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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.
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18/03/25_Upside down hike

All hikers are responsible for their own safety at all times. Burning forest possible and smoky air guaranteed. No groups, please. No re-advertising online, please. Seats in cars cannot be guaranteed. A 1-hour drive each way to/from the meeting point to the trailhead. 

We usually go up hills and then back down, but this one is a bit different. (See elevation graph of a longer version of our intended Sunday loop below.) Starting at the border of Chiangmai and Lampang at the top of H.1252 and walking down to the remote village of Ban Doi Lanka. And back. Up.

Ban DL loop map

Roughly 13 kms, up/down about 900m. Depending on group size, composition and disposition, we may be able to investigate a couple of shortcuts which could reduce all of distance, min and maximum elevation stats a little. Another option would omit the final steep-up-very-steep-down peak but extend the final downhill a lot, and also then probably need driver shuttles from Ban Mae Dton Luang back to the trailhead. 6-7 hours including breaks. Nice views from time to time. Mostly shady trails.

Meeting point: In front of Susco at 07.20 (for an 07.30 departure). Then a 1 hour drive to the trailhead, where parking space is limited, so let’s maximise car-sharing.  (Second meeting point at Bangjak Doi Saket at 07.45, by arrangement.)

susco-2

Please bring:

  • at least 2 litres of water/rehydration drink
  • protection from sun/heat, insects (including khun), thorns
  • energy snacks and picnic lunch
  • strong legs/knees, footwear with deep tread/good grip, trekking pole/stick
  • lots of energy, team spirit and good humour
  • passengers please bring 100 baht for your driver and a change of shirt/clothes for the drive home.
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18/03/18_Report_Beyond Buddha’s Footprint

A relatively small group of 10 hikers met at the Arboretum for this late winter hike on Doi Pui. We speculated that perhaps the seasonal visitors are beginning to leave Chiang Mai now that spring is beckoning in their homelands. Our group traveled in three cars and two motorbikes to the start of the hike at Ban Hmong Doi Pui, a popular tourist destination on the south slope of the mountain. There we met another hiker who had arrived by motorbike to join our group, which now numbered eleven.

From the hill tribe village we proceeded on a gradually rising trail through a highland forest for about two kilometers until reaching a saddle with a large valley opening to the north. Beyond the saddle we continued northwest about one kilometer up a gradual incline until reaching a rocky summit at 1522 meters elevation. A quick snack and drink refreshed the group in preparation for the trek “beyond Buddha’s Footprint” which only two of us had previously visited.

Just beyond Buddha’s Footprint on the top of the ridge, we encountered a newly constructed meeting venue consisting of a stage with benches to accommodate over a hundred people, a small campground, and two concrete toilets with running water for the convenience of visitors. Signs and written slogans indicated the area was a meeting place for villagers and volunteers working to prevent fires and preserve the wilderness.

Hiking down the ridge, we entered new territory with less underbrush, more pines, and more open views to the valley below. Traversing around a small peak, we shortly arrived at a junction of several roads leading to hill tribe villages below. There we encountered a small group of villagers who appeared to be enjoying a social get-together while some of the women engaged in craft activity. From the junction we hiked up a road to the grassy summit of a small mountain where we enjoyed a lite lunch while imagining the views of Doi Inthanon we’d see on a day that offered greater visibility.

From our pleasant hill top lunch spot, we retraced our steps back down and then up the ridge leading toward the newly constructed meeting venue. Once reaching that point, we elected to follow the trail that traverses the west slope of the ridge below Buddha’s Footprint. We noted that the trail had recently been improved and cleared of dense underbrush. There were some flowering trees to be seen, but clearly they were beyond their prime.

Rejoining the main trail we returned along the path previously traveled to the village from which we had departed. Before leaving for home, we enjoyed a second lunch and liquid refreshments while sharing impressions of the day’s experience. The consensus found the hike to be an agreeable extension of the classic trek to Buddha’s Footprint.

Total distance covered: 13 km., elevation gain: 615 meters, time elapsed, including breaks and lunch: 6 hours.

Hike initiation and report by Michael G. Photos by Michaels G & M, and Janet

18/03/18_Beyond Buddha’s Footprint

This Sunday’s hike is an extension of a well-known hike to Buddha’s Footprint high on a ridge on the back side of Doi Pui. The hike begins at Ban Hmong Doi Pui, a popular tourist destination at about 1200 meters elevation. From the village we proceed on a gradually rising trail through a highland forest for about two kilometers until reaching a saddle with a large valley opening to the north. Beyond the saddle we continue northwest about one kilometer up a gradual incline until reaching a rocky summit at 1522 meters elevation. We’ll have time here for a quick snack and drink until proceeding down to and beyond Buddha’s Footprint.

Shortly after passing Buddha’s Footprint three weeks ago, we found local villagers constructing an arena, stage, and campground high on the ridge. From what we could tell the construction is related to efforts to encourage volunteers and villagers to help prevent fires and to protect the environment. There were signs promoting the effort, mostly in Thai but also some smaller ones in English. It will be interesting to revisit this site.

We will then continue down the ridge, around a small peak, and arrive at a junction of several roads leading to hill tribe villages below. Judging by the structures found, this area is sometimes used by villagers for funeral ceremonies. From the junction we’ll hike up a road to the grassy summit of a small mountain, which is the destination of our hike where we’ll take a half hour lunch break. Depending on the visibility, there could be views of Doi Inthanon from the summit.

Returning to the arena-campground site mentioned earlier, we’ll descend the west slope of the ridge below Buddha’s Footprint. Three weeks ago we found many flowering trees along this portion of the trail. Rejoining the main trail we’ll return along the path previously traveled to the Hmong Village from which we departed. At the village we can enjoy a delicious lunch and liquid refreshments at any of several small restaurants.

This moderate hike is about 13 kilometers in length with about 615 meters of total elevation gain. Most of the hike is under a forest canopy and it should be relatively cool at this high elevation. The total hike including the lunch stop in the village should take about six hours. Allow another hour and a half for the drive from the arboretum to the village and back.

NOTE: There are several places along this route where you could get lost if you are not familiar with the trails. To avoid getting lost, please consult with one of the leaders before separating from the group.

Hike initiators:  Michael G, Michael M

Meeting Place

Meet at 07:30 am in the car park of the Huay Kaeow Arboretum (also known as the exercise park). We’ll depart for the village at 7:45 am.

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).

 

Advice

We’ll arrange car pools at the arboretum for the drive to the village, but there are no guarantees there will be room for everyone. However, it’s possible to arrange songthaew transport to and from the village if we do not have enough vehicles for everyone.

In addition to the normal advice (see tabs at top of page), bring:

  • A light jacket to wear in case it’s cool or windy at the top of the ridge.
  • At least two liters of water and snacks or a light lunch.
  • 100 baht for your driver if you are carpooling.
  • Plenty of smiles and a positive attitude.

PLEASE DO NOT REPOST THIS NOTICE ON OTHER INTERNET SITES

 

18/03/11_Trip Report_Baan Huai Mo Loop


A group of 23 intrepid hikers set out by car and motorbike, winding up a small single track mountain road to the starting point with hopes of finding clear air at higher elevations…not to be disappointed.  We walked through shaded forest on well marked trails for most of the way on a gradual incline until eventually reaching ridge trails which offered beautiful vistas of the surrounding mountains only slightly shrouded in smog.  The group decided to stay together and push on for the harder option rather than split into two groups and continued on uphill.
At one point a bypass was taken as a shortcut to avoid going over the top of two hills, but in hindsight the hills would have been preferred.

The difficult section involved traversing the side of a steep slope.

The difficult section also involved a steep climb up a buttress ridge.

We slipped and stumbled along a steep, narrow goat-path and after several treacherous moments were happy to arrive relatively unscathed back on the ridge for our lunch stop.  This must have been the ‘new section’…not to be repeated.

We continued downhill on a clear trail towards a steep rocky outcropping  that tempted 5 hikers to scale the rock wall to its jagged peak, looking over the precipice and snapping a few pics to prove we made it to the top.

From here it was a gentle downhill all the way back to the cars made uncomfortable for one hiker due to a persistently spasming calf muscle, but improved with cold refreshments and food at the post-hike establishment.

Stats:
9.6 kms
Elevation +/- 700m
6 hours  10 mins
23 hikers – youngest 9 years old!

Hike leadership by MikeHike and PGB. Report by Jenny. Photos by Michael M.

18/03/11_Ban Huai Mo loop

IMG_8188

All hikers are responsible for their own safety at all times. Burning forest possible and smoky air guaranteed. No groups, please. No re-advertising online, please. Seats in cars cannot be guaranteed. A 1-hour drive each way to/from the meeting point to the trailhead. 

This is a variation on a hike we’ve done before but in reverse and with a new section. About 10 kms, up/down about 950m (over 3,000 ft, sometimes steeply), and probably about 5 hours. Starting high (about 1200m) and reaching almost 1500m, with plenty of ups and downs. (Option to add the peak of Doi Phi Pannam from the SSW ridge for strong hikers who know the way and have independent transport. Possible second option to do a lower level loop starting and finishing at the same point, with about half the elevation gain.)  I’m afraid the popular calendar has disappeared from the wall of the local post-hike refreshment establishment.

Meeting point: In front of Susco at 07.20 (for an 07.30 departure). Then a 1 hour drive to the trailhead, which is up a surfaced but narrow and steep road above Ban Huai Mo. First gear may be necessary in places for some vehicles, especially when full of hikers. Parking space limited. 

susco-2

Please bring:

  • at least 2 litres of water/rehydration drink
  • protection from sun/heat, insects, thorns
  • energy snacks and picnic lunch
  • strong legs/knees, footwear with deep tread/good grip, trekking pole/stick
  • lots of energy, team spirit and good humour
  • passengers please bring 100 baht for your driver and a change of shirt/clothes for the drive home.

18/03/04 Huay Tung Thao Ridge Loop (again)

2
The hike starts from the Golden Buddha at Huay Tung Thao and from there we climb up the mountain onto the ridge above the lake, going first through woodland and then on dirt roads past upland farms and orchards with some nice valley views on the way, well they were last Wednesday. The descent is on good trails, but quite rocky in places especially the last 1km, back to Huay Tung Thao where those who want to can sample the delights of one of the traditional style lakeside restaurants and/or go for a swim (don’t forget to bring swimwear and towel if you want to swim).
The route is the same as the hike on 11th November and is about 14kms with an ascent of 800mtrs and expected to take 5-6 hours. It is very much an up-then-down hike so a reasonable fitness level is required and it is not a beginners hike.

Leader: pgb

Meeting Point & Time.
We will meet at 0745 for an 0800 start next to the Golden Buddha on the west shore of Huay Tung Thao (See map for directions). You will need to buy a ticket to enter the lake area (Thais 20Bht everyone else 50 baht). Huay Tung Thao is 12 km out of town from the north west corner of the moat.

Driving around the outside of the moat turn left onto Huay Kaeow Road after the Chiang Mai Ram Hospital. This is the road running out from the NW corner of the moat.
You will pass Central Kad Suan Kaeow after about 100 m on the left.
Drive on through the Amari Rincomb intersection, to the Phucombe intersection. The Phucombe intersection is the second major 4 way, traffic lighted, intersection, it is 2 km from the moat.
Turn right onto the Canal Road and keep going for 6.8 km.
You will see a sign for the turn off for the Huay Tung Thao lake on the left. Turn left.
Continue for 2.2 km to the lake. Pay 20/50 Baht per person at the toll booth.
When you get to the lake turn left and go around the lake for another 1.1 km.
You will see the large standing Buddha. We will meet near there.
If you want to join, make sure you have read the general hiking advice on this website as well as the details in this particular post. Then if you still think the hike is for you, just turn up at the meeting place on time. No need to let us know. No groups please.

Items to bring/prepare:

  • at least 2 litres of water and/or rehydration drink
  • energy snacks and/or a picnic brunch
  • strong footwear with good grip and ankle support
  • sticks recommended for steep downhill
  • sunhat, sunscreen, insect repellant
  • long sleeves/pants recommended
  • plenty of energy, enthusiasm, team spirit and good humour

18/02/25_Hike report_Wat Umong to Wat Doi Kham

19 people joined this suburban hike, assembling at 07:15. Ten minutes’ walk up from Canal Road, we entered the main gate of Wat Umong, and spent 20 minutes or so in its grounds, visiting its tunnels, the stupa, and the lake. A small island, connected to the bank by a pair of foot-bridges, is home to a large snake, we learned. It was only after some of us had stepped over its rear end thinking it was a tree-root, that we noticed the front end, under a bush, devouring a pigeon. It’s a reticulated python (thanks, Richard).

Reticulated python devouring a pigeon on the island at Wat Umong. Photo by Janet.

 

Black Crowned Night Heron at Wat Umong. Photo by Janet.

 

Aviary at the wildlife education center near Wat Umong.

Leaving Wat Umong by the side-gate, we briefly visited the Choeng Doi Suthep Wildlife and Nature Education Center, long enough to look at the enclosed birds and catch a glimpse of deer near the entrance. But there does not seem to be an alternative to leaving again by the main gate. So we made our way onward across some soon-to-be-developed land, to reach the most westerly lane leading southward. The area through which we next walked includes an interesting mixture of homes (from shacks to mansions) and small businesses.

Wall of pots outside a house along our route. Photo by Janet.

Although the mountain forest is close on the right, there are few opportunities to enter the Doi Suthep National Park, but we got a bit of woodland-walking near the access-point used in Richard’s hike of last rainy season. There we turned south-east, and soon crossed into the Mae Hia (agricultural) campus of Chiang Mai University, from where we could see our the giant Buddha statue of Wat Doi Kham on the hill ahead of us.

In CMU Mae Hia campus, with Wat Doi Kham visible of the hill.

After tracing a path around the campus’ lakes and among its crop fields, a little more road-walking was needed in order to reach the staircase that makes the final ascent to Wat Doi Kham.

The final (naga) stage of staircase leading up to Wat Doi Kham.

Our counts of the number of steps ranged between 487 and 510.

Reaching the top, we found Wat Phra Tat Doi Kham very full of visitors, motor vehicles, and stalls for souvenirs and refreshments. There was time for some of us to walk round and see the temple complex, but most of us used that time to recover with cold drinks. We then all bundled into a couple of songthaews to take us to the bottom of the hill, and a couple more to return us to our morning’s starting-point, which we reached around 11.45.

Hike initiation and report by Michael M.