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Trip Log:

  • 06:45am - leave bungalow
  • 07:10am - start hike from the trailhead
  • 11:15am - summit
  • 12:10pm - start descent
  • 4:10pm - complete
  • 6:30pm - culinary excursion to Chiang Dao Nest

Camp sites below the mountain

Four years ago, led by a local tour guide, Panda summited Doi Chiang Dao with 2 other hikers. He often spoke of the serene sunrise and sunset at the top this peak so ever since we returned to the Land of Smiles, he was excited to do it again. Our original plan was to do it overnight as part of the tour but the price quoted by the tour company (6800 baht) was way over our budget. After a little bit of research online and using Panda’s memory, we planned a day-hike without a guide. This turned out to be a wiser choice as we encountered at least a hundred local tourists, mostly Thais, along the trail and at the campsite near the summit. While the last time, Panda and his group were the only campers, this time the campsite directly below the summit was crowded with tents. People were on top of each other and music was blasting like it was a party venue. It is no longer the quiet, secluded Doi Chiang Dao. Sections of the trail were very slushy and slippery due to leftover rain and dew. Most local guides also act as porters carrying heavy gear for tourists who just want to spend a weekend chilling out on Doi Chiang Dao. Even without getting to watch the sunrise or sunset, we were proud of finishing the 15km work-out and did enjoy the green panoramas at the summit. That night we rewarded ourselves with a huge nice Thai meal …

The goal

Steep and narrow scramble to the top

Need a green shirt to match the landscape

Northern Thailand mountains

A beautiful lady takes a break on top of the mountain.

Stopping to enjoy the view

Exercising caution on the descent

Doi Chiang Dao from afar

See also: http://spinksytravelworld.com/climbing-doi-luang-chiang-dao