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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.
  • ผู้มีประสบการณ์ในการเดินป่าที่อาศัยอยู่ในจ.เชียงใหม่ เป็นผู้โพสต์เชิญชวนให้คุณมาร่วมเดินป่าด้วยกัน รูปแบบ YY/MM/DD ที่ใช้ในเว็บไซต์นี้ YY คือ ค.ศ. MM คือ เดือน และ DD คือ วัน บางทริปอาจมีการโพสต์ขึ้นใกล้ๆกับวันเดินทาง จึงควรหมั่นเช็คข้อมูลในเว็บไซต์บ่อยๆ นอกจากนี้การยกเลิกหรือการเปลี่ยนแปลงข้อมูลก็อาจเกิดขึ้นได้ เนื่องจากสภาพอากาศและเหตุสุดวิสัย แนะนำให้ผู้ที่สนใจเช็คข้อมูลในเว็บไซต์อีกครั้งก่อนการเริ่มเดินทาง

18/01/28 Op Khan River Valley Loop

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Please be aware, these hikes are volunteer led and you are responsible for your own safety at all times. If car-sharing, please bring a change of shirt/clothes and Bt.100 to contribute to your driver’s fuel costs. Seats in cars not guaranteed.

This is a relatively short, unhurried circular hike of 5 – 6 km through forest and then alongside the Nam Mae Khan river. Probably about 3 hours plus lunch, swim & rest stops. We start at an elevation of 340m and rise to a maximum of 475m (less than 300m total elevation gain/loss). There are many up and downs along the trails and possibly some short difficult sections where the trail has been destroyed by landslips, covered by fallen bamboo (common cobra habitat), or little bridges have become unusable. Part of the trail is along a stream bed but no need to get wet feet. Another part involves climbing over big boulders alongside the river and negotiating short-distance rock clambering. Besides hiking on two legs some of us might prefer to scramble up on all fours or slide down on our bums occasionally!  Some narrow trails above steep drops. The return section can be very hot in the rocky river valley around lunchtime. The river is not so deep at the moment but swimming is possible in several places, so bring your cozzie.

There will be an option to eat and drink at the Phufinn restaurant following the hike. This is situated close to and to the west of the Grand Canyon water park.

Hike initiators: Peter D and Jume S
If you want to join just turn up at the meeting place on the day. No need to let us know you are coming. No groups please. No seats in cars guaranteed. We will then carshare out to the Ob Khan NP HQ, about an hour south of town.
Meeting Place:

We will meet at 8:15am for an 8:30 start at the open ground immediately after the first traffic lights S after Suthep market on the irrigation canal road (H.121), just after the PTT petrol station (which has toilets, 711 and fuel). Meeting place GPS co-ordinates: 18° 47.002′ N  98° 57.512′ E

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Hike start/end point: 18° 43.155′ N  98° 49.413′ E

Please bring:
* at least 2 litres of water/rehydration drink
* energy snacks and a picnic lunch
* sunhat, sunscreen, strong ankle-supporting footwear,
* long sleeves & pants recommended against sun and sharp spiky vegetation.
* plenty of energy, enthusiasm, good humour and team spirit
Please note: neither pets nor alcohol are allowed in this national park area, according to signs

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18/01/21_Report_Sakura Special

Sakura – photo by Tom

For our annual sakura pilgrimage, 26 hikers gathered at the Huay Gaew Arboretum at 07:45, and shared cars to the parking area below Wat Doi Suthep. Starting the walk from the base of the temple steps at 08:30, it took us about two hours to reach the Five-Way Junction, and a further one hour to Ban Khun Chiang Kian: very much our normal rate of progress on this route.

This year our timing was perfect, thanks to careful monitoring by Peter and Jume: we found the blossoms fully developed but not wilting. And it seemed a specially good year for them; they made a breathtaking scene in the agricultural research garden near the top of Doi Pui. The weather on the day was also perfect: sunny but fresh without being chilly. Of course, photographs can never do full justice to this kind of thing, but we are supplying a few here nonetheless.

Entrance of the agricultural research garden with many visitors on a sakura Sunday. Photo by Michael

Sakura of the agricultural research garden, Doi Pui. Photo by Tom.

As in the past few years, different variations were provided as options to hikers. 13 people initially chose Option 1 – to take a songthaew back down from the sakura area. Two more hikers decided to switch to this option, and managed to negotiate places in a songthaew hired by a different party. This left seven hikers who retraced the path to Wat Doi Suthep (seven of them along with a hike leader, and two by themselves), and four who chose the option of descending on foot all the way to the Arboretum via the Huay Kaeuw Waterfall.

The latter segment was approximately 7 kilometers, pretty much all of it downhill. The only incident was when Peter D attempted a flying lesson from a loose stone, and crash landed amongst some shrubs, and in doing so broke one of his trekking poles in half. No other damage done though. The duo reached the arboretum and there found a number of the other hikers drinking beer in one of the restaurants. Two from this group had unilaterally taken the same descent from the village down to the arboretum. Finally, Peter D then headed back up to Wat Suthep to retrieve his motorcycle, making a round trip of roughly 25 kilometers total hike for him.

Hike initiation and reporting by Peter D, Jume S and Michael M

 

18/01/21_Sakura Special

This Sunday we have our annual pilgrimage to see the Sakura or Wild Himalayan Cherry (Prunus cerasoides) blossom at Ban Hmong Khun Chang Khian and the University’s agricultural research gardens nearby. A very recent reconnoitre on Monday found the blooms already out, plus the usual colourful swarms of selfie-ists attracted to them. The forecast is for a splendid sunny day this Sunday (famous last words!).

This hike has three variations, and we need participants to decide before the start if they are going to choose the first one, in which case to put down money (about THB 200) for the return songthaew (red truck) transport.

In all three variations, we take car and/or songthaew transport from the meeting place (the Arboretum car-park on Huay Gaew Road, near the zoo) to the carpark/restaurant area at the foot of the steps of Wat Doi Suthep. From there we hike to the sakura area, which takes about three hours. Once there, hikers may disperse for up to an hour to enjoy life at leisure. The (temporary) food stalls and some of the best blossoms are to be found at the Agriculture Research Station about half a kilometer to the west of Ban Hmong Khun Chang Khian village, and it is this location that provides good views of the sakura trees. This area will be very popular! We therefore advise everyone to bring sandwiches, snacks and drink as a contingency. Also bring something warm to wear.

Variation 1 is to take a songthaew from the sakura area back to the Arboretum (via Wat Doi Suthep). We will need to book the songthaew in advance, which is why we need to know how many people will take this option. Cost depends on number of passengers in vehicle, but should be less than THB 250. We would meet the songthaew at 1pm, and arrive back at the Arboretum about 2pm.

Variation 2 is simply to hike back along the path from the sakura area to the Wat Doi Suthep carpark area (10km in about two-and-a-half hours), from where you can catch a public songthaew (THB 40) or ride in shared car back to the Arboretum, arriving about 4pm.

Variation 3 is a relatively strenuous hike from the village all the way to the Arboretum. It is only 8km horizontally, but 1km vertically. The continuous fairly steep descent makes it tiring. Return to the Arboretum may be after 4pm.

Hike initiators:  Michael M, Jume S and Peter D

Meeting Place

Meet at 07:45 in the car park of the Huay Kaeow Arboretum (also known as the exercise park).

  • Head straight out from the moat 3.5 km towards Doi Suthep on Huay Kaeow Road.
  • The arboretum is on the left after the front entrance to Chiang Mai University and just before the entrance to the Zoo.
  • The car park of the arboretum is at the end of the park near the zoo.

See the maps below (click to enlarge them).

The location of arboretum from the moat of the old city

The location of arboretum from the moat of the old city

Advice

As per the normal advice (see tabs at top of page), except:

  • Money for transport: THB 200 for downhill songthaew if you are choosing Variation 1; THB 50 to offer your driver if you are sharing a car to and from to Wat Doi Suthep, THB 40 one-way for songthaew to/from Wat Doi Suthep.
  • Something warm to wear in case it is cold at the top of Doi Pui.
  • Extra water (3-4 litres total) if choosing options 3 or 4.
  • Camera!

18/01/14_Report_McKean Island Hike

 

Twelve people signed up for this short-but-sweet suburban hike. All of us arrived on time at 9am at the river-control station south of Mahidol Road, but the gates had not yet been unlocked so we reverted to Plan B. We drove a little south and over the colourfully-painted narrow bridge next to Wat Ko Klang, to park in an open-air market area near the Wat. Starting our walk, we were lucky enough immediately to come across the monks and other craftspeople making decorated funeral floats.

Then we walked through the fine side-gate into the wat.

From there it was a short stroll to the area of the McKean hospital, rehabilitation centre and sanctuary. We walked round it in a loop of about 3-4km, encountering many beautiful spots and interesting features.

 

We encountered two elderly residents who were happy to chat with us. One had lived there most of her life, having contracted Hansen’s Disease before the availability of the multi-drug therapy that could have prevented the severe damage to her limbs. Despite the care they receive – and the pleasant environment – they seemed to feel isolated in more ways than one, having lost much contact with their original homes and families.

Leaving the McKean area, we briefly explored a section of the riverside walkway leading north from Wat Ko Klang. Several sections of river-bank between here and the river-control station have been constructed in this way for the public to enjoy, but the potential through-route seems broken by conflicting development priorities.

Finally, most of us repaired to Ms Y’s restaurant to round off the morning with spicy salad and beer.

Hike concept and reporting by Michael M.

Photos mostly by Jume and Tam.

 

18/01/14_McKean Island hike – Sign up by Friday!

I’m hoping for some companions in a gentle hike on flat terrain at the edge of the city. McKean island (no longer exactly an island) is nowadays a sanctuary for elderly and other vulnerable people, a pleasant and interesting riverside area for walking. The island was once a corral for elephants. Later it was given to missionaries under Dr. James W. McKean, to establish a leper colony with a hospital. Since the arrival of multi-drug therapy in the 1980s, the treatment of leprosy (now more correctly known as Hansen’s disease) has become possible in people’s home areas, so the McKean island community has changed, but it is still based on a hospital and rehabilitation center. Nearby is the beautiful Wat Ko Klang next to a little bridge over the river.

Starting at 9am, we will hike to the island, and around it, partly on riverside paths and partly on quiet suburban roads. The total walking distance will be about seven km, and we will take it as a gentle ramble over about three hours. At the end I hope you will join me in refreshments at Ms Y’s local restaurant.

Hike initator: Michael M

If you would like to come with me, please email me BEFORE THE END OF FRIDAY at michaelm.cmh@gmail.com, giving your name (and that of up to one other adult, plus any children coming along). There will be some clambering over low walls and rocks on the river shore. Several parts of the route seem unsuitable for bringing dogs. If more than about 15 people are interested, I may regretfully leave some off the list, in order to have a nice group size. So on Saturday morning I’ll email replies with either apologies or the details of our starting point (which will be about 5km from the city centre).

Equipment:

  • Walking shoes. Trainers are okay for this hike. Boots not necessary.
  • Fairly civilized clothing, e.g. long pants. This is not a hike in the hills. We will be around temples and in people’s neighbourhoods much of the time.
  • Hat and sunblock may be useful.
  • About one litre of water.
  • Team spirit, good humour.

18/01/07_Report_Sakura preview loop hike

How nice it was for the leader to find a small group of 6 familiar faces, waiting at the Arboretum! A fellow hiker had come alongside the leader to help, so all was under control as we drove up to Wang Bua Ban. We crossed the road and leader # 1 led the group up all the way to Ban Khun Chang Khian, with many short breaks to quench our thirst or ponder whether we were on the right trail.

Parts of it seemed very unfamiliar, longer, more convoluted and steeper than remembered. One hiker had problems with her boots and had to return on her own, taking with her our the only GPS. We had a number of water crossings, all done safely and gracefully, and then some bridges which required balancing acts, again done gracefully.

At length we came out into the lychee orchard and the gardens of strawberries, Cape gooseberries, and various vegetables, and made our way through this area and up to the 5-way junction. Without taking a break, we then continued up to Ban Khun Chang Khian where we enjoyed a delicious meal at Beautiful View coffee shop, which now has an additional dining area.

The misty clouds were moving across the mountains, coming closer, and yet the sun shone brightly and the air was cool. Perfect weather! We had covered 9.8 km. and were revitalized by the rest and delicious food. In all the excitement we forgot to go look at the Sakura, though leader #2 did notice a tree in early bloom.

After a little discussion, we let leader #2 lead us back down on a more direct route to Wang Bua Ban. You will notice that we did not go to Wat Suthep area at all, so the hike plan had a major change at this point. This was allowable since both leaders were women, and it is the woman’s prerogative to change her mind. (Persons of other genders need that prerogative too! – Ed.) And so we walked out of the village via the Nehru school, stopping briefly to enjoy the view up towards Doi Pui, and then descended on a wide, ever downward and generally direct path to Wang Bua Ban. Since we had earlier spoken of our love of ice cream and were still enjoying each other’s company, before parting we stopped at the ice cream shop across from the Arboretum.

Total distance covered: 16.6 km., elevation gain: 977 meters, time elapsed, including breaks and lunch: 7 1/2 hours.

18/01/07_Sakura preview loop hike

This is a less arduous and day-consuming alternative to the Doi Phi Panam hike posted below. We are billing it as a “sakura preview” hike because it goes to the sakura blossom area near the top of Doi Pui, but the sakura have not yet reached their full glory. Another hike on a similar route will probably be held after two more weeks.

We will meet at the Arboretum at 7:30am, and share cars/bikes up to Wang Bua Baan (a point below Wat Doi Suthep) where we will cross the road and continue up that trail to 5-way junction and then to Baan Khun Chang Khian. After eating a pack snack or lunch we would return to 5-way junction and then return on the trail to Wat Doi Suthep where most of us will probably have a meal at the parking-lot restaurant and take a songtao back down to Wang Bua Baan.

The main group will take this hike at a gentle pace. If you cannot contain your energy and you want to gallop ahead, please be clear about how you know the way. (And if you know the way, why don’t you initiate a hike next time?). Expect five hours walk time, an hour or more eating/idling time, and up to an hour of transport time.

 

Hike initiator: Janet

If you want to join,  please make sure you have read the general advice and conditions on this website, as well as this particular post. Then just turn up at the meeting place on the day and on time. No groups, please.

Meeting Place

Meet at 07:30 in the car park of the Huay Kaeow Arboretum (also known as the exercise park).

  • Head straight out from the moat 3.5 km towards Doi Suthep on Huay Kaeow Road.
  • The arboretum is on the left after the front entrance to Chiang Mai University and just before the entrance to the Zoo.
  • The car park of the arboretum is at the end of the park near the zoo.

See the maps below (click to enlarge them).

The location of arboretum from the moat of the old city

The location of arboretum from the moat of the old city

Advice

As per the normal advice (see tabs at top of page), except:

Bring money for transport and meal. If you are sharing someone’s car to (and from) Wang Bua Baan, please offer your driver THB 50. Songthaew travel down from Wat Doi Suthep is about THB 40.