The Tour of Doi Suthep
This ‘Run & Relax’ trip is designed to guarantee the best conditions after sport. Running in Chiang Mai and coming back to the city gives runners plenty of opportunities to recover nicely: relaxing at a swimming pool, having a traditional Thai massage, eating great Thai food, walking in the old town… This is a perfect mix for 2 days.
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We will run 2 different routes in the beautiful Doi Suthep mountain. Dedicated to runners with an intermediate level able to run around 25k two days in a row, it’s the best trail running that Chiang Mai can offer. We will be pleased from the starting to the finishing point by the special atmosphere of the jungle, the amazing temples lost in the forest, the highest summits of the area, the hill-tribe villages at the top of the mountains.
Characteristics of the Trip
4,250 THBAll-inclusive price
Run & Relax
Finish: Chiang Mai
90% single-track trail
Highlights: Jungle, Hmong villages,Summits
Stations at mid-distance
Duration: 6-8 running hours a day
Pick up & Drop off at your hotel (city center)
Accommodation in Chiang Mai on request
Available all year round
In the early hours of the morning the run leaves Chiang Mai towards the North and climbs straight up into the forest on a track used by pilgrims. Without transition we pass into rocky terrain which lasts until the almost fairy tale appearance of Wat Palaad, nestling on the bank of a river. A few kilometres further on the course crosses the site of Wat Doi Suthep, one of the most holy temples in Thailand. The view over the valley of Chiang Mai is panoramic and imposing.
The route runs down the dizzyingly steep staircase from the temple of Doi Suthep, and then, without a break, plunges headlong into its 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…
As we emerge from the jungle, the run starts to climb again, up to the village of Chang Khian, the first Hmong village. After a break to enjoy local Arabica coffee, the slope gets progressively harder and becomes so steep that we have to use our hands to help us at some points. When we reach a magnificent line of ridges edged in pine trees, Doi Pui stands out in the distance. If we can see it, our feet can take us there!
After the summit, the last 5k will lead us through the jungle again on a nice trail down to the final Hmong village where we will eat a great Thai food before going back to Chiang Mai by local taxi. It’s time for relaxing in the city.
After a deserved recovery and a relax time in Chiang Mai on the evening before, the 2nd day of the trip leaves Chiang Mai on a trail alongside a beautiful stream. We will enjoy a nice view on the city at the sunrise, then we climb straight up into the forest on a wild trail. The muscles are still a bit cold when the path goes steeper. For 7k and 1’100m+ it’s a regular climb in the forest and the jungle until we reach the Hmong village of Chang Khian.
After a short break to refill water and get a local coffee, we enjoy a great way down in a bamboo jungle. The undulating path is dense and technical on some parts. In many places it is punctuated by cut or fallen bamboo tree trunks. As we emerge from the jungle, we can see the mountain ridge in a tooth shape surrounding us. At its top stands the summit of Doi Pa Klong, the objective of the day.
After a new climb and a run alongside the ridge, finally we reach the summit at 1650m high. On the east side the view over the valley of Chiang Mai is panoramic and imposing. On the west side as far as we can see, it is an ocean of green mountains. We will make a break here at the top of Chiang Mai to enjoy some food and rest before the last drop.
The last part of the route leads us down back to Chiang Mai through a beautiful tropical forest. After having climbed 1’850m elevation gain, we let our legs recover slowly from the effort on this comfortable part. The closer we are from the city, the wilder the jungle becomes. It’s more and more technical and running can be sometimes difficult, especially with tired legs. Finally we reach a beautiful waterfall in the middle of the forest. We are not far from the finish point.