starting from the parking lot continue up the mountain on the paved road/ rough and broken in sections, keeping right until you reach the top of Doi Suthep from their begins a white knuckle 5000 ft decent on rough dirt roads. There are several routes down into Chiang Mai.The trail splits at a Hmong hill tribe village, its best to go left here. Lots of thrills, spectacular scenery, switchbacks, plenty of variety
Drive or hire a truck up to Phuping Palace about 13 km uphill from Chiang Mai Zoo.Begin your ride in the parking lot at Phuping Palace. If you are very fit and start early you can also ride up the sealed road to the palace its a 4500 ft climb
Summary: I live in Chiang Mai and organise a group called 'Chiang Mai trail riders', Chiang Mai is a mtb dream, surrounded by mountains, lots of public access land, no specifically marked and maintained trails, but lots of natural hunting trails to discover and excellent nature. The Doi Pui run (as this is popularly known) is an awesome 20km downhill thrill, popular with mtb tours here. You can get a taxi ride to the top and it's relatively easy to find the trail head, though DONT do it on your own, this is a hair raising and often dangerous run on a dirt road, with some badly rutted bit (no need to ever dismount), loose gravel and some steep gradients, it's easy to pick up speed on this one too!
Recommended Route: There are several options here, if you enter the Hmong village (previously mentioned) there is a route out of here that takes you back to the Suithep temple you passed on the way up, a much shorted trail with some 2kms of uphill but much nicer, through the forest on near single track, not even the occassional farm truck or motor bike, and more enjoyable gradients. It's a bit tricky finding the head of this one, the locals wont speak a word of English.
Other recommended trails in the same area: This trail ends up at a recreational resevior called Huay Tung Tao. Just above the dam wall (mountain side) is a trail, if you can find it then follow it (most obvious route) and it winds through a fantastic single track and small road path through the forest, nice quick 5km route with some fairly technical bits and ends up at the 700 year stadium complex, excellent XC riding. FRom the stadium side, start on the damn wall above the complex and find your way, there are several options but if you explore them you'll eventually reach Huay Tung Tao. Very convenient, great trails through great forest, have it all to yourself.
Review Date November 7, 2003
Overall Rating 5 of 5
Aerobic Difficulty 5 of 5
Technical Difficulty 3 of 5
Ridden Trail: Once a year
Visitors rate this review 5.00 of 5,
Reviewed by: grant
Summary: This trail is a lot of fun - cause after the leg-burning bit at the top - which is largely paved road, it's all down hill from there. Worth stopping at the Hmong Village - on right about a kay or two after you enter the dirt road to the right of the ranger's outpost at Doi Pui. Have a coffee there and a village tour.
Best to go there in "winter" between Dec-Feb. great scenery. Take a camera. Not really technical, but you can pick up some serious speed , so make sure brakes are good. At the bottom there is a reservoir, where you can chillout, havea swim, do some fishing or just have a beer and some food. Highly recommended. get someone to meet you there from Chaingmai - or you can ride back. About 5 k's.
Recommended Route: Get someone to drop you at the top near Doi suthep temple - or they can take you further to the head of Doi pui national park. Or if you are keen , ride up from the bottom. If you do this, allow about 4 hours. If not, 2-3 hours. Keep to the tracks on the right while going down. great if you can get someone to meet you at the reservoir - have a few brews, some food and then back to town.
If you follow the Mae Rim track, look for motocross tracks in the dirt - it means you are on the right track.
Other recommended trails in the same area: At the fork in the road after leaving the Hmong village and getting back on the main DH run, normally you would turn right to follow the main trail mentioned above. If you really want an adventure, go left here instead. It takes you along what is know as the Mae Rim road. It is an epic undulating adventure with some long uphill climbs and much more long dh runs. You will pass through some villages, coffee and tea plantations, wild pigs, chooks, cows etc. If you go from Doi Suthep, allow 6 hours. After a truly amazing experience you will come out on the main road, near Mae rim, and a right turn will take you back towards town. Best to be met here, or take a mobile phone and ask someone to pick you up when you get there. Definitely take lots of water, good shoes, something to eat. If you are unsure of the way when you come to a fork, best to veer left, or ask a local the way to mae rim - chiang mai. Just say "Mae (May) Rim, ti nai (tee nigh)?" which means "where is mae rim?" and you will get pointed in the right direction. I cannot rate it highly enough as a fantastic cultural and bicycle experience. Find a great place to eat and drink later and just bliss out. Good luck!!