Chiang Rai Hill Park /// สวน
Located 3 Km west of Chiang Rai town, northernmost Thailand
The rocky hill is 1.3 Km long by roughly 240 meters wide. It sits along
side the Mae Kok river. Currently, there is a path along its
south side (its riverside). There are plans to extend the path
along the hill's north side, between the hill and road 5 (soi
ha). If/when that northern path is built, there will then be a
path circumventing the entire hill, about 2.7 Km. It will be
ideal for hiking, bicycling, jogging, but off limits to motorcycles.
The map shown at left is rather
small (we'll get a bigger one posted soon). The yellow region in
the middle is the hill. The solid red line is the path that's
already there, along the hill's south side. The dashed red line is the proposed path, along the north side, yet to be
Natural features already at the hill: amazing limestone
rock walls and boulders. Though there is currently no climbing
activity there, it could prove to be a mecca for rock climbers.
Similarly, anyone who enjoys scrambling over and around boulders will
love the terrain. There are at least four caves, with the
possibility of others yet to be discovered. Of the two largest
caves, one has a long narrow entryway which opens into several large
caverns. Minimun two flashlights/torches are required to explore
it, otherwise there's a risk of not being able to find one's way back
to the entrance. The other large cavern actually goes right
through the hill, north to south or vice versa. It is home to
hundreds of insect-eating bats.
Man-made features: There is a Buddha Cave at the west end
of the hill. As such, it gets daily visitors and has a parking area and
small refreshment stand.
Most of the year, the hill is unoccupied by people. The exception
is Songkran, which is Thailand's biggest festival, and takes place
during a week in April. At that time semi-temporary structures go
up on the south (river-facing) sice of the hill. As expected,
it's also a time of trash being left, sometimes by the bagload.
Indeed, one of the first assignments if/when we get the 'ok' to build
the path on the north side, is to haul away the trash which has
accummulated on the south side of the hill.
If anyone would like to get involved with the project, on any level
and/or contribute to building/funding it, please contact me:
tinpothat % gmail