If you come to Chiang Mai, chances are that you’ll head up the “Doi” at least once on your trip. Most people would either ride their scooter or take a songthaew up but there is another way, hike. The whole mountain is criss crossed with paths leading to waterfalls, temples and even to the very summit, yes all 1400m up from Chiang Mai to the very top. 

I get that this isn’t for everyone but for those that are interested it is a great hike and you’ll pass through the Ban Khun Chang Khian village aswell. 
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The total distance from the starting point and back is around 20kms and you can download the GPX track by clicking here or to view the trail on google maps click here.
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The hike starts at the parking area to the Wang Bua Ban Pha Ngoep rest area. This is also the top part of the Huay Keaw Waterfall. You can park your scooter here or just get dropped off by a Songthaew. You can also start from the Chiang Mai Zoo and walk up the trail from there and this will add around 2kms to the trip. 
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The path starts on the right side of the road across from Wang Bua Ban Pha Ngoep and if if you can see the map linked above you wont get lost. There are some small wooden planks that cross the drain across from the parking area and that marks the start of the trail.
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From the start it is a steady 6.5km hike up to the village and another 3km along the north ridge line to the summit. The first section is very hot as it is a lower elevation but it does get much cooler and manageable the higher you go up. The first major landmark you’ll come across is a river at 2km in. If you’re already hot here is a great place to wet your head and face to cool down a little. Once you’ve crossed the river the trees totally change to be a beautiful lush forest. 
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This doesn’t last long though as the trees change once again to be less lush. The trail really begins to kick it up now and its quite difficult and steep. After 5km the trail goes down to meet a cross road. If you take a left or right you’ll end up at some other villages but for the purpose of climbing Doi Pui, you just go straight. 
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The trail goes up again for another kilometre or so and you’ll pop out at the small village. Follow the road past the school and make a let down the main street. This village is really cool and there are some abandoned buildings around to check out. This village sees a lot of tourists so it isn’t really off the beaten path, although it really feels like it. Here there are some shops where you can get a coffee or buy some water if you’re running low. If you’re tired from the climb take a break and enjoy the simple life in the village. 
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Note – Beware of some of the dogs. They are very inquisitive and will come up and smell you but they are pretty harmless. The best thing is to just walk normally and don’t show them any attention and they’ll leave you alone. 

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Follow the concrete road through the village and you’ll see one dirt road goes to the right and the main road to the left. Right in the the middle you’ll see the hiking trail. There is a sign saying no off road motorcycles and it is marked with orange cloth from the monks. 
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This part of the path is very steep and the trail will then come to a T junction at the ridge where you’ll turn left and go to the summit. Here the views are amazing and you’ll be stoked you made the effort after the long uphill. 
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The Doi Put summit is actually in the middle of the jungle and you can’t see much so its best to stop and take in the views from the ridge, especially at the viewpoint. 
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If 20kms is too long you can always go by road to the Doi Pui campsite and make the ridge hike from there. The distance will be around 6 or 7kms and you’ll already be up high and won’t be so hot like down low in the forest. 
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This hike is a beautiful escape from Chiang Mai city where you can get into nature. Depending on what time of year you go it can be cold, or very hot so check the weather forecast and take and extra jacket or bottle of water depending on the conditions. 
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I hiked the Doi Pui summit in May and it was very hot. This time of year its best to go as early as possible to beat the heat. If you go in the winter months, November – March, the weather will be much more pleasant.