Sunday 11th December 2011, Circular hike from Ban Doi Suthep to Doi Suthep Summit via Ban PhuPhing
This is a high altitude, slow paced, hike over varied terrain. It is an 10.5 km 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 nearby the beautifully situated Montfort Retreat from where we go up to the remains of a Foresters’ encampment alongside the 1004 road. There is a 2 km walk up 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 a 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 may be prudent not use our cameras. We continue through the forest and onto the track that finishes near the Temple. We should complete the hike by mid afternoon.
We will :
- meet at the arboretum at 8:00 and will go by song taew (please expect to pay up to 100 bt) up to the parking area before the Temple on Doi Suthep.
- walk up about 1 km and pass by the St Louis Marie De Montfort Retreat area (altitude 1,120m) where we may get a noisy reception from half a dozen dogs.
- hike another kilometre or so through forest and reach the remains of 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)
- go down to the viewpoint and pause for drinks before returning to the village where there are Rest Rooms for those in need.
- proceed a bit further up 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.
- rest and have picnic lunch at the Sun Gu pagoda.
- descend 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 sometimes difficult terrain.
- follow the forest trail through the Doi Suthep-Pui National Park and emerge near the Temple.
- return to the Arboretum by song taew
If you want to join
Just turn up at the meeting place on the day.
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).
- around 1.5-2 liters of water or more, snacks and picnic lunch
- good footwear etc. hat, mozzie repellant and sunblock
- energy, enthusiasm and a good sense of humour.
Photos taken on a previous hike on a similar trail
Thanks to John Hother for these pics.