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Thailand Photos: Climbing Doi Chiang Dao and Karen village home stay: 09 - 13 Dec 2005

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The morning was misty and the ground wet with dew. A group of people were moving forward carefully and slowly along the slippery trail on the northern slope of Doi Luang Chiang Dao. Occasionally someone lost balance and quickly grabbed nearby plants to upright his or her body loaded with back pack, tent, and foodstuff.

We were climbing the Thailand's third highest peak from Pang Wa - a place which was already at about 1000 meters elevation. Begining few kilometers was muddy with water so people had to walk carefully. Another trail starting at Den Yah Kud was at that time closed to public by the wildlife sanctuary authorities. The three days and two nights (for good walkers it could be finished in two days) hike needs you carry water for the whole trip since there was no natural water source along the way.

Begining trail on slippery slope   Misty mountains
First day hike on slippery trail in the tall grass and bushes surrounded by hill evergreen forest plants. Mountains around are all shrouded by mist and clouds. Chiang Dao is quite popular and on long holidays such as newyear days there could be as many as 100 people climbing.

Ban Narong - Lisu village   Doi Sam Pi Naung
From the trail we saw Ban Narong (Na Lao) Lisu village at a distance. The village could be reached by dirt road. From the Lisu village people could walk to a Karen village called Ban Mae Klong Sai for a home stay. Right: Doi Sam Pi Naung (three sibling hills). On the upper elevations the plant type is close to semi-alpine which is very rare in Thailand. Mountain peaks do not hold any large plants.

Limestone hills   Doi Sam Pi Naung
The limestone hills you see on the left or to the south-east of you while walking the trail to Doi Luang Chiang Dao. Underneath these mountains maybe the famous Chiang Dao cave complex which is accessable from the Tham Chiang Dao village. At this point we arrived at the first camp called Par Mai Hok, pitched the tents and prepared to cook meal. In the free afternoon we walked around looking for flowers.

Right: Sam Pi Naung peaks still at a distance in the next morning walk. We were walking up and up to the grassy slope of these hills before entering the Chiang Dao valley surrounded by peaks.

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