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140216_ A weekend report from Om Koi Wildlife Sanctuary and Doi Mon Chong

Om Koi is one of Thailand’s most remote areas.You can say that the road ends here.
The area is situated on a high plateau, at 1000 m altitude, about 200 km south of
Chiang Mai.There are no towns, only scattered villages.

OmKoi District

OmKoi District


My goal was to climb the mountain of Mon Chong. At an altitude of 1929 m.
The locals say: “The Lion Head”.
The Lion head

The Lion head


Saturday morning started our trip from Chiang Mai.
After 225 km we arrived at our destination, Ban Muser, located at an altitude of 1300 m. It is a small village inhabited by the hill tribe Lahu (“Muser”, the thai name). The hill tribe wandered in here for about 100 years ago. From here start the hikes to mountain Mon Chong. The summit is also known as “the Lion Head”. Altitude is 1929 m.
The plan was for me at the following morning hike up to the summit and back at the same day.
We camped on the social office’s land. I had bought a tent that I wanted to test.
My new tent

My new tent


Ramida arranged a nice barbecue in the afternoon for us and the local staff.
Ramida take care the ribs

Ramida take care the ribs


Barbecue with the locals

Barbecue with the locals


Before bed time, we visited the villagers meeting place, a large circle with stamped dirt floor, surrounded by a wooden palisades.
 This weekend it was a village gathering for traditional songs and dances. The village has only a few hundred inhabitants, and those are trying to preserve their unique culture. Both young and old was participated. We talked with the locals,and Ramida even did some dance to.
V.I.P table at the party. Ramida and I with the village boss.

V.I.P table at the party.
Ramida and I with the village boss.


The stomp dance

The stomp dance


The night did not offer much of sleep. Howling dogs succeeded by cackle attacks from the village roosters.
Early thai breakfast

Early thai breakfast


0700 was the breakfast,and departure 08.00. In order to get to the start point for the trek you have to drive about 12 Km on dirt mountain roads. First 2 km you can drive your own car. Thereafter, 4 wheel drive.
The last 6km require expertise in running a 4 wheel.
The hike started at a small temple, altitude 1600 M.
The hike is only a 12 km round trip, but consists roller coasters ridges, so it requires good physique.
Upom the high ridge

Upom the high ridge


Roller Coaster

Roller Couster


Lovely flowers. In December the mountain is fullof this

Lovely flowers. In December the mountain is fullof this


The alternative is to camp near the top, as many do. You can rent tent and gears from the locals. Even porter if you wish.
In the area it lives since some years a wild elephant colony. 20 elephants divided into two families.
The park closes now for five months, because of  the elephants now moves to new feeding areas to the west. Up from the ridge you can see elephant valley for the dry season. It is a savannah-like area where they move to now. The area was previously cleaned up by the buffalos .
Elephant Savanna

Elephant Savanna


On the way up we saw elephant spilling on the track. And a lot of elephant tracks into the jungle.
Trace of the Elephants

Trace of the Elephants


Once up on top,
The Summit

The Summit


I understood that the trail continued south along the ridge. The next summit has a small temple.
The mountain temple

The mountain temple

The next one has the profile of a monkey face.
Monkey face

Monkey face


I asked my guide if he had hiked on. But he never did..
My plan is to continue along the ridge after the peak, the next hike time.The locals say that December is the best time.
I will be camping about 2 nights in the mountains. Hike along the district border “TAK/CHIANGMAI”, folloing the ridge/border down to the river valley at the west, and planned to be picked up here.

One Response

  1. Reblogged this on Matt.Owens.Rees; Thailand Writer.

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