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  • On this website some experienced Chiang Mai hikers post open invitations to join their hikes in the area.
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120401 Trip Report Doi Suthep Circular

What a perfect day we had for this hike!

Janet leads in the Garden - photo Chan

Perhaps because it rained quite heavily during Sat. night, only 6 of us showed up at the Arboretum. We were wiling to pay 50 baht each to leave right away and be dropped off at the starting point, but then had some trouble finding the right trail since the leader hadn’t realized there was another trail which began just about 10 meters from the right one. Once we were on the right trail all went as planned.

Nature Trail Twist & Straight - photo Chan

At the Hermit's Cave - photo Janet

The trails were watered enough by the rain to keep down the dust, the air was cool and the sun hidden. None of us seemed to be in a talkative mood so we were able to hear bird song all along the way. Our small group stayed close together, even on the steep climbs, and no one complained. Amazing! One surprise was when we arrived at the short steep trail leading up to the palace fence, there was a team of workers who were digging a meter-deep trench running roughly along the trail, and we ended up cl imbing in that trench, coming out just a few meters from the where the original trail had been marked with red tape. The new fence around the palace is progressing and in some sections completed. We are hoping once it is finished the area along side it will be left to return to nature.

Along the Palace fence - photo Janet

It was only 11am when we reached San Ku at the top of Doi Suthep, where we spent 1/2 hr. having a lunch break and looking around.

At San Ku - photo Janet

Then we headed back down to the fence and continued along the other side. Our walk along the road was much shorter than previously, just the section passing Ban Phu Ping. Then we cut up to what appears to be a new housing building on the left of the road, followed along that and on to a dirt track which comes out about 500 meters farther along the road.

After lunch trail - photo Chan

We crossed the road and climbed down steeply to the bikers path which comes out at the foresters’ encampment. We found this dismantled and deserted.

April flower - photo Janet

Janet leads the way down - photo Chan

The path back to the track down to the Catholic area was a bit difficult to follow in places, but we did see the first pretty orchid-like flowers which poke up through the ground in April. As we came along side the houses of the Catholic area, we poked our noses through the open back gate, and were greeted by 5 barking dogs.

Noisy welcome - photo Janet

We decided it better to stay on the road down, and so arrived at the parking lot at the end of the hike just shortly after 1pm, 4 hours after we had started.

Back at the Temple - photo Chan

Submitted by Janet Greenleaf, hike leader

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