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  • On this website some experienced Chiang Mai hikers post open invitations to join their hikes in the area.
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18/01/14_Report_McKean Island Hike


Twelve people signed up for this short-but-sweet suburban hike. All of us arrived on time at 9am at the river-control station south of Mahidol Road, but the gates had not yet been unlocked so we reverted to Plan B. We drove a little south and over the colourfully-painted narrow bridge next to Wat Ko Klang, to park in an open-air market area near the Wat. Starting our walk, we were lucky enough immediately to come across the monks and other craftspeople making decorated funeral floats.

Then we walked through the fine side-gate into the wat.

From there it was a short stroll to the area of the McKean hospital, rehabilitation centre and sanctuary. We walked round it in a loop of about 3-4km, encountering many beautiful spots and interesting features.


We encountered two elderly residents who were happy to chat with us. One had lived there most of her life, having contracted Hansen’s Disease before the availability of the multi-drug therapy that could have prevented the severe damage to her limbs. Despite the care they receive – and the pleasant environment – they seemed to feel isolated in more ways than one, having lost much contact with their original homes and families.

Leaving the McKean area, we briefly explored a section of the riverside walkway leading north from Wat Ko Klang. Several sections of river-bank between here and the river-control station have been constructed in this way for the public to enjoy, but the potential through-route seems broken by conflicting development priorities.

Finally, most of us repaired to Ms Y’s restaurant to round off the morning with spicy salad and beer.

Hike concept and reporting by Michael M.

Photos mostly by Jume and Tam.



2 Responses

  1. I really appreciated this comprehensive report and especially admired the concept of something a lot easier than some other recent hikes.
    Brian P

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