Read only if heading to Phu Kradeung
One thick warm clothing for the cold weather (particulary winter season) It's sold at the top but better to have your own - particularly medical supplies for constipation, vitamin C etc. I see many people carrying their tripods - so you might consider bringing them along. You are strongly advise to bring the following:
- anything to prevent leeches from coming to leech on you (salt, lighter, thick long socks)
- mosquito repellent (better still, get insect repellent) Prep up your batteries, multi-plugs or adapters (maybe screw driver too) for your tech gadgets.
In the misty mountains near Mekong and Laos
This is my second visit to Loei, a small and sleepy town, fascinating for me. You may go there by bus, car or plane. I arrived by car. So, even if the town has not so much to see, I must drive and visit place at a short distance on my own. Not so many torists came here, but I recomend because is very fine and quiet. From here you can't cross to Laos.
The Loei Province in NE Thailand is an extremely fetile area. The Phang Hoei Range of mountains are to the West. To the north is the border town of Chaing Khan and the Mekong River. There are four National Parks within the province, which is divided into 12 Districts. The capital is LOEI.
This mountain and National Park is about 50 km to the west of Loei on the road to Lam Sak. The Peak is 1365 mtrs. The area approaching the NP has many plant nurseries and being a gardener myself was in my element. It has had frosts around this area in the winter months. You can drive virtually to the the top of the peak but have to do the last kilometre on foot. There are marvellous views from the top and of course a Bhuddha image.
A worthwhile visit.
"More Interesting Places"
The province has may interesting places to visit. The Phu Kradung National park , Phu Luang, Erawan Cave, and numerous waterfalls around the region. The town of Chiang Khan situated to the North and on the banks of the Mekong River
Phu Kradeung - the hike up
We arrived at Loei terminal at 6am sharp. Looks more like a place for washing up and building up energy for the rest of the day. Toilets are readily available, mirrors for dolling up if you need, and even bathrooms.
I ate my breakfast from the dinner supplied on the bus the previous night (tastes quite horrible - salty chicken with cold plain rice), while the rest bought steaming hot food from the vendors.
So much for the freshening up. It's back to business.
Hopped on the the songthaew to get to Phu Kradeung base.
Once arrived at the visitor centre in the base, we proceeded to weigh our luggages to be brought up by the carry-men. It is possible to carry your own belongings up by yourself (i'd like to try that actually, but my friend was totally against the idea). It costs 10 baht to carry each kg up to. Mine weighed a total of 10 kilos (OMG, i should have left the Lonely Planet at home). Blessed me, i was glad i never brought that heavy backpack up myself - but that shall be a challenge if I ever do that again!
Our luggages are strategically stacked and tied to two ends of the bamboo looking poles. Strangely , i haven't got a chance to see who was the one who carried our stuff up.
There are several "pit stops" along a way and you could catch some lunch and drink. From a tourist point of view, i have found out quite some interesting notes about the locals (Thai people) - especially about food.
- coke is definite favourite (at least so far in my trip)
- as long as they are on the move, there's always time to stop and eat
- hard boiled eggs are a common favourite and must always go together with soy sauce (yum yum!)
You will also notice the together-ness of the locals. They travel very much at a leisure pace (while i was just trying to make my way up to the top as quick as possible). It doesn't really matter what time they reach up there, there's always conversations going on during the hike up.
The way up isn't very far, nor very short - and there are no other ways to get up there besides climbing by foot. (you could, engage carry men to bring you up but at a hefty lump sum).
Enjoy the flower and fauna (if you are lucky to see them) and fresh air as you trek upwards. Rest if you must, and try the food there if you can. There are freshly squeezed watermelon juice that tasted so sweet and thrist-quenching that you want another packet more.
Befriend the locals, they are good company for the lonely soul.