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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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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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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

18/12/16 Report Doi Pui Valley Loop

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What is usually a very quiet and tranquil place at 0715 on a Sunday morning turned out to be the busiest place in Ching Mai.  The CMU Nurses charity run was taking place and the lake perimeter, and approach road, was crammed full with runners cheerfully doing there thing.  This caused a few problems as the first of the group to arrive was informed that the lake was not opening to the public until 1000 however, and to my relief, it was business as usual and we managed to get to the rendezvous point.  So, a little later than planned, on a near perfect day for hiking (just as well) a group of 18 set off for the Sunday hike.  We quickly left behind the hustle and bustle of runners and began the first of three main ascents.  One of our number left the group on this stage as they had previously decided to do a shorter loop.  With the first ascent completed there was a short descent before making the second, shorter but much steeper ascent into a mixture of forest and farmland and a more even terrain before descending down into open farmland and the stream crossing (not too deep so no wet feet this time).  The final main ascent was the next challenge, not too steep but a series of ups which sometimes seem to go on forever, but everyone made it and still happily chattering away, always a good sign.  We now contoured, sort of, around a valley which is predominantly used for fruit farming, oranges being in season at the moment, and had some lovely views to keep us company.  At about the half way stage, and 4hrs hiking, the main break was taken so the batteries could be charged for the second half of the hike.

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Back on the trail again the trail lead us along the opposite side of the valley for a few kilometres where we took a trail that began our descent through the farmland and back into the forest where we rejoined the trail we had taken earlier in the day only this time it was predominantly downhill.  Everybody, except one who had surged on ahead of the group, arrived back at the much quieter start point after about 6.5hrs and after a quick change it was off to the lakeside restaurant for well earned refreshments.  Alas, the lone trail blazer was not able to find the restaurant where we were located so missed out on the post-hike festivities which was a shame.

Thanks to all who came along, had a great day.  Special thanks to PD for being tail-end-Charlie and Tom for the photos.

For those interested 22.7km, 6.5hrs (including breaks), 1020mtrs ascent.

18/10/21_Mae Taeng Circular_Trip Report

This hike has a history of low cloud and rain. It was with a measure of trepidation, therefore, that we set out with heavy afternoon rain in the forecast. However, although the forecast turned out to be broadly correct, the detail as it affected the hike worked out to our benefit and the weather gods atoned entirely for their past shortcomings. Morning and early afternoon was cloudy with occasional shafts of sunshine, enough cloud to keep the temperatures down but with beautiful clear air affording spectacular and sweeping views over the Mae Taeng Valley and distant mountain ranges. As we descended the view was enhanced if anything by the tonal contrast between the deep slate grey over the Chiang Mai Valley, the black thunderheads gathering over the mountains to the south and east and the more nuanced light grays to the west. The whole accompanied by a symphony of rumbling thunder.

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As usual there were a few minor challenges and a little drama to surmount en route. A moment of concern when we could only find 23 hikers as compared with a pre-hike head-count of 24. This until we realised that the lavatory attendant had been included in the pre-hike count. Then, where 2 months ago there was a nice clear trail, a riot of peanut plants, making for some uneven and unpleasant crop-whacking. One member of the group turned his ankle crossing the peanut patch and we briefly considered wheeled transport back down from the nearby village. Fortunately our hiker rallied and was able to complete the hike in fine style.

Climbing completed, we split into faster and slower groups at the lunch spot with about 8 kilometers of descent still to go. The faster group completed in 6 hours and just avoided the rain, the slower group in 6 1/2 hours and got wet. However, the rain held off until the steepest and potentially most hazardous sections had been negotiated in dry conditions.

Lovely flowers and fascinating bugs as usual. The most “striking” animal reported was a snake trying to enter the changing rooms as hikers were abluting inside. One can only imagine the result if it had been successful! The attendant fully lived up to her honorary status as a hiker by chasing it off with a bucket of water rather than by whacking it over the head.

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To cap a lovely day, a relaxing late lunch by the side of the raging Mae Taeng torrent before the long drive home.

Thanks to Tom and Khun Bussakorn for the photographs.

2018/10/20_Report_Huay Tueng Thao short hike

Four humans and a dog enjoyed this morning walk. A circuit of the Huay Tueng Thao reservoir and rice fields was completed in a little less than two hours, and we lingered for nearly another hour in a small coffee shop with a great view across the lake. The threatened rainy spelll held off until we had had time to get home.

2018/09/16 Report Huay Jo Rocky Mountain Loop

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Although the weather was fine at 0600, when the update was sent out, it had all changed by 0620 and, as a result, most of us got a bit wet going to the rendezvous point.  However, ten hardy souls set off from Ruamchok at the appointed time under a veil of cloud, in good spirits, slightly damp but no rain and, as we neared the start point it started to brighten up a bit and we were greeted by a lovely tranquil scene when we arrived.  We could have stayed there all day but there was a hike to be done so, once the trail was located, it was up into the forest and the first uphill of the day.  After about 20 minutes we took a ridge trail for a while and descended into a valley where a water break was taken.  The clouds had cleared by now and the temperature, as forecast, was rising but the shade from the forest kept it a bit cooler.  The next two hours were a mixture of uphill and small ridges which we took at a steady pace and took regular breaks for whatever reason.

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Lunch was taken at about the half-way point and everyone was happy to know that most of the uphill was over as it was getting quite hot now, even in the shade.  Fed and watered the last uphill section was cleared and the mainly gentle homeward ascent began.  It was around here that some of the group were lucky enough to spot some monkeys up in the trees, a very rare sight for the group, lets hope they are left in peace to flourish.  Unfortunately they were too far off and too quick to get a photo but other forest life did pose for the camera.

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A spider with her eggs

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Not just a leaf, a stick insect too

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Some hikers trying to blend in with the surroundings

The only down side of this hike is that there the trail comes out on to the road at the opposite end of the lake so there is a 1km hike along the road at the end, still it does improve the appetite for the post-hike refreshments.  Some of the group decided that they would go for a swim, to the amusement of the many fishermen and their families.  Post-hike refreshments were taken at a popular restaurant on the edge of Mae Jo and a good time was had by all.

Many thanks to all who came on the hike, had a great day.

Special thanks to Bussakorn for the photos.

For those who are interested distance 17.6km, total ascent 700mtrs in 5hrs 20mins

2018/09/17_Report_Ban San Lom Choi short forest loop

There were only two for this short hike. A dark cloud and shower in the early morning might have deterred some, but – as so often happens – the the cloud lifted, and sunshine rather than rain penetrated the forest canopy. Beginning behind Wat Pong Noi, the main part of our walk was a triangle with a short base. We ascended 250 metres in 2km and an hour, and then descended the same distance on another path in about 40 minutes. The total hiking time was slightly over two hours, and we relaxed afterwards in a coffee shop before returning to our respective homes for lunch.


Photo by Janet

Hike initiation and reporting by Michael