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18/05/06_Old Samoeng Road_ Trip Report

This was an ambitious attempt to combine easy and more difficult hikes, a modicum of exploration and two widely separated start points sharing a common endpoint. Fortunately, for once, the fates conspired to facilitate the whole enterprise – 10 hikers signed up for the easier hike, 8 for the more strenuous hike and two vehicles were available for each group to organise their car shuttles independently. Setting something of a precedent the “softer” group completed in the advertised time of 4 hours, while the “toughies” beat them with a record time of 3 1/2 hours having achieved their main objective of following a good trail up from the reservoir to the main hiking area, thus opening a new attractive Sunday hiking route for the future.

The area lived up to its reputation for an abundance of interesting critters. Prize of the week must go to the “toughie” group, which came across a beautiful Whipsnake. The “softies” had to make do with bugs, some of the more interesting of which are pictured below.


Short-banded Sailor


Banded Dandy


Female Archduke



Lichen look-alikes that can run and jump

The pine-clad slopes around the 1,350 meter high-point for the day were idyllic. Temperatures were cool, a light breeze was blowing and forested hills and villages rolled away to the north in a verdant vista. We selected a lovely spot on the ridge for a snack break and relaxed for 20 minutes cushioned by the pine needles. Shoot the shooter, don’t blame the camera, for the poor quality of the visual record.



Temperatures noticeably increased as we descended, and by the time we reached the endpoint in the valley it was hot and humid, re-awakening fond memories of our sojourn on the summit. At this point we also became aware of a plague of leeches, some hikers brushing them off before they could get stuck in, but with one unfortunate hiker sporting bloody patches on both legs.

We reunited with the “toughies” in a local beverage emporium that looked more like an army field hospital than a beer hall. Pools of blood on the ground and a helpful lady from the shop running around with bandages and plastic bags full of bloodied tissue. Two of the party had suffered sorely from leech attacks. Hike planners beware, the legions of leeches are on the march and it is probably time to figure altitude and location into forward hike planning.

Not for the first time the little restaurant near the endpoint was closed. However, the village shop has expanded with the addition of a fine new roofed concrete dais with large wooden benches, a perfect venue for a liquid lunch. This was deemed adequate so we all headed home happy but unfed and unwashed (by the Pong Kwao spa waters, that is).

One final oddity. We couldn’t quite decide whether the white object in the roof was a spider or some kind of electrical gizmo. The picture below confirms spider and is this posts’ nomination for the weird spider of the year competition.



One Response

  1. Nice toughies walk, thanks to the organisers for a lovely day.

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