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18/03/18_Beyond Buddha’s Footprint

This Sunday’s hike is an extension of a well-known hike to Buddha’s Footprint high on a ridge on the back side of Doi Pui. The hike begins at Ban Hmong Doi Pui, a popular tourist destination at about 1200 meters elevation. From the village we proceed on a gradually rising trail through a highland forest for about two kilometers until reaching a saddle with a large valley opening to the north. Beyond the saddle we continue northwest about one kilometer up a gradual incline until reaching a rocky summit at 1522 meters elevation. We’ll have time here for a quick snack and drink until proceeding down to and beyond Buddha’s Footprint.

Shortly after passing Buddha’s Footprint three weeks ago, we found local villagers constructing an arena, stage, and campground high on the ridge. From what we could tell the construction is related to efforts to encourage volunteers and villagers to help prevent fires and to protect the environment. There were signs promoting the effort, mostly in Thai but also some smaller ones in English. It will be interesting to revisit this site.

We will then continue down the ridge, around a small peak, and arrive at a junction of several roads leading to hill tribe villages below. Judging by the structures found, this area is sometimes used by villagers for funeral ceremonies. From the junction we’ll hike up a road to the grassy summit of a small mountain, which is the destination of our hike where we’ll take a half hour lunch break. Depending on the visibility, there could be views of Doi Inthanon from the summit.

Returning to the arena-campground site mentioned earlier, we’ll descend the west slope of the ridge below Buddha’s Footprint. Three weeks ago we found many flowering trees along this portion of the trail. Rejoining the main trail we’ll return along the path previously traveled to the Hmong Village from which we departed. At the village we can enjoy a delicious lunch and liquid refreshments at any of several small restaurants.

This moderate hike is about 13 kilometers in length with about 615 meters of total elevation gain. Most of the hike is under a forest canopy and it should be relatively cool at this high elevation. The total hike including the lunch stop in the village should take about six hours. Allow another hour and a half for the drive from the arboretum to the village and back.

NOTE: There are several places along this route where you could get lost if you are not familiar with the trails. To avoid getting lost, please consult with one of the leaders before separating from the group.

Hike initiators:  Michael G, Michael M

Meeting Place

Meet at 07:30 am in the car park of the Huay Kaeow Arboretum (also known as the exercise park). We’ll depart for the village at 7:45 am.

Head straight out from the moat 3.5 km towards Doi Suthep on Huay Kaeow Road.
The arboretum is on the left after the front entrance to Chiang Mai University and just before the entrance to the Zoo.
The car park of the arboretum is at the end of the park near the zoo.
See the maps below (click to enlarge them).

 

Advice

We’ll arrange car pools at the arboretum for the drive to the village, but there are no guarantees there will be room for everyone. However, it’s possible to arrange songthaew transport to and from the village if we do not have enough vehicles for everyone.

In addition to the normal advice (see tabs at top of page), bring:

  • A light jacket to wear in case it’s cool or windy at the top of the ridge.
  • At least two liters of water and snacks or a light lunch.
  • 100 baht for your driver if you are carpooling.
  • Plenty of smiles and a positive attitude.

PLEASE DO NOT REPOST THIS NOTICE ON OTHER INTERNET SITES

 

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