Friday 2nd 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 November 30th, 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…)

Wednesday 30th November, Hike to Top of Doi Ton, On Tai, San Kamphaeng

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Doi Ton is a 890m high peak on the eastern edge of the Chiang Mai valley, close to the Chiang Mai / Lampang / Lamphun boundary intersection.  We will drive about 30km from CM Railway Station & park at the east end of the southernmost dam at the Huay Lan Royal Project. A short level walk along a dirt road will bring us to the start of a steep climb of 400m following a pilgrim’s trail up to a shrine & stupa on top of a cliff overlooking the Chiang Mai valley. This path has steps cut into the hill in places & steel step ladders to climb up a gap in the cliffs.  If the visibility is clear, you can look across the valley to Doi Suthep.  After a short break, we will head south along the ridge to the peak at 890m.  We will stop for packed lunch somewhere along the ridge.  From the peak we will head east before a steep decent to the stream that runs into the Huay Lan reservoirs.  Once down, we will follow the stream.  This is a scramble over boulders for about 700m, before we hit a trail that will lead us back to the start/finish line.

A good level of physical fitness is required & hikers must be comfortable following narrow rocky trails with steep drop-offs.

Total length of the hike is about 9km.  Walking alone, I managed this hike in just under 4 hours, with only short stops for snacks.  I estimate we should complete it in 5 to 6 hours.

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Sunday 27th November, Hike to The Peak Of Doi Pui…. Twice! “Roller Coaster Hike 2”, in Pui Suthep National Park

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Sign at the summit of Doi Pui

Sign at the summit of Doi Pui

This hike will have many of the characteristics that I enjoy on our other ‘roller coaster hike’ the 3 peaks hike behind Doi Langka Luang. We will be walking along mountain ridges and enjoy some of the best views of the Pui Suthep National Park. It will also be a tough hike even for those who are quite fit. A good level of physical fitness is required. There is another easier hike on the same day.

My plan is to park at the foot of the path that runs up to the peak of Doi Pui from near Baan Khun Chang Kian, the Hmong Village. We will walk up the steep mountain ridge to the peak of Doi Pui and then back down the back of Doi Pui and on to the Buddha’s foot print ridge. We will stop here for some lunch or brunch. Then we will head back the way we have come, up the steep path at the back of Doi Pui and back down the front of Doi Pui back to our vehicles. (more…)

Trip Report : Saturday and Sunday, 19th to the 20th November 2011, Hike and Overnight Stay in Khun Tan National Park

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There were 16 of us who arrived at the train station at 6:15am for the early train to Khun Tan.  The weather was clear and a bit warmer than anticipated, but just about perfect.  With the train on time, we arrived at the Khun Tan Station just after 8am, where we were met by one of the cabin area caretakers, and all of our baggage was transported by motorcycle up to the cabins (Yaw 3).

Some had managed to nap on the train and all were energetic for the walk up to the headquarters where we paid the admission fee and ordered a meal at the restaurant there to carry up. Having been alerted, there were 3 cooks on hand and a good choice of dishes.  The first half of the hike from there has some steep spots and we took it easy with frequent rest stops.  The second half is on a shady path with a gentle gradient. The whole hike, from train station to the cabins, has about a 700 meter gain in elevation and is about 8 km.  As we arrived just before noon, we were able eat our lunch before settling into the 2 cabins prepared for us.  After a short rest we then hiked up one more km. to the very top (Yaw 4) for the 360 degree view.  The air was cool enough that we enjoyed the sunshine, and some stretched out for another nap.

We were back in time for a cold shower before pitching in to help prepare a spaghetti dinner with a beautiful salad, followed by carrot cake.  In the meanwhile the lights came on as the generator started and then we watched the sky change colors as the sun set.  Some of the men gathered wood for a bonfire and a bit later we had a marsh-mellow roast, a new experience for all the the non-Americans.  We were all tired enough to turn in early, 9pm.

Sunday morning we had a leisurely breakfast, each one of us having brought his own, and at 9am started back to the train station to catch the 1:35pm train which came in just before 3pm., giving us plenty of time to buy our lunch there. And so we were back in Chiang Mai shortly after 4pm.

From the comments shared with me I believe everyone enjoyed the hike, the company, the cabins, the views, the food, etc.  We’ll plan to do it again.

Janet

Pics from Trip

Sunday 27th November 2011, Family Friendly Hike Around Huay Lan Reservoir, On Tai, San Kamphaeng

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This will be an easy, family friendly hike around Huay Lan reservoir.   We shall park at the eastern side of the main reservoir. After crossing the dam, we will follow a fairly easy dirt road going along the west side of the lake, then an undulating trail that links to the southern dam, where we will stop for snacks / packed lunch.  Then walk back along the quiet road to the start / finish line. We will walk a total of about 7km.  Should be a nice new walk in an area that the group has seldom visited. There is another considerably tougher hike on the same day. (more…)

Friday 25th of November 2011, Walk to Dtaat Mook Waterfall and Optional Swim in Huay Tung Thao Afterwards

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
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 23rd of November 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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Trip Report : Sunday 13th of November 2011, Chiang Mai Chiang Rai Provincial Border, 3 peaks hike – “Roller Coaster Hike”

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We had a very pleasant but tough hike on Sunday. This was another hike in our series of tougher hikes for those hikers who are fairly fit and enjoy to push themselves a little on a hike.

A small group of 8 enthusiastic hikers met at the train station at 8 am and we shared 2 cars to travel an hour to the start of the hike.

How to find this trail

This hike is fairly easy to find and follow if you are quite adventurous. You go out on route 118 and just past the 52 km marker on the 118, on the right, there is a fairly well hidden off road car track. The off road car track is in fact is passable by most cars. There used to be a gate at the bottom of the road but this is gone now. You go to the top of this fairly steep track, it is about 1-2 km and at the top there is a telephone / communications base station. We park inside the communications station, if the caretaker is about you should check with him it is OK.

You then need to head back down the road you came up about 20 m and coming down the road on the left you will see a sign in Thai that is a sign for the 17km nature trail that runs right across the mountain range. Around here you will find the start of a quite overgrown track and can follow this trail. It is marked along the way with small inch squared painted yellow pieces of metal nailed to the tree along the way. You can look out for these to confirm you are on the trail. We walked on to the second major peak Doi Pah Ngom, which literally means mountain with the curved cliff.

This Trip

The trail itself is very overgrown at moment. It is the most overgrown I have seen it and it was at times a little difficult to follow but with the aid of the yellow metal badges on the trees and remembering that the trail roughly follows the ridges of the mountain we followed the trail without use of a GPS. There is only really one trail in this forest although there was the occasional false trail, these false trails cannot go anywhere else really as you must follow the mountain ridge.

Views were really great along the way. We had driven well into the forest on the 118 but you could not see the 118 from the trail or really any other sign of human activity in the forest. All we could see around us where trees and mountains.

I have named this the roller coaster hike. And it does involve a lot of up and down hill work. We walked in total around 9 km in around 5 and a half hours. We ascended and then descended only around 900m in total including all ascent-descents, both ways. It took us 2 and a half hours to get out to Doi Pah Ngom. We then had a break for 30 minutes to have some lunch and it took us another 2 and a half and a bit hours to walk back. We took frequent short breaks along the way. Nearly everybody agreed that we were pushed to edge of our abilities by this hike although one hiker enjoyed sprinting up the uphill parts of the hike to get some work on his thigh muscles! Everybody also agreed it was a thoroughly enjoyable day out. Personally I think this is the most beautiful hike around Chiang Mai.

Pics

Thanks to Dov, Robyn, Rimma and Chris for these pics.

Tuesday 22nd November 2011, Hike Up The Pilgrims’ Trail To Wat Doi Suthep and (Optionally) Back Down

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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. (more…)

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