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  • ABOUT THIS SITE / เกี่ยวกับเว็บไซต์

  • 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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19/02/03_Report_Around Wieng Kum Kam

Wat Chedi Liem viewed from the barrage down-river

Nine of us enjoyed this morning ramble. It first took us across the Ping river at the barrage, through a horse pasture and along a riverside walkway toward the stupa spire of Wat Chedi Liem.

We then bore eastward, past the beautiful Wat Boonruang to the ruins of Wat Huanong, before looping back, past a variety of scenic places, to the old visitor centre and the more famous ruins of Wat E-Kang and Wat That Kaow. Then we avoided getting lost in a muddy wood, as was the case when we last hiked here. Instead we returned safely through the horse pasture and over the barrage.

Most of the ruins apparently dated from the 13th to 16th centuries

 

Amazing tree in the horse pasture

Last-minute drama was afforded when we found a gate locked against us and a formidable boundary fence. Our escape required suppleness, athleticism and ingenuity. All of us repaired to a riverside restaurant before going home. The walking time was about two and a half hours, including periods of looking around some of the interesting sites en route.

Hike leadership and reporting by Michael M. Additional photos from Christine.

 

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19/01/27_Report_Sakura special

 

21 sakura-seeking hikers assembled at the Arboretum early Sunday morning on what promised to be a fine, sunny day. The party were asked to select one of three options to enable coordination of transport during the day, not least arranging song thaew pick-up from Ban Khun Chiang Kian village. The three options were: walking one way to the village from Wat Suthep, walking to the village and returning to Wat Suthep, walking to the village and then returning to the arboretum on foot. Having arrived via assorted forms of transport from the city, the party coalesced once more, this time on the steps of a very busy Wat Suthep. We set off on a trail that took us first through the Forestry houses overlooking the temple, before swinging north into and through shady forest. The group stopped for a snack break after about 8km at five-way junction amidst conifer trees. A further two kilometers on we reached the village and saw the first sign of cherry trees coming into bloom. Arriving at about 11.30am, the group was briefed on when and where to re-convene, and were then free to blend in with the many sightseers that were also there. Most hikers chose to head for the Agricultural station where the best views of the Sakura were to be had. The blossom this year appeared to be more profuse than previously albeit not fully out. A very pleasing sight at any rate.

 

At the garden coffee shop


Option 1 Group (11 people): The songthaew picked us up at 12:30: a little earlier than in previous years; our visit felt a little bit rushed, but maybe all the sweeter for being too short. There was less road traffic than for our pilgrimages in recent years (when the sakura bloomed earlier in the month), and we reached the Arboretum again soon after 1.30pm.

Option 2 Group (8 people if we count a maverick): Total distance 21.3kms, hike time 6 hours and 15 minutes, end time 2.42PM.

Option 3 Group (2 people): Two hikers chose to return directly from the village down to the Arboretum. The emphasis was definitely on the word ‘down’, relentlessly so for the seven kilometer distance. Much of the trail passed through woodland until eventually emerging into the sunshine and out on to the main road by the Huay Kaew waterfall with its fine views overlooking Chiang Mai.

 

Hike leadership and reporting by Pachyderm, SRR and Michael. Photos mainly by visiting hiker, PC.

2019/01/20_Trip Report_Mae Win Huai Hoi Waterfall Long Loop

13 hikers enjoyed a lovely day out on this beautiful hike. The sun was shining, the temperature perfect, the air clear and the trail-finding (almost) exemplary. We made good time without pushing hard and even with plentiful breaks managed to complete in a faster than anticipated 6 hours 15 minutes.

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Group photo above canyon

Distance and total “up” 17km and 950m as advertised. Story in pictures (more or less) in sequence.

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Thanks to Tom and Andrew for the photographs.

2019/01/20_Mae Win Huai Hoi Waterfall Big Loop

It is imperative the group stays together at all times to avoid mishap and inconvenience. There are numerous trails and the obvious trail is usually the wrong trail. The pace of the hike will be the pace of the slowest person, so please be comfortable with your ability to keep up.

This will be a new hike for many. It was last done nearly 4 years ago and has not been attempted since, partly because the original explorers of this area have moved on and partly because trail finding is notoriously difficult. We did this as an exploration hike last week and had forgotten what an interesting and beautiful hike this is. Tom and his GPS will guide us safely through the intricacies of the route, but anyone deviating from the route runs the risk of being punished by a protracted spell in the jungle.

Something of the variety of the scenery can be seen from the photographs below.

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The hike will start and finish at the parking area in front of Wat Machimaram (on the right-hand side of Highway 1013 just before Mae Win). Distance is about 17 km and total elevation gain close to 1,000m. Expected duration 7 hours depending on the group.

The hike commences with a steep climb from the valley floor up to the ridge line. However, after that there are no more protracted steep climbs or other specific difficulties. It should be fine for anyone with experience of hiking in this kind of environment, but is NOT for starter hikers.

We will stop for a snack lunch during the hike and there is an option for after-hike food and beverages in a nearby restaurant on the bank of the Mae Wang river.

Hike Organisers: Tom and Richard

If you want to join:

Make sure you have read the general advice on this website as well as the specific hike details in this post. If you still think this hike is for you, just turn up at the meeting place on the day, on time. No need to inform us in advance. But we cannot accommodate groups.

Meeting Point & Time:

We will leave the meeting place at 07.15 sharp. Note the earlier than usual time, this is to accommodate relatively long travel and hike times.

We will meet at the open area 50 meters past the PTT gas station on Canal Road (about 500 meters south of the Suthep Road intersection (see map below – click on map to enlarge). This is the same meeting place as for last week’s hike.

Meeting point Sunday

 

Items to bring:

  • At least 2 liters of water or re-hydration drink.
  • For passengers: 100 Baht towards fuel costs and a change of clothes/ footwear.
  • A picnic lunch.
  • Strong footwear with good grip and ankle support.
  • Sunhat, sunscreen, insect repellent.
  • Long sleeves/ pants recommended.
  • Plenty of energy, enthusiasm, team spirit and good humour.

 

2019/01/13_Trip Report_Wat Pong Noi to Buphing Palace

18 hikers set off from the trail-head at just before 08.30. The shuttle from the meeting point was achieved with the use of only two vehicles – which snuggly fitted in to the small lay-by on the opposite side of the road. 3 motorbikes and one bicycle packed in neatly to available nooks and crannies.

The hike up to Buphing Palace was taken at a steady pace with a few stops for water and a couple of short snack breaks. The last 500 meters or so of the old trail to Buphing is badly overgrown, but in order to avoid walking along the road and braving the weekend drivers we were emboldened to follow Tom and his GPS through the tangle of vegetation. It turned out to be not as difficult as feared. Total time to Buphing was 3 1/2 hours.

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The view from Buphing Viewpoint was something of a disappointment, with the far ridges nearly obscured by haze, though it was worth going there for the valley views alone.

After feeding the eyes, it was time to feed the body. One member of the group chose not to eat, but the sight of 17 hungry foreigners descending on the establishment was too much for the poor waiters to bear and signs of panic were evident. It’s a nice convivial restaurant, though, and the staff managed quite well under the circumstances. Eventually we all seemed to get more or less what was wanted, though Stephen is still waiting for his mushrooms!

5 hikers elected to leave the group at Buphing and travel back down the mountain in style and comfort. It was a reduced complement of 12 that set out on the trail back down to Pong Noi. After following Tom and his GPS back through the bamboo jungle, three bikers took off at high speed and were last seen vanishing in to the distance, leaving a residual group of 9 to amble back to Pong Noi at a comfortable speed.

Thanks to Tom and his GPS for navigating us through the bamboo forest, to Kissinger for helping with the car shuttle and to Kurt for the photos.

 

2019/01/06_Trip Report_Pha Nok Kok Ridge

The weather for the first Sunday hike of 2019 could not have been better. Blue skies, a clement temperature and clear air enticed 16 humans and 4 K9’s to meet up at the 700 Year stadium.

The first problem of 2019 turned out to be parking in the village. Sunday was Hmong New Year and we were treated to the spectacle of flocks of village kids milling round in their finery. Unfortunately this also meant insufficient room to park up our vehicles. The locals were amazingly friendly and accommodating, however, and garaged some cars and moved others such that eventually we were all able to fit in.

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It quickly became apparent that there was a wide disparity between our fastest and slowest members, so when we got on to the ridge the group was split into two and a fast group of 9 shot off along the trail, while a slow group of 7 ambled along behind. 3 K9’s joined the faster group while their master and mistress followed behind in the slower group, which had repercussions for the return journey.

The views over Doi Inthanon from the first viewpoint were amazing, crystal clear and with a couple of small clouds floating near the summit. The ridge was its normal exuberant self with beautiful bird calls from every side.

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About 2/3 way along, 5 of the slow group decided to return while 2 others raced ahead for the view from the tower. The fast group had also split, such that 3 separate groups totalling 11 hikers reached the tower. As hymns rolled up from the village below we ate our sandwiches and marvelled at the spectacular 360 degree panorama.

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As the tower group straggled back along the ridge, we realised that our former complement of 3 K9’s had reduced to one. Calling was to no avail. We therefore assumed (correctly as it turned out) that the other two had rushed ahead to find Dad and Mum and continued on our way home, taking a short-cut to the village that saved a kilometer or so. Meanwhile the two K9’s reached the village under their own steam and the family was reunited. All’s well that ends well.

Official statistics (rounded) distance 15 km, total “up” 850 m, time taken just over 4 1/2 hours.

To wrap it all up, some views inside and outside of our post-hike watering hole.

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Thanks to Peter GB for taking over the fast group (and for doubling as official statistician) and to Peter D for sweeping up at the rear. Also thanks to Maurice, Matt, Tom, Nina and Nadda for the photos.

2018/12/30_Report_Ob Khan Loop

Despite an early morning shower and overcast skies ten hikers (including hike leader) showed up for this biannual hike/swim. As expected the hike leader missed an overgrown path and the party ended up on an intriguing road which climbed up and away from the river and will be investigated at a later date. Backtracking we quickly came to the river and made our way to the small gorge where, after watching the hike leader brave the cool but refreshing water, five other hikers joined in for a mid- morning swim.

Afterwards we made our way back along the river bank which, given the relatively cool temperature, was free of bathing locals and with only a few farang tourists to disturb the tranquility. We then made our way to the Phufin Terrace restaurant which unfortunately had attracted several Bangkok tourists celebrating the New Year weekend. Accordingly there was a significant decline in service with some orders misdirected and others undelivered. Nevertheless the food that did arrive was good and the Belgian chocolate dessert excellent. Happy new year to everyone.

Hike leadership and report by SRR. Photos by Janet and Michael