"Phu Kradung National Park" Phu Kradung by AlbuqRay

Phu Kradung Travel Guide: 28 reviews and 44 photos

Flat-topped Mountain

This is Thailand's national park on top of a mesa, 1200 meters above the surrounding countryside. It is 135 square kilometers of a cooler climate and the associated ecosystem. To reach its pine forests and grasslands, you must walk, or more specifically, climb 1200 meters in a distance of 5.4 km. This is a non-trivial task and limits the number of visitors.

Facilities are not bad at the top (bungalows, tents, restrooms, restaurants, etc.), and there reststops on the way up to help you survive the climb. I was in fair shape for my age (61) in 2004, but it took me 5.5 hrs. to go up and 4 hrs. to come down. It is beautiful and quiet on top and well worth the effort to get there.

Phu Kradung has bungalows at the bottom near Park Headquarters; however, a much better deal is the private Phu Kradung Resort between the village and the Headquarters. It was a little hard to find but turned out to be great. The staff were friendly and helpful. An air conditioned room overlooking a beautiful lake was 600 B. See also my Hotels & Accommodations tip and associated Phu Kradung Resort travelogue.

A Different World

Up on top, the southern one third of the park has developed trails that you can hike by yourself. In the northern area, what they call the "green forest," you must be accompanied by a Forest Service guide. You can walk along the south rim and see shear dropoffs and spectacular vistas in many places. The plateau below in this picture shows where we saw (and smelled) signs of wild elephants on the way up the mountain. April is the end of the dry season and the flowers were starting to come out (see my Phu Kradung Flowers travelogue). We stayed two nights but it was not enough to see everything. I would think that four nights might be adequate.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Spectacular vistas, unique flora, friendly people
  • Cons:Physically hard to do; could be killed by a wild elephant; leeches after rain
  • In a nutshell:Beautiful unspoiled and totally different Thai place
  • Last visit to Phu Kradung: Apr 2004
  • Intro Updated Jan 23, 2013
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Reviews (30)

Comments (7)

  • davidjo's Profile Photo
    Jan 23, 2013 at 9:27 AM

    Hiked up there 20 years ago but did not realise it was so cold in the tent!!!

  • Jim_Eliason's Profile Photo
    Oct 5, 2008 at 7:43 AM

    Great tips!

  • Paul_the_Seeker's Profile Photo
    Feb 17, 2006 at 9:57 AM

    Thanks for the enjoyable journey, Ray. I give you top ratings. I'd love to go, but would probably be on my own. Maybe when my son gets a little older. Chok dee, -Paul

  • Wild_Orchid's Profile Photo
    Jan 4, 2006 at 1:25 AM

    this place reminds me of Taman Negara. :) ps.I 'd love someThai sticky rice with mango with a dollop of fresh coconut cream!

  • Wann's Profile Photo
    Sep 9, 2005 at 9:14 AM

    It sounds such a great trip visit Phu Kradung !! Do you know? it's the most beautiful there in winter, well and crowded too.. ;-)

  • Jan 24, 2005 at 6:36 PM

    Climbing is my kinda thing......Ethan, on the other hand, would rather not! Leeches? They need to be the "sensitive ear" type that scurry away when I scream!! VERY informative page, Ray!!! ;~)

  • keeweechic's Profile Photo
    Aug 31, 2004 at 8:04 PM

    Those walking sticks sound a really good tip. What a great feat and trip. Expensive accomm. Yikes leeches.. loads of good tips and great photos and page.

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