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Sunday 11th December 2011, Circular hike from Ban Doi Suthep to Doi Suthep Summit via Ban PhuPhing

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Stupha near to the peak of Doi Suthep

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.
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Sunday 4th December 2011, Circular hike to Sri Sang Wan Waterfall

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Enjoying a paddle in the pool at the waterfall

Enjoying a paddle in the pool at the waterfall

This is an almost 11 km circular hike starting from the NP Gate on the 1269 road to Samoeng. We start at an altitude of about 400 metres and ascend 300 metres over about 4 km. The way to the Falls is mainly on a wide rutted track with some shade and a few awesome views of the surrounding hills. There is quite a difficult steep descent of 64 metres over 240 metres to the waterfalls. The pools at the base of the waterfalls are ideal for a dip. Care is needed as there is a risk of slipping on the wet rocks and where the water exits from the pool area there is a drop of tens of metres.

We will rest and have our packed lunches in the Waterfall area after which we shall retrace our steps for about 3.5 km. At this junction we will head south west on a track that the group has not used before. This is a narrow track that soon bears to the south and on the way we will stop by what we believe is a Chinese burial monument. Towards the end of this 2.25 km downhill track we will encounter a fast running man made shallow dyke about a metre wide with sloping sides. Janet and I crossed this without getting our shoes wet by the simple expedient of removing the shoe and sock from one foot which we used to step into and over the water. On the other side………surprise, but that can wait until you see it.

From here we reach the 1269 road at a place where there are three or four fruit and vegetable stalls. 300 metres of walking downhill alongside the road brings us back to our starting point at the NP Gate. We will return by vehicles to the Fondcombe Village Resort where refreshments and the swimming pool are usually available. It is a relaxing way to enjoy the end of a good day out.

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Trip Report: Sunday 13th of November 2011, Circular hike in Ob Khan National Park

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21 of us set off from the Ob Khan NP Visitor on a lovely sunny morning, among them several new faces. Two more new hikers joined us and caught up with the main group after we set off up the wide track through the forest east of the visitor centre. This was a new hiking route that followed one of the original tracks going north and then west through the forest with plenty of shade. There were sections that were not quite straightforward as nature had wreaked havoc in several places where the trail was blocked by fallen trees or overgrowth or had just been obliterated by landslips. The group overcame all obstacles by resourcefulness and ingenuity, by crawling on all fours or sliding down small steep sections.

After the forest trail we reached the river (Mae Nam Khan) where parts of the traditional trail had been undermined by the rainy season and we had to go down to the river bed and then up again. We found a pleasant spot by the river for a snack break and where one of our number was brave enough to enter the water and cross and re cross the river several times. At this break stop one couple had to hurry home and so 21 of us continued alongside the spectacular river and back to the Visitor Centre, facilities and restaurant. We had hiked a mere 4.25 km.

The Restaurant was open so fourteen of the group enjoyed lunch and refreshments.

There was no fee to enter, nor were we required to sign in, for Ob Khan National Park. Access to and from the park was tricky as there was a lot of repairs in progress to restore the road following numerous landslips that had occurred during the rainy season.

Our thanks to Janet for leading this hike and to Maggie and John for helping keep the group together and to Poppy for assisting with clearing the trails in preparation for this new hike..

Hike Pics

Sunday 13th of November 2011, Circular hike in Ob Khan National Park.

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Ob Khan in Feb 2009

Ob Khan in Feb 2009

This is a relatively short unhurried circular hike of 4.5 to 6 km through beautiful forest and alongside the Nam Mae Khan. For those who would like to do a more challenging hike there is another tougher hike on the same day. We start at an altitude of 340 metres and rise to a maximum of 475 metres. There are many up and downs and along the trails there are some short difficult sections where the trail has been destroyed by landslips or deteriorated over time or little bridges have become unusable. A short part of the trail is along a stream bed but no need to get wet feet. Another part involves climbing over some big boulders alongside the river. Besides hiking on two legs some of us might prefer to scramble up on all fours or slide down on our bums!
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