parallel single-track trail. Views across to the roller coaster ridge and Doi Lanka Luang, if clear enough.

Leaders: Mike, PGB and Arnie

Meeting point:

Meet at 07.20 for an 07.30 departure, so we can get high before the heat of the day, at Susco petrol/gas station, opposite Suzuki showroom. From the city centre, head NE along Kaew Nawarat Rd towards CenFes, past H.11 superhighway, then middle ring road and 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 here, please park considerately, away from the store front.

map 2


If you’re thinking of joining…

Please carefully read the general advice and warnings on this website as well as this specific hike description. If you still think the hike 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.

Please bring:
• at least 2-3 litres of water/rehydration drink, energy snacks and (first) lunch.
• sun protection, strong footwear, long sleeves/trousers to stop stings, bites and thorns.
• plenty of energy, enthusiasm and good humour.
• 100 baht for your driver if you are a passenger. Change of clothes recommended too.

Trip report_Nepal 2017

By Peter D

16 Ollie Kongmala 14Mar (MH)

This is a summary account of an assault on the Himalaya mountain range in Nepal by some of our Chiang Mai hikers. The trek participants are organizing their vast caches of photographs, and the pick of these will be shown at a slide show later this year.

Nepal was proposed as a follow-up to the Kilimanjaro adventure of June 2016. The same individuals that visited Tanzania, Peter T, Koy, Mike, Brian and Peter D agreed to the idea of a Nepal trek. Two more hikers, Oliver and Jim, decided to tag along too, although Oliver planned to make his way to Lukla from Katmandu overland, not travel by air like the others.

On arrival at Kathmandu airport, there was a short queue to pay a US$40 thirty-day fee at immigration, and an even shorter queue to have our passports stamped. Brian and Peter D stayed at the International Guesthouse Hotel in the manic tourist district of the city, close to bars whilst others stayed in the more genteel Bhaktapur outside town. Traffic was very congested with a completely different driving style to that in Thailand: zero jai dii being shown to fellow drivers. Everywhere was dust from nearby brick factories and many pedestrians wore masks. Our driver mentioned there had been little rain and this was the dry season. He added ominously that there had been no flights to Lukla, our second airport destination, due to poor visibility there over the past three days. Kathmandu had been hit by a massive earthquake a few years previously and rebuilding was evident in many places en route to the hotel.

Our first full day was spent arranging finance, firming-up trek plans and selecting equipment rental, plus seeking answers to questions with our Nepalese tour agent and guide, Santa Bahadur. Finance involved payment of the domestic flight to Lukla, porters plus trekking accommodation. We visited Shonas equipment store to buy or rent equipment still required. Early afternoon and delicious cake, tea and coffee refreshment at Pumpernickels bakery: recommended. Early evening and a meal at Western Tandoori where chicken curry and garlic naan bread was served: the ultimate spicy experience. A few members of the group then headed for Sam’s bar and a couple of beers.

1 Tara Airlines 03Mar (TT)

Two days later we left our hotels at 5am and were taken to the airport. At 8am we boarded the small sixteen-seater aircraft bound for Lukla. The flight was stomach-churning due to turbulence above every mountain ridge, shifting the tiny coffin-shaped aircraft in random directions. Lukla landing strip was incredibly short and sloped 15 degrees upwards. The airport is one of the top ten most dangerous in the world! The take-off on flying out of Lukla would inevitably be nerve-wracking.

We met our porters at the Paradise Hotel where we had breakfast. They would carry our larger bags for the whole trek. We set off at 10am along the trail to Monju, our first night’s stop. The route followed the Dodi Kosi valley northwards for eleven kilometers amid open forest and scrub. The season of early spring meant a number of wild flowers were in bloom: pink and red rhododendron, magnolia, daphne, etc., with some familiar European flora: Barberry, Cherry, Holly. Angular snow-capped mountains (Kongde, Kusum Khangkaru, Thamserku) were constantly In view around us, the latter peaking at 6600 metres. The geology of the Himalaya mountain range is mainly granite, and the roller-coaster trail was lined with unyielding cobble stones and steps. We crossed the river three times along swaying person-wide metal suspension bridges. Along the route there were guest houses (tea houses) in every village. Every so often, we had to give way along the narrow trail to donkeys and cows being shepherded along carrying heavy loads.

5 Bridge near Pakhding 04Mar (TT)

Leaving our first tea house, the trail continued northward, but after just five minutes we had to stop at the gates of the Sagarmatha National Park permit centre. Each of us paid a 3390 Nepalese Rupees park entrance fee. There were several bridges to cross as we headed up the valley; one final bridge took us high above the river to start the 600 metre ascent to Namche Bazaar. We reached the town at 11:30 and found our accommodation. After lunch we visited the temple in the town before heading back for a quiet evening at the hotel: the yak sizzler was the undoubted favourite.

A day of acclimatization followed with a local morning hike ascended direct from our guest house up to the Sherpa Tenzing statue, military base and park museum, and then across to the Everest View Hotel at 3850 metres. This up-market hotel provided fantastic views of Arkamtse, Tabuche, Nuptse, Mount Everest, Lhotse, Shirtse, Ama Dablan. Hot drinks there in warm sunshine, before returning to Namche just after midday.

For the next week, the group continued its uphill trek staying at Khumjung, Panboche, Dingboche and Chhukhung, respectively, the latter settlement pitched at 4770 metres. From each of these localities, there-and-back hikes were undertaken: Hilary Park, Ama Dablam base camp, Nangkar Tshang summit, and toward island Peak base camp (the trail peak of 5550 metres), respectively. It snowed heavily as we hiked out of Dingboche, and we were all very glad to reach our guest house at Chhukhung that day.

Due to the plan to tackle Kongmala pass from Chhukhung (the first of three high-level passes) clashing with the difficult and potentially dangerous trekking conditions, Brian and Peter D. decided instead to head for our Lobuche destination via Dingbuche. The rest of the group agreed to attempt the pass even though rumour had it snow and ice had closed it.

The main group did manage to complete the pass route, but it took them 11 hours to do so, and they only just managed to reach the Lobuche tea house before dark. Crossing the Khumbu glacier was the sucker punch that hit the group really hard towards the end of an extremely tiring day’s hike – the half-way point of the whole trip.

24 Khumbu Glacier Looking North 16Mar (TT)

The following day, Mike, Brian and Peter hiked up to the highest settlement before Everest, Gorakshep, at 5164 metres. After booking in to lodgings there, the trio continued up to Everest Base Camp at 5380 metres, celebrated their mini-achievement and headed back. The remaining members of the group spent a well-earned rest day at Lobuche.

A decision was taken to give the second pass, Cho La, a miss due to difficult weather and potentially dangerous icy conditions. Brian and Peter decided to avoid both remaining passes, and instead headed back to Namche Bazaar the way they had come, and eventually on to Lukla. Mike, Oliver, Peter T and Koy spent three days trekking up to Gokyo via Phortse, Somare and Macharmo. Whilst at Gokyo, they scaled Gokyo Ri (peak) at 5360 metres. From Gokyo, the group headed back over four days towards Lukla via: Lumde, Thame, Namche Bazaar and Phakding, and on the first day they took in the third pass, Renjo La at 5340 metres.

The whole group – minus Jim who parted from the group mid-month – met up at Lukla on 25 March. Bad weather the following day meant there were no flights, but a clear sky at first light the following morning ensured a speedy and safe return to Kathmandu the next day. This was a relief for the two Peters’ who had somehow managed not to have a shower for more than three weeks.

Format, roughly … date, start point (height), end point (guest house), [horizontal distance km; vertical distance km], duration
3 March: Lukla (2840m) along to Monju (Mini Tibet guest house): [13.0; 0.0] 5.5hrs
4 March: Monju up to Namche (Hotel Tibet): [6.0; 0.6] 3.5hrs
5 March: Namche (3440m) acclimatization … up to Everest View Hotel (3850m) and back plus Tenzing Museum: [5.0; ±0.5] 4.0hrs
6 March: Namche up to Khumjung (Valley View guest house) plus up to Hillary Park and Monument (3850m) and back: [7.0; 0.4±0.5] 5.0hrs
7 March: Khumjung (3780m) up to Pangboche (Everest View guest house) via Tengboche (3867m): [16.0; 0.9] 7.0hrs
8 March: Pangboche (3990m) acclimatization … up to Ama Dablam base camp (4600m) and back: [8.0; ±0.6] 5.0hrs
9 March: Pangboche up to Dingboche (Good Luck Hotel): [8.0; 0.4] 2.5hrs
10 March: Dingboche (4350m) acclimatization … up to Nangkar Tshang (5083m) and back: [5.0; 0.7] 4.0hrs
11 March: Dingboche up to Chhukhung (Khangri Resort): [5.0; 0.4] 3.0hrs
12 March: Chhukhung (4750m) acclimatization … toward Island Peak base camp and back: [8.8; ±0.4] 4.5hrs
13 March: Chhukhung up to Chhukhung Ri (5550m) and back: [6.0; ±0.9] 3.0hrs
14 March: Chhukhung to Lobuche (Oxygen Altitude guest house) VIA Kongmala Pass (5535m): [12.0; ±1.0] 11.0hrs
15 March: Lobuche (4940m) up to Gorakshep (Himalayan Lodge) plus Everest Base Camp and back: [13.0; 0.3±0.4] 6.0hrs
16 March: Gorakshep (5164m) down to Lobuche: [4.0; +1.0-0.3] 2.0hrs
17 March: (NOT Cho La pass) Lobuche down to Phortse (Phortse Resort) via Somare: [16.0; +0.4-1.5] 8.0hrs
18 March: Phortse (3800m) up to Macharmo (Namya Lodge): [13.0; +0.8-0.2] 5.5hrs
19 March: Macharmo (4150m) up to Gokyo (Gokyo Resort): [8.0; +0.5] 4.0hrs
20 March: Gokyo (4750m) up to Gokyo Ri (5360m) and back: [4.7; ±0.6] 3.0hrs
21 March: Gokyo down to Lumde (Renjo La Support) VIA Renjo La pass (5340m): [12.0; +0.6-1.1] 10.0hrs
22 March: Lumde (4368m) down to Thame (Valley View Lodge) plus to Gompa: [10.0+2.0; +0.1-0.6±0.2] 4.0+1.0hrs
23 March: Thame (3820m) down to Namche (Tibet Hotel): [10.0; +0.2-0.6] 3.5hrs
24 March: Namche (3440m) down to Phakding (Paradise Lodge): [8.0; +0.2-1.0] 4.0hrs
25 March: Phakding (2610m) up to Lukla: [8.0; +0.4-0.2] 3.2hrs



1 Tara Airlines 03Mar (TT)

2 Onboard Tara 03Mar (TT)

3 Near Monjo 03Mar (TT)

4 Natlional Park Entrance Pakhding 03Mar (TT)

5 Bridge near Pakhding 04Mar (TT)

6 Namche 04Mar (OH)

7 Entrance to Tenzing Norgay Statue Area 05Mar (TT)

8 Ama Dablam from Everest Valley Hotel 05Mar (MH)

9 Towards Khumjung 06Mar (OH)

10 Above Kumjung 06Mar (TT)

11 Valley View GH Owner and 8000 M Peak Summiter 07Mar (TT)

12 Tengboche Monastery 07Mar (TT)

13 Snow Partridge 09 Mar (MH)

14 Nangkar Tshang 10Mar (OH)

15 Chhukhung in the snow 12Mar (TT)

16 Ollie Kongmala 14Mar (MH)

17 Everest from Kongmala (MH)

18 Kongmala view 14Mar (MH)

19 View to Imja Lake (TT)

20 Fox 15Mar (MH)

21 Everest Base Camp icefall 15Mar (MH)

22 Everest Base Camp Hi5 15Mar (MH)

23 Gorak Shep volleyball 16Mar (OH)

24 Khumbu Glacier Looking North 16Mar (TT)

25 Khumbu Glacier Looking South 16Mar (TT)

26 Yaks above Dughla (OH)

27 Narrow path (MH)

28 Koy climbing (MH)

29 Koy view of Everest (MH)

30 Pumori-Everest-Lhotse (OH)

31 Valley View to Pumori (TT)

32 Thame 22Mar (TT)

33 Thame Monastery 22Mar (TT)

34 Entrance to Thame Village 22Mar (TT)

35 New paint (MH)

36 Near Thame 23Mar (TT)

37 Peter T in Paradise Lodge Lukla 26Mar (MH)

38 Everest Base Camp 15Mar (MH)

39 Lukla Airport runway 27Mar (TT)


17/04/16_Trip Report_Back to Doi Lanka

18 hikers in a convoy of 7 cars and 3 motorbikes reached the starting point at 9 o’clock to climb Doi Lanka Noi. The first 2km was steep uphill but the weather was cloudy and there was a cool breeze to condition the hikers. For the final ascent, almost all the hikers chose the “goat trail” rather than the “chicken trail”. We all enjoyed a fantastic view: not perfectly clear, but more dramatic for clouds hurrying through the valley below.
We had lunch at the top of Doi Lanka Noi while two hawks were chirping loudly to threaten us because their nest was nearby.  After lunch, we started hiking again to descend the mountain on a different spur, except for one hiker who needed to get home more quickly and returned by the same trail which we used for climbed the mountain. However, some of the hikers left the main path, diverting to a viewpoint along the way and then scrambling down a steep rocky edge of the spur. A few small rocks were dislodged on this way down, to the peril of those below.


This hike was not a complete loop; a couple of cars had been positioned two or three km along the valley road, and were used to transport the drivers of other vehicles. After that, we enjoyed coffee, soft drink or beer at a local cafe which is near the starting place, but a scream broke out suddenly!! A very fat leech was noticed on Anders’ leg, leaving a river of blood when it was picked off. Anders found other leeches on himself later, which left him dripping well into the evening.  Anyway …  Thanks to everybody who cooperated in making the hike.
Hike leadership: Anders and Matsu. Report by Matsu with edits/additions from Michael M. Photos by Richard, Chan and Waka.

Anders’ big leech

Three additional pix from Oliver:

17/04/16_ Back To Doi Lanka

Doi Lanka Noi in the distance

This Sunday, we will return to one of our favorite hiking areas, Doi Lanka. About a 50 minutes’ drive from Chiang Mai city. The main peak, Doi Lanka (2004m) is not our goal this time, but her little sister, Doi Lanka Noi (1756 m), a cliff that stands out in the nature.
The hike will start at the temple in a village named Mae Ton Luang (1046 m). We will walk through the village and follow a “coffee road” that leads us to the foot of the ridge to Doi Lanka Noi. From here it is a steep climb about 2 km, but on a good trail. The next challenge is to climb up on the cliff. Two options are offered, the “goat trail” or the “chicken trail”, both will lead us up to the top. Here we will have our lunch, and if the weather gods will permit, fantastic views, we promise!
After the break we will hike down on a parallel ridge. One section can be a bit tricky; we have to walk on a goat trail, sneaking along a cliff. Afterward it will be easy, a good zigzag trail down to a narrow valley. From here a “coffee trail” that follows a creek. We have to cross this one 13 times, but with some ballerina skills, no problems. The end of the hike is in a different village, Pang Kamphaeng Hins, so we need to do some minor car arrangements.
Where warranted:
This hike will have duration of about 6 hours. (The over aged leaders did this one in 5 hours).The trails are in good conditions, but accept this, steep uphill and steep downhill. Some narrow passages with steep precipice. So, good hiking boots and hiking poles are nice accessories. Finally, about the goat trail up to the top, this one is not for people with vertigo. (But do not worry about that, there is a safe route up as an option)
So, from all of us to all of you, welcome to a fantastic day in the Thai mountains!

Anders & Matsu

Meeting time: 07:30 for 07:40 convoy departure

Meeting point:

The Susco petrol/gas station, opposite Suzuki 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 and 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 here, please park considerately, away from the store front. Click on map/streetview image to enlarge.


If you’re thinking of joining…

Please carefully read the general advice and warnings on this website as well as this specific hike description. If you still think the hike 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. Please bring a change of shirt for in-car pleasantness on the return journey. And please contribute THB 100 per person towards the fuel etc.

Please bring:
• at least 2 litres of water/rehydration drink, energy snacks and lunch.
• sun protection, strong footwear, long sleeves/trousers to stop stings, bites and thorns.
• plenty of energy, enthusiasm and good humour.
• 100 baht for your driver if you are a passenger. Change of clothes recommended too.

17/04/09_Trip report_Mon Jaem (Cham) forest loop

New statue


Group photo

Some sixteen walkers turned up for this short Mon Jaem hike. Travelling at different speeds we all managed to reach the main viewpoint within the first hour. The view was somewhat restricted by the smog, but an alternative feature of interest was the new statue that has been erected.

Moving on we discovered that the original road has now been extended, enabling us to do a complete loop on the dirt roads. At the intersection of two roads a dead flattened snake was discovered, which caused some alarm among two hikers when it was dangled from a stick in front of them by the hike leader.


Towards the end of the hike five hikers opted to return on the direct route to the car park (rather than do the vineyard loop), in order to try out the local rickty go-carts on the long final slope. (See photos below, and video clips on the new CM hiking facebook page).

After the three hour nine kilometre hike most walkers adjourned to the Therma Doi restaurant for a welcome beer and lunch.

Report and hike leadership by Stephen. Photos mostly by Waka

Hmong junction symbol

17/04/09_Mon Jaem (Cham) forest loop



This should be a relatively easy high altitude and well shaded hike through the forested ridges of Mon Jaem with, weather permitting, ridge views to the north (Doi Chiang Dao) and south (Doi Pui). About 80% of the hike will be easy going on seldom used vehicle tracks. However, on a recce hike earlier this week the hike leader failed to find a connecting path between these tracks (presumably now grown over). We will try again (from the opposite direction) this weekend and this may involve some exploratory bush whacking. Should we be unable to locate the connecting path we will simply backtrack and do a slightly smaller loop on the vehicle tracks, which will still encompassing the main view points. On the way back we will meander past a small vineyard (no wine for sale, unfortunately) and through the small settlement of Mon Jaem. The hike should take between three to four hours, depending on the hike leader’s pathfinder skills (variable) and afterwards we will have lunch at the new restaurant which the group visited last week.


Mon Jaem map

The loop route if we get the link between the tracks


Hike Leader: Stephen

If you want to join
Ensure you have read the general guidance on this website (see tabs at the top) as well as the specific information in this post. If you still think the hike is for you, just turn up at the meeting place on time. No need to tell us you are coming.

Meeting Place and Time
We will meet at 07:45 for an 08:00 convoy departure in front of the 700-year stadium (see map), just beside the 121 irrigation canal road.

  • Car-share in convoy north towards Mae Rim on routes 121 and 107.
  • Turn left onto the military Mae Rim bypass road towards the Mae Rim-Samoeng (Mae Sa valley) Rd.
  • Turn left onto the Mae Sa valley 1096 road towards Samoeng.
  • Re-group, waiting for any stragglers in front of the Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden entrance.
  • Turn off north and climb up the 4027 rural road to the Mon Jaem carpark/restaurant/viewpoint at 1,275 metres.
  • Start hiking by 09:00 am. Finish hiking around 13:00.
  • After lunch, most vehicles will probably get back to Chiang Mai around 15:30.
  • See the map below (click to enlarge).

meetink point_resize

Please bring :

  • at least 2 litres of water/rehydration drink
  • money for restaurant lunch, and THB 100 for your driver if sharing their car.
  • sunhat, sunblock.
  • energy, enthusiasm, and good humour.
  • spare fresh T-shirt, frock or tux you can change into at the end, especially if you are going to be traveling home with others in a car.