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2020/10/11_Report_Ban Khun Chang Khian Easterly Loop

On a sunny morning, 13 hikers assembled, one a first-timer with us. The drive up to Ban Khun Chang Khian was made memorable by the final section of road, which is now so badly degraded that a saloon car can hardly find a way among the holes and ruts without scraping its underside.

After parking in the village, everyone agreed to try a slightly longer hike than the main one advertised. To depart northwards, instead of using a path from the middle of the village, we took the track that begins on the west side. There was a persistent trickle of hill-runners walking up from Huay Tung Tao. We merrily descended about 440m in around 3km, which was a little too far, as our leader missed the intended turn-off to the right and needed to be assisted by other GPS-wielders to get back on plan.

We orbited the village clockwise from north to south. On the track we disturbed a rather fine bridle snake, but were too slow to get a good photo before it slithered up the bank.

Approaching what we call the Hidden Waterfall on the southern side of the village, most of the hikers had got ahead of the leader, and missed the turning. Some were successfully called back but three finished the hike ahead of the main group.

A local lady, working in an orchard nearby, told us that the waterfall is more properly known as the Mahidol Waterfall, after the father of King Rama IX, who worked in Chiang Mai for a while in 1929.

Hanson, who had become our chief navigator, then led us on our final section, up a steep forest path that reaches the village near Srinehru school. One of our usual restaurants was closed, but the other, though busy at first, provided a lovely place to wind down.

Stats: Distance:11km, Highest point:1370m, Lowest point:930m, Total elevation gain: 690m; Hiking time:about 4 hours.

Leadership and reporting by Michael. Photos by Dennis, Bussakorn, Michael and Christopher.

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