Sunday 18th December 2011, Galae Restaurant Circular Hike

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This is an about 6.5 km circular walk starting from Galae restaurant parking lot. We will be walking for around 3-4 hours pending on group speed and length of our breaks. We will meet directly at the parking lot of Galae Restaurant at 8:30 am. Even we would judge this hike as not difficult, the uphill part of the first third of the hike requires a certain fitness level. (more…)

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

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We met at the Arboretum and 40 of us piled into 3 Song Taew while 2 others rode motorcycles to reach the hike start point at the edge of Ban Doi Suthep.

We hiked on a paved trail 1 km and passed by the St Louis Marie De Montfort Retreat area (altitude 1,120m) where we got a noisy reception from half a dozen dogs and where one of them joined us as we entered the forest. After another kilometre or so through forest we reached the remains of the Forresters’ encampment (altitude 1,208m) and joined the main (1004) road where several specimens of trees were seen.

We walked about the 2 kms up the busy road to Ban Phu Phing (altitude 1,385m); this section would have been shady but the sun was hiding behind cloud. At the last viewpoint before the village we found the mist too heavy for it to be worthwhile going down to the viewpoint behind the village.

As we left the crowded village we proceeded a bit further up the road and took a trail on the right hand side that runs uphill alongside the perimeter of the Palace. This followed the line of the new wall or fence being constructed and was a fairly steep climb until we arrived at the corner of the Palace perimeter.

A short hike on a narrow forest track brought us to the Sun Gu pagoda near the summit of Doi Suthep which is listed as having an altitude of 1,601m. Here we rested and had our picnic and felt it would be nice to have some sun to warm us up.

We descended along about 700 metres of the trail we used to go up to the pagoda and then continued our descent behind the Palace where we passed several military emplacements in sometimes difficult terrain alongside the construction work for the new perimeter wall/fence. After leaving the Palace perimeter we descended on a fairly steep trail through forest and arrived at a wider well rutted trail that brought us to a “Y” junction.

Here we took the left hand way and after a short hike arrived at a couple of buildings one of which was occupied by a man and his dog. The dog was happy to get our company but this upset the man who chased and chastised the poor dog. From this clearing we followed a narrow train downhill until we rejoined the track we might have taken at the fore-mentioned “Y” junction. A 1 km hike down a wide track brought us to the main (1004) road which we crossed and 100 metres down on the other side entered a road-side parking area. This is the start of a newly created Nature Trail along which there are well-signed places of interest including a waterfall and cave. Perhaps the most interesting of all was our luck in finding several specimens of Sapria Himalayana Griffith – a very rare plant. More information and a picture can be found at:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sapria_himalayana

After this find the Nature Trail took us to a stream with fast flowing water sufficient to wet many shoes and boots. On the other side we ascended fairly steeply and reached the CM Gardens from where we exited onto the main (1004) for the downward last 700 metres of the hike. Near the Temple we boarded Song Taew for the journey back to the Arboretum.

This was probably my best ever hike – thank you to all who helped and participated but with special appreciation to Janet, Maggie and John for their support during the hike and to Chan for accompanying me when exploring earlier two sections of the hike.

Friday 16th of December 2011, Walk to Dtaat Mook Waterfall and Optional Swim in Huay Tung Thao Afterwards

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This will be a 6km round trip suitable for almost everyone, shady trail through the jungle mostly beside a stream with rapids and smaller waterfalls all the way up. A very pretty walk. Dtaat Mook waterfall is right at the top and very impressive at the moment.
Total trip will take about 2 1/2 hours, with a break for snacks at the main waterfall. (more…)

Wednesday December 14th, Circular Walk Up To Chang Kian Waterfall and Back Down Through Huay Kaeow Water Fall

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Picture of Chang Kian Waterfall

Picture of Chang Kian Waterfall


This will be a short 6 km walk at a relaxed pace suitable for nearly everyone, although there are quite taxing uphill parts of the walk. I expect we will walk for around 2 and a half hours and have a 30 minute break at the waterfall to eat snacks and admire the falls and optionally have a morning shower. Bring a swimming costume if you want to take a dip! (more…)

Trip Report : Wednesday December 7th, Walk up Pilgrim’s Trail to Wat Palaad and Then Back Down Through Huay Kaeow Waterfall

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Thanks to John for these great pics taken during the walk up the pilgrim’s trail this Wednesday. The midweek hikes that we have had recently have proved very popular with between 10-25 people enjoying them.

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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Friday 9th of December 2011, Circular hike in Ob Khan National Park with Optional Swim

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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. 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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Wednesday December 7th, Walk up Pilgrim’s Trail to Wat Palaad and Then Back Down Through Huay Kaeow Waterfall

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A hike suitable for all levels of walkers with a good path nearly all the way, although the Pilgrims Trail is a little steep. The only iffy part is the top 200m of Huay Kaeow trail, where it is a bit slippery. (more…)

Wednesday 7th to Thursday 8th of December, Hike to the Peak Of Doi Chang Dao and on to Den Ya Kot and Hot Springs

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Picture of Part of Chiang Dao Range from Main Peak "Doi Chiang Dao Luang"

Picture of Part of Chiang Dao Range from Main Peak "Doi Chiang Dao Luang"

Chiang Dao is one of the most scenic hiking areas in Thailand. Doi Chiang Dao Luang is the third highest peak in Thailand at approximately 2220 meters above sea level. Doi Chiang Dao is one peak of a limestone massif that has a number of peaks and ridges over 2000 metres in a horseshoe shape and has a series of forest types that change with altitude. The forest is almost untouched up here although there are a fair number of groups of hikers that go up here in season and camp near the peak.

A very good level of physical fitness is required, the climb up Chiang Dao is the steepest climb we do as a group and we will be walking on down to Den Ya Kot on the same day and walking on for a far distance on the second day to some hot springs. To take part in this trip you must book before November 30 we have limited places, so book soon if you want to come. We will be a small group of up to 10 people. (more…)

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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