Tuesday 22nd November 2011, Hike Up The Pilgrims’ Trail To Wat Doi Suthep and (Optionally) Back Down
This is the classic pilgrims’ trail from the foot of Doi Suthep all the way to Wat Prathat Doi Suthep. This is a nice trail to know, it is easily accessible from town and fairly easy to follow. We will meet at the western end of the Suthep Road where there is plenty of parking space. The initial phase to Wat Phalad is easy hiking but thereafter it gets a little more steep so a reasonable level of personal fitness is required.
We will walk, on tarmac for 15 minutes, past the rear entrance to the zoo to the beginning of the Pilgrims’ Trail proper. The first phase then takes us to Wat Phalad (30 mins) where we will make a short stop (15 mins) to admire the temple and the view over Chiang Mai before embarking on the steeper pathway up to the road (5-10 mins).
After crossing the road, we will begin the final, steeper, climb up to Wat Doi Suthep itself (90+ mins) where those who are so inclined can stop for a cool drink or something more substantial at the food stalls. The hiking time to here will be approximately 2.5 hours in total. After lunch/snacks here, we will walk back down the same trail, adding up to another 1 hour walking time.
Those who wish can visit the Wat and perhaps take a songtao back down to the arboretum. Please be aware that if you have left your mode of transport at the starting point, you will then need to get back to Suthep Road, through or around Chiang Mai University.
Bring around 1.5-2 liters of water or more and snacks. Good footwear, hat, mozzie repellant, sunblock and rain gear, etc. If by chance it is raining, about to rain, or has been raining heavily overnight, the hike will be cancelled.
The western end of the Suthep Road, in the shadow of the mountain. There is ample parking space on the right as you approach the end of the road.
- Head straight out from the eastern side of the moat 3.5 km towards Doi Suthep on Suthep Road.
- Go right out to the end of the road past what is widely referred to as the ‘back’ entrance to Chiang Mai University.
- We will be at the end of Suthep Road where there is a turning to the right to go behind the Uni. If you start following the road on steeply up the hill you have gone too far!
See the maps below (click to enlarge them). The red cross hairs marks the spot where we will meet.
Meet at 8.30 a.m.
Drink / Food
Bring plenty of water.
For those who wish to have lunch in the vicinity of Wat Doi Suthep, there is a wide choice of food available in the local restaurants and food stalls.