For our hike this Sunday we will have two options:
Option 1 :
This hike is rated moderate to difficult on account of its 23 km length, which is combined with 500 meters of elevation gain from start to high points. Steady progress must be maintained to avoid an excessively long hike time.
Pam led this hike about 18 months ago during the hot season and some of the currently active hikers may remember it as a very pleasant hike offering good views and varied terrain, but which took 8 hours to complete. Given we are now in the cool season we will aim for a faster pace and to complete the hike in 6 hours.
The hike commences from the Standing Buddha at Huay Tung Thao and initially follows the route up to Dtad Mork Waterfall. However, instead of going upstream to the waterfall we will cross the stream and join the dirt road that leads up towards Ban Chang Kian. We follow this road (missing much of it by taking a series of short-cuts through the forest) for about 3 kilometers to a large junction. Here we turn right and make a long loop that runs uphill through forest and then through fruit orchards before it re-joins the same road much higher up the mountain.
Underfoot conditions are good throughout the hike although wet feet may be expected at the single stream crossing. We will take lunch at a lovely spot where the track crosses a small stream, just before commencing our descent.
There are two options from the point where we re-join the out-trail. Either we can return to the starting point along the same trail or there is an option to make a second loop above the Dtad Mork Waterfall and thus directly down to the Standing Buddha. We will decide which option to take depending on time and the wishes of the group.
We will also start from the Standing Buddha , but will take a different direction and trail form the beginning. Our hike will be easy and moderately going up and down . It is also a Circular Hike going towards the village of Mae Nai. We will have a short break at a small stream and upon our return to Huay Tun Tao , we will have our lunch in one of the restaurants over there. Time 3-4 hours depending on the group excluding lunch , everybody is welcome, no highly developed endurance or fitness necessary.
Hike Leader: Richard for Option 1 and Pam for Option 2
Meeting Point and Time
The Standing Buddha at Huay Tung Thao. We will commence the hike for Option 1 at 07.30 sharp and will allow somew flexibilty for Option 2 starting at 7:45. There is a 20 Baht/person charge to enter Huay Tung Thao, which is payable at the entrance booth (see map below). Turn left at the lake and continue for about 1 kilometer. The Standing Buddha is unmissable.
About 50% of the hike for option 1 is in open country, so a hat and sunscreen are essential. Also bring at least 2 liters of water, snacks and a picnic lunch.
There are a number of restaurants around the lake, so weary hikers will be able to slake their after-hike thirst and/or hunger if they so wish.
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