Photos of the hike from Doi Pui to Doi Suthep
The following photos will give you an idea of what to expect during this hike. First a short climb to a mountain top (Doi Pui), then a steep descend along a ridge to reach a coffee shop near a tribal village. After a cup of coffee you then continue through evergreen forest with big trees to finally reach the Doi Suthep temple.
The starting point of this hike is near the top of Doi Pui. There is a barrier blocking the road which leads to the top. At this barrier we start our hike.
Geo-coordinates (in decimal degrees) for the starting point are:
Here is a map of the hike.
The hike starts near a barrier which blocks the road to the top of Doi Pui. The barrier is at an altitude of about 1540 meter, while the top of Doi Pui is at 1675 meter, so the first 1.2 kilometers we will have to climb about 135 meters. Most of the rest of this 13.5 km long hike is downhill.
The summit of Doi Pui is covered with trees, so there is no good view from the top, but don’t worry, there will be good views on our way down.
From the summit we take a trail north, which soon starts following a ridge with steep slopes on both sides. This ridge offers several times excellent views; at some point you will look down on the tribal village which we will be passing later on this hike. The ridge descends quite rapidly; over the first kilometer we descend more than 200 meters.
At about 2.2 km from the summit of Doi Pui this trail ends on a road near a T-junction. The road to the right is actually the road on which we started the hike (near the barrier). We will first follow this road for about 600 meters to a coffee shop. The coffee shop looks out over a valley with a coffee plantation and serves fresh coffee. It’s a good place for a short rest and a cup of coffee.
We then walk the same 600 meter back to the T-junction where we now turn right. The road soon brings us into a tribal village where we probably can see how the villagers are drying their coffee harvest.
When we leave the village we have only covered 5 km, so we have another 8.5 km to go, mainly through lush evergreen forest. There are several junctions and crossings, so it is easy to take a wrong turn (the picture of the hike shows how we took a wrong turn which took us to a small orchard).
About 3.3 km from the tribal village we reach a point which is known as the “5-way junction”. Here we turn right. The forest in this area is very green with lots of huge trees. Eventually the trail will end near the entrance of the Doi Suthep temple, which is worth a visit if you still have the enregy to do it.
The entire hike is about 13.5 kilometers long. We started at 1540 meter and reached the highest point (Doi Pui) at 1675 meter. From there it went downhill most of the time (except in the last 2 km) and we end our hike at an elevation of about 1030 meter. Depending on your speed and how long you rest at the coffeeshop and other places, the hike will take about 5 to 5.5 hours.
Download the tracks
Here are some links to download this hike. The .kml (keyhole markup language) and .kmz files can be opened in Google Earth. The .gpx file can probably be used in your GPS device and hopefully helps to keep you on track.
To download a file, right-click the link and then save it to your computer.
How to get there?
From Chiang Mai take Huai Kaeo Road (Road 1004). This road starts at the north-west corner of the Old City. The first 3.5 km this is a straight road, but when you have passed the Chiang Mai zoo the road starts curving and going up the mountain. From the zoo after about 10.5 km the road reaches Doi Suthep temple. Continue on the same road and after about 4.5 km the road passes the Buphing palaces. About 1 km after the palace, the road reaches a junction. The road left leads to Ban Doi Pui (a tribal village), but we turn right and follow the road for another 3 km until we see a small road on our left which is blocked by a barrier. This is where the hike starts. From the old city to this barrier is about 22.5 km. (Note that the main road near the barrier continues to a camping site and another tribal village.)
If you come with your own transport it may be a good idea to park your car/bike at the Doi Suthep temple’s parking place, because that’s where the hike will end. From there you can hire a Songtaew to take you to the barrier where the hike will start.
To find the barrier, start from town and follow the red line on the map below (the blue line is the hike):