Fourteen hikers decided to take a chance with the weather and met up at the Golden Buddha, it would have been 15 but one hiker had the wrong information and hadn’t brought enough supplies and so decided to go back home. After a brief meeting it was decided to go ahead with the planned hike although 2 hikers had to be back in town for the afternoon so they opted to go part of the way with the main group and then branch off on to another, shorter loop, in order to be back in time.
At a little after 0800, and with a grey sky, the group set off along the forest trail for 15 minutes before taking a trail which runs alongside a stream and marks the start of the first major uphill section. The stream was soon crossed and we came out on to a dirt road and continued on upwards, making good progress in pretty much ideal hiking conditions. After about an hour we reached the junction where the hikers on the shortened loop had to leave us so, we had a short break and after exchanging farewells, continued on our way as a group of 12. We soon reached the end of our first big uphill section and a short section of flat terrain followed before the dirt road goes downhill into a valley, which we crossed, and up into a mixture of farmland and forest before leading to an open area of farmland and leading to a stream which was crossed by either rock-hopping or paddling. This was also a good place to take a snack break enabling everyone to get some energy for the second big hill climb.Once replenished it was back on the dirt road and the upward trek but, the conditions were still good making it not too difficult and we were able to make very good progress. The trail finally levels out and pretty much contours around the valley for a few kilometres passing through varied farmland and forest with some lovely views.
After about 4hrs hiking, and 14km, we had reached the turning point of the loop and the lunch spot by a bridge over a small stream. We were just setting off after lunch when, one of the group slipped between a gap in the bridge planking causing severe bruising to their leg. After a bit of first-aid, and pain-killers, we were able to set off but at a reduced pace and with 10km still to go. The dirt road now took us through open farmland with not a lot of uphill and a lot more downhill sections and some more lovely views until we, once again, came back into the forest and the last 6km of the hike. Luckily, our injured hiker managed to get a lift from a passing truck for the last 4-5km (we only saw 2 trucks all day and one was going the other way!) so they didn’t have to negotiate the quite steep descent.
The final section of the hike was completed without any mishap and we arrived back at the start point at just after 1500, tired but still smiling. Those that could went to one of the lake restaurants for some well earned refreshments.
Thanks to all who came along, great company!
Stats: Distance 24.5km, 1010mtrs total ascent, 7hrs 10mins
Photos: Khun Anatsorn and Richard
Filed under: Hike Reports