I have a chance to climb up Doi Luang Chiang Dao a few days ago.
This trip I rent the motorcycle from Chiang Mai, totally 10 days
Since I have a lot of time and don't know where to go. So! I decide to go climbing on Doi Luang Chiang Dao.
At the end of the year 2014, I almost get a chance to go climbing on Doi Luang Chiang Dao.
But fortuitously there is a Hong Kong trip so Doi Luang Chiang Dao has to be cut off from the plan because I am afraid to be dismissed from home. And at the beginning of November last year, I almost going to go there but I have not enough time so I just reach Baan Rabiang Dao only. And now this year, I have plenty time of 10 days, therefore I have a chance to conquer Doi Luang Chiang Dao as I intended.
Let's see how is the place like...
But wait, before we go climbing on Doi Luang Chiang Dao, let's briefly see the detail of the place.
Doi Luang Chiang Dao is the third highest mountain in Thailand.
It is 2,225 meter tall from the sea level, lower than Doi Inthanon and Doi Pha Hom Pok.
There are many peak on the upper level but only 2 mountains are opened for customers to visit which are Doi Luang Chiang Dao, the highest peak is Doi Luang Chiang Dao at the 2,225 meter high and Gil Lom peak, 2,145 meter high.
Doi Luang Chiang Dao opens only 5 months to visit.
Starting from 1 November to 31 March of every year.
There are 2 routes to get there which both routes meet at the intersect and after that it becomes the same route to Ang Salung, a tent courtyard.
1. Den Ya K้had, the easiest and short cut way to the mountain's border. Just keep a chilly walking. Total distance to the intersect is around 5 kilometers.
But traveling by this way to the point of beginning, you have to ride on a bicycle for about 30 kilometer which is a gravel walkway and takes around 1 hour from the office that we live to the point of beginning.
2. Bang Waw, this way is shorter than Den Ya K้had but more tired and steeper.
The distance to the intersection is around 3 kilometers.
And another 1.5 kilometer is a flat plain switching to the slope along the way until the intersection point.
When it meet at the intersection, we have to continue walking around 3.5 kilometer and we will reach Ang Saluang tent courtyard.
Both routes have to call a pickup truck to the destination which the way to Den Ya Khad is more expensive because of the longer distance and a gravel walkway
Den Ya Khad is 1,200 Baht/round
Bang Waw is 600 Baht/round
I would recommend you to go up to Den Ya Khad and go down from Bang Waw route so that you would not be so tired.
There is a bin deposit 300,600 Baht (depends on staff which you will get back when you bring the trash down with you.
- Admission fee 20 Baht/person
- Tent 30 Baht/person
And a car admission fee 30 Baht/ person
Don Luang Chiang limits only 150 people/day.
Therefore, we have to call to make a booking, you can contact at this telephone no, 053-456623
7 January 2016
Around 4 o'clock in the evening, I drive motorcycle to contact Doi Chiang Dao Wildlife Sanctuary to tell them that I come alone and ask to go up to Doi Luang Chiang Dao tomorrow, I say I will carry the stuffs by myself and no leader is requested but to go to the beginning route, we wave the local people car to Bang Waw but the staff still resists that I have to find someone to lead the route even the route is not complicated but if there something happens who will going to take a charge for it.
So the staff recommends that tomorrow morning try to join with another group.
I say okay and let's wait and see tomorrow morning.
Tonight, at first I will tie a hammock at the check point around the ascent of the way to Rabiang Dao.
But the staff say I can sleep in the meeting room, so that's good and fine for me.
At night, I go out to find some food in the center area of Chiang Dao for preparing to eat on the mountain tomorrow.
So lucky, it is a walking street day so I strolling for a moment.
Normally it's organized 2 times/month which is on 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month.
After finish buying goods, I drive the car back to the wildlife sanctuary and find out that there is other group of people living there too. They will go up to Doi Chiang Dao tomorrow too so I ask to join with their group.
8 January 2016
This morning I go to center of the city to have breakfast before getting back to the place. I ask to join with other 4 people which go by Den Ya Khad route and go down by Bang Waw route.
We hire 1 employee to lead us the way too.
After we finish packing our stuffs, sign our name to ask for permission, now it's time to go out for travelling.
It takes around 1 hour from the place we live to Den Ya Khad,
The route is a gravel walkway, 30 kilometer long, it's very far and we bouncing up and down on the car, feeling so stiff.
10.30 a.m. now it's time to start hiking
I carry the bag weight around 17 Kilogram
Oh! I also surprised to know my bag weights.
I think I can be that employee instead haha.
Things inside my bag are sleeping bag, pot, gas stove, food, water, torch and many other things.
Other people might think that am I crazy to carry a lot of things.
And I also forget my sneaker at Chiang Mai so I have to wear a slipper.
This morning the weather is cold, so I take out my overcoat and wear it but just less than 10 minutes walk away, I have to take off the shirt hahahaha.
The walkway is fine and chill.
Traverse the forest
At first I let them lead the way and I follow them by the closed-end.
There is a mountain view on the left.
It takes around 1 and a half hour to reach the intersection.
Drink water and have the meal is around 1 and a half our, then we continue waking which I request to walk toward alone because they still feel tired.
Behind the intersection is a hill going up and has to use more energy to get there.
The whole body is sweating now.
Today the sky is so beautiful, the weather is so delightful and the sun shining so bright.
Walking up the hill, don't care for anything, just a sound of the breathing, fud fad fud fad.
When we look back, we have to be amazed, it is so beautiful.
I think it is called Doi Sam Pee Nong.
Since I have to carry my bag weight 17 kilometer so it makes me feel so tired.
I had been a hard time for me and consume a lot of energy, both physically and mentally.
So this should be the time I extend the arms and charge my energy hahaha.
I then realize that I have been here so far when I look back.
I walk and fart along the way, so happy.
On the way, there is a beautiful view to take a photo.
But sometimes I feel so tired that even lazy to take out the camera.
I ask employee of the other group whether I am going to reach the destination or not
I ask many people and they say we are nearly reach the point.
I am wondering how near it is, I have been walking for a long time, Herrrr.
Even if it is damn hot and tired, we still have to keep walking on.
Finally, 15.00 pm I then reach Ang Salung tent courtyard area.
I have to be surprised with mass population, many people are hear to set up the tent.
I am wondering am I arrive lately or they just reach here early or they arrive here yesterday.
I sit and wait until 15.40 pm. and then all of 4 people from my group arrive here.
At first they invite us to sleep in the same tent with them but I am afraid that they will uncomfortably sleep so I tie the hammock and sleep alone.
Around almost 4.30 pm., we appoint to walk up to Yod Luang Chiang Dao.
From the setting tents point, we have to continue walking up.
After that it is a steep walkway and slippery way.
You have to walk slowly and carefully, some point you have to be climb up the rock.
Keep walking up until you see other mountains.
Take a rest
Every people take their photo as a souvenir that once they have conquered Doi Chiang Dao.
And finally we reach Doi Chiang Dao at 2,225 meter, the height above sea level.
Worth climbing up and it's really beautiful.
Every reserve the seat for waiting to see the sunset.
Others people come as a group.
But why I come here alone.
Many are lining up to take a photo with this sign.
The time passes. Gradually the sun goes down.
The Sun goes down, a coldness is replacing.
People gradually going back to their tent.
There are only a few people remain on watching and taking photo of the stars and the Milky Way in this night and I am one of them.
Tonight the sky is clear, without cloud that make the sky full of plenty stars.
Overlooking the city in distance down there.
We take a photo until around 19.30 pm then we go down.
Only a few people left there, keep on taking a photo,
Because the weather above is too cold which is difficult to explain.
Taking a picture of the Milky Way before I go down.
The real one looks like a faint mist, can not clearly see like in the picture.
Going up the mountain is hard but going down is harder because it is too dark.
And my slippers is so slippery.
Now we reach down here, people are dispersing back to their tents.
Just only me that have no tent to sleep.
So I set up a fire and boil a hot Mama instant noodle to relieve the cold.
When I am fulled, I now feeling so sleepy and go to sleep on the hammock.
At 4.00 am. of the new morning.
I wake up in a cold since I sleep on the hammock which the cold passing through hammock and sleeping bag. So, I have half sleep half awake that I have to tuck my hand between my legs, bend my knee and arms, such a trial time.
I make an appointment with other at 4.00 am to walk up to Kew Lom mountain to see the sun rise.
I take so much time and effort to get up from the hammock and go out off the sleep bag.
And now it time to walk up to Yod Kew Lom
The distance is around 500-600 meter.
Because of the darkness, I have to keep eyes on the path
we walk pass through a smelly mass feces, not only 1 bulk but there are 2-3 bulk
At first the people following me also wondering that the way we are walking is right or not
And I say that it is correct, there is a walk way here until one of the member want is discouraged and are going to walk back. But, I let them wait there and I myself walk toward to see the way in front. I walk until I meet the through the other side and it makes me realize that we are walking on the wrong way. We are walking through the bulk of feces not the main way hahahaha.
So I have to walk back through the main way, follow other traveler who is giving up to walk down too. It makes us know that the main road is a hill that we can't clearly see it.
Herrr, I am making fun of myself and the smell of those feces will never be forgotten forever.
We continue walking up until we reach Yod Kew Lom.
The weather is very cold, extremely wind blow, really fit to the name itself.
Sitting and resisting to the wind and cold until the light of the new day rise.
Fog below us gradually formed up to becomes the sea of mist.
The Sun gradually rise up above the horizon but the weather is cold.
Feeling a thrill of fear when the wind blow.
Turn to the back, you will see a three mountains.
In which Doi Luang Chinag Dao is the mountain on the right.
And the small mountain is the tent courtyard.
On the Kew Lom is a stone, you have to walk slowly otherwise you might certainly slip on it.
Everybody dress fully because the weather on the top is very very cold.
I take a photo until 7.30 am. then gradually walk down to the courtyard.
I am hurriedly walk down because my hands and face is feeling numb of cold weather.
I go back to the tent courtyard to have breakfast, packing things and prepare myself to go down.
I make an appointment with other 4 people at 9.00 am.
Since I have a little bit stomachache so I tell them that I will go in advance to walk downhill.
If they don't meet me at Bang Waw, then meet me at the office down there.
After that I walk down the hill with high speed.
Taking some picture
I start to have a leg pain since yesterday, especially when I step on top of the mountain yesterday evening. I feel so painful that I nearly can't stand to walk. But I feel the pain only on the left leg. I guess it occur because yesterday I stumble over a stone since I just focus on the display of mobile phone.
I take around almost 3 hours to reach the intersection so I take a break for 5 minutes before I continuous walking.
The way to Bang Waw is around the first 1.5 kilometer from the intersection which still an easy path to downhill. But the last 1.5 kilometer before the starting point is a steep downhill and a moist soil that can easily slip.
I walk mindlessly that my slipper is unbounded !!!
Yes, so crazy that my slipper is break a part and what should I do now.
So I ask the employee who walk in an opposite direction about the distance and they say that not far away to reach the destination. Therefore, I walk with bare feet and carrying my slipper with me too.
Other travelers that are going to walk up the hill look at me with suspicion, hilarious and thrill when they see that I walk with bare feet down the mountain hahahahaha.
Actually I can fix it but at that time I don't have any tools and I am lazy to fix it so I prefer to make it down here,
From the intersection, I take around almost 1 hour to go down to the starting point.
Total distance from the tent courtyard to starting point at Bang Waw is taking time around 2 hours.
I feel so happy at first that this cheap slipper, 35 Baht, can help me to conquer Doi Chiang Dao but finally it's broke at the end, herrr.
I reach the starting point around 11.00 am.
I think other people might take more time so I wave for a truck to go down to the office.
I just make a wave and the first truck let me go with them, so kind.
They drive so fast, I tilt to the left and right all the time that I almost rolled here.
I am going down by the truck until I reach the entrance of the office.
Then I gradually walk with bare feet to it.
I sit, stand, walk, take a bath, fix the shoe, the time passes to around 14.00 pm. when 4 of them arrive to the office and pay for car and employee.
I want to help them pay for car fee but they say never mind.
I have to say Thank You to those 4 people which allow me to get on the car to Deng Ya Khad before we separate, so I take some picture as my souvenir.
For those who want to come alone and want to go up to Doi Luang Chiang Dao
Firstly you have to call and check for the date you want to go whether it is full or not
If not, I recommend you to sleep at the office first or go there around 8.00 am. on the day you want to go and find a group of people to share the car fee.
Apart from visiting the mountain, you can also make a new friends too.
Briefly expenses for 4 people, 2 days 1 night.
The transportation fee from Deng Ya Khad to Bang Waw is 1,800 Baht.
Employee 2 people, 2 nights 500 x 2 x 2 = 2,000 Baht
Admission Fee 30 x 4 = 120 Baht
Total 3,950 Baht, around 987 Bant/person
(Not include meal + transportation to wildlife sanctuary)
If you ask me whether Doi Chiang Dao is hard to visit or not.
I would say that it's not hard, just walk in a long distance and feeling tired.
You would walk chilly if you don't have to carry a lots of things.
Gradually walking up the hill, not hurry, it will takes around 5-6 hours.
But going down hill should be faster, around 3-4 hours
Anyone who has free time can take a chance to travel here, I guarantee that everyone will definitely fall in love with this mountain.
This trip would be last in my mind forever.
I always get trouble when wearing a slipper up the mountain.
Last time I wear the slipper to Phu Soi Dao and have a fever up there.
I would like to end the review of going up to Doi Chiang Dao here. See you again in my next review. I just make a fan page so people can talk, ask and exchange their experiences at www.facebook.com/hoyberry or Instagram : hoyberry.