A 10-12 km (see update below) loop with a climb of about 500m, but nothing terribly steep. Along a fairly level ridge, and then a slightly longer, but reasonably gentle, descent. Quite a lot of rocky and stony ground, so thick-soled, ankle-supporting footwear recommended. A couple of small stream crossings near the end of the hike.
Although the lower parts of the route have suffered greatly from deforestation, the walk is still enjoyable and there seems to be quite a lot of wildlife in the area (nowhere to hide?). We start at quite a low level (500m) and only climb up to about 900m and there is not much shade in many areas – unless very cloudy – so bring plenty of drinking water. It will be nice to cool off in the calcified waterfall at the end of the hike. Local cave temple and spring to investigate too.
While exploring the area, in addition to the Malayan pit viper, we saw woodpeckers, an indian roller, some kind of eagles in the far distance, and some noisy white breasted waterhen, as well as a moth just emerging from its recently-moulted skin…
Hike leaders: Mike, Rimma, Peter and Chan.
Meet: in front of Ruam Chok market, just past the McDonald’s in front of the Meechok Plaza/Rimping Supermarket on highway 1001 (just N of the middle ring road junction) before 07.30. We will car share out about 50 kms along the Phrao road to the waterfall car park, leaving some vehicles there and taking the others (especially any tough pickups or 4WD vehicles) a further few kms to the hike start point. Tough guys will need to walk a bit further if we don’t have enough 4WD vehicles Updates: Anders is indisposed so the fast guys will probably have to wait for the peleton quite often. Also, all may need to hike the extra 1.7 km if the rain has made the dirt road impassable.
- at least 2-3 litres of water or rehydration drink
- sun, rain and insect protection
- strong footwear for the stony/rocky trail, stick/trekking pole for balance
- swimwear, towel and change of clothes for the waterfall
- snacks (and perhaps lunch if you can’t wait for the waterfall chicken, rice and somtam)
- plenty of energy, enthusiasm and good humour
- 150 baht for your driver if car-sharing
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