Phu Kradueng Conquerors!!
Phu Kradueng Travel Blog› entry 1 of 1 › view all entries
October 19-24, 2005
I told myself since i knew this place that i had to be there one day or at least before age 30. Time passed by so fast, 9 years later i realised that next year i'll be 30 so now it's time to go there before too old to walk :)
Ok, Phukradueng, it's time to meet you.
Phukradueng National Park is a famous moutain of Thai people. It is a sandstone moutain with a vast plateau on top, surrounded by smaller hills. Once in a life time, if you're Thai, you should go there!!!!! Someone told me, it's not a rule but something kind of ... we have to.
But going to Phukradueng is different from going to shopping. The way to Phu is not like the way to go to Siam Square shopping center.
Haven't seen many foreigners there.I think because maybe most of them come from the countries which have much more beautiful moutains to do trekking and when they come to thailand they might want to go to beautiful beaches not moutains.
Phukradueng is open from October 1- May 31 and close from June 1- September 30 every year for travellers safety and forest recovering. In the rainy season, cliffs may collapse under their own weight by heavy rain. Flash floods may happen and run down the moutain so it's close for safety. And when it's open again, there has many travellers on October 1, they want to be the first person of the year who reaches the top of the moutain. Friends and I were not, we went there around the forth week of October. Nice weather and not too many people. (Maybe it's a little bit warm for you but for us it's very colddddd, 12c-14c)
How to go?
We started with VIP bus at night from bangkok to Loey (province), the bus station is at Mor-Chit in bangkok, and took a cab at Pha-Nok-Kao (city) to Phukradueng.
Then 6.30am, the cab started to Phukradueng National Park.
At the Phu ground has "Loog Hab" service , people (male and female) who carry your bags to the top of the hill. 10 baht per kilo. (Mine was 7 kilos, i can't remember what i put in there!!!) We used their service because we thought we can't walk with those stuff for sure. Nine kilos from the ground to the top. Ahhh! But if you want to bring it by yourself, you can but remember it's 9 kilos walk up!!! :)
One Loog Hab carries about 6-8 bags which is about 50-70 kilos.
At 7am we started walking after finished with loog habs. The officer told us that we should be up there around 2-3pm ... hmmm... long way to go. Along the way to the top has a place to stop which calls SUM. Sum means a place that water comes up from the ground. At each sum has food shops and toilets. Phu kradueng has a beautiful geology. Variety of the forest types which change every step ; hill evergree, pine, mixed deciduous. Variety of flowers which bloom at different time of the year.
Even though it's winter but Phukradueng have made me wet lolNot only the sweat that this moutain have eaten from me but also my energy too. We stopped almost every sums which we agreed at first that we wouldn't do that but whenwe saw sum, we stopped automaticly. Was very tired .... but the more we stopped, the more we lose energy. I never walked to anywhere else for many kilos like this in one day. And last night i didn't sleep, exited to come here so now i need more hours to take some rest. We tried to walk slowly because my friends were tired, they wanted to stop every step lol Tob and I are the persons who normally walk fast so we always were the leader of the group.
Half way done, one of my friends told me that she wanted to go back!!! ... Ahhh... we all encouraged her and tried to sing a song along the way and stopped more than we did. She almost had a stroke, we're all tired. I understand why ; we're almost 30 that's why we're so weak :)
Finally we have passed through hard time together :)
We're here!!!! "Lhang Pae" : We saw the sign "Congratulations, you are Phukradueng conquerer!!!".
It almost made me cry ... I want you to feel my heart, it was like when we won someone's heart. We're trying so hard to have him and finally we did!!!! Took some photos with this sign. Got energy back!!
But no, here's not the place that we can stay. We had to walk another 3 kilos to " Wang Kwang Park Headquarters 3 kms" :-O
One hour later we arrived :)
We should be there around 2pm as the officer said but wow can't believe that we had more power than we knew so we reached the top of the moutain at 11am!!!!! Only 4hrs from the ground!!! And we were the first group that day!!! Good job!!!! haha Then i saw a car!!! A CAR!!!??????? How come??? We walked so hard but there has a car here???? Yukkkk!!!!
We can't do anything yet cos had to wait for "Loog Hab", they started walking after us and they had our bagpacks so they would be here in the next 3 hours.
We surveyed, first thing was a big yard which the size is about 3 football fields for travelers to set the tents and do activities. Around the yard has food shops, we chose one and tasted it. It's good and not too expensive, ice is expensive. Bathroom for free, it's like a big cabin which seperates by the walls for 10 bathrooms. No warm water machine, and you know it's 12c so I decided not to take a bath for all trips. Not too many, just 5 days :) eiei
Around 3pm Loog Hab came, some of them who're younger went down to do another shift but the older did it once a day.
First day passed so fast, we didn't go to anywhere else yet just sat, talked and drank. The light turned off at 9pm but can't do camp fire here so we lighted the candles, sounded romantic, better if we came with our lovers.
After few beers we went to bed. All slept tight but I woke up in the middle of the night because it was too cold (for me), even though i was in sleeping bag, wore hooligan hat, socks, gloves, two t-shirts and one jacket but still coldddd, it was about 8c at night, i wore another socks and tried to sleep but wanted to pee :-( Oh, no .
The others days, we walked around the moutain, it was awesome, many viewpoints to see sunrise especailly on Pha nok Ann. It's far from park headquarters about 2 kms, has a single pine tree grows close to the edge of the cliff. Pha Nok Kao can be clearly seen from here. Many photographers take photos to do postcards for sell. Roadside of Pa nok ann is a large patch of wild roses growing among the rock which bloom in March and April. Another best view to see sunrise is Pha-Mak-Doog and Pha Yeab Mek which also have sea fog in the morning :) Very beautiful .
Then we went to Pen Pob Mai waterfall, maple dropped their red leaves to the water's surface. It's a cascade over the sharp rock. The water flows pass a cliff to another waterfall ; Pon Pob, named after Pon Kingpet, the first world champion boxer of Thailand who went to train at Phu kradueng to get used to cold weather before going to temperate countries :) Nice source.
If you see, we only went to one or two places per day because each place is far from where we stayed. There has some bikes for rent too but some ways can't ride into so we decided to walk. Exercise our legs, i thought at first, but that was hurt at night :-(
The last day, i decided to stayed around my place but one of my friends told me to go to Pha lom sak, it's the best place that we should go.
We left at 8am to Pha lom sak, stopped to eat at Anodad pool. It's a small pool surrounded pine trees. Then we thought we lost, the way we walked seem very far and it doesn't like a road. We found out later that the local road that we walked is not the road for people but for elephants !!! :-( I saw the sign at the exit, it said "Don't walk pass between xx-xxhrs, it's wild elephants time" (Can't remember what time but it was about the time we walked). Wild elephants can kill people, lucky us!
Pha lom sak is 9 kilos from the park headquarters, it's a rock yard, has single pine tree near the cliff.
Time to go back, used Loog Hab service again. Went down was faster than came up, only 3 hours, that's great. Got a certificate which has my name on it that i did win Phukradueng :)
It was another great trip that we had a wonderful time together and the most important thing i've got is stronger relationship.
If you come to thailand, when you're bored of beaches, try this. If it doesn't like others beautiful moutains but i'm sure that you will have a good time there :)
* Pha (thai word) means Cliff
* Many snails along the way to Phu in rainy season so watchout!!! :)
* Better go around October or november :)
* Have fun!