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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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17/05/28_Wieng Kum Kam and McKean Island

The group in front of sluice gate at the start of the hike

16 people showed up for this special hike in the historical suburbs. Unfortunately, it seems we set off too suddenly at 7.40 and lost one as soon as we started. Sorry, J.  Crossing the sluice gate over the Ping River into the Wieng Kum Kam area is a rather hidden joy. We arrived in a shady meadow where horses grazed and flame-trees blossomed.

We headed first for the landmark of Wat Chedi Liem, and then along a series of minor roads, alleys and other pathways which took us past many other temples: some glittering and current, some ancient brick layouts.

Only once did the road chosen by the leader degenerate through all the stages of rough track, muddy path, and  finally mud, water and rubbish without any path. From this we somehow emerged and found our bearings again, and continued southwards toward McKean Island.

Janet, who worked at the McKean hospital from 1975, told us how the “island” (bounded on the east by a channel and the west by the Ping) had once been occupied by a rogue white elephant. After it died (the story goes), people were afraid of its haunting spirit. That may explain why this large piece of land was chosen to be allocated by the ruler of Chiang Mai in the early 20th  century to the missionary Dr McKean, for looking after people afflicted by leprosy. Now that multi-drug therapy and stigma reduction allow sufferers to stay in their own communities while being treated, the island is mainly a sanctuary for other vulnerable folk, especially elderly. We did not have time to fulfill the original plan of going all the way to the hospital and back, but got a taste of the area’s peaceful atmosphere. We then returned to our starting point via the small bridge near Wat Ko Klang, the back road to Wat Pa Daet, and a restaurant where eight of us lingered for midday refreshments.

 

Distance walked was 13-14km in 4h 15m. Elevation gained and relinquished: virtually zero. Weather: umbrellas were used as sunshades.

Hike leadership and report by Michael M. Photos thanks to Letlet.

 

 

17/05/21_Trip report_Doi Lang Lo loop

Small minivet – photo by Jenny

Nine people (including the two hike leaders) started this hike on a surprisingly dry morning. Unfortunately the higher we climbed the hotter and more humid it seemed to become. By the time we had reached the summit just after two hours, the main priority was finding a shady area for lunch rather than looking at the views (which were impressive). On the descent there were some minor slips with one hike co leader’s slip on a steep slope fortunately terminated by a nearby tree. With the heat taking its toll everyone was fairly tired by the end of the five hour hike and no one had the energy or enthusiasm to go to the hot springs, so refreshments (rehydration) were had at a small restaurant on the way back to CM.

Hike leadership by S and Monjiro. Report by S. Photos by Jenny and Chan.

17/05/21 Trip report – 3 waterfalls loop

The day dawned sunny and hot. When 7 hikers met at the Arboretum anticipating a hike to visit 3 waterfalls, the leader had to explain that since a portion of the trail, which was an essential connection, has disappeared, we would only be visiting 2 waterfalls. At 7:45 we left for Huay Kaew waterfall and had a short water break at the sala of Wang Bua Baan, and then continued right on to Chang Khian waterfall.  On the way we found that parts of the trail were rather neglected, and in fact another connecting portion was so overgrown we couldn’t see it and so detoured around it. But the waterfall was still there and fully met our expectations.  As soon as we got our boots off we were under the refreshing spray and then under the force of the pounding falls.  Quite a massage, invigorating and dizzying! Wet shirts were spread out to dry while we enjoyed our pack lunches or snacks, even though it was still well before noon.

As we started back on a different route, at first we found the trail again neglected, other than by red ants. Things improved as we progressed, and soon we had come out near the Boy Scout Camp and headed back toward the Arboretum, making a rather lengthy stop at a lovely cafe. Having a small and pleasant group was quite a treat as we each had opportunity to visit with each of the others.

17/05/14_Trip report_Wat Chom Khiri Loop

 

After a long and narrowly-winding but beautiful drive, 21 hikers gathered at the starting point at 08:50 and then started climbing at 09:05. The vegetation had grown in the first 1km and the character of the path was very different from two months ago. The first group stopped many times to wait for the slow group but this is Sunday hiking and all the hikers must cooperate.

 

 

We took a break at the junction where the descent from the mountain begins. Almost all the hikers were hungry even though it was only 10:30. Unluckily, Monjiro was stung by wasps but it got better quickly after applying P’s medicine. Thanks P.

 

 

We restarted the hike at 10:55 after taking a fairly long break. 10 minutes later, intense rain began but diminished greatly after about 10 minutes. The rain started again an hour later, but it was not so such a downpour this time.

 

 

The first group got to the goal point at 12:50, and all the hikers had finished the hike by 13:05. We went to a nearby restaurant to have refreshments. Thanks to everybody who cooperated in making the hike.

 

Hike leadership by Arnie the Viking and Monjiro the Samurai
Report by Monjiro, edited by Michael Bigboots
Photos by Andr…, J… and Monjiro.

 

17/04/30_Trip report_Doi Suthep and Bhuping Palace circular hike

Group photo at the ancient ruined temple of San Ku

Gathering at the Arboretum, 18 hikers enjoyed a blessedly clear view of the mountain, rainstorms in the previous two days having greatly cleared the air. After driving to the Wat Doi Suthep carpark we began hiking at about 8am. The forest air was clean, the temperature moderate, and the ground pleasantly moist after the rain.

 

Corner of palace compound. Photo by Chan

After reaching the Bhuping Palace compound, and completing the stiff climb to the top corner, we made a small diversion in order to enjoy our packed snacks at the ancient ruined temple of San Ku. We then descended to the public viewpoint near the shops outside the palace gates. The view was worthwhile though still fairly hazy.

At the viewpoint. Photo by Chan

The easy return to the Wat Doi Suthep shops area was done largely along a trailbike route and via a campsite (neither of which seemed to have been maintained in the last year or two), and then past the St Louis Catholic mountain retreat centre. Most of the hikers lingered at our usual restaurant afterwards for further refreshments.

Apres-hike. Photo by Chan

Hiking time was about 4 hours and 45 minutes, covering 11km. Martha took some great nature photos during the hike (see some of them below). Many thanks to Chan for his leadership.

Photo by Martha

Photo by Martha

Photo by Martha

Photo by Martha

17/04/23_Trip report_Wat Pang Faen loop

A strong team of 14, including 6 biker hikers, assembled at the temple, via Susco and Bangjak Doi Saket, and began walking at 08.22, swapping the smoky air of Chiang Mai for the slightly less smoky air out past Doi Saket.

start photo

The early gentle gradient didn’t last long and soon the ascent began in earnest ranging from “steepish” to steep (on the CM Hiking Index!) for the next hour or so but, with a good track, overcast skies and a relatively cool temperature it wasn’t too bad and the ridge was made by all in a very respectable time, despite the large tree which had blocked the road since Weds.

pied piper at work

Pied piper at work

Arnie, whose thighs had returned to normal size after last week’s mishaps, then led a small group of three round the basic loop we had planned (8.45 kms, up 460m, 3 hrs 24 mins) while the first XI made speedy progress along the optional extra route and were keen to then continue even further along the cool breezy ridge, despite the hazy views made worse by some local burning bringing smoke down from the N.

tree 1

In the end, we reached the point where our Weds explorers had earlier identified an “interesting” new trail back down to the main highway, so one leader took a couple of willing side-kicks down that route (10.5 kms, up 670m, 4 hrs 6 mins, to be used for a new Sunday hike in the near future) past new mulberry fields, while the other led the slightly depleted main group back along the planned return route (12.7 kms, 736m up, 4 hrs 33 mins), following (mostly) in the footsteps of the earlier group.  The descent from the ridge was quite steep and rocky to start with but comes down into fairly gentle farm land for the final section of the hike back to the Wat and a nice cool drink and something to eat.

Arnie: After a short rest at the ridge connection Chan, MM and I hiked down on the trail south, after seeing a big eagle on the way up. A real huge one! Circulated on the termic winds like an airplane, looking for a lunch meal (not us I hope). It was great to see!!  We manage the hike down easy, and after 3h and 24 minutes we were back at the temple. We calculated that the main group was about 1 hour behind us, a correct guess. “Meanwhile in the jungle”, MH was on his exploration hike with 2 fellows. In the middle of my first beer, and in the start of my food (sorry – Ed), he called me, and requested a  pick up service. When I drove at the highway I spotted some lonely souls walking on the sidewalk towards me ……

J tree 2

A little cooler and breezier than feared, especially on the higher ridge.  Thanks to our photographers, Arnie for special driving services, and to all five intrepid explorers who’ve helped out (and bushwhacked) in this area on three occasions over the past three weeks. Report cobbled together by Arnie, MH & PGB.  More photos expected soon.

Map

Arnie red, plus PGB purple, plus MH grey

17/04/16_Trip Report_Back to Doi Lanka

18 hikers in a convoy of 7 cars and 3 motorbikes reached the starting point at 9 o’clock to climb Doi Lanka Noi. The first 2km was steep uphill but the weather was cloudy and there was a cool breeze to condition the hikers. For the final ascent, almost all the hikers chose the “goat trail” rather than the “chicken trail”. We all enjoyed a fantastic view: not perfectly clear, but more dramatic for clouds hurrying through the valley below.
We had lunch at the top of Doi Lanka Noi while two hawks were chirping loudly to threaten us because their nest was nearby.  After lunch, we started hiking again to descend the mountain on a different spur, except for one hiker who needed to get home more quickly and returned by the same trail which we used for climbed the mountain. However, some of the hikers left the main path, diverting to a viewpoint along the way and then scrambling down a steep rocky edge of the spur. A few small rocks were dislodged on this way down, to the peril of those below.

 

This hike was not a complete loop; a couple of cars had been positioned two or three km along the valley road, and were used to transport the drivers of other vehicles. After that, we enjoyed coffee, soft drink or beer at a local cafe which is near the starting place, but a scream broke out suddenly!! A very fat leech was noticed on Anders’ leg, leaving a river of blood when it was picked off. Anders found other leeches on himself later, which left him dripping well into the evening.  Anyway …  Thanks to everybody who cooperated in making the hike.
Stats:
Hike leadership: Anders and Matsu. Report by Matsu with edits/additions from Michael M. Photos by Richard, Chan and Waka.

Anders’ big leech