Hiking Khao Luang, Nakhon Si Thammarat

22 Feb 2020 10:50 #5432 by wvwv
Replied by wvwv on topic Hiking Khao Luang, Nakhon Si Thammarat
If anybody is still interested in walking this this year I'll be there (in Nakhon Si Thammarat) on the weekend of June 20-21. So I could hike it in the days before then or ideally in the days after (22nd-24th?) June seems to be a pretty dry month for the area...

If no takers I'll give it a go anyway and report back later!
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23 Feb 2020 20:03 #5435 by BKKBen
Replied by BKKBen on topic Hiking Khao Luang, Nakhon Si Thammarat
@wvwv, I will actually be doing this hike April 15-16 with another member of this forum. I was going to post soon to see if there was further interest, but I see you already have alternate plans. We will both be birding during our trip, with two key targets - Turquoise-throated Barbet and Malayan Laughingthrush - among other species not found often in southern Thailand.

Did you manage to find a guide, or will you attempt the hike without? I'm guessing when drier, the trail will be more apparent.

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04 Mar 2020 15:53 - 01 Apr 2020 21:44 #5436 by wvwv
Replied by wvwv on topic Hiking Khao Luang, Nakhon Si Thammarat
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01 Apr 2020 21:43 - 03 Apr 2020 09:38 #5443 by wvwv
Replied by wvwv on topic Hiking Khao Luang, Nakhon Si Thammarat
I guess your trip is not going ahead? With the current situation I had nothing to do in Bangkok so went down south for a week. I felt my plan to get there in a couple of months might be disrupted the way things were going.

The GPS track I posted turned out to be not much use so I've deleted it. It's on the right lines but I've overestimated how often this path is walked I think. The trail needs a machete (and a guide if you do not have the GPS track).

After my second failed attempt I went back to Khiriwong village and set about trying to find a guide. The number in this thread was unanswered. I went to the tourist information centre in the village which was open but nobody was there. I called the number on the door and on the tourist leaflets but all calls went unanswered as did numerous messages to local tour companies. This was a few days before all the national parks closed so not sure why it was so difficult to contact anybody. I gave up in the end. It seems this mountain does not want any of us to get to the top!

So back to square one for Khao Luang... if anybody has the full GPS track or a local guide contact, or is going, let me know!



This is where the thin concrete path ends and you have a choice of 3 trails. Left and right dead end at rubber tappers/fruit orchard huts. The middle path goes into the jungle and I'm fairly sure this is the right way, but the trail is not in good shape. It follows some water pipes for a while but they eventually lead to the stream and the path must veer off to the left before the stream somewhere, but where exactly is not obvious at all.



I was battling through vines and this caterpillar fell off onto my arm. Stung quite bad for a few minutes. Limacodidae.



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03 Apr 2020 14:59 #5448 by BKKBen
Replied by BKKBen on topic Hiking Khao Luang, Nakhon Si Thammarat
Yes, I won't be able to get down there, let alone do the hike.

My wife called Kang on that number on February 5th this year, and we made a booking, but maybe he's now off doing something else. I have heard that organizing guides for the trip can be quite difficult at times, so maybe I've just gotten lucky both times, well, lucky in terms of booking, but not hiking haha.

The picture you posted of the very narrow concrete trail on a small ridge doesn't look familiar to me at all. When I attempted the hike last year, we walked as far along the concrete trails as we could, and then came to a hut (as can be seen in my pics further up this thread). From this hut, the trail just became dirt, and we went into the forest and then up a fairly steep, but small hill onto a small ridge. But after the hut, there was no more concrete. We also then descended into a gully and crossed a stream three times before we were (supposedly) on the trail that keep climbing to the summit. And as you noted, the trail itself is very overgrown - there were times where there seemed to be no trail at all, but Kang seemed quite experienced, and knew the way.

Anyway, all that will now have to wait until next April! Ha! Third time lucky hopefully.
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