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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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17/11/05_Choice of hikes

This Sunday our hikers will enjoy one of two alternative hikes: a relatively short easy one (Ban Doi Pui to Buddha Footprint), and a more ambitious one (Ban Phasakngam loop). Please scroll down further to read about the second of these hike plans.

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17/11/05_Ban Doi Pui to Buddha footprint and back

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This is an easier and shorter alternative hike for this Sunday: an old favourite. We will meet at the Arboretum at 7:50am, and drive up to Ban Doi Pui either by car pooling or possibly hiring a songtaew (red truck) or two if necessary. In Ban Doi Pui where our hike begins from the lovely garden there. This is an easy hike along shady trails with a beautiful view from the rocks on the ridge of Doi Pa Kha where we will spend some time enjoying a snack before returning to Baan Doi Pui via the reputed Buddha footprint. Lunch will be in the village. Afterwards we return to the Arboretum. We should be back before 2pm.

Hike initiator: Michael M

If you want to join just turn up at the meeting place on the day and on time. No groups, please.

Meeting Place

Meet at 07:50 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:

  • you will probably only need one litre of water
  • Please bring at least THB 300 per person, to include transport and lunch. If car-pooling, please offer your driver THB 100 for the round-trip, as a contribution for fuel etc. You might have to pay a bit more if we need to hire a songtaew without a full load of passengers.

17/11/05_Ban Phasakngam loop

Reminder: all hikers attend each hike at their own risk. A few more rules and warnings than usual for this Sunday: no newbies or inexperienced hikers on this hike, please, as it includes some very overgrown sections, fallen bamboo to climb over, and very sketchy, intermittent, steep trails. The higher ridges are quite stony in places so strong boots with high ankle support are strongly recommended. Some very steep downhill sections later on too, so good grip, balance and sticks needed. Total elevation gain/loss: 850m.

Final restriction: I’d like to ask all those who join this hike to agree to recce and lead, or joint lead,  a Sunday hike over the next month or so. We are entering peak (pun intended) hiking season and need to arrange multiple hikes, some easier, some less so, if we are to keep numbers manageable. We cannot do this unless more of us step up to help. Current hike leaders will be happy to advise new leaders and help with exploration and navigation. Please help spread the load. Let’s talk on Sunday.

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Hike start point viewed from the first peak

Meeting point & travel: In front of Susco petrol station on H.118 towards Doi Saket at 07.30.  Max 30 minutes drive to the trailhead. But then a 30 minute walk along a quiet dirt road before the hike proper begins. Same 30 minute hike back at the end, during the heat of the day. One other short section along a surfaced road through a quiet village. Hike time: up to 7 hours, including all breaks and lunch in village.

EV graph

Please bring:

  • at least 2 litres of water or rehydration drink
  • protection from sun, rain, heat, cold, thorn/bamboo scratches, insects, …
  • energy snacks and money for late lunch at village restaurant, 5 kms before hike end
  • trekking poles/sticks recommended for steep downhills
  • change of clothes and Bt.100 petrol money if needing a lift to the hike
  • lots of energy, enthusiasm, team spirit and good humour. 

Coming soon… Return to Doi Nork

The date is not yet fixed, but here’s a teaser: we’re plotting a return to Doi Nork.

Doi Nhog alias Doi Nork

17/10/29_Trip Report_Nam Mae Kwong Circular

The convoy of vehicles carrying prospective happy hikers set out on time from the Meeting Point. The final 1 km of the access route is a dirt road that has become badly washed out by the monsoon rains, so low-clearance cars were parked up on the shoulder of the paved road and the occupants transferred to the rear of the pick-ups for the final section. At the parking spot we met up with several other hikers who had travelled direct.

First job to ascertain the number of hikers, which was easier said than done. Like an African election the results were different each time, until the Returning Officer decided on 33 (plus one canine) and so it remained.

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The fauna encountered included one unrequited leech and the small scorpion featured below. The 60 kg pigs rumoured to frequent the area remained elusive.

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Ouch!

Most of the hike passes through open forest with nice views in places, as shown in the following photos. The group quickly split into fast and slow teams, but thanks to some route-finding confusion, the snails ended up passing the hares by following an unintended short-cut. Ultimately the entire group came back together prior to reaching the high point and then descended the steep slope back down to the valley floor in one straggling column. The steepest section didn’t seem as fearsome as it has done in the past and this is probably due to the greater “give” in the ground due to the recent rains. The numerous small stones are prone to roll more underfoot on the hard-packed soils of summer, making this section more of an adventure.

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The hikers took just under 4 1/2 hours to cover 10 km of horizontal distance and 650 meters of vertical. Though this would classify as quite an easy hike, at least one of our number tanked when they reached the post-hike watering hole, which was a new (for the group) restaurant located immediate opposite the turn-off for the Doi Saket Hot Springs that offers good food and plentiful supplies of beverages.

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I think I’ve earned a bone

Thanks to Chan for his photographs.

17/10/29_Nam Mae Kwong Circular

Hikers are responsible for their own safety at all times. Please read the full hike description/requirements section and consider your preparedness.

Note that good-quality footwear and a reasonable sense of balance will be required to navigate the very steep descent close to the end of the hike.

This is a low-level ridge hike in the Doi Saket area, first done by the Group in February this year. Judging by the number of familiar faces in the Group photograph, several of you may remember it. Distance 10 kilometers and elevation gain 550 meters. Estimated elapsed time between 4 and 5 hours.

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29 Hikers assembled in front of the resort barrier

Most of the hike is on open trails through dry dipterocarp forest, with a few pine trees at the highest elevations. Early this year the views were obscured by pollution haze in the valleys, but  decent views are likely at this time of year.

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The climb to the highest point on the ridge is gradual with no steep sections. However, from the high-point the descent back to the starting area is steep in places. The final segment of the descent is very steep and good footwear along with care and attention will be necessary to avoid a slalom end.

We will stop for a snack break somewhere along the ridge.

Hike Leaders: Richard and Stephen

Meeting Place: 07.30 in front of the SUSCO service station on Highway 118 (Doi Saket Road). From the City Centre head NE along Kaew Nawarat Road towards Central Festival. Continue straight through the Superhighway, then Inner Ring Road and San Sai Noi traffic lights. The SUSCO gas station is 400 meters past the San Sai Noi junction on the left.

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The hike starting point is about 30 minutes by car from the meeting point. 

If you want to join, just turn up at the meeting point on time. No need to let us know. No groups please.

Please bring/prepare:

  • At least two liters of water/rehydration drink.
  • A snack.
  • Sunhat, sunscreen, insect repellent, long sleeves/pants. Rainwear recommended.
  • Strong footwear with good grip and ankle support.
  • Plenty of energy, enthusiasm, team spirit and good humour.

17/10/22_Trip report_700p to Doi Pha Kha loops

Twenty two assorted hikers started out but one newbie turned back before we completed the first section of the hike. Hope he managed to find his way back to his transport comfortably. (He didn’t tell the leader he was turning back and didn’t give anyone his phone number, as we generally recommend for those who turn back.)

Porc group

Taking stock at Porcupine Falls

At Porcupine Falls, stock was taken and we split into a slower group of six, which followed the original plan (10/12kms in 5 hours 20 minutes), and a faster group of 15 who extended their loop up to the village for various drinks and pat kaprows before linking up with the same loop back down (about 15kms in about 6 hours 10 minutes).

On the second stage up, we passed abandoned body armour and some large blobs of fresh blood. Hope the presumed mountain biker made it home OK too.

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Hikers seemed more interested in getting exercise and talking than taking photos, probably due to the misty and overcast nature of the weather.  Many thanks to second leader and photographer. Discussion at the aprés-hike second lunch successfully sorted out a hike and leader for next week.