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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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18/09/30_Trip report_Porcupine Falls Loop

Not much to say about this regularly-repeated hike; all went as planned and described in the previous post, except that the rain never appeared. Sixteen hikers, nice group, including one newbie and a few returners. The usual fast vs slow discussions. Plenty of water in the streams and falls.  Thanks to Comrade R and Pgb for leadership assistance and to Mr B for these photos; will add more if anyone sends any. No porcupines again.

Sorry to hear about Mr H’s car accident on the way to the hike which prevented him joining us.


18/09/30_Porcupine Falls Loop

Please drive/ride carefully through the morning mist and get ready for rain during the hike. No views expected. 

An old favourite, local, low level hike of two halves, with around 400m of steepish altitude gain for maybe 90 minutes over the first 2.5 kms, passing by Chiang Khian waterfall on the way up to the Hmong orchards, but then mostly gently descending, though with occasional steeper sections, for about 4.5 kms, passing Porcupine Falls above the 700-year dam. A total loop distance of around 7.5 kms.  A few slippery stream crossings and narrow stony/overgrown paths above sharp drops need to be negotiated.  A reasonable level of fitness and agility is required.  We will walk at a slowish pace, probably taking around 3-4 hrs in total, and should be back in time for lunch.  We are unlikely to see the porcupines I met on this loop once.  (Stronger hikers may want to continue higher, perhaps on up to gurgling crossroads and Doi Pha Kha, at 1,135m, if they know the way there and back.)

GE view of the loop, looking W

If you want to join

After reading our ‘dangers’ and ‘what to do’ tabs, just turn up at the meeting place on the day. There is no need to let us know you are coming. No groups please. No re-advertising on social media please.

Meeting Place

We will meet before 8 am where Huay Chang Khian meets Soi Chang Khian (just before the scout camp at the end of the soi) from where the hike will also begin/end.   (18°49’25.22″N,  98°56’55.18″E, ish)

  • Head out from town on Huay Kaew Rd, NW towards Doi Suthep.
  • Turn right, N, onto the Irrigation Canal Rd opposite the Phucome Hotel.
  • Take the second soi left, at the next traffic lights, then right at the t-junction onto the main Soi Chang Khian.
  • Continue along the main soi, bearing left at the mini roundabout, for over 2 kms, almost to the end of the soi.  Ignore all turns off the main soi onto side sois, and follow signs for Neo Cafe and Wild Coffee/Bistro.  The meeting/start point is not far after the cafes.

See the map below (click to enlarge).

Map to meeting place

Map to meeting place


Please bring :

  • at least 1-2 litres of water/rehydration drink, energy snacks
  • strong, enclosed boots/footwear, hat, sunblock, rain protection
  • trekking pole or stick recommended for steep climb/descent
  • long sleeves/pants recommended for long grass and spiky/itchy undergrowth
  • plenty of energy, enthusiasm, team spirit, good humour (& no hangover)

2018/09/23_Mae Nai/ Mae Sa Valley Loop_Trip Report

20 hikers and one K9 joined at 700P and a further hiker joined at the start point.


It was a beautiful morning and the uphill section into the forest was completed steadily in ideal hiking conditions. All manner of flowers and little beasties were encountered as we hiked through lovely forest scenery, spiced up by some impressive stands of huge straight-trunked forest trees.




The route had been pretty much tied down during a prior reconnaissance, with the exception of a section approaching the Mae Sa stream. The obvious way forward leads through the Elephant Camp and though we had got away with 2 persons passing through in mid-week, we did not want to take the chance of 21 hikers confronting an elephant on a busy Sunday. Thus we had decided beforehand to look for a trail used by the group in the past that by-passes the elephants.  This turned out to be vegetationally-challenged by wet season growth, with grasses at chest height (and head-height for some). Nevertheless Peter did a sterling job with the aid of his GPS and the group reached the Mae Sa stream on-trail with only one slight glitch.

Once at the stream we stopped for a break. This was a section of rock pools and small cascades just above the highest of the Mae Sa waterfalls and was an ideal place to bathe, graze and generally relax. The water flow was quite high, possibly due in part to elephants evacuating upstream.

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Not only the humans enjoyed a dip in the stream

One of the group left us at this point to make his own way home. The rest of us went a little further along a level trail before plunging down a steep slope into the valley below, where we joined a good trail along the water’s edge. Some of us turned left (upstream) and climbed up onto the lower part of a waterfall, from where we espied our departing comrade passing over to the other side to join the hordes of tourists (well 2 anyway).

The way back is downstream along a fairly level trail that becomes gradually more elevated above the steeply-descending stream. The trail follows on through more beautiful forest, before reaching some scrubby farmland and finally the well-manicured gardens of the swank suburbs of Mae Nai.

Statistics record hike length 10 km, total elevation gain of 350m and an elapsed time of 3 hours 40 minutes. The early finish had two benefits, we avoided being caught in the open during the hottest time of the day and there was plenty of time to make the Nong Frook restaurant while the beer was still flowing.

Nong Frook is perfect for apres-hike refreshment, offering large trestle tables, attentive service and a widely varied menu.

Thanks to Tom, Janet and Nadda for the photos.








2018/09/23_Mae Nai/ Mae Sa Valley Loop

The weather forecast is for sun and high temperatures and the last 1 km or so of the hike will be in the open. Please bring plenty of water (at least 2.5 liters recommended) along with a hat and sun screen.

Total distance about 12 km. Total elevation gain 500 meters. Expected duration 5 hours. One steep scramble down into the valley of the Mae Sa stream, but with good hand holds plentiful. Otherwise gradients moderate and footing good.

We will start this hike in the lower part of Mae Nai Village, close to the triangular junction where we usually turn left to reach the upper part of the village. Initially we follow a road that gets progressively smaller until it eventually becomes a dirt track. The road rises quite steeply such that by the time we reach our turn-off into the forest we will have completed most of the day’s climbing.

We turn onto a small, but nevertheless distinct (in most places) trail that passes through forest, crosses a couple of small streams and follows a ridge line with some nice forest views. Eventually this trail reaches the Mae Sa stream just to the right (east) of the Elephant Camp.

From here we follow a trail along the right-hand bank of the Mae Sa Stream. At one point we have to descend the steep valley slope to a parallel trail that follows the stream at a lower level. The point of descent is close to the highest of the Mae Sa waterfalls, which can be visited and from here the tourist trail can be seen on the opposite bank.

Our trail stays at the same elevation as the stream bed drops away, so we will be contouring along the valley side some distance above the stream, which can be heard roaring in the valley below. There is one side trail that may lead down to the stream which we did not have time to investigate.

The trail then passes through agricultural area before entering the wealthy suburban streets of Mae Nai. Some of the properties are a wonder to behold. The last 1 km or so follows a main road back to the vehicles and will be in full sunshine unless the clouds return.

Hike Initiators: Richard and Peter

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. Note: this parking lot is not the one inside the stadium complex, but a smaller one in front immediately adjoining Canal Road.


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 in Mae Nai Village.


Please bring:

  • At least 2.5 litres of water/ rehydration drink.
  • A snack.
  • For passengers: 50 Baht towards fuel costs and a change of clothes/ footware.
  • Protection from sun, insects and rain.
  • Energy, enthusiasm and good humour.

2018/09/16 Report Huay Jo Rocky Mountain Loop


Although the weather was fine at 0600, when the update was sent out, it had all changed by 0620 and, as a result, most of us got a bit wet going to the rendezvous point.  However, ten hardy souls set off from Ruamchok at the appointed time under a veil of cloud, in good spirits, slightly damp but no rain and, as we neared the start point it started to brighten up a bit and we were greeted by a lovely tranquil scene when we arrived.  We could have stayed there all day but there was a hike to be done so, once the trail was located, it was up into the forest and the first uphill of the day.  After about 20 minutes we took a ridge trail for a while and descended into a valley where a water break was taken.  The clouds had cleared by now and the temperature, as forecast, was rising but the shade from the forest kept it a bit cooler.  The next two hours were a mixture of uphill and small ridges which we took at a steady pace and took regular breaks for whatever reason.



Lunch was taken at about the half-way point and everyone was happy to know that most of the uphill was over as it was getting quite hot now, even in the shade.  Fed and watered the last uphill section was cleared and the mainly gentle homeward ascent began.  It was around here that some of the group were lucky enough to spot some monkeys up in the trees, a very rare sight for the group, lets hope they are left in peace to flourish.  Unfortunately they were too far off and too quick to get a photo but other forest life did pose for the camera.


A spider with her eggs



Not just a leaf, a stick insect too



Some hikers trying to blend in with the surroundings

The only down side of this hike is that there the trail comes out on to the road at the opposite end of the lake so there is a 1km hike along the road at the end, still it does improve the appetite for the post-hike refreshments.  Some of the group decided that they would go for a swim, to the amusement of the many fishermen and their families.  Post-hike refreshments were taken at a popular restaurant on the edge of Mae Jo and a good time was had by all.

Many thanks to all who came on the hike, had a great day.

Special thanks to Bussakorn for the photos.

For those who are interested distance 17.6km, total ascent 700mtrs in 5hrs 20mins

2018/09/17_Report_Ban San Lom Choi short forest loop

There were only two for this short hike. A dark cloud and shower in the early morning might have deterred some, but – as so often happens – the the cloud lifted, and sunshine rather than rain penetrated the forest canopy. Beginning behind Wat Pong Noi, the main part of our walk was a triangle with a short base. We ascended 250 metres in 2km and an hour, and then descended the same distance on another path in about 40 minutes. The total hiking time was slightly over two hours, and we relaxed afterwards in a coffee shop before returning to our respective homes for lunch.

Photo by Janet

Hike initiation and reporting by Michael

2018/09/16 Choice of hikes

This Sunday, alternative hikes are planned. There is a longer and harder one out of town, which will take most of the day; and a shorter one on the lower slopes of Doi Suthep National Park, which should be over by lunchtime. Scroll down to read the next two posts!