This is the third in our trilogy of high altitude, sedately paced, hikes intended to avoid the heat and pollution of the lower levels. There is a fast paced hike on the same day. It is an 11 kms hike starting from Ban Doi Suthep at an altitude of about 1,000 metres and reaching 1,601 metres at the summit of Doi Suthep. It is a moderate hike in the forest and passing through the beautiful situated Montfort Retreat from where we go up to the Foresters’ encampment alongside the road. There is a 2 km walk on the road to reach Ban Phu Ping. We pass through the village and leave the road to hike alongside the Phu Phing Palace. Above the Palace the trail takes us to the summit of Doi Suthep. Near the summit is the ancient ruined pagoda of Sun Gu in an area covered with oak and pine trees. We descend from the summit and the forest trail takes us behind the Palace where there are some small tricky downhill sections. We pass by some usually unmanned military emplacements where it would be prudent not use our cameras. We continue through the forest and onto the track that finishes at the old elephant shelter near the Temple. We should complete the hike by mid afternoon.

We will :

  • meet at the arboretum at 8:00 and will carpool or go by song taew (please expect to pay up to 100 bts in either case) up to the parking area before the Temple on Doi Suthep.
  • walk up about 1 km pass through the St Louis Marie De Montfort Retreat area (altitude 1,120m) where we can expect a noisy reception from half a dozen dogs.
  • hike another kilometre or so through forest we reach the Forresters’ encampment (altitude 1,208m) and go onto the shady road where several specimens of trees are seen.
  • walk the 2 kms up the road to Ban Phu Phing (altitude 1,385m) after which we leave the road and take the trail that runs uphill alongside the perimeter of the Palace.
  • reach the summit of Doi Suthep which is listed as having an altitude of 1,601m.
  • see the Sun Gu pagoda.
  • descend from the summit along about a half km of the trail we used to go up to the summit.
  • continue our descent behind the Palace where we pass several military emplacements in a sometimes diffuclt terrain.
  • follow the forest trail through the Doi Suthep-Pui National Park and emerge near the now disused elephant shelter.
  • return to the car park area

Hike Leaders:

Dorothy & Brian

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.

Meeting Place

This time we will meet at 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).


Bring :

  • around 1.5-2 liters of water or more, picnic lunch and snacks
  • good footwear etc. hat, mozzie repellant and sunblock
  • energy, enthusiasm and a good sense of humour.