When hikers are given options one never knows what will happen! Here are the 10 of us who started the hike from the end of Suthep Rd., enjoying a beautiful day with no rain, fair views, and some sunshine.
When we reached Wat Palat 2 more hikers, who had arrived late, caught up, so briefly we were 12. Then 4 of the hikers, including the youngest 3 boys and their aunt, returned to their car on Suthep Rd. and drove up to the temple parking lot, arriving just after the 5 of us who hiked up had arrived at the restaurant for a cup of coffee. The other 3 who hiked up with us had gone on ahead to visit Wat Doi Suthep and auntie with the 3 younger boys went up to join them, so we never saw any of them again.
So now our group consisted of 5 hikers dedicated to the original plan, but then 3 opted to take a song tao back down and find their way from the arboretum back to their cars at the end of Suthep Rd. That left just 2 of us, but we did not abandon “the plan”. We hiked down to Wat Palat, where we took a few photos,
and then took a path off the Wat Palat trail, heading for Galare restaurant. At least that is where we expected to end up. Instead we followed a very circuitous route and came out just around the corner from the starting point of the Pilgrims’ Trail, so had a bit farther to go before arriving at the restaurant. Our time for the hike for the 2 of us was about 4 1/2 hours. We didn’t have a GPS, so have no record of the distance covered nor the elevation gain, but realize that the Pilgrim’s trail is probably overall the steepest trail up to the temple, perhaps a 900 meter elevation gain. Our lunch was well deserved.
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