This Sunday’s hike lies about 35 kilometers out of town and provides a new route for the group. Previously an exploratory visit tested the viability of the trail, and more recently three hikers bush-whacked sections that were overgrown with bamboo, scrub, etc. to improve accessibility.
From Wat Tat Moei (18° 55.350′ N; 99° 21.866′ E), we will head directly into the forest on a well-marked track for half a kilometer before an abrupt path-closure forces us down a short but steep descent into a valley containing a coffee plantation. Then, across a small stream and immediately up an equally steep ascent, and onto a minor ridge which will take us up to the main ridge, with great views to the south-east and to the north-west. We continue along the main ridge for two kilometers until we reach the foot of a prominent, largely tree-less peak. Hikers will then have an option: for those with sufficient stamina and desire, this (marigold-clad, 1719m) peak can be climbed giving an additional 150 metres of vertical ascent to the hike, but it is steep – the plus side is that the view from the top is stunning. The other option is to head back along forest paths down towards the hike start. Those who have opted for the peak, will double back off the peak, and then follow the main group down into the valley, and eventually back to the temple whence we started.
There is a further option at the end of the hike: Thepsadet waterfall. This lies about one kilometer from Wat Tat Moei; to be coordinated on the day of the hike.
Finally we will drive 5 kms back to Ban Pang Hai village (18° 55.280′ N; 99° 19.807′ E), wherein lies a cafe and eatery to take refreshments, should hikers require them.
The basic hike loop is about 5.5 kms with 450m of vertical ascent. For those who take in the peak, the stats will be: 6.7 kms and 610m of vertical ascent.
It should be noted that the hike commences at 1200 metres above sea level, so there may well be a fresh feel to the air, particularly at the start. Motorcyclists should bear this in mind for the early morning outward journey! We estimate that the total hike time will be about four hours from start to finish.
We will meet at 07.50 am in front of Central Festival (18° 48.328′ N; 99° 1.211′ E) on the route 118 (the road out to Doi Sakhet and Chiang Rai, see map below) opposite the Isuzu showroom (not on the Superhighway 11 side) for an 08.00 am start. Once car-pooled, we will head for Doi Sakhet to stop to pick-up additional hikers coming from outside Chiang Mai. We will pull up briefly at Bangjak petrol station (18° 52.397′ N; 99° 8.034′ E) at Doi Sakhet at about 08:20.
From Central Festival to the temple car park takes about one hour.
Please give your driver 100 baht to cover cost of fuel and see maps and read the advice below.
Hike leaders: Matsu and Peter D.
- If you want to join, just turn up at the meeting place on the day and on time.
- There is no need to let us know you are coming.
- We cannot accommodate groups.
Especially, for your own well-being, remember to bring:
- AT LEAST two litres of water
- Hat, sunblock
- Good footwear.
- Hiking poles, insect repellent
- Towel and extra shirt for in-car pleasantness
- 100 Baht contribution for gasoline if you will be getting a lift
- Plenty of food/snacks
- energy, enthusiasm, and a sense of humor.
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