Hike to Doi Pui – Chiang Mai, Thailand
Peakbagging continues in northern Thailand…
8 miles uphill, 2800 ft gain. (12 mile downhill bike ride)
Walking around the streets of Chiang Mai, one occasionally glances to the west and notices the prominent twin peaks of Doi Suthep and Doi Pui (“Doi” meaning peak). It probably comes as little surprise that I wanted to do a hike to the summit.
While there are many ‘trekking’ opportunities through tourist agencies, I was finding it difficult to obtain any real information about hiking all the way up to the peak from some decent distance below. Frankly, there just isn’t that much tourist demand to do some relatively strenuous hikes so I understood why there wasn’t much information.
Resorting to my usual perusal of the internet for hiking information, I came across one site that discussed a hike to the summit; however, they took over 30 miles to complete it! No thanks!
Luckily, we found a mountain biking brochure and I happened to read through it, and I discovered one biking option that allowed the participants to hike up, and bike down. And the hike would head near the summit of Doi Pui.
So we signed up and the morning of showed up at the office of the mountain biking company, Mountain Biking Chiang Mai. Immediately I was talking to the owner, Adon, into getting us a guide to take us all the way to the summit. And I wanted to start further down than the original plan. It turned out that Adon himself was going to be our guide, and he was immediately questioning whether or not we would be up for such a hike. A little indication the sort of hikes we do normally changed his opinion quickly enough into now thinking about how he would stay with us!
So we hopped in a songthaew and headed up a mountain road. Everyone else was doing the biking and we were deemed the crazy ones because we wanted to go up more than go down.
Perhaps halfway up, Rachel, Adon, and I were dropped off, and began hiking. The hike started on a paved road for a few minutes, but then we headed off onto single track.
Thailand is certainly more lush in vegetation than southern California. And there’s bamboo.
Some creatures made a loud piercing sound, apparently this was a mating call!
After a mile or so we continued along an old road bed. The road bed had moderate grade with a few shorter steeper stretches.
We ran into a few people living up on the mountainside.
And roosters staring me down
After a small lunch, we headed up the NE ridge toward the peak. And here we were treated with some socal grade steepness!
Along the ridge we had some nice views to the west
And then reached the summit of Doi Pui
And to top it off, we took some bikes down (only paved road this time)
And so completed a lovely trip in the countryside of northern Thailand.
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