Trip Report : 2 Day Trip Across Doi Langka Luang Mountain Range
Two of us, me (Jamie) and Bob, walked 17.7 km across the Doi Langka Luang mountain range. We had another friend Roger join us on the first day. We were all really amazed at this trail which follows ridges which form the boundaries of Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and Lampang provinces.
You may have seen my other trip reports on this area :
- I went up from the other side of this mountain range up Doi Langka Noi on my first trip to this area. See Trip Report : Saturday 23rd of October Triumphant Ascent of Doi Langka (Noi)
- Then on the second trip I managed to get stuck in the forest. I attempted to walk right across this mountain range from the other side but did not find the trail down from the highest peak in the area Doi Langka Luang and managed to get stuck out in the forest over night! See Horror Story : October 25th Stuck out at night near Doi Langka Luang
This time we went up from the back side of this mountain range, the Chiang Rai side and followed the trail up to the peak of Doi Langka Luang. We took some army hammocks with built in mosquito nets and tarps for shelter from any rain.
We guessed were the trail started from. We stopped off on the way at the nearest village and found we were right about where the trail started. We then traveled up to Doi San Yao which has various telephone masts on top of it and a road all the way up to the top, a height of 1415 m.
Finding the way to the trail head and up to the first unnamed peak
Up to the second peak Doi Pa Ngom / Doi Mae Tho
The second peak on the trail it seems has two names. The military map marks it as Doi Mae Tho but the sign on top says Doi Pa Ngom.
Morning Pics of Our Camp
We camped before Doi Langka Luang.
Our hammocks worked great. It was colder than we expected at night though. This is apparently the coldest winter for years in Thailand. I had a thin sleeping bag and I wore two layers of warm clothes underneath and was snug as a bug. Sleeping in a hammock though took some getting used to. Bob had not taken a sleeping bag and the two sets of warm clothes he wore were not enough to keep him warm.
These pics are all taken at the false peak before Doi Langka Luang. We didn’t actually go up to the peak of Doi Langka Luang as it was 2 km out of our way and we needed to get down to the other side of the mountain range. We reached the false peak which was half way across the mountain range at around 10 am after having breakfast and leaving camp at 8:30 am.
We had to scramble to get back down from the mountain range before dark. With our heavy packs it took us 7.5 hours to get down from the false peak. We got back to the car which we had parked back in Ban Mae Dtoon Luang at around 5:30 pm.
Strayed off the main trail
We think that we missed the main trail for part of our journey down on the 2nd day. Along most of the trail there were yellow tin squares about an inch square on the trees marking the trail. For a good 5-6 km we saw no squares. We think that lost our way part way through the wood on the way down and that there is another shorter and more picturesque trail going down. Both on the way up on my last trip and on the way down on this trip we missed this trail that goes along the ridge. We are planning to go back again, for a day trip up just one side of the mountain to try to find the trail.
Party Going Up As We Went Down with Porters and Guides
There was a party of around 30 people from Bangkok heading up to the first peak as we went down. They were planning to do the same route that we had done in 4 days. They had porters and guides and even a park protection guy with a shot gun with them. Guides and porters can be arranged by contacting the Khun Chae National Park officials on 0843665213 (Thai only) or 0898535640 (some English – Khun Meow). We were told they could not arrange food or tents. Prices are as follows for a 3 / 4 day trip :
- 1800 B per guide. One guide needed per 7 people.
- 1600 B per porter. Each porter can carry 20 kg. Your baggage is weighed at the park HQ nearby to the trail head.
- 1900 B per vehicle to both drop you off and pick you up from the trail head and trail end. Each vehicle carries up to 6 people.
There is also a small charge for insurance for each person and permission to enter the park.