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  • On this website some experienced Chiang Mai hikers post open invitations to join their hikes in the area.
  • We use the date format YY/MM/DD where YY is the year, MM is the month and DD is the day of the month.
  • 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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2020/11/22_Doi Khun Tan day trip

We will hike up Doi Khun Tan and back. The path is fairly clear, so you do not need a leader if you are an experienced and responsible hiker. But if you enjoy good company with your hiking, read on.

The description below is mainly from the point of view of a core group that will take the early train to Khun Tan and hike briskly in order to return to the rail station in time for the train that is due there at 13:30 on the way back to Chiang Mai. Other hikers may join us having travelled by car (so as to have more control over their return time), and some may make a more leisurely day of it and return on the 18.23 train. Feel free to make your own variations, but the core plan is as follows.

The core group will meet at the ticket counter at Chiang Mai railway station at 06:15, in time to buy ticket to Khun Tan station for the 06.30 departure. ID is needed to buy tickets. Seats are numbered, so we need to buy them together in order to sit together. 3rd class fare Bt.15 for foreigners (Thais free). The 68 km journey is scheduled to take about 65 minutes but often takes longer. One intermediate stop in Lamphun.

On arrival at Khun Tan rail station, we enter the forest path gateway and a little later have a stretch of sealed roadway up to the park HQ. Car- travellers who want to meet us should aim to do so at the park HQ (18.4954, 99.2696) at 08:00 (though we may be a bit late depending on the train). The HQ has toilets, restaurant (usually; but no alcohol)), cabins and a ticket booth (Thais 20 baht, foreigners 100 baht).

The hike to the top is quite long and high (16 kms, up/down over 1,100m), so you will need to be fairly fit and determined in order to reach the summit and be confident of returning in time for the 13:30 train. (And then you may or may not enjoy a couple of hours cooling your heels in the charming rail station before the train arrives). Food and beverages (including beer) are available at the station to help while away any delays.

If you are not feeling so fit, you can choose to walk only part of the way up, or plan to return on the 18.23 train. The later train return tickets are 2nd class, so Bt.50. Be ready for cold aircon and a late return.

The trail goes up via 4 levels (Yaw) to the peak of Doi Khun Tan (c.1350m). Yaw 1 is the old (1917) bungalow of the German engineer who oversaw the tunnel construction. At Yaw 2 MR Kukrit Pramoj (famous Thai PM and film star) bought a cabin from the Bombay Burma Lumber Company. Yaw 3 hosts the Payap University missionary cabins and Yaw 4 is the summit, on the Lamphun-Lampang provincial border.

Admiring the view from the summit of Doi Khun Tan

Please bring: as per standard advice (see tabs above), but especially note:

  • good nature, flexibility and humour
  • ID for train ticket and park entrance
  • Money for train fares, station carpark ticket, NP entrance fee, optional NP restaurant/station drinks/snacks.
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