Note: the hike leaders intend to go ahead with this hike despite the rain (unless the arboretum has been washed away!), but come prepared for rain and slippery slopes, especially if considering walking back down with Daredevil Davey.
The walk this Sunday aims to take in the Sakura (Ornamental Cherry) blossom currently budding at Ban Hmong Khun Chang Khian – this is turning out to be an annual pilgrimage, although the difficulty is predicting the appearance of the flowers which can bloom at any time between late December and late January. When in full flower, the pink blossom is quite spectacular. The leaders noticed nit noi cherry blossom on tree boughs on their Monday reconnoitre, as well as more advanced almond tree blossom and apple tree blossom! The proposed route will commence at the foot of the steps leading up to Wat Prathat Doi Suthep, and then head mainly north, later north-west towards the destination. The total distance will be roughly 10 kilometers, mainly through forest, but on fairly decent tracks. The vertical ascent will be approximately 300metres.
For anyone who wishes to return to the Arboretum by foot, there will be an additional 10km hike option, resulting in a total distance of 20 kilometers, plus 1 kilometer of vertical descent. This is evidently a relatively strenuous option! This will mean a return to the Arboretum no earlier than 4pm.
We will meet at the Arboretum at 7:45am for a walk start time of 8:30am from Doi Suthep. We will take songthaew up to Doi Suthep from the Arboretum. Our aim is to book the vehicle for the return journey with pick-up from the barrier at Ban Hmong Khun Chang Khian village at 2pm, AND NO LATER! We will need to take 200 baht payment from hike participants who intend to take the return songthaew journey back to the Arboretum, so we need folk to have made up their minds when we assemble first thing to assess songthaew return journey numbers. Single journey should be less than 200baht.
The (temporary) restaurant and some of the best blossoms are to be found at the Agriculture Research Station about half a kilometre to the west of Ban Hmong Khun Chang Khian village, and it is this location that provides good views of the Sakura trees. If the blossom is out, this restaurant may well be very popular! We therefore advise everyone to bring sandwiches, snacks and drink as a contingency.
Hike leaders: Michael M and Peter D
If you want to join Just turn up at the meeting place on the day and on time. We cannot accommodate groups.
Meeting point This time we will meet at 07:45 in the car park of the Huay Kaeow Arboretum (also known as the exercise park). Head straight out from the moat 3.5 km towards Doi Suthep on Huay Kaeow Road. The arboretum is on the left after the front entrance to Chiang Mai University and just before the entrance to the Zoo. The car park of the arboretum is at the end of the park near the zoo. See the maps below (click to enlarge them). Advice
• Around 1.5-2 liters of water or more, snacks, sandwiches and fruit as you wish; 3-4 litres for the extended hike.
• Enough money for songthaew fare (at least 200 baht), plus potential restaurant meal.
• Good footwear etc. hat, insect repellent, sun-block and rain gear.
• Energy, enthusiasm and a good sense of humour.
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