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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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2021/04/11_Report_Big white Buddha to Luang Pu Thuat and high ridge back

The worst of the smoky season seems to be over, and our number of hikers got back into double digits. Our twelve participants included at least three returnees from southern islands.

Our bread-and-butter of our hiking was on forest paths, a bit stony but clear enough, the forest still looking dry but relieved by some young growths and blooms. This bread and butter enclosed a unique filling in the form of a visit to Wat Mae Ta Khrai, with its old Hell theme park and new giant statues of Luang Pu Thuat.

The forest hiking had its own highlights, especially in the views from the high ridge that we climbed (most of us) in the second half.

Most of us… . Yes, we lost two of our most experienced and ardent hikers at the junction between a ridge that went upwards and another one that went downwards. Not easy to see or explain in the forest which was which, and they did want to press ahead of the leader. But with GPS, phone contact and the road nearby they didn’t get badly lost, and we picked them up on the road at the end.

The upsurge in Covid-19 cases in Chiang Mai in the last week meant that restaurants were now observing a strict alcohol ban, and many were closed altogether. We counted ourselves lucky to find a local place willing to send out for soft drinks and serve simple dishes, and where there was space to talk to each other while spread out in a socially-distanced way. Many thanks to our leader for this interesting and enjoyable hike.

Distance 13.5km. Elevation gain 640m. Hike time: 5 hours, including breaks and temple visit.

Hike leadership by John. Reporting by Michael. Photos by Michael, Othmar and Bussakorn.

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