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 - 31 Mar 2023 17:11 #5443 by wvwv
Replied by wvwv on topic Hiking Khao Luang, Nakhon Si Thammarat
I guess your trip is not going ahead?

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. I gave up in the end. It seems this mountain does not want any of us to get to the top!



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



View of the mountain from afar.
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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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02 Feb 2021 07:47 #5584 by ravi
Replied by ravi on topic Hiking Khao Luang, Nakhon Si Thammarat
I am interested in this as well, if anyone wants company. I am slow but I have some kit.

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02 Feb 2021 09:17 #5586 by BKKBen
Replied by BKKBen on topic Hiking Khao Luang, Nakhon Si Thammarat
Hi Ravi,

For now, it looks like the plan is to go up some time at the beginning of June (April won't work for me this year). As stated earlier, while reaching the summit is definitely a must, the main aim for the trip is biridng, with several key targets being looked for further up the mountain.

I have been put onto a 'tour agency' with a Facebook page called "Tarzan Adventure Team". A Thai friend of mine hiked up with them around September last year. It a small Thai guide business, and they don't actually leave from Khiriwong; they leave from around Ai Khiao Waterfall (นำ้ตกอ้ายเขียว) which is north of the Khiriwong. I'm not 100% sure if we will go with them/from there, or whether we'll try again from Khiriwong, but closer to the time I'll post more information on here. We'd be planning a minimum of 2 nights on the mountain to increase our chances of finfing our targets.

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11 Mar 2021 17:09 - 30 Mar 2023 10:41 #5600 by wvwv
Replied by wvwv on topic Hiking Khao Luang, Nakhon Si Thammarat
I got to the top today, i found the GPS track on wikiloc. Everything was much easier than expected but unfortunately cloudy at the top so no views.  Not many leeches, trail in good shape, easy to walk. At least i now know the way for next time.

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30 Mar 2023 10:41 #5892 by wvwv
Replied by wvwv on topic Hiking Khao Luang, Nakhon Si Thammarat
All these photos are from the village at about 150m elevation up to the point where you enter the forest at about 650m elevation (lowest elevation pictures first).  The hut is where I camped and the photo after that is where you enter the forest.  The leeches started just before the hut so they are slightly outside the forest, but only if you go off the concrete path.  It doesn't look like a clear trail but the trail to the top was clear throughout, but some side trails around the river where they have laid some water pipes.  GPS track still required for sure, you wouldn't even make it to the trailhead without that because there are so many concrete paths branching off through the fruit orchards.

 

 



 

 

 

 

That hut where I camped is basically a full day's trek uphill from the village; 8km.  Whilst it's nice to walk through the fruit gardens, it's all narrow concrete paths, so you could get there on a dirt bike or manual bike like a Honda Wave.  Automatic bikes I'm not sure because it's steep in places.  If you can make it to that hut early morning you can easily go up and down the mountain in a single day but if you are starting walking from the village it's a minimum of 1 night camping, maybe 2.  Just as I woke up and was preparing to walk up - about 7am - a couple of rangers came on bikes with a Thai tourist and they made it up to the top by early afternoon just as I had started descending.  I wasn't sure if those rangers would have an issue with me walking alone so I set off before they could say anything but when I met them on the trail they were friendly and not bothered at all.  Seems to vary from park to park and maybe person to person, some of them are stricter than others.

This is a partial view from about half way up the mountain which was the last view I got because I entered the clouds after that.

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30 Mar 2023 11:07 - 30 Mar 2023 12:17 #5893 by wvwv
Replied by wvwv on topic Hiking Khao Luang, Nakhon Si Thammarat
Pics from the forest section of the walk:

 

  

 



 

The ranger told me they were checking the water levels, I didn't understand at first I just heard something about water / nam, I thought they meant the pipes but then I saw this and realised what they meant.

 

Above is the main viewpoint from which I could see very little.  There isn't really a cleared area as such so you have to climb a few steps up a tree.

 

This is the highest point, from where there is no viewpoint.  It says 1835m but actually it's nearly100m less than that according to my GPS and Google Maps.

The leeches were not so numerous at this time of year.  In the southern forests there is high humidity and rainfall year round but the hot season is still hot and it makes the leeches more lethargic.

From the hut/entrance to forest it's about 4.5km walk with 1200m elevation gain to the summit.  My GPS track below starts at the hut, goes up to summit, back down to hut and then finishes not far from Kiriwong Village, where a farmer on a bike gave me a ride back to the village.

www.filesharesite.com/files/202303/16801...5BFF00ED2D2AAF6.html

 

The markers for the summit are not correctly positioned for the summit and viewpoint on Google Maps, so don't try and walk there; there is no clear path.

last photo, does anybody think this is a tapir track?  i put the yellow marks in to indicate the toes in case it wasn't obvious.  this was at the viewpoint so about 1700m.

 
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