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  • ABOUT THIS SITE / เกี่ยวกับเว็บไซต์

  • 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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2022/09/25_Report_HTT toward QSBG

The hike was a glorious failure. Despite a night of downpours, and continuing rain, the leader decided to go ahead with the it. Four other water-lovers turned up.

The walk from the start-point to the park check-point afforded a panorama of the Doi Pui massif, with the touristical sheep farm, windmill, and various fantastic animal statues dotting the foreground.

Reaching the checkpoint, we began a long climb on the muddy (but not horribly muddly) vehicle track leading into the mountains. After about two hours we took a snack break in a farmer’s shelter.

From that point we were descending into the valley of a small stream. Only, after the overnight rain, the stream was not so small. First it took over the track we were walking on, and finally, instead of the usual trickle we could hop over, it presented a formidable barrier.

After an experiment that revealed any attempt to wade through would be too dangerous, we sadly turned back.

The leader apologized for luring hikers into a doomed mission – but not too contritely because it was a good morning of exercise in the fresh air. We finished with a great lunch in one of the HTT lakeside restaurants, where we were joined by two other legendary Chiang Mai hikers – and the beginnings of sunshine.

Stats: We ended up walking nearly 14km in 4.5 hours with about 600m of elevation gain/loss.

Hike leadership, reporting and photos by Michael

2022/09/25_HIKE GOING AHEAD

REVISED POST: 2022/09/25_HTT to QSBG

The following post has been revised from the version posted on Thursday. The changes are:

  • Slightly different meeting/starting-point
  • Request that hikers carry a plastic bag, clean shirt and pair of socks/slippers for taxi back to the starting point

The above photos are third-party stock photos. There may be seasonal differences.

We haven’t done this before: walk from Huay Tung Tao (HTT) park all the way to Queen Sirikit Botanical Gardens (QSBG). It is slightly longer (about 15km) and more strenuous (about 1000m elevation gain) than our average hike, but not specially difficult, being all on vehicle tracks. The way goes through forest and orchard terrain, before entering the botanical gardens by the back entrance. Starting below 400m altitude, the hike rises to include viewpoints at about 1100m (across the Mae Sa valley toward Mon Jaem) before descending to about 600m at the end. The duration between the start and end of hiking is estimated as 5-6 hours.

This hike is also unusual in that we will call up taxis to take us from the QSBG main gate back to our starting point in HTT. There are washrooms at QSBG for you to make yourself a bit cleaner for the taxi. Do please put on a fresh shirt and socks and put the old ones and your muddy boots in a bag. In HTT some or all of us will finish up with refreshments at one of the lakeside restaurants.

The cost per taxi is about THB 250 – so about THB 80 to THB 120 per person. Entrance to HTT will cost you THB 50 per person.

Leader: Michael

If you’d like to come: Please consider whether you are fit enough for this hike (especially if the weather is going to be hot), and ensure you have read the general advice on this website (see tabs above) as well as this specific post. If you still think the hike is for you, just turn up at the stated meeting time and place.

Meeting time and place: 7:20am for a 7:30 am hike start from 18.873, 98.939 (the parking area around the big tree at the junction at the north corner of Huay Tueng Tao lake. To get there you will need to enter the HTT park, passing through the pay booth where you will probably have to pay THB 50 per person. Then drive round to the right until you reach the meeting point.)

Bring: As per general advice (see tab above), but especially remember to carry:

  • Plenty of water to drink along the way (especially if the weather will be hot)
  • Enough money for the taxi, the entry to HTT and the refreshments afterwards.
  • For the taxi trip:
    • about THB 250 per taxi
    • a bag to isolate your muddy boots and sweaty shirt and socks
    • a clean shirt and socks/slippers

2022/09/18_Report_Wang Bua Ban and Hidden Waterfall loop

First there were 14, but one kind member who’d bought a tray of home-baked muffins for all to enjoy before setting off could not herself join for health reasons. Two more set off up the mountain by car for less demanding exercise. (Actually they had quite an adventure, scrambling up a very steep and muddy slope while exploring for a loop route above Ban Doi Pui.)

And so 11 started out on the trail past Pha Ngoep and on to the trail up to 5-way Junction. But the attrition rate continued as another hiker became short of breath and chose to turn back. 

A short downpour caught the remaining 10 on the steepest part of the climb up to 5-way, but, unlike our clothing, spirits were not dampened. At 5-way, yet another hiker baled from the group to return home in order to meet an early-afternoon commitment.

Thanks to the timely appearance of a couple of leeches straining to seek warm flesh from a shrub by the track at 5-way, the remaining nine opted to hike to the Hmong village of Khun Chang Khien rather than face an expected onslaught of the blood-suckers at the hidden waterfall.

An easy ongoing walk to the village, lunch at the Chongwa Coffee shop and an uneventful downward return on the “Ironman” trail was enjoyed by all. And so, for all hikers who joined this pleasing hike (+/- 14km & 900m elevation gain)…

The target waterfall remained… hidden.

Hike leadership and reporting by Oliver. Inserted mini-report by Michael.

2022/09/18_Try again: Wang Bua Ban to the Hidden Waterfall Loop

This hike is carried over from last Sunday, when it was cancelled due to the effects of excessive rain. Let’s hope the weather is more favourable this time.

This will be a familiar hike to many, starting at Wang Bua Ban and, after passing Pha Ngoep, going up by the secondary route joining the trail that splits off from the so-called ‘Ironman’ track (the primary direct trail from Wang Bua Ban to the Hmong village of Ban Khun Chiang Khian) and goes to the ‘five-way junction’.

This hike involves an elevation gain of between 700 and 800 meters, so if you are not in the mood for hiking uphill, then maybe this hike is not for you. The upper section of this part of the hike goes through a patch of forest where there are some wonderful specimens of large trees.

From five-way, we descend by dirt road down to a valley where Hmong tend lychee orchards until we reach an access path to the hidden waterfall. The last 50 meters or so on the trail to the waterfall involves scrambling, depending on how high up and close hikers wish to go to falling water.

We’ll take a short break refreshing ourselves in the moist breeze that should be emitting from the falls at this time of year. After that, depending on the mood of the group, we will either descend back to the start point by the Ironman trail, or we will continue up to Khun Chiang Khian for lunch/drink at the Chong Wa Coffee Shop.

In the event that the group decides to split after leaving the falls, with some wanting to continue up to the village and others happy to go down, the hike leader will go with the group that wishes to descend following the loop as posted: that is after showing those who wish to continue up the start of the direct trail up to the village. Total hike is around 13.5km (longer if going to Khun Chang Khian) with an elevation gain/loss of 800 meters (900+ if going to Khun Chiang Khian) and will take 5–6 hours.

In the event of heavy sustained rain shortly before the hike is due to start, notification of hike cancellation will be posted on this site.

Bring your own snacks/drinks 

Meet Point: The car park by Wang Bua Ban on Hwy 1004 to Phuping Palace

Time: 07:50 for 08:00 start

Hike leader: Oliver

2022/09/11_HIKE CANCELLED (HEAVY RAIN)

Today’s hike (Hidden waterfall from Wang Bua Ban) is cancelled due to enduring precipitation and waterlogged, slippery conditions in all parts of the hike. The return trail will be like a stream in parts.

See you next week!

2022/09/11_Wang Bua Ban to the Hidden Waterfall Loop

This will be a familiar hike to many, starting at Wang Bua Ban and, after passing Pha Ngoep, going up by the secondary route joining the trail that splits off from the so-called ‘Ironman’ track (the primary direct trail from Wang Bua Ban to the Hmong village of Ban Khun Chiang Khian) and goes to the ‘five-way junction’.

This hike involves an elevation gain of between 700 and 800 meters, so if you are not in the mood for hiking uphill, then maybe this hike is not for you. The upper section of this part of the hike goes through a patch of forest where there are some wonderful specimens of large trees.

From five-way, we descend by dirt road down to a valley where Hmong tend lychee orchards until we reach an access path to the hidden waterfall. The last 50 meters or so on the trail to the waterfall involves scrambling, depending on how high up and close hikers wish to go to falling water.

We’ll take a short break refreshing ourselves in the moist breeze that should be emitting from the falls at this time of year. After that, depending on the mood of the group, we will either descend back to the start point by the Ironman trail, or we will continue up to Khun Chiang Khian for lunch/drink at the Chong Wa Coffee Shop.

In the event that the group decides to split after leaving the falls, with some wanting to continue up to the village and others happy to go down, the hike leader will go with the group that wishes to descend following the loop as posted: that is after showing those who wish to continue up the start of the direct trail up to the village. Total hike is around 13.5km (longer if going to Khun Chang Khian) with an elevation gain/loss of 800 meters (900+ if going to Khun Chiang Khian) and will take 5–6 hours.

In the event of heavy sustained rain shortly before the hike is due to start, notification of hike cancellation will be posted on this site.

Bring your own snacks/drinks 

Meet Point: The car park by Wang Bua Ban on Hwy 1004 to Phuping Palace

Time: 07:50 for 08:00 start

Hike leader: Oliver

2022/09/04_Report_Wat Mae Takhrai 2022

Interesting that same as the last time December 2021, 13 hikers arrived at the starting point. 2 additional hikers had assisted in coordination at the Chiang Mai meeting point, but were hiking separately from the main group. 10 familiar faces and 3 new, who were welcomed by all.

A relaxed pace allowed conversation and with no dramas, the group descended in the humid forest reaching the village in good time, with plenty of time to visit the frightening figures on the right side of the road, and to check out the significant progress in the Wat and statues on the left side of the road. Plenty of work still to do to make a ‘finished’ product, but work still ongoing.

[Does any hiker have any photos of this? We could insert some – Ed]

The group regrouped at the welcome little shop for refreshments and set off on the uphill track.

Steady progress was made, without unwanted deviations from the planned track, with appropriate refreshment breaks.

The weather gods were rumbling and grumbling and the skies darkening, but as progress was made up and along the ridge and some of the better viewpoints were gained, they went back to sleep, and the skies lightened, without blessing the mountain with any rain or electrical discharges.

The group stayed together well and safely descended and crossed the road to the White Buddha without any drama, until one of our hikers could not find his car keys; he thought he may have dropped them when he slipped on the descent about 1km or so back. Happily, he was successful in finding them and so was able to join other hikers who had gone to the Green Moon Bistro for refreshment.

Statistics.

14.03km includes rambling around statue parks and up and down the main statue steps. Just over 5 hours hiking and 540m of ascent, Fitness tracker also reports 4592 ml of sweat loss!

Leadership and reporting by JG. Thanks to Bussakorn for photos or views.