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17/12/31_Ridge Walk from Ban Pha Nok Kok

Each hiker is responsible for his or her actions and well-being at all times. Please read the recommendations below and elsewhere on this site and come appropriately prepared.

We will close out this Lion of a hiking year with a Pussy-cat of a hike. Those looking for a good workout before the New Year celebrations should be aware that this will be a relatively sedate hike, but very pleasant for all that.

The starting point will be the Hmong village of Ban Pha Nok Kok, high in the hills along the south side of the Mae Sa Valley above the small town of Pong Yaeng. From the village we will be climbing up on to a ridge and heading westwards in the direction of Samoeng. There are only two options for this hike, to return the same way or to organise a long car shuttle. This time we will be re-tracing our footsteps along the ridge to return to the same place from whence we started out.

It is a modest climb of only 300 meters or so from the village onto the ridge. From there the ridge undulates up and down as ridges do, with some steep sections but no protracted ups and downs. There are several local peaks around 1,300 meters elevation. Most of the hike is through canopy forest. Our objective will be to reach the cleared area on the western end of the ridge where we will choose a suitable site to enjoy a snack and what, weather permitting. should be beautiful views to the south and west.

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View under ideal conditions

Total distance out and back is about 12 kilometers and anticipated time including snack break should be about 4 1/2 hours.

For those hikers not impatient to rush back to the Big Smoke for the hedonistic delights of the New Year, there is the alternative (New Year crowds permitting) of a leisurely late lunch at the Thermador Restaurant, enjoying the stupendous views and gastronomic satisfaction that this establishment has to offer.

Hike Leader: Richard

Please read the general information on this site, as well as this particular post. If you still think this hike is for you, then just turn up at the meeting place on the day and time. Seats in cars are usually available, but can not be guaranteed.

Meeting Point and Directions:

We will meet at the parking lot in front of  the 700-Year Sports Stadium on Canal (Chonpratan) Road (Highway 121) for a 07.30 departure.

700-year-stadium1

Meeting Point in front of 700-Year Sports Stadium

The plan is to car share and travel in convoy all the way from the meeting point to the hike start point. Our route will be as follows:

Left along Canal Road to the junction with Highway 107 and turn left towards Mae Rim.

Take the short-cut that by-passes Mae Rim and then turn left on Highway 1096 along the Mae Sa Valley towards Samoeng.

Follow Highway 1096 until the small town of Pong Yaeng. Continue through the town until just past the built-up area, where we will turn left at the point that the Highway takes a right bend and goes steeply uphill. The junction is unmarked, but our route is a good surfaced road.

Follow this road directly to Ban Pha Nok Kok, a Hmong village on the hillside.

Advice

Please bring:

  • At least 2 litres of water/ rehydration drink.
  • A snack.
  • For passengers: 100 Baht towards fuel costs and a change of clothes/ footware.
  • Protection from sun, insects and (for pessimists) rain.
  • Energy, enthusiasm and good humour.

 

 

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