Phu Kradung Things to Do

  • tired but worth it
    tired but worth it
    by davidjo
  • camping at the top, but it is cold
    camping at the top, but it is cold
    by davidjo
  • Does Not Look Like Thailand to Me
    Does Not Look Like Thailand to Me
    by AlbuqRay

Most Recent Things to Do in Phu Kradung

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    DON'T MISS THIS PARK

    by davidjo Written Jul 31, 2014

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    Phu Kradung, Loei Province is the second largest park in Thailand and well worth making an effort to spend a night there. The summit is around 1,300 m and the lowest part is 400 m, but has an abundance of fauna and flora. The mountain itself is sandstone with cliffs, streams and waterfalls, and the temperature may drop to freezing point. The park is closed from June to end of September so plan your trip accordingly, and it is also best to avoid weekends as hundreds of Thais will be making their way there. The trail to the top is around 6 kms but it will take the best part of 3 hours to accomplish the climb. There are quite a few rest areas on the way to the top, but once at the top you can rent a tent and blankets if you don't have your own, and there are also places to eat. There are also several trails to explore the park where you may have a chance of spotting deer, and if you are really lucky, elephants.

    You can reach Phu Kradung by taking a bus from Khon Kaen or Loie. Get off at Phu Kradung and catch a sawngthiaw to the visitors center where the trail will begin.

    tired but worth it camping at the top, but it is cold
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    The Best Lemonade

    by AlbuqRay Updated Jul 4, 2004

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    A lady at the Sum Haek reststop had the best lemonade ever. She was in the group of shelters on the right hand side about in the middle. Two lemonades and a small bottle of water were 20 baht. Her secret was the hand-driven ice crushing machine. You can decide whether you want salt in the sweet lemonade or not. I had some since it was hot and I was perspiring a lot from the climbing. You really don't taste it and can probably use the electrolytes.

    Stop Here for Lemonade
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    Phu Kradung National Park Headquarters

    by AlbuqRay Updated Jul 4, 2004

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    The lower Visitors' Center is the park headquarters. You need to register here. We had made our reservations and prepaid (2000 baht) for the mountaintop bungalow at the Forest Service office in Bangkok. They will store suitcases for you for free, so only take up what you need to the top of the mountain. Not many people were storing suitcases; at the time, mine was the only one in the storage room. Then again, there were not many people going up the mountain either.

    Park Headquarters
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    Well Marked Trails

    by AlbuqRay Written Jul 3, 2004

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    The trails in the southern part of the park on top of the mountain are well marked with signs like these, as was the trail up the mountain. They also give you a handout with maps at the Park Headquarters. You can find your way around easily.

    Trail Marker
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    Phu Kradung Rock Outcropping

    by AlbuqRay Written Jul 3, 2004

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    I am not a geologist so I cannot tell you what the gray rock formations are. I think they are a type of granite but it is different from what we have in New Mexico. There were also beautiful lichens everywhere. Too bad it was hazy from the rain the night before or this picture would have had a great view too.

    Jam Sin Cliff
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    View at Jam Sin Cliff

    by AlbuqRay Updated Jul 3, 2004

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    There are many places like this along the south rim. I was a little nervous standing next to that drop-off at the edge of the cliff. You cannot see it in the picture but it was several hundred feet down just one step to my right.

    No I Won't Move a Little to the Right
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    Bungalow vs. Tent

    by AlbuqRay Updated Jul 3, 2004

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    It really rained hard the first night we were there and the next morning you could see that many people had moved their tents under whatever shelter they could find, e.g. picnic shelters. I was a little disappointed in the bungalow (see my Accommodations tip) but at least it was dry inside.

    Morning After a Rainy Night
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    Wang Kwang Visitors' Center

    by AlbuqRay Updated Jul 3, 2004

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    The upper Visitors' Center is where you check in to let them know that you made the climb safely. This is also where you get your bungalow key or your tent and sleeping gear. It was starting to rain when we arrived. Just be aware that the climate changes a lot as you get higher in elevation and be prepared. It was hot and sunny when we started at the bottom of the mountain and then at the top (a few minutes after I took this picture), got windy and cold with a driving rain, that lasted about an hour. It also rained hard during the night.

    Phu Kradung Wang Kwang Visitors' Center
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    Reststops on the Trail

    by AlbuqRay Updated Jul 3, 2004

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    Approximately every kilometer on the way up there are places to stop, rest, and get food or drinks. The prices are set by the Forest Service and they increase as you get higher. This is probably because everything must be carried up by hand. Sum-Haek was the first place to stop that had refreshments. It took us about 40 minutes of climbing to get there.

    Sum-Haek Reststop
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    Made It and Still Alive

    by AlbuqRay Updated May 30, 2004

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    I was very happy to get to the mountain top. It was a long and tiring climb for me. We had started about 8:45 AM and it was now about 1:30 PM. After the stop at Sum-Haek, we also took breaks at Sum-Kor-Sang, Sum-Kok-Done, and Sum-Krae. The latter only had one vendor but he had small watermelons and green mangos with spicy salt (one each peeled and sliced for 25 baht). They were very refreshing, especially since it was right before the last 1300 m to the top, which is the steepest part of the climb. Fortunately toward the end there was a light rain that cooled things off but did not make the trail too slick. From where this picture was taken at the top of the climb, we still had another 50 min. level walk to get to the upper Visitors' Center.

    Proof I Was There
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    Pay the Entrance Fee

    by AlbuqRay Updated May 30, 2004

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    Don't ask me why you don't pay your fee at park headquarters or the trailhead gate, but there is a separate booth for collecting the fee. The fee is 200 baht for foreigners and 20 baht for Thai people.

    Entrance Fee Booth
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    Porter Service

    by AlbuqRay Updated May 30, 2004

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    If you want to use the porter service to have your things carried up for you, take them to this facility. Seems like it was 2-3 baht for a claim ticket. You actually pay the 10 baht per kilogram when you get your things at the top. They load the bags into nets to carry on the ends of a bamboo pole (see also my Transportation tips).

    Porter Facility
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    Get Ready to Climb

    by AlbuqRay Written May 30, 2004

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    Although it is steep and long , the trail is easy to follow. There are well placed signs along the way to indicate distances and sites. The barrel had walking sticks. I was glad to have one many times, especially coming down.

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    Trailhead Gate

    by AlbuqRay Updated Aug 1, 2015

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    Hand in your ticket here and sign that you are starting the climb. If you survive, you exit through this gate too.

    Phu Kradung Trailhead
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    Stream Below Kaew Pond

    by AlbuqRay Updated Aug 1, 2015

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    This was a beautiful place in the forest on the top of Phu Kradung with clear running water and many water plants.

    Mountain Stream

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Phu Kradung Things to Do

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