Doi Mot & Doi Chang - Khun Chae Np


Dec 9, 2008
A hiking trip rather than a bike ride. In fact 3 days hiking and 2 nights camping, up in the mountains of the Khun Chae National Park, to the northwest of the 118 from, Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai.

I met up with Peter in Mae Kachan and we stayed at the H2O Hotel. A very comfortable hotel, right on the highway, excellent value.
A quick visit to the Khun Chae waterfall, about 15klms west off the 118, along the dirt road to Phrao.
2017-12-14 16.34.38.jpg

Next morning up early and rode down to the Khun Chae NP headquarters.
After signing in, we rode in a pickup truck 14klms north, to the village of Huay Nam Ngern. A very rough dirt road and our driver was the village Phu Yai Bahn.... we were important visitors.....

We hiked out of the village and soon had our first break for lunch...... boiled eggs with my home made bread
2017-12-15 12.40.00.jpg

Our guide Khun Manit with our porter Khun Prapan
2017-12-15 12.56.42.jpg

Peter appears to be inspecting insects..
2017-12-15 12.56.48.jpg

Great to be back up in the mountains again... away from civilisation...
2017-12-15 12.57.27.jpg

It was to be quite a tough first day..... 6klm hike, all uphill..... which would take about 5 hours.
2017-12-15 13.01.09.jpg

But already the views were marvellous
2017-12-15 13.12.51.jpg
2017-12-15 13.13.40.jpg
2017-12-15 13.56.41.jpg
2017-12-15 13.57.34.jpg

A Goolap Pun Pee (thousand year rose), called rhodedendron in the west.
2017-12-15 14.02.17.jpg

Finally, after reaching and then hiking some distance along the ridges, we got our first view of Doi Mot. We could also see "The Yellow Handrail" (centre left in the photo). The significance of this would soon become clear.....
This beautiful mound of a mountain, is set apart from the main ridgeline. Interestingly, it could also be called a "Mott" in English, if it had a castle on the top.
2017-12-15 14.09.02.jpg

Soon we were descending from the main ridge on an alarmingly steep slope, hanging on to the Yellow Handrail in mortal fear.... The handrail post in this photo is vertical. That sort of gives an idea how steep the handrail goes down.
2017-12-15 14.12.00.jpg
2017-12-15 14.16.28.jpg

The Yellow Handrail took us down and then across a very sharp ridge, with steep drops either side.
In other words, I had at least one hand on it all the time......
2017-12-15 14.20.45.jpg
2017-12-15 14.26.18.jpg

The handrail then took us up the side of Doi Mott. This mountain would have been almost impossible to scale without ropes, before the handrail was put in.
2017-12-15 14.42.53.jpg

After an hour or so, we were on top of the Mot. Prapan collecting firewood.
2017-12-15 14.47.29.jpg
2017-12-15 15.38.32.jpg

Looking southeast across the 118 to Doi Langkha Luang, highest peak in Chiang Rai province.
2017-12-15 15.44.56.jpg

Peter and luxury tent
2017-12-15 15.58.23.jpg

Ian and "coffin" tent...
2017-12-15 15.58.43.jpg
2017-12-15 16.33.49.jpg
2017-12-15 16.33.55.jpg
2017-12-15 16.36.45.jpg

Peak of Doi Mot, 1805m.
2017-12-15 16.47.40.jpg

Preparing for dinner........ more bread, with smoked chicken..... washed down with a wee dram to keep the cold at bay.......
2017-12-15 16.48.28.jpg
2017-12-15 19.01.54.jpg

Next morning at 06:30, it was about 10 deg C and very wet with morning dew. No trees on the top of Doi Mot due to the wind. Luckily it was not so windy when we were there.
2017-12-16 06.31.28.jpg
2017-12-16 06.33.15.jpg
2017-12-16 06.52.01.jpg

Great to look out over ridge, after ridge, after ridge.....

We also had great views back to highway 118 and the NP HQ. We could also see across to the Phrao valley, too.
2017-12-16 06.59.16.jpg

Packet Jok soup for breakfast...
2017-12-16 07.33.49.jpg
2017-12-16 07.44.54.jpg

Manit and Prapan had toasted sticky rice cakes
2017-12-16 07.45.38.jpg
2017-12-16 08.01.45.jpg

Looking back at the low ridge connecting Doi Mot.
2017-12-16 09.56.50.jpg

Then we had to return to the dreaded Yellow Handrail.....
2017-12-16 10.06.14.jpg
2017-12-16 10.08.13.jpg

Returning was perhaps only slightly easier.....
2017-12-16 10.10.50.jpg
2017-12-16 10.13.24.jpg

"Danger"... Yeah.. tell me about it...... No Way would this be allowed in most places in Europe.....
2017-12-16 10.15.59.jpg
2017-12-16 10.16.58.jpg

After getting back to the main ridge, we struck out on a little used trail.
2017-12-16 11.48.29.jpg

The guys were hacking there way through the jungle growth..
2017-12-16 11.48.54.jpg

The guys with us, had modified sugar sacks for backpacks....
2017-12-16 11.50.18.jpg

Don't touch this flower, highly irritable to the skin.
2017-12-16 11.51.37.jpg

2017-12-16 11.51.42.jpg

Scaling our next destination; Doi Chang.
2017-12-16 12.29.14.jpg

2017-12-16 12.34.49.jpg

Looking west and back to the village we started from.
2017-12-16 12.35.08.jpg
2017-12-16 12.35.14.jpg

a change of hosiery....?
2017-12-16 13.59.03.jpg

Looking north to Doi Pa Ngom
2017-12-16 14.00.13.jpg
2017-12-16 14.01.42.jpg
2017-12-16 14.02.25.jpg
2017-12-16 14.02.50.jpg

Berg Heil, Peter...
2017-12-16 14.04.12.jpg
2017-12-16 14.06.16.jpg

There was no space to camp on the top of Doi Chang, so we started down through the jungle to a lower level, to find a campsite.
2017-12-16 14.22.37.jpg

Looking back at the craggy peak
2017-12-16 14.27.00.jpg

Clear evidence of the recent presence of wild pigs, quite a few of them.... digging for roots to eat.
2017-12-16 14.32.15.jpg
2017-12-16 14.32.29.jpg
2017-12-16 14.33.03.jpg

Droppings from a rabbit sized mammal.
2017-12-16 14.37.06.jpg

No-one had been down this "path" for a long time, so we had to cut our way through the thick jungle.
2017-12-16 14.38.51.jpg
2017-12-16 14.42.43.jpg

Aah..... our bathroom.
2" of fresh cool clean running water, to have a decent wash in. It was definitely needed and appreciated...
2017-12-16 16.31.38.jpg

Our jungle camp.
2017-12-16 17.29.52.jpg

Next morning was warmer and sunnier, as we broke camp.
2017-12-17 08.05.51.jpg
2017-12-17 08.06.00.jpg

Looking back up at Doi Chang.
2017-12-17 08.08.19.jpg

It was a pretty easy 2 hour walk back down to the village.
2017-12-17 08.28.32.jpg
2017-12-17 08.42.23.jpg

Back to the start of the Doi Mot hiking trail.
2017-12-17 08.59.22.jpg
2017-12-17 09.09.31.jpg

After getting back to the village and producing a bag full of plastic garbage, we got our 500 Baht garbage deposit back. That is a good system to help teach people to bring their garbage back down from the trails.
2017-12-17 09.50.19.jpg

As the Phu Yai bahn was away, his wife came to greet us in the village and then we got a pickup ride back to the NP HQ.
The last stop on the trip was then a hot spring bath in Mae Kachan, to relieve those aching old muscles....
A wonderful mountain hike, that Peter and I both enjoyed immensely..


Staff member
Mar 22, 2016
Another epic alpine adventure - I enjoyed every word of it, and the mountain vistas are glorious... Well done, those men!!!


Staff member
Jan 16, 2003
Chiang Khong
Fantastic. You guys are leading the way in a new direction.

That yellow hand rail really is something. It looks quite new too - any idea on how long it has been up. I'm glad it was you climbing up there too,

What's next...?


Dec 9, 2008
I think the handrail has been there about 4 years. Before that it was posts in the ground with a steel wire cable. Much scarier, as a smaller area to hang on to.
The day after we were there, a group of 30 Thais hiked up Doi Mot.
Hiking in the mountains is getting more popular every year, as evidenced also by the large selection of camping gear sold in the department stores nowadays.
At the NP office, the morning we arrived, before the hike, there was a group of 13 hikers doing a 3 day hike up Doi Langkha Luang. I spoke to one girl in the group who had done the same hike last year. We had both done several of the same mountain hikes and agreed that once you start doing this, you want to do more, it is addictive. Such a great feeling of escapism.
At the end of this year, I plan to meet up with Peter again, with his wife this time, at Phu Soi Dao, in Uttaradit, on the Lao border. That will be another 3 day or maybe 4 day hike.
Other hikes on the list are;
Doi Mon Chong, 1929m, near Omkoi, 2 days.
Doi Pui, 1752m, Mae Surin NP, near Mae Hong Son, 2 days.
There is also a 10 hour jungle hike from Pong Duet Hot Springs, overnight in a hilltribe village and 17 hours bamboo rafting downriver. Sounds a bit extreme, but would be great...