On an overcast but luckily dry morning, 16 of us met at 08:00 in the exercise park outside the main reservation of Huay Tung Tao. We were delighted to have among us one of our former regulars who has returned to Chiang Mai with some exciting hikers of the new generation.
The first thing we learned was that if you walk into Huay Tung Tao this way (rather than driving in), you might not pass the ticket barrier. Our 17th (and most distinguished) hiker had driven in already, however. After joining her (and temporarily parting from the junior hikers) we walked clockwise round the main reservoir until the dirt track on the north side, which took us to the famous rocket-launching frames. Continuing further northward, and plunging into some woods, we were slightly uncertain about which path to take. Two hikers had their own theory about this, which may or may not have been connected with their interest in hunting Pokemon creatures. (For the record, Pokemon Go hit Thailand this week.) So they tried a different route from the rest of us. The majority, however, emerged first on the north side of the woods, found the Hidden Dam of Mae Yen, and began our snack break near a picturesque and not-currently-occupied VIP guest house. We were soon joined there by the Pokemon-hunters.
Returning over the dam, through the woods, and continuing clockwise round the Huay Tung Tao reservoir, we reunited with the junior hiker party at Restaurant No. 22, where we enjoyed tasty meals and drinks.
The hike was rather longer than I had estimated. By the time the main group got back to the cars it was 12:30 and we had walked more than 12km. It had been easy and pleasant strolling, however. Net elevation gain, according to William’s GPS, was 35 metres. The Sunday weather was kind to us again. The rain clouds opened up when most of us were on our way home.
Hike report, photos and leadership by Michael M.