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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.
  • ผู้มีประสบการณ์ในการเดินป่าที่อาศัยอยู่ในจ.เชียงใหม่ เป็นผู้โพสต์เชิญชวนให้คุณมาร่วมเดินป่าด้วยกัน รูปแบบ YY/MM/DD ที่ใช้ในเว็บไซต์นี้ YY คือ ค.ศ. MM คือ เดือน และ DD คือ วัน บางทริปอาจมีการโพสต์ขึ้นใกล้ๆกับวันเดินทาง จึงควรหมั่นเช็คข้อมูลในเว็บไซต์บ่อยๆ นอกจากนี้การยกเลิกหรือการเปลี่ยนแปลงข้อมูลก็อาจเกิดขึ้นได้ เนื่องจากสภาพอากาศและเหตุสุดวิสัย แนะนำให้ผู้ที่สนใจเช็คข้อมูลในเว็บไซต์อีกครั้งก่อนการเริ่มเดินทาง
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2019/01/20_Mae Win Huai Hoi Waterfall Big Loop

It is imperative the group stays together at all times to avoid mishap and inconvenience. There are numerous trails and the obvious trail is usually the wrong trail. The pace of the hike will be the pace of the slowest person, so please be comfortable with your ability to keep up.

This will be a new hike for many. It was last done nearly 4 years ago and has not been attempted since, partly because the original explorers of this area have moved on and partly because trail finding is notoriously difficult. We did this as an exploration hike last week and had forgotten what an interesting and beautiful hike this is. Tom and his GPS will guide us safely through the intricacies of the route, but anyone deviating from the route runs the risk of being punished by a protracted spell in the jungle.

Something of the variety of the scenery can be seen from the photographs below.

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The hike will start and finish at the parking area in front of Wat Machimaram (on the right-hand side of Highway 1013 just before Mae Win). Distance is about 17 km and total elevation gain close to 1,000m. Expected duration 7 hours depending on the group.

The hike commences with a steep climb from the valley floor up to the ridge line. However, after that there are no more protracted steep climbs or other specific difficulties. It should be fine for anyone with experience of hiking in this kind of environment, but is NOT for starter hikers.

We will stop for a snack lunch during the hike and there is an option for after-hike food and beverages in a nearby restaurant on the bank of the Mae Wang river.

Hike Organisers: Tom and Richard

If you want to join:

Make sure you have read the general advice on this website as well as the specific hike details in this post. If you still think this hike is for you, just turn up at the meeting place on the day, on time. No need to inform us in advance. But we cannot accommodate groups.

Meeting Point & Time:

We will leave the meeting place at 07.15 sharp. Note the earlier than usual time, this is to accommodate relatively long travel and hike times.

We will meet at the open area 50 meters past the PTT gas station on Canal Road (about 500 meters south of the Suthep Road intersection (see map below – click on map to enlarge). This is the same meeting place as for last week’s hike.

Meeting point Sunday

 

Items to bring:

  • At least 2 liters of water or re-hydration drink.
  • For passengers: 100 Baht towards fuel costs and a change of clothes/ footwear.
  • A picnic lunch.
  • Strong footwear with good grip and ankle support.
  • Sunhat, sunscreen, insect repellent.
  • Long sleeves/ pants recommended.
  • Plenty of energy, enthusiasm, team spirit and good humour.

 

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2019/01/13_Trip Report_Wat Pong Noi to Buphing Palace

18 hikers set off from the trail-head at just before 08.30. The shuttle from the meeting point was achieved with the use of only two vehicles – which snuggly fitted in to the small lay-by on the opposite side of the road. 3 motorbikes and one bicycle packed in neatly to available nooks and crannies.

The hike up to Buphing Palace was taken at a steady pace with a few stops for water and a couple of short snack breaks. The last 500 meters or so of the old trail to Buphing is badly overgrown, but in order to avoid walking along the road and braving the weekend drivers we were emboldened to follow Tom and his GPS through the tangle of vegetation. It turned out to be not as difficult as feared. Total time to Buphing was 3 1/2 hours.

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The view from Buphing Viewpoint was something of a disappointment, with the far ridges nearly obscured by haze, though it was worth going there for the valley views alone.

After feeding the eyes, it was time to feed the body. One member of the group chose not to eat, but the sight of 17 hungry foreigners descending on the establishment was too much for the poor waiters to bear and signs of panic were evident. It’s a nice convivial restaurant, though, and the staff managed quite well under the circumstances. Eventually we all seemed to get more or less what was wanted, though Stephen is still waiting for his mushrooms!

5 hikers elected to leave the group at Buphing and travel back down the mountain in style and comfort. It was a reduced complement of 12 that set out on the trail back down to Pong Noi. After following Tom and his GPS back through the bamboo jungle, three bikers took off at high speed and were last seen vanishing in to the distance, leaving a residual group of 9 to amble back to Pong Noi at a comfortable speed.

Thanks to Tom and his GPS for navigating us through the bamboo forest, to Kissinger for helping with the car shuttle and to Kurt for the photos.

 

2019/01/13_Wat Pong Noi to Buphing Palace

A reasonable level of physical fitness is required for the 8 km and 1,000m climb up to Buphing Palace.

Starting at the trail-head behind Wat Pong Noi we will climb up through unbroken forest, to the “Forester’s Camp” an old camp and picnic site (hardly recognisable as such these days) which is located next to the main Doi Suthep Road about halfway between Wat Doi Suthep and Buphing Palace. From there we will follow a clear trail parallel to the road which will come out onto the road just before the Palace. The current intention is to finish the final section to the Palace along the road. There used to be a trail that continued directly to the Palace, which is now badly overgrown. If an experienced GPS-equipped individual is available, braving the spikey bamboo may be an alternative to braving the weekend drivers. Once having reached the Palace we will visit the Viewpoint, for what should be a marvellous view. Thereafter there are options.

The trip organiser plans on wining and dining in one of the nice Buphing restaurants, before making a return in blissful contentment down the same trail to Wat Pong Noi. Other hikers are welcome to join him, but for anyone eschewing refreshment and/or feeling weary, silors (songthaews/redtrucks) should be available at Buphing Palace to take you back down the mountain for a small fee.

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The “Forester’s Camp”. We do not anticipate these conditions in January!

The hike up to Buphing Palace should take around 2 1/2 hours.

Participants should bring along enough food and drink to sustain themselves.

Hike Organiser: Richard

If you want to join:

Make sure you have read the general advice on this website as well as the specific hike details in this post. If you still think this hike is for you, just turn up at the meeting place on the day, on time. No need to inform us in advance. But we cannot accommodate groups.

Meeting Point & Time:

We will leave the meeting place at 08.00 sharp.

We will meet at the open area 50 meters past the PTT gas station on Canal Road (about 500 meters south of the Suthep Road intersection (see map below – click on map to enlarge). The meeting point is only about 1 kilometer from the hike start point. We will cram as many people as possible into as few vehicles as possible in order to be able to fit into the limited parking space available at the trail-head.

Meeting point Sunday

 

Items to bring:

  • At least 2 liters of water or re-hydration drink.
  • Enough nourishment to keep you going.
  • Strong footwear with good grip and ankle support.
  • Sunhat, sunscreen, insect repellent.
  • Long sleeves/ pants recommended.
  • Plenty of energy, enthusiasm, team spirit and good humour.

 

2019/01/06_Trip Report_Pha Nok Kok Ridge

The weather for the first Sunday hike of 2019 could not have been better. Blue skies, a clement temperature and clear air enticed 16 humans and 4 K9’s to meet up at the 700 Year stadium.

The first problem of 2019 turned out to be parking in the village. Sunday was Hmong New Year and we were treated to the spectacle of flocks of village kids milling round in their finery. Unfortunately this also meant insufficient room to park up our vehicles. The locals were amazingly friendly and accommodating, however, and garaged some cars and moved others such that eventually we were all able to fit in.

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It quickly became apparent that there was a wide disparity between our fastest and slowest members, so when we got on to the ridge the group was split into two and a fast group of 9 shot off along the trail, while a slow group of 7 ambled along behind. 3 K9’s joined the faster group while their master and mistress followed behind in the slower group, which had repercussions for the return journey.

The views over Doi Inthanon from the first viewpoint were amazing, crystal clear and with a couple of small clouds floating near the summit. The ridge was its normal exuberant self with beautiful bird calls from every side.

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About 2/3 way along, 5 of the slow group decided to return while 2 others raced ahead for the view from the tower. The fast group had also split, such that 3 separate groups totalling 11 hikers reached the tower. As hymns rolled up from the village below we ate our sandwiches and marvelled at the spectacular 360 degree panorama.

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As the tower group straggled back along the ridge, we realised that our former complement of 3 K9’s had reduced to one. Calling was to no avail. We therefore assumed (correctly as it turned out) that the other two had rushed ahead to find Dad and Mum and continued on our way home, taking a short-cut to the village that saved a kilometer or so. Meanwhile the two K9’s reached the village under their own steam and the family was reunited. All’s well that ends well.

Official statistics (rounded) distance 15 km, total “up” 850 m, time taken just over 4 1/2 hours.

To wrap it all up, some views inside and outside of our post-hike watering hole.

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Thanks to Peter GB for taking over the fast group (and for doubling as official statistician) and to Peter D for sweeping up at the rear. Also thanks to Maurice, Matt, Tom, Nina and Nadda for the photos.

2019/01/06_Pha Nok Kok Ridge

A forested ridge walk with sweeping views. This hike starts from the Hmong village of Ban Pha Nok Kok, high up on on the southern slopes of the Mae Sa Valley. After a fairly easy climb up onto the ridge, we will follow an undulating trail along the top of the ridge for a distance of about 6 km, with short steep sections up and down but nothing overly strenuous.

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The far point of the hike will be the fire observation tower above yet another large Hmong village. Here we will stop for a snack/ early lunch. The adventurous, with a good head for heights, can climb to the top of the tower for a spectacular 360 degree view.

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We will then retrace the same route back to our starting point. Total distance 14 km, elevation gain 600 m, expected time 5 hours including break.

Following the hike there is an option to repair to the nearby Thermadoi Restaurant for good food, plentiful beverages and nice views over the Mae Sa Valley.

Hike Initiator: Richard

Please read the general information on this site, as well as this particular post. If you still think this hike is for you, then just turn up at the meeting place on the day and time. Seats in cars are usually available, but can not be guaranteed.

Meeting Point and Directions:

We will meet at the parking lot in front of  the 700-Year Sports Stadium on Canal (Chonpratan) Road (Highway 121) for a 07.30 departure. Please note this parking lot is located immediately adjacent to the highway and is OUTSIDE the main gate.

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Meeting Point in front of 700-Year Sports Stadium

The plan is to car share and travel in convoy all the way from the meeting point to the hike start point. Our route will be as follows:

Left along Canal Road to the junction with Highway 107 and turn left towards Mae Rim.

Take the short-cut that by-passes Mae Rim and then turn left on Highway 1096 along the Mae Sa Valley towards Samoeng.

Follow Highway 1096 until the small town of Pong Yaeng. Continue through the town until just past the built-up area, where we will fork left at the point that the Highway bends to the right and starts going uphill.

Follow this road directly (passing the Thermadoi Restaurant) to Ban Pha Nok Kok, a Hmong village on the hillside. We will park in the middle of the village.

Advice

Please bring:

  • At least 2 litres of water/ rehydration drink.
  • A snack.
  • For passengers: 100 Baht towards fuel costs and a change of clothes/ footwear.
  • Protection from sun, insects and rain.
  • Energy, enthusiasm and good humour.

 

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

2018/12/30 Op Khan Valley Loop

Please be aware, these hikes are not services and you are responsible for your own safety at all times. When swimming you are strongly advised to avoid strong currents near pool outlets.

This is a biannual hike and swim in Op Khan National Park. We will start from the Park headquarters and follow a path which meanders over a small hill (parts of the path are somewhat overgrown and may involve stepping over and around bamboo but nothing too serious) down to the Nam Mae Khan river, where the water is sufficient high enough to allow swimming in a small gorge (bring swimming costumes). On the return trip we will come back along the river, which will entail some clambering over rocks but nothing very strenuous. The hike is only 5-6kms and can be considered relatively easy. Combined with swim time it will take about three hours and afterwards we will go to the Phufinn restaurant (which has increased its choice of desserts) for lunch.

Hike leader: SRR

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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The drive to Op Khan should take about 25 minutes.

Hike start/end point: 18° 43.155′ N  98° 49.413′ E. Anyone driving independently to Op Khan please note; Due to highway construction the old turnoff from Road 3035 (across the small bridge) onto the road to Op Khan no longer exits. Drivers have to drive on until they come to a U-turn just past the PT Petrol station and then drive back to the Op Khan road turnoff.

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