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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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2021/04/25_Trip Report_Thepsadet Waterfall

We were fortunate with the weather. Persistent overcast kept the temperature down and we were able to complete the whole hike in cool and pleasant conditions.

It was surprising to find that some major re-engineering work has been undertaken at the beginning of the waterfall trail. The old parking lot is now fenced off (why??) and parking is on the paved area around the crematorium next door. One can only hope its’ previous use has been abandoned. One driver who was not so sure chose to move his vehicle out of the firing line to the side of the road.

This was the first time the Sunday group has hiked past the Waterfall and directly from there up onto the ridge. This turned out to be a steep but well-marked forest trail that saves significantly on distance while avoiding the village.

At the Waterfall two members of the group split off to do some local exploring.

Once up on the ridge we split again with about half the group choosing to climb up to the local high point while the other half waited at the bottom. The scramble up was great fun in the cool conditions and the view from the top worthwhile. Unfortunately the far horizons were obscured by haze, but at least one could get some feeling for how lovely it is when clear.

Re-united we then followed along the ridge line with nice views to the southeast over the notorious Doi Lan “Tak” (Million Leech Mountain). About this time we became aware that Doi Lan is not the only place with leeches. They appeared in all kinds of interesting places on the body, one of the more traditional (and decent) being bravely modeled by Hanson. They seem to be particularly voracious at this time of year, with the arrival of the first rains.

Fortunately not all of the local wildlife was as hostile. There were very few beasties on view, but some lovely orchids and other interesting plants and a plentiful supply of mulberries was unearthed by the side of the final stretch of the road home.

On the way back to town we stopped off at the Leelawadee restaurant in Doi Saket for late lunch and refreshments.

Thanks to Tom for introducing the new trail, to Champ, Michael and Oliver for photographs and to Bussakorn for wearing such an appropriate T-shirt.

2021/04/18_Report_Ban Mae Sapok Waterfall Loop

Despite a last-minute cancellation message (the planned leader was stymied by a flat tyre), twelve people turned up and decided to do the hike anyway. We relied mainly on Tom’s navigational skills, which did not let us down although there were a couple of slight detours. The hike was memorable for beautiful clear air, a solitary elephant, two familiar hungry dog-companions, a snake that they chased, a special beverage purchase, and an even-trickier-than-usual stream crossing.

Recent rains had generated a turbulent brown torrent, and the wooden tourist-bridge above it was barely a plank that needed two people to hold the long bamboo side-rail. The last three hikers decided to cross the wet way, but we also had the chance to admire some local people helping each expertly other over the rocks.

At the waterfall and the beach only one hiker dipped in the cocoa-coloured fluid.

We hiked perhaps a little further than the planned 8km, and took about four hours to do so. On the way home we stopped at the nearby noodle restaurant for excellent-value food and lively fellowship.

Hike leadership (de facto): Tom. Reporting by Michael. Photos by Michael, the other Michael, Champ, Nina and Bussakorn

2021/04/18 URGENT: Hike cancelled

The leader has a car problem on the morning of the hike, so THE HIKE IS CANCELLED

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.

2021/04/04_Report_Wiang Kum Kam hike

It was a short, dry-season filler, but an enjoyable little stroll for the four of us who took part. We were lucky that after days of increasing heat and smoke some rain had come to Chiang Mai the previous evening, making the day relatively cool and fresh.

From the Wiang Kum Kam Information Center we walked to the river, where the streamside promenade is less obstructed than it was the last time we visited. However, the river-management compound with the barrage still blocks the way; we had to use some ingenuity and athleticism to avoid a long detour in order to get through to the stretch where one sees the pyramid of Wat Chedi Liem presiding over the vegetation-fringed waterway.

A new monks’ dormitory is being built at Wat Chedi Liem, and one of us paid for a tile bearing his initials to be incorporated.

House-building has eradicated some of the trees around Wat That Kaow, but the lady who runs the refreshment stand has tried to compensate through her cultivation of a colourful flowerbed, currently featuring sunflowers among others. Continuing to Wat E-Kang, we found that the flimsy and dusty hall built for a royal visit some ten or twenty years ago has at last been removed. Not so the more picturesquely dilapidated wooden home nearby.

At the former visitor center and Wat Kan Thom:

Toward the end we investigated a veteran automobile yard.

Well, we were just four boys. The so-called hike took barely two hours and we spent nearly as long over coffee at the end, telling stories about the famous people we have met, speculating on collective body-mass of dogs in the world, and discussing the fungibility of animal movie stars. It was another happy day.

2021/03/28_Report_Zoo hike

Eight hikers, nearly eight km, three hours, lots of animal photos.

After walking round the west (mountain) side of the zoo, we stopped for refreshments and then split into two groups. While two hikers returned through the zoo, six marched out of the back entrance, down through Wat Fai Hin, into the west gate of CM University, and looped back via the University lakes. Our outing was rounded off by iced drinks at the Milk kiosk in the Nature Study Centre.

Leadership by Michael. Photos by Michael, Young-he and Champ.

2021/03/21_Report_Doi Lang Lo backwards

Just four takers for this tough hike. Tough not because of distance (8km) or elevation gain (600m) or even air quality (AQI 160), but more because of stony terrain and – on this day – heat reaching nearly 40C. Nevertheless, it was a satisfying accomplishment for the hikers who did it, and, as usual, afforded scenes of beauty and interest.

The four takers:

Rocky adventure:

Reasonably good views:

Nature: cicada, new sapling growth with shiny colours:

Finally, big big big thanks to our leader, John, who has prepared our hikes (meticulously) for three weeks in a row, in this difficult season.

Leadership by John. Report by Michael. Photos by Michael and Champ.

2021/03/14_Report_Doi Ton loop

A total of 8 hikers enjoyed a hike of 7.3km with around 550m of ascent in just under 4 hours. The group consisted of 6×2-legged hikers and 2×4-legged hikers. The 4-legged hikers were generally the best behaved members of the group, only getting a little exited when leaving the hike in the back of a pickup, they were chased for quite a distance by a noisy pack of local lake, mountain dogs.

The air appeared slightly improved from previous days, despite extensive burning evident on the mountain, some of this very recent, evidenced by smoking logs. Fortunately the trail was made more visible by the burnt ground either side and did not detract from the enjoyment of the trail and its surrounding scenery.

A short distance around the lake, staffed by multi-rodded fisherman, led to the dry river bed and the start of the steps cut into the hillside.  Altitude is gained quickly on this hike and some views were possible, particularly of the impressive steep cliffs ahead. Going was good and a number of salas allowed the group to assemble at each one.


Impressive rare bug found on the path and fortunately spotted before it was trampled. 

Circumnavigating one of the contour paths at the base of a steep cliff an empty, almost plastic honeycomb was spotted, and above on the higher up cliff overhangs were a number of these seen.  Impossible to reach by climbing, some sweet toothed locals had assembled some long readily available bamboo sections to make up some complicated ladders and honey collection devices. A dangerous endeavour given the amount of loose rock on these cliff faces.

Completing the steepest parts of the climb and leaving the steps, rails and steel staircases the group turned onto the ridge which takes one to the highest point. Near the top one joins a dirt road which snakes its way right down to lake level.  This has facilitated the development of the plateau as an area of religious shrines, which were inspected and photographed by all.

Descending a short way on the road the trail soon branched off to track some river valleys and the bamboo forested descent path was safely negotiated by all.

Before reaching the place where the path reached the start of the ascending steps, a couple of buildings and another set of steps was seen. On checking them out it was found to be a holy well, still producing running water, with cups available to sample the clean water, backed up by a board listing the expected mineral contents and the absence of harmful bacteria. Blue pvc pipe went up a steep trail from the top of the steps and the group followed this to find the pipe disappeared into the cliff face, not a conventional well.

Most were pleased that despite high (under 200) numbers from the pollution index the walking environment had been quite acceptable and to continue with the planned hike today was the right decision.

A short drive to a favourite corner restaurant allowed all to have a pleasant and economical lunch.

Hike leadership and reporting by John. Photos from Champ, Bussakorn and Michael.