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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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2017/12/10_Doi Lang Lo Loop

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Reminder: hikers remain responsible for their own safety and actions at all times

This is a repeat of the hike we did Back in May and it will commence beside the Mae Pha Han reservoir, a twenty minute drive from the starting point. After one kilometre of flat paths we will ascend a series of ridges. We will then climb up a five metre rock outcrop which, although not difficult, has a drop off on one side so a guide rope will be provided. We will have lunch/snacks at a viewing spot 100 metres down from the summit with good views, weather permitting, of the CM countryside. We will hike down a series of ridges, ending with a relatively flat three kilometre walk back to the cars. Please note that if you have a fear of heights this hike is not for you. The hike should talk four to five hours and can be considered moderate to reasonably strenuous. Please also note that in the unlikely event of heavy rain the hike may be cancelled so, if it is raining cats and dogs, consult the web site before 7AM. After the hike, if energy levels and enthusiasm permits, we may retire to San Kampaeng hot springs for refreshments/swim.

 

Hike leader: S

 

If you want to join:
If you want to join: just turn up at the meeting place on the day, on time. We cannot accommodate groups. Seats in cars are usually available but cannot be guaranteed.

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Meeting Place
Meeting Place: We will meet at 07:45 in front of Promenada Mall on R1317 (location marked “A” on the map below) and start on time at 08:00.  We head straight out along the R1317 and move onto Mae Pha Haen reservoir.

Promenada

Promenada map

Please bring:

  • As per usual advice but especially:
  • good footwear and essential
  • hat is essential if the sun is out
  • change of clothes/plastic bag for muddy footwear for the return car journey,
  • THB100 contribution for fuel etc if you are a passenger, about THB 100 for hot springs, and something for any drinks/meal you buy.
  • swimsuit, towel, change of clothes/footwear for hot springs (if you choose the option)

 

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Trip report 17/12/03_Doi Lanka Noi 3 peaks

After departing from Doi Saket at approx. 08:10, sorting out which vehicles would stay at the hike end point in Ban Mae Ton Luang and then shuttling hikers hikers to the start, we set off on foot at around 09:15, starting at an elevation of ± 1530m.

That it took an hour for the 24 hikers from a wide variety of nationalities to cover the ± 1300m to the summit of Hill 1787 attests to the steep nature of the “brute” that is the first of three ascents on this short but relatively technical hike.

By 10:52, we were at Hill 1697 (1708 on Peter’s GPS), atop which a life-sized seated Buddha image resides. The Village headman later said that when they cleared the firebreak they would also fix the metal roof sheets sheltering the image, which had all blown off except for one.

Then came the most technical part of the hike, which is a very steep descent with occasional rock steps often concealed by thick grasses. By skill and good fortune, all made it down to the bottom safely (± 1570m), only to be faced with the second stiff upward climb to the ridge and the main trail from Ban Mae Tong Luang to Doi Langka Noi at ± 1685m, a distance of ± 600m from Hill 1697.

Three hikers at the tail end of the group wisely chose to stay at this spot, enjoy the fine view and some lunch, and await the group’s return by the main route down to the village.

By this time, leading hikers were already approaching the top of the final peak, Doi Langka Noi (Hill 1756) when the last member of the group to do the full longer hike was leaving the three hikers at the lower picnic spot.

By the time all had made it up Doi Langka Noi (about 13:00), many had already enjoyed lunch and were in the mood to continue by another, longer route down to the valley below rather than the main route back to Ban Mae Ton Luang (± 1190m) as originally planned.

Thanks to Peter and his skills as a hike leader, he stepped up to take the group down by the more interesting route following the ridge immediately to the west of the main route, while Oliver and three other hikers went back down by the originally planned route, meeting those who stayed in the picnic spot below and then descending by the original proposed route to Mae Ton Luang.

The longer descent led by Peter takes a pretty route beneath a rock overhang and then down into a valley, crossing a stream about 20 times.

This longer route involved a bit of a walk up the highway back to Mae Ton Luang, but by around 15:30, everyone was back in Mae Tong Luang, enjoying the coffee if not beer after an energetic day of sometimes stiff exercise and great views.

Fortunately, the leech that hike leader Oliver had been suckered by when reconnoitring the hike two days previously did not appear to have too many brethren that afflicted other members of the group.

The headman later told Oliver that the amount and relatively long duration of the rains this year meant that leeches were still around. He also said that the villagers clear the firebreak late January or early February, so perhaps it would be wise to leave this hike till later in the season in future.

Hike leader Oliver thanks all those who participated and in particular to Peter who stepped up to sweep and then lead the longer hike and then supplied GPS data for this review.

Finally, Oliver apologises to all hikers inconvenienced and especially to the (hopefully) lone hiker whose time was wasted when he turned up at the meet point on the erroneous date as it was originally posted for this hike.

Pictures kindly supplied by K. Goi

Hike Data:

Group 1 (Oliver’s)
Total distance: ± 8.7 kms
Elevation gain: 585m; loss ± 940m

Group 2 (Peter’s)
Total distance: ± 13.6 kms or less depending on pickup point on the road
Elevation gain: ± 660m; loss ± 1025m

 

17/12/03_Doi Lanka Noi three peaks special

Special for the spectacular views (weather permitting) and steep ascents and descents.

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The first, longest, steep pitch ascends 300m in elevation up the bald ridge to peak 1  (1784m)

Distance: 7.5 kms
Elevation change: up 680m/down 1037m
Time: About 6 hours.
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Doi Langka Luang from the steep descent down from peak 2

Warning: STEEP! This hike involves some pretty steep 100-300m pitches where some care must be taken (ropes are not necessary), especially when descending. Anyone who is easily given to vertigo or unsteady on their feet should consider opting for exploring an alternative local forest trail before walking down the very lightly used road (Hwy1252) from the start point to the end point in this, the most spectacular, part of the hills bounding Chiang Mai to the east.
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Planned lunch location — Doi Langka Noi (peak 3) — peak 1 is mid frame

Hike leader: Oliver
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Meeting Point 1:  7:30 am for a 7.45 departure  in front of Susco petrol station on H.118 (the road out to Doi Saket and Chiangrai, see map below) opposite Suzuki.

 

Meeting Point 2:  8:00 am for a 8:10 departure at Bangchak (green leaf logo) gas station on the northeast bound lane of Hwy 118  approx 200m past the turn off to Doi Saket District and market on Hwy 118. (Motorcyclists who do not wish to drive the full route via Thepsadet can leave bikes there).

 

We drive to Ban Ton Luang and leave some vehicles at the end point of the hike before driving approx 7kms to the start point at the pass where Hwy 1252 goes over into Lampang Province (elevation ±1485m).

 

Apart from steep ups and downs that will challenge those who are not reasonably fit, this high-elevation hike is fairly straightforward in that it follows a ridge. Unfortunately, part of the trail on the ridge is fairly overgrown, though the trail is still traceable. There is a possibility of leeches in these thick overgrown areas. If there are no delays and the weather is clement, lunch (or snack) will be on top of Doi Langka Noi, after which it remains but to descend to Ban Ton Luang. There may also be a few leeches near the stream in the final part of the hike.

 

Please bring:
  • at least 2-3 liters of water/rehydration drinks, snacks & picnic lunch
  • good footwear with deep tread, sunhat, rain wear, insect repellent and sun-block
  • trekking pole/stick to aid balance on steep sections
  • energy, team spirit, enthusiasm and a good sense of humour (and balance).
  • In case you are a passenger, please contribute to the costs of gasoline with THB 100 per person and bring a change of shirt/clothes for the drive home.

17/11/26_Trip report_Mae Taeng Circular

When the phone rang at 06.30, I knew that the problems were starting even earlier than usual on this hike. Two leaders, both sick, could someone else take over? Luckily we found stand-in leaders with the correct gpx file, so the 22 assembled hopefuls need not be disappointed.

A short digression on English definite and indefinite articles. When it is suggested that all drivers follow THE black car, it does not mean the same as following A black car. The former is specific (Khun C’s) but one of the indefinite ones must have been just leaving Mae Rim, heading N fast, as we left 700p, if we are to understand what happened to our, so-called, convoy. THE black car finally did catch up with the ‘leaders’ waiting at the Mae Taeng turnoff, so we then chased after it to the trailhead. Not sure what happened to the other black car(s) involved. 😉  [Next time’s digression on singular and plural nouns.]

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A misty day in the hills

As nobody on the hike had ever done exactly the planned route, the leaders decided to stick together and not risk having two different speed groups. This meant Mr J’s faster hikers having to wait quite often for Herr T and MH’s slower group but hopefully the views compensated for this. When Mr J’s batteries ran out, our decision seemed justified.

Early in the ascent a motorbike passed us with two up, then quickly returned minus the passenger, the rider asking if we’d seen his elephant. Unfortunately we had/did not.

A nice varied hike on elephant and hunter trails, and vehicle tracks, with a few stream crossings. The sun finally did come out to burn off the mist which accompanied most of the hike. Late lunch by the river (after a brief, chilly snack high up in the mist), watching the river traffic. Thanks to all hikers, stand-in leaders, and also to the photographers and last-minute iPhone-hunters (unfortunately unsuccessful). Hope the would-have-been leaders get well soon.

14.4 kms, up/down 1050m, just over 6 hrs.

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17/11/26_Mae Taeng Circular (or Beautiful Lady replacement hike)

Each hiker is responsible for his or her own safety and well-being. This is a fairly long hike and exposed to the sun in places, so sun-protection (hats, sunblock, water) particularly important. Experienced hikers only please.

Once upon a time in a faraway land called Mae Taeng lay a fabled paradise in which mystical (or should that be mythical?) beautiful maidens dispensed nectar to weary travellers who could frolic by babbling brooks and bathe under sylvan waterfalls. Alas, no more! This Eden is now cut off from the outside world by impenetrable jungle. Our mission was to identify a replacement hike worthy of this popular area.

No beautiful maidens or babbling brooks encountered during the recon, just forested slopes and ridges, interspersed with hilltribe villages and large expanses of cleared agricultural area. Continuing the imaginary theme, one can imagine beautiful views, but since the reconnaissance was conducted in low-cloud conditions during the rainy season, the only things we could just make out were our hands in front of our faces.

At 16 km long and with about 1,000 meters of elevation gain, this will be a fairly strenuous hike. However, there are no unduly steep slopes and the route follows dirt roads or good forest trails throughout. We anticipate a total hike time of between 5 and 6 hours, including a snack break.

The hike starts and ends at a small car park near the “rafting” area and benefits from changing facilities (at a small fee) and several restaurants along the river bank. After the hike we will cross the road to one of these establishments and eat gai yang while watching the “rafters” (actually floaters) shoot past.

Hike Leaders: Richard and Peter.

Please read the general information on this site, as well as this particular post. If you still think this hike is for you, then just turn up at the meeting place on the day and time. Seats in cars are usually available, but can not be guaranteed.

Meeting Point and Directions:

We will meet at the parking lot in front of the 700-year Sports Stadium on Canal Road (Highway 121) for a 07.30 departure and car share to the hike start point.

700-year-stadium

The intention is to travel in convoy all the way from the meeting point to the hike start point. However, in case of mishap en route or for anyone preferring to go direct to the start point, the route we will follow is:

Left along Canal Road to the Junction with Highway 107 and turn left towards Mae Rim.

Continue along H 107 through Mae Rim, Mae Malai market and past the turn-off for the Mae Ngat reservoir. Shortly after the Mae Ngat turn-off, turn left on a road sign-posted to the Mae Taman elephant camp (H 3052 on my map). Continue past the elephant camp and dog sanctuary. The starting point is from a car park with toilet block to the right of the road, with a number of small restaurants opposite.

Advice

Please bring:

  • At least 2 litres of water/ rehydration drink.
  • Sunhat, sunscreen, insect repellent, long sleeves/pants. Rainwear if you are a pessimist.
  • Strong footwear with good grip and ankle support.
  • A snack.
  • A change of clothes and fuel contribution of 100 Baht if sharing a car.
  • Plenty of energy, enthusiasm, team spirit and good humour.

 

 

17/11/19 Trip report Huay Tung Thao Ridge Loop

There was a degree of confusion at the start of the hike, as a correction to the hike description was posted the previous day when it became known that a marathon run was to take place along the north-bound lane of the canal road, first thing Sunday morning. Half the hikers had already noted the pre-correction start time of 8am, and, having noted it, did not feel the need to revisit the website late Saturday. So Peter D led ten hikers from the Golden Buddha statue at just gone 8am. Peter G-B however, stayed behind to wait for those hikers planning to turn up for the 9am start.

Peter D account: The weather was forecast to be el scorchio, with a maximum of 36°C, and sky-high humidity, and so it proved to be. Climbing up, up and away from Huay Tung Thao lake our group initially jumped athletically (well the boys did anyway) across a concrete water-bearing culvert, up alongside and finally across a rocky stream, through grass, scrub and bamboo, and onto a fairly steep dirt-track road that wended its way inexorably up the mountain. Mostly wooded surroundings suddenly gave way to orchard basking in hot sunshine – several of the group took fruit hanging from an orange tree shading a convenient stopping point at a hut with a bench. Cynthia was about to sit on the bench at the precise point where mum and babe scorpion just happened to be minding there own business. Jenny took a few photos of these Arachnidae.

The path continued on through more orchards alternating with diverse tropical rain-forest containing fabulous towering Dipterocarpus alatus trees; a grove of Eucalyptus was espied above the first of the orchard areas. Butterflies were also prominent either nectaring or salt-sipping on damp rock surfaces, especially in the orchard areas. Species were numerous and included: Yam Fly, Neptis species, Dragontail, Common Imperial plus other Lycaenid species.

Further uphill sections took us eventually to our own private summit, and lunch. Here it was a touch cooler than the broiling soup kitchen below. From this point it was all downhill – a little too downhill for some – on reasonable forest trails through mainly invasive bamboo. Care had to be taken, with the length of the descent taking its toll on the legs of many within the group. Lower down, we reached a more flat and open grass-festooned ridge section which provided a smidgeon of respite, before dipping down once more through forest to rejoin the path close to our staring point, and eventually back to our cars and bikes.

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Peter G-B’s account:  A group of 10, including three Newbies, set off at the later time and followed in the tracks of the earlier group and good progress was made up the hill to the turn off point.  After a short water break we continued along the dirt road, on a much  more gentle gradient, through light forest and farmland taking a pause every now and then to take in the scenery.  Upon coming to a junction, where we stopped for a snack break, we were left with two choices, option 1 was to follow in the footsteps of the earlier group, which entailed another 300mtrs ascent and about 2.5kms distance, or take a short cut and miss that section out.  By a large majority it was decided to take the short cut.

With snacks eaten we set off once again and, after a few hundred metres, left the dirt road and went back into the forest and the start of the descent.  We were not as lucky as the first group with regard to wildlife although some of us did get a fleeting glimpse of a snake as it sped past us, we thing it was either a Copperhead Racer or a Red Mountain Rat snake, whatever it was it was in a hurry and did not wait to be photographed.  Our route back was different to that of the earlier group and we did not have to negotiate the bamboo but otherwise, we met the same challenges and the group became a bit spread out for the  last kilometre.  All was well, nobody got lost and we arrived back at the cars/bikes with the same number that set out and from there it was a quick change and off to the restaurant for the usual post-hike refreshments and to wait for the other group.

The 2P’s would like to thank all who turned up, for both hikes, it was great to see everyone and special thanks to Cynthia (who was on the 0800 hike) for the photos.

17/11/19 Huay Tung Thao Ridge Loop (old one)

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Just been informed (thanks JP) that the Lana Marathon is taking place tomorrow along Canal Road, Huay Tung Thao and the 107 to Mae Rim (starts at 0330 and finishes at 1000).  The lake should be clear of runners but the other roads will still have runners on them.  From memory 1 lane in each direction is blocked off for the runners, minor roads on to Canal Road are blocked off and the major intersections are controlled by the police so, it should not be too much of a problem.  To be on the safe side the start time will now be 0900. 

This hike starts from the Golden Buddha at Huay Tung Thao and from there we climb up the mountain onto the ridge above the lake, going first through woodland and then on dirt roads past upland farms and orchards with some nice views on the way.  The descent is on good trails, but quite rocky in places especially the last 1km, back to Huay Tung Thao where those who want to can sample the delights of one of the traditional style lakeside restaurants and/or go for a swim (don’t forget to bring swimwear and towel).
The route is the same as the hike on 16th July and is about 14kms with an ascent of 800mtrs and expected to take 5-6 hours.  It is very much an up-then-down hike so a reasonable fitness level is required and it is not a beginners hike.

Leaders:  Same as last week

Meeting Point & Time.
We will meet at 0745 for an 0800 start 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 50 baht).  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. Pay 20/50 Baht per person at the toll booth.
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.

If you want to join, make sure you have read the general hiking advice on this website as well as the details in this particular post. Then if you still think the hike is for you, just turn up at the meeting place on time. No need to let us know.  No groups please.

Items to bring/prepare:

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