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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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  • 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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Anders Granstrand, 1955-2018: An Appreciation

Anders, a great Chiang Mai Hiker and our beloved friend, passed away on 1st December. Although his health had been noticeably poor since the middle of last year and he had returned to his native country of Sweden for hospital treatment in recent months, his death was a sudden shock. He had been chatting over the internet with one or two of us in his usual good-humoured way only the day before. It seems a chill from the Nordic winter suddenly aggravated his emphysema.

Anders came to Chiang Mai in 2009 after meeting Khun Ramida, and they married. Anders quickly began the habits of exploration that would make him a leading trailfinder of the province. His friend Ulf encouraged him soon afterwards to start joining our Sunday and midweek trips, in which he came to contribute an immense amount in advice, comradeship and his legendary good spirits. He was one of our principal hike leaders and report-posters from 2013 to 2017, and was always on hand to offer the benefit of his route knowledge to others. With Ramida he organized a memorable overnight hiking trip and party for us in October 2014.

Anders’ adventurous hiking was well-balanced by his enthusiasm for fun socializing. We owe the strength of our traditions in apres-hike drinking and (though now much-diminished) evening meet-ups to his influence. He danced a joyous dance. Although we may not manage to raise as many glasses of beer in his honour as he would raise in ours, we should – and will – treasure his memory.


Some of our good memories:




2018/12/09_Trip report_Roller Coaster Ridge

IMG_1776 copy

Even more than usual, a big thank you to all the leaders of the various independent options this week. Also to the drivers, report writers and photographers – sorry not to include all your great photos. We had 23 hikers in total, and only two vehicles missed the junction to the (unlocked) barrier to the Doi Radar road, but we all made it to the start point in time for an 08.50-ish start. (Sorry to the last-minute arrival who we didn’t have room for.)

P_20181209_092706_vHDR_OnFour of us took Option 1, walking up only to the first peak in the series. It took an hour to get there, and we spent more than half an hour enjoying the 360 degree view while eating our sandwiches. On the way down we encountered a trekking group of about a dozen people including four or five local porter/guides. At the end we found three national-park rangers waiting for us. They told us they had been informed about us by the trekking guides. Since the incident of the boys’ football team trapped in a cave earlier this year, there have been increased concerns about the safety of park visitors.


12 hikers took option 2, the hike to Doi Pha Ngom.  Weather was great & clear views up to the ascent of our summit at over 1700m.  As we climbed, the clouds rolled in &, on arrival at the top, the view had disappeared.  After lunch break we descended out of the cloud, with a little light rain.  On the return hike, the clouds cleared, revealing spectacular views of the surrounding peaks.  Distance 10km, up & down nearly 1000m.  Total hike time 5hrs to 5hrs 40 mins.


Seven hikers did the full monty, option 3. Up/down 1423m, 16.2 kms, in under 7.5 hours. It’s quite a strenuous workout and we perhaps started a little too fast when we should have paced ourselves with the whole day’s effort in mind. Some tired legs from time to time and one unfortunate face-plant, but the midday clouds were atmospheric rather than disappointing and the few very brief rain showers not enough to dampen enthusiasm for the glorious views all around. No wildlife to report, just small pieces of wreckage from the military plane crash up near the peak 30 years ago.






2018/12/09_Roller Coaster Ridge

View from after first peak to the second (steep cliffs to R) and third (far horizon highest point)

The weather forecasts are very varied and volatile, but let’s go ahead, ready for occasional rain/storms. See you at Susco!

There are three options for this Sunday’s hike, all along the same high “Roller Coaster” ridge and back to the same start point at “Doi Radar”, but of very different lengths (distance- and time-wise) and elevation gains. You must be ready to tell which option you are choosing at the meeting point so that transport for the separate groups can be arranged. No changes can then be made.  Option 3 is for ‘known’ hikers by prior agreement only.

I wonder why it’s called the “roller coaster”? … choose to turn back at 1, 2 or 3.

Option 1. Shorter hike. Just the first, unnamed peak (almost 1700m) and back.  Recently-cleared trails all the way, including cut steps in places. Great views of the whole area from the top. About 3-4 hours total, including snack/photo time. Only 4 kms or so but some steep/narrow sections. Yellow squares on trees remind hikers of the route back but we’ll have a separate leader for this option. (Hint: stay on the ridge, don’t fall off; there are no trail junctions to confuse you.)

Option 2. Our traditional roller coaster route to the second peak (Doi Pha Ngom, 1700m) and back. About 5-6 hours, 10kms, up/down 900m. (NB, some maps label it Doi Mae Tho.) Two leaders arranged.

Option 3. The full monty to the third peak, Doi Lanka Luang (2020m), Thailand’s 8th highest, and back. About 8 hrs, 16 kms, up/down 1400m. This will be for pre-approved, fast, strong hikers only, and will have few stops, to ensure we’re back before 5pm, when the barrier may be locked and the key man goes off duty. Motorbikes can get round the barrier; cars cannot.

We start high, at an elevation of 1400 meters. There are pine smells, cool breezes, and many great views.  The trail is mostly shady but the sun can be very strong at this altitude.

Meeting time: 07:15 so that we can arrange transport (parking is very limited at the trailhead) and leave by 07.30.

Meeting point: <18°48’48.69″ N  99°01’52.92″ E>  The Susco petrol/gas station, opposite the Suzuki car showroom.  From the city centre, head NE along Kaew Nawarat Rd towards CenFes (Central Festival shopping mall), past H.11 superhighway, then middle ring road, then Sansai Noi (Sam Yaek) market traffic lights, and continue 400m straight on the CM-Doi Saket-Rd, H.118 towards Chiang Rai. It’s on the left. Fuel, toilets and convenience store available.  If leaving a vehicle, please park outside the petrol station.

From the meeting point, we will drive for about 50 kms towards Chiang Rai, taking about 50 minutes. There are dusty bumpy roadworks at many points later on the route. The last 3 kms are up a steep, narrow, private road – surfaced all the way but a little gravelly towards the top. We may need to phone 081-3878243 to ask (in Thai) to get the barrier unlocked on the way in and/or out.  Drivers please note the phone number in case you find the barrier locked on exit. If it is not locked, please close (but do not lock) the barrier after you pass through.



If you’re thinking of joining…

Please carefully read the general advice and warnings on this website as well as the three specific hike option descriptions above. If you still think one of the hikes is for you, just turn up at the meeting-place on time: there is no need to tell us you are coming. Lifts in the cars of other hikers are usually available but cannot be guaranteed.  No groups. Please don’t repost on social media.

Possible aprés-hike refreshment venues: Wat Pang Faen or Calendar Girls restaurants, but the latter is maybe too near very dusty roadworks. Option 3 hikers especially may want to check what time Doi Saket hot springs closes.

Bring :

  • at least 2 litres of water (more for option 3), snacks & picnic lunch
  • strong footwear, sunhat, insect repellent and sun-block, rain wear (rain is forecast)
  • Strong knees and trekking poles/sticks recommended for multiple steep climbs and descents
  • energy, team spirit, enthusiasm and a good sense of humour
  • If a passenger, please contribute THB 100 per person to fuel costs
  • Bring change of shirt/clothes for return journey, if car sharing.


18/12/02 Mae Hia – Bits and Pieces


This Sunday’s hike is a mixture of bits of 2 loops, Crying Dogs and Valley Café, and has 2 water features.  The start and finish point is also where we will take our post hike refreshments, so there will be no mad scramble to get changed etc.  We will start the hike on the Crying Dogs loop and go anti-clockwise up to the waterfall and involves a fairly steep climb on a dry and well rutted dirt road leading to a rocky trail through the forest.  From the waterfall we will go down stream a bit and then contour over to the Valley Café loop, crossing 2 streams in the process (no wet feet involved).  This section is on a well defined trail but, there is a lot of vegetation and it is rocky (small ones) so strong footwear, preferably with ankle support, is essential.  The trail ascends about 250mtrs before contouring along a narrow gorge which we shall follow for a while before descending on to the rocks and following the stream for a few hundred metres where we will stop for the main break of the hike.  The return leg is almost the same way except we will take a less steep route and miss out the rutted dirt road.  The hike is about 10km with 500mtrs total ascent and actual walking time about 4hrs, actual start/finish time depends on the stops.

Please note that this is a low level hike and fairly exposed to the sun in places so it can be hot, bring plenty of fluids, etc.

If you want to join:
If you are sure this hike is for you, after reading our “dangers”, “what to bring” and “what to do” tabs, just turn up at the meeting place on the day; there is no need to let us know you are coming. No groups please. Seats in cars are usually available but cannot be guaranteed.

Meeting Place:
We will meet at 0740 for a 0745 start from the open ground immediately after the first traffic lights south after Suthep market on Canal Road (H121), just after the PTT petrol station (which has toilets, 711 and fuel).  Meeting place GPS co-ordinates: 18° 47.002′ N 098° 57.512′ E

Items to bring:

  • at least 2 litres of water or re-hydration drink
  • a snack
  • strong footwear with good grip and ankle support
  • sticks recommended
  • sunhat, sunscreen, insect repellent
  • long sleeves/pants recommended
  • a change of clothing if you are getting a lift
  • plenty of energy, enthusiasm, team spirit and good humour










2018/11/25_Huay Tung Tao – Mae Nai loop hike

Personal strongman lifts over swollen streams are unlikely to be needed this time

This is the traditional HTT/Mae Nai loop but in the opposite direction, which we did four months ago. This means there will be a bracing hill climb (on a dirt road) at the beginning. But overall this 16km hike is relatively easy and on dirt roads and well defined paths and with some 700m in elevation. There are two viewing points and we aim to have a lunch break at the second. A buffalo corral (sometimes occupied) half way around the loop may prove to be of interest to the bovine minded. The hike should take between five to six hours and afterwards we will regroup in one of the lakeside restaurants for refreshments.

Hike leader: SRR

Meeting Place and time: 7.30AM at Huay Tung Tao at the far end of the reservoir. After passing the ticket booth turn right and continue along the reservoir to the far end where there is an open flat area opposite a large tree.

18/11/18_Wat Phra Puttabhat Si Roi variation

There are rumours of another marathon at our meeting place at 700p this weekend but I can’t find any confirmation. If we find problems there at 07.20 tomorrow, let’s all move on to meet at the Esso station on the Mae Rim road instead about 07.30-ish. All hikers remain responsible for their own safety at all times. Please don’t repost on social media. 

We have made a reverse (of our previous, April 2016) loop from the famous meditation, Buddha Footprint, temple of Wat Phra Puttabhat Si Roi (c.1,000m), passing near the peaks of Doi San Jon (Chon) at 1,425m and Doi Pha Dam (1,366m), and then following a ‘new’ ridge down to meet the road near a smart resort (c.750m).


Photo credit: Medi.

The first hour and a half will be mostly quite steeply uphill and there is one section of very steep, slippery, overgrown, uphill towards the first main peak. Mostly shady trails with excellent cooling breezes higher up (on the exploration, at least). Some indistinct trails at times on the ridge down. Approx. 10 kms, up 500m, down 800m. Total hike time probably 5 hours, including a short lunch stop.


Some hikers may wish to visit the nearby Saimork waterfall after the hike, where bathing is possible. Bring appropriate swimwear, towel and change of clothes for the trip home and agree itinerary between drivers and passengers.

No groups please; no guarantee of seats in vehicles. No need to let us know you are planning to join us.

Meeting place: <18° 50.408′ N  98° 57.891′ E> In front of (not inside) the 700 year stadium complex on the irrigation canal road (H.121) at 07.20 for an 07.30 start. We will car share for about 1 hour: N through Mae Rim, past PTIS (Prem) school and then turn W into the hills on the well-signposted roads to the temple, which has a large carpark <19° 1.069′ N  98° 45.782′ E>, as well as toilets. We will drop some vehicles on the way up to the temple, the exact details depending on hiker and vehicle numbers.


Please bring:

  • at least 2 litres of water/rehydration drink
  • energy snacks and picnic lunch
  • protection from sun, insects, spiky/itchy vegetation
  • trekking pole/stick and deep tread footwear for steep slippery up/downhill
  • for passengers: 100 baht towards fuel costs and a change of shirt/clothes
  • consider swimwear and towel if planning to visit the waterfall.
  • lots of energy, enthusiasm, team spirit and a good sense of humour

2018/11/11_Doi Mai Mee Cheu

Sunday 06.30 update: let’s go, but be ready for rain later in the day! Hikers are responsible for their own safety at all times. 

We’ve done variations on this old ‘mystery hike’ a couple of times before. We’ll go both up and back down this time (to avoid car shuffling through the dusty/dangerous roadworks at Kha Moo Phuket junction).  Let’s see if anyone notices that we’re not doing a loop.


See graph of one way below. We’ll probably hike about 6 hours or so, including lunch/breaks. Occasional narrow paths over steep drops. Some loose, stoney ground. Mostly well-shaded, clear trails throughout. Up 900m, then down 900m, in approx. 14 kms. Mostly gentle uphill after the first steep 1 km (+300m) or so.

Screenshot 2018-11-09 at 08.26.49

So, up this but then also back down it again.

M hotway

It’s greener and mostly shadier than this at the moment!

Meeting point: <18°48’48.69″ N  99°01’52.92″ E>

Meet 07.20 for a 07.30 start. Immediately after the Susco petrol station, opposite Suzuki car showroom.  From the city centre, head NE along Kaew Nawarat Rd towards Central Festival shopping mall, past H.11 superhighway, then middle ring road and Sansai Noi (Sam Yaek) market traffic lights, and continue 400m straight on the CM-Doi Saket-Rd, H.118 towards Chiang Rai. It’s on the left. Fuel, toilets and convenience store available.  Please park considerately, just after the petrol station. Seats in vehicles not guaranteed. No groups please. No need to let us know you are coming.

We will regroup into the smallest number of vehicles then drive about 40 minutes to the trailhead, where parking is limited.


Please bring:

  • at least 2-3 litres of water/rehydration drink
  • energy snacks/picnic lunch
  • protection from sun, rain, insects, spiky/itchy vegetation
  • Strong knees and/or trekking sticks for the long descent. Strong lungs for uphill.
  • for passengers: 100 baht towards fuel costs and a change of clothes, footwear
  • lots of energy, enthusiasm and a good sense of humour