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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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  • Hike descriptions may be posted at short notice. So it may be worth checking the website frequently.
  • Hikes may be cancelled or varied at short notice due to weather conditions or other factors. So it is advisable to check the website beforehand on the day of the hike.
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18/02/11_Phu Talay Mork (or to the cognoscenti Foggy Sea View)

Please read the information in this posting and more generally on the site and make sure you are adequately prepared. Specifically on this hike you should be aware of the following: at one point we need to bushwhack down a steep slope (balance), in more open areas the trail will sometimes pass through head-high grass with occasional thorns (long pants recommended) and some sections of the road are open and exposed to the sun (sun block and hat).

This hike is themed around a well-known local viewpoint which is famous during the cool season for the sight of clouds filling the valley floors between ranges of hills stretching westwards into the blue distance (the eponymous sea of fog). The clouds were in evidence during last week’s recce, but partially obscured by the dry season pollution haze that has started to infiltrate into the valleys. The pine-clad crest of the high ridge we will be hiking on, however, stands blissfully above the grime below.

lord-of-all-he-surveys

We have hiked this area just once before, four years ago (Sunday hikes that is, there have been multiple exploratory attempts). For those with long memories the route will be much the same, but with some nice bits added and the most strenuous part removed. What remains is a modest 10km long with an elevation gain of about 500 meters and should be completed in 4 hours including snack break.

We will start in the village of  Ban Buak Toei and follow a wide forest trail up on to the ridge line and viewpoint, where we will pause to admire the view to the west. The lovely wide trail along the ridgeline quickly deteriorates into a faint forest trail that is difficult to follow in places. General direction clear, but don’t blame the Organiser for some minor excursions into the undergrowth. This section of the hike comes to an end with an unavoidable steep off-trail vegetated slope that links with a separate trail below. There are plenty of handholds but beware, some of them bear sharp thorns.

From this point the route is more open, passing along clear trails to an abandoned resort, where we will stop for a snack. Some more open trail follows until we reach a quiet road that contours along the eastern side of the ridge and gives magnificent views over Mon Chaem and the southern side of the Mae Sa Valley. Initially the road is paved, but we soon turn right onto a dirt road that leads back to the cars. Just before the end we will turn right off the road towards the viewpoint and thence down the initial section of our out-trail in order to avoid a busy village road.

We will make a point of staying together on this hike. There are several roads and small trails leading off and, strangely for such a benign-looking area, these are usually bad news.

We should finish this hike at lunchtime. Hikers can either go home early or stop for lunch on the way back. The scenic Thermadoi Restaurant is only a few kilometers off our route back to town and is the Organiser’s favoured option.

Meeting Point and Directions:

We will meet at 07.30 at the Esso gas station on the west side of the Chiang Mai to Mae Rim road (Highway 107), just south of the City Hall intersection. For those coming from town, the Esso is to be found shortly after passing the Lanna Golf Club and is clearly signposted (there is also an Esso more or less opposite on the east side of the road). This new meeting place has been necessitated by a large event in the Canal Road area that renders our normal meeting place at 700P untenable.

As usual we will carpool and travel in convoy to the hike starting point. The route will take us north up Highway 107 and via the shortcut that by-passes Mae Rim onto Highway 1096 to Samoeng. The turn-off for the hike is on the right about 10 kilometers after passing through Pong Yaeng Village and is onto a narrow hard-topped road at the top of a steep hill. There is a sign for Phu Mork Dao Resort, but this junction is easily missed and care is required.

Note: this time we will park down in the village and not at the top of the hill as last time.

Hike Organiser: Richard

Please read the general information on this site as well as this particular post. If you still feel this hike is for you, just turn up at the meeting point on the day and time. No need to let us know you are coming. Please be advised that we cannot accommodate groups.

Seats in cars are generally available, but cannot be guaranteed.

Advice:

Please bring:

  • At least 2 liters of water/ rehydration drink
  • A snack
  • For passengers: 100 Baht towards fuel costs and a change of clothes/ footwear
  • Hat and sun block
  • Long pants recommended
  • Energy, enthusiasm and good humour

 

 

 

 

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