This is my 7th time conquering Phu Kradueng but it's my first time during summer in the mid of April. I usually visit here from October to January when the weather gets really cold with a single digit temperature. Every time, I'm very impressed with the atmosphere, nature, and great friendship from friends up here on Phu Kradueng.
Phu Kradueng National Park is located in Phu Kradueng District, Loei Province. It is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Thailand due to its beautiful nature. Each year, there are tens of thousands of visitors. Especially during long holidays, tourists often go to rest on top of Phu Kradueng. Phu Kradueng is the second national park after Khao Yai National Park with the height of about 400-1,200 meters from the middle sea level. The highest point is at the crater area at Kok Mei, with a height of 1,316 meters above the sea level.
For the trip to Phu Kradueng, the park will allow visitors to walk up from 07.00-14.00 p.m. every day. And after 14:00 p.m., the park will not allow the tourists to go up because the distance from foothill to the Lang Pae area is about 5.5 km which takes about 4-5 hours on foot and it will get dark along the way. Therefore it could be difficult and sometimes even dangerous caused by animals who go hunting at night. The Phu Kradueng National Park will open for visiting and staying up on the mountain from October 1st to May 31st every year. And then Phu Kradueng will be closed from June 1st to September 30th each year for renovation during rainy season.
Housing for tourists are available both on the top and at the National Park office area.
Tenting area/ tent for service is as below:
- Tent for 2 people is 150 THB/night.
- Tent for 3 people is 225 THB/night.
- Tent for 4 people is 300 THB/night.
P.S.: Sleeping bags are excluded from above price.
For the tourists bringing their own tent (or in in case the National Park's tent is full and need to rent at the top).
- The tenting fee is 30 THB/person/night.
- Children from 1-12 years old is free of charge.
For the tourists wanting to rent sleeping facilities from the National Park, the price is as below.
- Sleeping bag is 30 THB/each/night.
- Sleeping mat is 20 THB/each/night.
- Pillow is 10 THB/each/night.
- Big blanket is 50 THB/each/night.
- Small blanket is 30 THB/each/night.
The parking service is available. If you need to park overnight, you can register and take a card to prevent lost.
Restaurants are also available to serve tourists.
Tourist Information Center
Tourist Information Center are there both at the top and at the National Park office below and it opens everyday.
Charging battery fee (at the Tourist Information Center on top)
- A cell phone is 20 THB.
- A camera is 20 THB.
- A power bank is 40 THB.
Here is the map for this journey (Cr.
And here is my program for this 4 days 3 nights trip ( 11-14 April 2017):
Day 01 : Foothill – Lang Pae – Wang Kwang Center– Pha Mak Duk Cliff
Day 02 : Pha Nok Aen Cliff – Anodat Pond – Pha Lom Sak Cliff
Day 03 : Pha Nok Aen Cliff – Waterfalls – Pha Mak Duk Cliff
Day 04 : Pha Nok Aen Cliff – End of the Trip & Go Home
If you are ready, let's follow me!
Day 01 : Foothill – Lang Pae – Wang Kwang Center – Pha Mak Duk Cliff
It was raining yesterday so this morning the weather is great. The temperature is about 24-25 degree Celsius.
Let's firstly weight our luggage for Luk Hab to help us carry up, it is 30 THB/kg. Mine is 9 kg.
Register before going up
I'm a second person for today. It's quiet but I'm very happy.
To walk up the hill, it is 5.5 km. From Lang Pae to the tenting area at Wang Kwang Tourist Center is another 3.5 km. We will go pass several Sam (as shown in the map earlier) where we could stop for food and beverages (however in April, some shops didn't open, so please check with the National Park again before hiking).
The forest starts to turn green, quite refreshing.
My first meal, I enjoy it at Sam Haek. It is a dried pork garlic with rice. It is about a km from the foothill to this first stop.
Watermelon is 10 THB a piece, it's quite cheap and very refreshing. Now that energy is up, let's carry on.
Sam Kok Done is where red Azalea are blossoming to welcome us and ease out our exhaustion.
The maple at Sam Kok Done was fallen after turning red and now it started to produce green leaves again, beautiful.
Some leaves are out of season and still in red for me to see.
Before we reach Lang Pae, there's this steep stairs. Please hold tight onto the handrails. If you are really tired, do not climb up yet, please rest for a while, otherwise, you could pass out because the stairs are really steep and dangerous.
I started from the foothill at 07.20 a.m. and reached Lang Pae at 12.20 p.m. which takes 5 hours in total. I said it already that I'm not in hurry but now I'm hungry. Good thing that the staff sells water here so I bought a can of soft drink and then I see that the staff has 2 bananas. Then, I ask him for one and he's very kind. Thank you very much :)
The sign probably gets lonely on the fewer tourists day....
Now, I keep on walking on the road with my 5 new friends, wait for me too....
Luckily, this truck comes collect trash at Lang Pae and head back to the tourist center and the tenting area. Immediately, we wave for a ride.
Here we are, but my stuff is not here yet. It should reach here around 17.00 p.m. because when the tourists are not so many, they'd wait to get enough luggage and come up all at once. Now, we also get to choose wherever we want to tent. I choose to tent in the meeting room which can well prevent rain and wind.
At the tourist center, red Azalea are beautifully blossoming.
Then, I walk to enjoy the beautiful sunset at Pha Mak Duk Cliff and I got new friends again. (They are a family of P'Tor, P'Emmy, and N'Eve).
Along the way, I take photos of whatever I see.
Pha Mak Duk Cliff I usually enjoy my first sunset here because it's only 2 km. away from our tenting area at Wang Kwang. The next day I'd go to enjoy the sunset at Pha Lom Sak Cliff. I think here is also very beautiful and romantic.
P.S. do not forget to bright a flashlight too because it'd be dark on the way back.
When zooming down, we see that the forest starts to turn into green again.
I'm here many times already and every time the sun never set in the same place. Today, it goes into the forest.....
Let's go back to take shower, eat, and rest in order to charge up energy for the next day journey!
Day 02 : Pha Nok Aen Cliff – Anodat Pond – Pha Lom Sak Cliff
Pha Nok Aen Cliff is a beautiful sunrise spot that we should not miss. If we are lucky, we could see the sea fog accompanying the sunrise. But this morning, there's no sea fog. To travel here, we gather around 05.00 a.m. at the tourist center and the staff will lead the way to Pha Nok Aen Cliff. Do not go alone because it is the route wild elephants come out for food (every morning, a staff would go ahead to make sure no wild elephant was out).
The sun is high now and it's time to go back to eat. On the way back, I choose different direction by crossing the Standing Buddha yard.
White Azalea are beautifully blossoming.
Flowers are blossoming throughout the field.
After food, I am going to Anodat Pond. Please do not forget to bring lunch with you because all the shops near the cliff are closed except two at Pha Lom Sak Cliff.
New friendship of the day, going the same way, let's go together ;)
Along the fire wall, you will see the Siam Tulip is sprouting from the ground and beautifully blossoming in pink. I used to see it once from the Phu Kradueng postcard and finally I get to see it with my own eyes.
Anodat Pond is about 3 km. away from Wang Kwang. This pond has stream flowing through rocks. It's surrounded by pine trees, reflecting the shadow in the water.
After taking rest, taking photos, and drinking water, it's time to move onto Pha Lam Sak Cliff. There're two ways to reach there. The first one is to go via Tham So Nua Waterfall which is close now due to the wild elephant, leaving us only the second route which is to cut through Pha Yiab Mek Cliff.
After reaching Pha Yiab Mek Cliff, let me take a rest for a while as we still have a lot of time. All of the shops here are closed.
And then I go take photos with a popular angle here. I see people jump here on this rock. I set a tripod and take photo myself so it's very difficult to take a shot. And here is the best I've got. I didn't jump as I thought it'd hurt.
White Azalea on Pha Yieb Mek Cliff are also beautifully blossoming.
After that I keep on moving, after the Pha Yieb Mak Cliff is the Red Cliff and Pha Lom Sak Cliff with a total distance of 4.5 km. I plan to reach Pha Lom Sak Cliff for lunch. That the rain seems to fall soon, I walk quickly. But my water is gone and the sun is so strong T_T. I reach Pha Lom Sak Cliff at 13.00 p.m. and order papaya salad right away, so yummy!
Soon, the rain falls really hard. An aunt and other people who can't walk fast is experiencing raining.
I'm glad that it rains, so now it's very cool. Also, I get to experience all 3 seasons. I'm hoping to see the evening sea fog at Pha Lom Sak Cliff but...it turns out that the rain only falls on the mountain, haha. So the sea fog didn't come out. Anyway, there's a high chance that we might see a sea fog at Pha Nok Aen Cliff side, let's go check out tomorrow morning.
Since it's raining, some people choose to go back to the camp. Only about 12 people are left. Oh well, since we are already here, let's wait to see the sunrise where it's quiet and you won't have to queue for photography.
It is well known that, if you don't come to Pha Lom Sak Cliff, then you haven't reached Phu Kradueng yet. Every time I come, I also must visit this magnificent view even though it's far and very tiring. The sunrise behind the rock stretching out from the cliff and the pine tree is just so great. This view is a unique beauty of this place. It also becomes a symbol of this place, Phu Kradueng.
Today the light is quite beautiful. After the light is gone, we are walking back to our camp. We just take a short break at Pha Mak Duk Clifff once. There, I try to take stars shot but that it's too bright tonight so the stars are not clear.
From Pha Lom Sak Cliff to Wang Kwang Center is about 9 km. We are back at 21.10 p.m. and quickly find something to eat before the shops close at 22.00 p.m. Today I'm really tired. In total, I walk about 20 km. Wow, that's quite impressive. Every time I come, I must visit Pha Lom Sak Cliff though I know it's quite far. It seems like this is a challenge that if I didn't go then I haven't reached Phu Kradueng. Tonight let's take a shower and a good rest. Probably, tomorrow the sea fog is waiting for us there, good night!
Day 03 : Pha Nok Aen Cliff – Waterfalls – Pha Mak Duk
This morning at Pha Nok Aen Cliff, sea fog is not as much, probably the rain is not enough. Anyhow, we start to clearly see Pha Nok Khao Cliff which was invisible on the first day. After a full deep breath of the fresh air, let's go back to have our breakfast.
Today there's water in the waterfall and we can also go visit (the first morning was prohibited due to the wild elephants were out for food at the waterfall area).
Wang Kwang Waterfall and Phen Phob Mai Waterfall only have little water so I didn't take their photo.
The water is only there at Phen Phob Waterfall and Tham Yai Waterfall.
I finish all the waterfalls at noon, so I go back to eat and rest. The rain seems to fall again. It's been too long since I get to take an afternoon sleep. Let's take it as charging up energy time before going back to be a salary man again. Indeed, it rains hard and I also get a very good sleep. I wake up again at 16.00 p.m. when the rain stops. I'm thinking that I'd definitely see some fog. So then, I take my camera and a tripod before rushing to Pha Mak Duk Cliff immediately. I reach here around 17.00 p.m. and the fog starts to form. I also found another tourists. I just feel so good to have someone taking photos with.
I enjoy photo taking time so much. That I brought a tripod with me, I also take my own photos too. It's quite scary, I'm actually quite scared of falling down to the cliff, haha. After that, I walk back to eat, take a shower, and sleep. Tomorrow, I will wake up early to look for sea fog again at Pha Nok Aen Cliff for the third time. Seriously! I do have lots of energy, haha.
Day 04 : Pha Nok Aen Cliff– End of the Trip & Go Home
This morning, more sea fog is presented. the fog is quite high, covering the entire mountain that Pha Nok Khao Cliff is no longer visible. Well, like this is also beautiful. Three mornings here give us different view every day. This is truly the creation from the nature where we can't plan or set thing as we wanted.
It's time to go now. This morning the sea fog also covers our tenting area, very nice.
I have to go now, Phu Kradueng. I come solo but get lots of friendship back. Thank you guys for walking down with me.
Thank you this heart shape mountain for giving me different feeling every time I'm here. Although something more of less is changed, but the charm of Phu Kradueng never changes. See you again, "Phu Kradueng".
"New experiences, not going our for exploring, you won't find it". Life is a journey #Phu Kradueng # Loei #Thailand
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