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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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2018/09/23_Mae Nai/ Mae Sa Valley Loop

The weather forecast is for sun and high temperatures and the last 1 km or so of the hike will be in the open. Please bring plenty of water (at least 2.5 liters recommended) along with a hat and sun screen.

Total distance about 12 km. Total elevation gain 500 meters. Expected duration 5 hours. One steep scramble down into the valley of the Mae Sa stream, but with good hand holds plentiful. Otherwise gradients moderate and footing good.

We will start this hike in the lower part of Mae Nai Village, close to the triangular junction where we usually turn left to reach the upper part of the village. Initially we follow a road that gets progressively smaller until it eventually becomes a dirt track. The road rises quite steeply such that by the time we reach our turn-off into the forest we will have completed most of the day’s climbing.

We turn onto a small, but nevertheless distinct (in most places) trail that passes through forest, crosses a couple of small streams and follows a ridge line with some nice forest views. Eventually this trail reaches the Mae Sa stream just to the right (east) of the Elephant Camp.

From here we follow a trail along the right-hand bank of the Mae Sa Stream. At one point we have to descend the steep valley slope to a parallel trail that follows the stream at a lower level. The point of descent is close to the highest of the Mae Sa waterfalls, which can be visited and from here the tourist trail can be seen on the opposite bank.

Our trail stays at the same elevation as the stream bed drops away, so we will be contouring along the valley side some distance above the stream, which can be heard roaring in the valley below. There is one side trail that may lead down to the stream which we did not have time to investigate.

The trail then passes through agricultural area before entering the wealthy suburban streets of Mae Nai. Some of the properties are a wonder to behold. The last 1 km or so follows a main road back to the vehicles and will be in full sunshine unless the clouds return.

Hike Initiators: 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 (Chonpratan) Road (Highway 121) for a 07.30 departure. Note: this parking lot is not the one inside the stadium complex, but a smaller one in front immediately adjoining Canal Road.


Meeting Point in front of 700-Year Sports Stadium

The plan is to car share and travel in convoy all the way from the meeting point to the hike start point in Mae Nai Village.


Please bring:

  • At least 2.5 litres of water/ rehydration drink.
  • A snack.
  • For passengers: 50 Baht towards fuel costs and a change of clothes/ footware.
  • Protection from sun, insects and rain.
  • Energy, enthusiasm and good humour.

2018/09/16 Report Huay Jo Rocky Mountain Loop


Although the weather was fine at 0600, when the update was sent out, it had all changed by 0620 and, as a result, most of us got a bit wet going to the rendezvous point.  However, ten hardy souls set off from Ruamchok at the appointed time under a veil of cloud, in good spirits, slightly damp but no rain and, as we neared the start point it started to brighten up a bit and we were greeted by a lovely tranquil scene when we arrived.  We could have stayed there all day but there was a hike to be done so, once the trail was located, it was up into the forest and the first uphill of the day.  After about 20 minutes we took a ridge trail for a while and descended into a valley where a water break was taken.  The clouds had cleared by now and the temperature, as forecast, was rising but the shade from the forest kept it a bit cooler.  The next two hours were a mixture of uphill and small ridges which we took at a steady pace and took regular breaks for whatever reason.



Lunch was taken at about the half-way point and everyone was happy to know that most of the uphill was over as it was getting quite hot now, even in the shade.  Fed and watered the last uphill section was cleared and the mainly gentle homeward ascent began.  It was around here that some of the group were lucky enough to spot some monkeys up in the trees, a very rare sight for the group, lets hope they are left in peace to flourish.  Unfortunately they were too far off and too quick to get a photo but other forest life did pose for the camera.


A spider with her eggs



Not just a leaf, a stick insect too



Some hikers trying to blend in with the surroundings

The only down side of this hike is that there the trail comes out on to the road at the opposite end of the lake so there is a 1km hike along the road at the end, still it does improve the appetite for the post-hike refreshments.  Some of the group decided that they would go for a swim, to the amusement of the many fishermen and their families.  Post-hike refreshments were taken at a popular restaurant on the edge of Mae Jo and a good time was had by all.

Many thanks to all who came on the hike, had a great day.

Special thanks to Bussakorn for the photos.

For those who are interested distance 17.6km, total ascent 700mtrs in 5hrs 20mins

2018/09/17_Report_Ban San Lom Choi short forest loop

There were only two for this short hike. A dark cloud and shower in the early morning might have deterred some, but – as so often happens – the the cloud lifted, and sunshine rather than rain penetrated the forest canopy. Beginning behind Wat Pong Noi, the main part of our walk was a triangle with a short base. We ascended 250 metres in 2km and an hour, and then descended the same distance on another path in about 40 minutes. The total hiking time was slightly over two hours, and we relaxed afterwards in a coffee shop before returning to our respective homes for lunch.

Photo by Janet

Hike initiation and reporting by Michael

2018/09/16 Choice of hikes

This Sunday, alternative hikes are planned. There is a longer and harder one out of town, which will take most of the day; and a shorter one on the lower slopes of Doi Suthep National Park, which should be over by lunchtime. Scroll down to read the next two posts!

2018/09/16 Ban San Lom Choi short forest loop

The hike is on (despite a slight early-morning shower in places)

This is a shorter, easier and (for most of us) nearer hike: it should take 2-3 hours at a gentle pace. Even if you join others for coffee-shop refreshments afterwards, you can be home by lunchtime.

We will enter the Doi Suthep National Park through one of the less-used access points, near San Lom Choi village, about 5km SW of Nimmanhaemin. The hike begins in the same way as the one we did up to Bhuping Palace on 12 August, but turns back early, to make a loop in the lower forest slopes. It is not particularly spectacular but a welcome immersion in greenery for people who like this sort of thing. It involves 30-60 minutes of steady climb, before the return part of the loop. The path is clear but may be a little muddy and slippery in places.

Meeting time and place

Time: 07:50 for and 08:00 departure.

We will meet at an open area at the side of Canal Road, near the first set of traffic lights south of Canal Road’s intersection with Suthep Road, on the east side of the road. See map below. We will carpool to the starting point of the hike.

Canal Road meeting point

If you want to join: be sure to have read the general advice on this website, as well as the details in this specific post. If you still think the hike is for you, just turn up at the specified place and time. No groups above family size. Places in cars are almost always available but cannot be guaranteed.

Advice: as per the general advice on this site. As ever, bring energy, enthusiasm and good humour!

Hike initiator: Michael

2018/09/16 Huay Jo Rocky Mountain Loop


Update: the hike is on

As usual, check the site before leaving home for updates which will be posted before 0615 Sunday morning

This is a pretty woodland hike the majority of which is on well defined trails.  There is a section on a ridge which, weather permitting, offers some scenic views through the trees. However, as the name suggests, it is very rocky in places (the little ones that can make it slippery) so good footwear, preferably boots with ankle support, is essential and a pole or cane is recommended. The hike is longer than usual at 17kms with a total ascent of 700mtrs so moderate fitness and stamina is also required.  The hike is expected to take about 6hrs, but this is dependent on the group, and we will stop off for post hike refreshments at a nice restaurant in Mae Jo.
If you want to join the hike please read the “What to do”, “Things to bring” and “Dangers” tabs and if you still think its for you then simply turn up at the meeting point at the correct time. No guarantee of a ride can be given and no parties or groups please.

Meeting place/time
Outside KFC, Ruamchok Plaza, on the 1001 road, just past the intersection with the 3029 at 0720 for a 0730 departure.

Items to bring:

  • at least 2.5 litres of water/rehydration drink
  • energy snacks and picnic
  • protection from sun/heat, rain/cold, insects
  • a change of clothing and 50Bht gas money if you want a lift
  • strong footwear with good grip and trekking poles/sticks highly recommended
  • lots of energy, enthusiasm, team spirit and good humour

2018/09/09_Ban Pha Nok Kok Ridge_Trip Report

Woke at 05.00 to the patter of raindrops on the roof, which quickly turned into a roar. A heavy early morning downpour, not normally a good sign. However, the rain stopped and although the cloud sat low over Doi Suthep and the weather forecast was iffy, it seemed like a worthwhile punt.

Under the circumstances there was a reasonable turn-out of 11 humans and 2 K9’s. We set off in 3 vehicles and arrived in the village one hour later. The amount of parking space has been cut in half by a new parade of shops along one side of the square. 3 vehicles were fine, the 9 we had on the New Year’s Eve hike would have been a tight fit this time!


View from the village before setting out

As expected the ridge was in cloud the whole way. The ridge was very atmospheric for all that and hiking conditions were ideal. This was something of an experiment being the first time the Group has done this ridge hike in the wet season. However, the feared leeches were entirely absent and although the trail was blocked in a couple of places by fallen trees and bamboo, these areas were easily circumnavigated.




We arrived at the fire observation tower after 2 1/2 hours of hiking. Half of the Group couldn’t resist climbing to the top of the Tower up the new staircase. The other half grazed at the bottom. One of the K9’s hovered between up and down.




A Room with a View as the clouds start to dissipate

By the time we decided to move on patches of blue sky had started to appear and we were warmed by shafts of sunlight. On the way back along the ridge we were treated to panoramic views. The sun was still shining as we changed and headed down to the Thermadoi with only the merest hint of what was to come.


Promises of panoramic views finally honoured

No sooner had we sat down in the Thermadoi than the thunder started to rumble and the heavens opened. A few minutes later and we would have got a real royal soaking. As it was our feeling of well-being was even deeper as we ate our excellent food, sipped our excellent beer and contemplated the awesome sight of a heavy storm sweeping across the valley below.

Thanks to Jenny, Michael and Bussakorn for the photographs.