Trip Reports

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Trip Report Sunday 19th June 2011 – Huay Tung Tao and upwards


Twelve hikers and Coco the friendly chocolate coloured Labrador set out from the car park near the entrance to Huay Tung Tao at 9.15 am.

After walking anticlockwise round the lake and past the rocket launching pad to the checkpoint we started the long uphill pull to the top, on the trail leading to Baan Hmong Chang Kian. This is very steep in places, so we stopped after an hour for breakfast and came down the same way back to the checkpoint.

We then made our way back to the lake following the water channel. Balancing on the narrow concrete strips on either side of the channel was too much for Coco, who plunged downward twice (fortunately coming to no harm) but after a while one of the maze of ‘proper’ paths brought us back to the lake.

We returned to the cars via the opposite bank and stopped at a welcome restaurant, where four of us stayed for a meal and a beer. All in all, a pleasant four hour walk.

Pics From This Hike

Trip Report Sunday 12th June 2011 – Ban Doi Pui Loop


Nine of us plus one dog showed up at the Arboretum and left at 8:15 in 2 cars plus one motorbike for Ban Doi Pui. Due to a failure of communication the motorbike rider was left behind, and so missed the hike. We much regret this mistake and will try to avoid a recurrence.

Instead of driving all the way down to the village, we took the turn-off toward Ban Khun Chang Khian, and then turned down the paved lane to Wat Doi Pui, where we parked and walked down the long flight of steps to the village. We feel this was easier on the cars.

The rest of the hike went as planned, covering 11+ km. and an elevation gain of perhaps 700 meters in 4 hours. The weather was excellent and. There were some beautiful orange flowers were in full bloom along the way.

We encountered a number of leeches on the trail where we turned uphill toward Doi Pui, but no screams of fright or horror were heard. We seem to have learned how to get rid of them, though learned later of 3 which had attached – one of which was in a most unfortunate place!

Pics From This Week’s Hike

Trip Report: 5 June 2011 CMU Coffee Shop to Monthatan Waterfall


Ten of us, of 5 nationalities, met at the Arboretum and left promptly at 8:15, sharing a red songtao at 100 baht each all the way to CMU coffee shop.  The night before there had been a hard rain, and as we left our homes it had been raining lightly, so we all had rain gear in our packs, but the weather was good to us and the air cool.  After fueling up on a cup of the famous coffee, we headed out for Baan Khun Chang Khian and, using the GPS which always seemed to point in the opposite direction of where we knew we should be going, headed down to the 5-way junction.

The many stream crossings were all running with water deeper and wider than usual, so at times we had to wade through.  There was an abundance of flowers worthy of photos..

We did well at staying together, had our breakfast break about 10:45, and continued on to the Monthatan Water Fall turn off, but almost missed it as the sign and path entrance were covered with weeds.  A much larger sign there warned that entry was forbidden and a fine of at least 500 baht awaited trespassers.. After some discussion, we decided not to risk it, and so changed our plans and took the path on down to the temple on Doi Suthep.  Some of us stopped at the coffee shop in front of the jade factory before returning to the Arboretum by songthaew.  It was a pleasant, easy hike with good company.

Pics from the Hike

Trip Report: Sunday 29th May 2011 The Pilgrims’ Trail


There were seven hikers on this familiar but enjoyable hike starting from behind the Zoo and climbing to Wat Suthep. Fortunately the rain had not been very heavy overnight so it was not excessively muddy, though it was somewhat slippery in parts.

We stopped at Wat Phalad for our customary break and to enjoy the view over the city. Having been shamelessly bribed with a tasty sandwich, one of the temple dogs decided to join us on the upward climb but the monk refused our invitation! Sadly, one of our party had to return home at this point but not before she had taken some great photographs.

The final stage of the ascent was mainly under tree cover but it was hot and very humid, and we were all sweating heavily by the time we reached the coffee shop at the foot of Wat Suthep, for a welcome gaffee yen. Over lunch we cooled down rapidly and felt decidedly uncomfortable in our wet clothes.

Three of our party decided to visit Wat Suthep and then go on to the palace, so the remaining three lost no time in making the descent and getting home for that much needed shower!

A Few Pics of the Trip

Trip Report : 22nd of May 2011, Hike Around Huay Tung Thao Loop


There were 14 of us on this new 18 km circular hike, plus two delightful Labradors, Banana and Monkey. The initial uphill stretch was indeed quite challenging and sadly, one of the group decided to drop out after the first half an hour or so. But fortunately there had been no rain for two days so the ground was fairly dry and the hiking was good.

We climbed some 750 metres in 2.25 hours and were rewarded with the most amazing views over Huay Tung Thao. Harry, our leader, was a veritable mine of information, and at each rest stop he explained the wider context of how the many paths have developed in this area.

The path back down was a wide dirt track, taking us initially through some beautiful valleys and then through lychee orchards where the fruit was ripening nicely, and proved to be irresistible to some of the group! By this time our canine companions had discovered some muddy play areas and Banana was no longer quite so yellow……

We stopped for a breakfast break in a farmer’s shelter and then began the final descent back to Huay Tung Thao, enjoying the views over the reservoir all the while. An excellent 5.5 hour hike that is now recorded on the group GPS!

Pics From This Hike

Trip Report: 15th May 2011 Circular hike from Baan Mae Khi along a mountain ridge


There were eight of us on this beautiful 11km hike and for most of the group it was a completely new experience. Unfortunately the second car missed the turning where the hike was due to start but the occupants quickly realized their mistake and we all set off in good spirits at around 9.30am.

It had rained heavily the previous evening and even shortly before we started the hike so the ground was wet underfoot, but the clouds soon lifted and we had superb weather throughout the hike. We passed fields cultivated with a wide variety of salads and other vegetables, before negotiating some four bar bamboo gates into the forest and the hike route proper. The path was not always well defined but thanks to our GPS we were back soon on the path.

Not surprisingly we had to cross several streams flowing at varying degrees of capacity, and the muddy environs proved to be somewhat glutinous, so some hiking boots looked quite muddy as well. But luckily soon after, we were able to wash them in a small, clear stream. The hiking was delightful and the views over the valleys were excellent. Despite the heavy rain we were also lucky that no leeches were around, except one which tried to be a friend of Dorothy ….

The lunch break was most welcome and then we began to climb the second gradient that constituted the return journey on a well defined agricultural road. Near the end of this road we met a non poisonous green whip-snake crossing our way, making the last part of the hike a bit adventurous too.

Pics from the Hike

Trip report: Doi Suthep – 5 Way Junction – Arboretum 8th May 2011


There were nine of us on this beautiful 12.6 km hike. The gods were smiling on us and there was no rain though the streams were full of water, it was a little slippery in parts, and we did encounter a few leeches. In fact the sun was shining but most of the hike was under the tree canopy so the hiking was very comfortable indeed.

En route we encountered a very large tree that had carelessly fallen across our path, but fortunately we managed to battle our way through the foliage. There were numerous mushrooms of varying hues and sizes which proved to be very photogenic but a little more suspect in the gastronomic arena! The biggest butterfly ever – yellow and black – hovered overhead, but sadly the lychees were not yet ripe enough to eat……

We took our usual breakfast break at the five way junction, with the added pleasure of some delicious chocolate birthday cake for everyone, before starting off on the return journey. Soon after the junction, we turned off onto a delightful but hardly used path that took us almost all the way back to the road. Happily we were waylaid by the ice cream truck when we crossed the main road, before starting the final descent to the arboretum.

Pics from the Hike

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GPS Stuff

GPX file for path from Wat Doi Suthep to Arb via 5 way junction.

Trip Report: 24th April 2011, Huay Tung Tao Reservoir to Dtaat Mook Waterfall


After meeting at the Arboretum on Easter Sunday morning we drove out to Huay Tung Tao Reservoir, about 12km north on route 121. There we met up with the remainder of the group near the standing Buddha statue.

10 of us, including Coco the brown Labrador, set off on a trail starting close to the car park. We climbed steadily up and were rewarded with beautiful views back over the reservoir and Chiang Mai valley. The weather was overcast and not too hot at that point – a joy to walk in!

Walking through the forest we reached our breakfast destination, the ‘secret’ waterfall. The recent rains ensured a good amount of water tumbling down over the high cliffs – and all agreed it was certainly worth a visit!

Another hiker joined us at this point so 11 of us set off for the return journey, this time following the stream fed by the waterfall going gently back downhill. En route we came across a good display of orchids, brightly coloured foliage, a very spiky tree and a group of locals collecting red ant nests.

Once back near the lakeside 5 of the group decided to do an additional 3km loop along the reservoir, the rest took the more direct route back to the car park – and a cool beer at one of the lake raft restaurants. Total distance 5.5km/8.5km

Pics of the Outing

Here is the original hike description with attached GPS trail.

Trip Report: 17th April 2011 Riverside walk in Ob Khan National Park


16 of us set off from the Arboretum on a beautiful sunny morning, among them several new faces. One more group member joined us en route on Highway 121 so a total of 17 hikers arrived at Ob Khan National Park. There was no entry fee to pay and on arrival we could already see stall holders setting up for the very last day of the Songkran festivities.

We set off from the visitor centre following the park Nature Trail which mainly follows the course of the Mae Nam Khan upstream. The river is passing through a series of gorges with quite spectacular rock formations. The walking was fun and quite varied, from well marked paths, ambling across riverside boulders to scrambling along the hillside. Lunch was had in a shady spot and several hikers decided to have a refreshing swim – one taking his wallet & mobile phone along too. (more…)

Trip Report: 10.04.2011 Pre-Songkran Madness, Hike from CMU Coffee shop near Baan Khun Chiang Kian to Monthaton Waterfall


Fourteen hikers, including some new faces, managed to squeeze into the songtao at the Arboretum and one elected to drive up on his motorcycle. Having enjoyed our customary coffee and biscuits at the CMU Coffee Shop, we set off in high spirits.

Most of the hike was on the downward gradient and fortunately the overnight rain had not left the ground excessively wet. We stopped at the Five Way point for our mid morning break and our motorcyclist began the climb back the way we had come, to retrieve his motorcycle and return home.

At the Monthaton turnoff the descent became steeper and a little more challenging in terms of fallen trees and debris across the path but the weather was excellent, and we were rewarded by the sight of the waterfall and the opportunity to soak hot feet in the cool water.

Arriving back at the entrance to the National Park, some of our more energetic members decided to continue the walk down to the Arboretum whilst the rest flagged down a songtao. What better way to celebrate the Pre-Songkran Madness?

Original Hike Description

Here you can find the post that described this hike.

GPS Tracks

Here is the GPS trail for this ‘Coffee Shop Monthaton Walk’.

Pics of Our Walk

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