The Ancient Opium Route
Thailand Mountain Trail has spent several years to investigate the most beautiful and interesting mountain trails around Chiang Mai. We discovered those different routes in the Doi Suthep mountain at the beginning of our researches. We were immediately seduced by the beauty and the wildness of those areas located at the doorsteps of the city.
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This trip will start directly from the beautiful Wat Doi Suthep temple. It will take an old path created by the Hmong tribes when they arrived here from Laos the last century. They settled high in the mountains to grow poppy crops. The route still exists and will lead us through deep jungle to their villages located in the pine trees at the foothill of Doi Pui summit.
Characteristics of the Trip
2,050 THBAll-inclusive price
Trek & Discover
Finish: Ban Doi Pui (1 hour transfer)
90% single-track trail
Highlights: Hmong villages, Jungle, Doi Pui National Park
Duration: 5-6 hiking hours
Pick up & Drop off at your hotel (city center)
Additional day available on request
Available all year round
Details of the Day
Just behind the temple, wet take a hidden path and plunge headlong into a first stretch of jungle. For many it comes as a shock. We have to find our bearings very quickly in these long green tunnels whose very density is impressive. The undulating paths are almost free of obstacles but in many places they are punctuated by fallen branches and tree trunks which we have to step over.
We will carry water and food as we will hike almost 10k in tropical forests without crossing any village. After the jungle flat and wild, the route begins to rise. It’s not steep but it is a constant way up until the 1st Hmong village. As we hike up, the forest is clearing out and pine trees are replacing banana trees. When we arrive in the village close to the summit, it’s a complete change of atmosphere and climate.
Hmong people are experts for farming. Many years ago helped by the Royal Project, they abandoned poppy crops for substitution crops. This village is famous for growing a delicious Arabica that we could taste directly from the producer. After a break and a cup of coffee, we continue hiking up and reach a beautiful ridge surrounded by pine trees. The view overlooking the fields and the valleys is steep and wild.
For the last part of our trip, we plunge again into the jungle and the atmosphere becomes wilder. First it’s a beautiful mix between pine forests and tropical forests then the jungle again. We can enjoy a comfortable route that is slightly downhill until the last Hmong village. Arrived in Ban Doi Pui the horizon opens up on the next mountains. We will stop there for a deserved meal before going back to Chiang Mai by taxi.