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17/09/24_Trip Report_Mae Khanin Valley Hike

Sunday dawned bright and sunny and this, along with the magical adjectives “easy” and “spectacular”, drew out a complement of 30 hikers.

With no rain since the Thursday recce, the road to Ban Mae Khanin Neua village was much less muddy than formerly and the group that chose this easier option managed to arrive in the village with their boots relatively clean. The main group braved the overgrown short-cut with tall grass and fallen bamboo, but with the compensation of a nice view over a karstic dry valley and an eagle-eye view of some irrigation ponds.

The group made a short visit to the caves in the river cliffs. The infrastructure is gradually deteriorating and the bamboo bridge over the stream has become decidedly rickety. Nevertheless about half the group braved the risk of falling into the waters below and were rewarded by a close-up of two small but interesting caves. Our hike wildlife list began here with one solitary, unwelcome and unexpected leech.

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We then progressed down the beautiful river valley to the first river crossing of the hike.

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There was much soul-searching about how to keep boots as dry as possible. Some splashed straight through the stream, others braved a rather daunting-looking old bamboo bridge. Whichever option was taken the end result was the same for everyone as several other crossings were to follow in short order, with no dry-boot options available.

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Climbing back out of the valley towards the Research Station there is an idyllic-looking clearing perfect for photo opportunities. This is also the site of one of Thailand’s most aesthetically-located garbage dumps, mercifully hidden below the brow of the slope.

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A snapshot of some of the flora and fauna encountered during the hike. The first butterfly is a Common Lascar .

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Most of the group then went on for after-hike refreshments at a restaurant located just above the American Pacific International School. It took quite some time to get served, but this was because of the numerous clientele already in place when we arrived. Everyone got the dishes they had ordered in due course and the wait was even pleasant as we soaked up the beautiful view of the valley below, enlivened by the gleaming-white turrets and dormers of the Hillsborough English Country House Hotel in full centre.

 

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One Response

  1. Nice Sunday walk….thanks organisers, really enjoyed it, even the wet feet.

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