Sunday 13th of February 2011, The Pilgrims’ Trail to the Temple area of Doi Suthep and back
This hike is a circlular route, about 12 km. long, and we will take it at an easy pace. When we did this hike on 22nd November 2009 we reached the top in an elapsed time of three hours. We shall probably spend an hour having lunch in one of the restaurants near the temple and 2 1/2 hours for the descent making a total of around 6 1/2 hours.
We will :
- meet at the arboretum for an 8:00 am start.
- walk through CM University grounds on almost level paved roads and paths for about 2 kms when we pass Wat Fai Hin
- follow the paved track, passing a rear entrance to the Zoo, up to the start of the Phalad Nature Trail from where we are in forest. The 3rd km sees us rise 128 metres to an altitude of 497 metres.
- have risen a further 124 metres after Walking our 4th km and at an altitude of 621 metres we reach the picturesque Wat Phalad. We shall pause here for photos and relaxation in preparation for the next hard part.
- continue from the Wat taking the direct route to the right of the stream up to the road. Oliver Hargeave in his book “Exploring Chiang Mai” describes this section as a “scramble” – an apt description.
- cross the main road (H1004) and identify the ongoing track by looking for the overhead cables that cross the road. On entering the forest we climb some fairly steep steps. We shall ascend 240 metres in this the 5th km.
- find the sixth and last km is a bit easier as we ascend only 121 metres and emerge onto the highway at the very sharp bend just downhill from the Temple – Wat Prathat Doi Suthep.
- allow, reluctantly of course, those who need a shorter hike or who want to visit the Temple to leave the group at the Temple area and return to the Arboretum by Song Taew at a regular fare of 40 bt
If you want to join
Just turn up at the meeting place on the day. There is no need to let us know you are coming unless you are coming in a big group.
This time we will meet before 8 a.m 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).
Please bring :
- around 1.5-2 litres of water or more and snacks. NB: We plan to have lunch at a restaurant near the Temple.
- good footwear etc. hat, mozzie repellant and sunblock
- lots of good humour, energy and enthusiasm