BY The Bear Travelers

Phu Laen Kha National Park in Chaiyaphum

Thailand is more than just the beaches or big cities like Krung Thep Maha Nakhon (Bangkok) and Chiang Mai, and one of the country’s best-kept tourism secrets is its national parks. To escape and discover Thailand, we recommend visiting Phu Laen Kha National Park in Chaiyaphum. 

Phu Laen Kha National Park in Chaiyaphum is easy to find, clean, safe, accessible, and the facilities are first class. If you want to go out on the road to see more of the country, these parks are the best destination. Make a journey from the tourist areas into the heartland and experience the culture and real-life of Thai people. 

Phu Laen Kha is one of the premier national park locations to visit. You will enjoy every moment here so come with us and let’s explore it together.

 

The Bear Travel  Trivia!

Phu Laen Kha is the 180th National Park in Thailand covering an area of 200 sq km.

 

Attractions at Phu Laen Kha National Park

Phu Laen Kha is a national Park in the Chaiyaphum province of Thailand. This park has some of the best day & night views of the Chi River valley and Isaan countryside. It is a forest park featuring the main Chaiyaphum attractions of camping, hiking, unique geology, and nature trails. Two large, new, multi-level air-conditioned buildings with meeting rooms available for classes, corporate retreats, or organization gatherings. 

The park has an open-air party pavilion, picnic grounds, the new visitors center, Wi-Fi, many toilet facilities, and paved parking lots. The park roads are also paved and in very good condition. Maps of the park and the Chaiyaphum national park region are at the visitor’s center.

 

The Bear Travel  Fun Fact!

Phu Laen Kha elevated cliffs offer some of the best views around. Visitors can go on hiking and trekking adventures in the Park. visitors can party in the open pavilion and stay the night in the park renting a tent.

 

Why Visit Phu Laen Kha National Park in Chaiyaphum?

 

1. The Location

Phu Laen Kha National Park is in the heart of the Isaan region. Farming is the main industry in Isaan and this land is famous for the unique cooking style of the farm families. Som Tam papaya salad originated here from locally grown ingredients and is now popular all over the world. You can discover and enjoy these local Isaan dishes at the many small restaurants along the way to the park. Isaan is also very scenic with its green year-round almost everywhere. It has thick forests, orchards, tree-covered mountainsides, and farm fields of all sizes.

 

2. Convenience and Price

The Phu Laen Kha National Park in Chaiyaphum is simple to find coming from any direction. It is on route 512, about halfway between the city of Chaiyaphum and the town of Nong Bua Daeng. At the entrance, there is a large sign and a tall communications tower that can be seen on approach from far away. The entrance fee is cheap by western standards at 100 Thai Baht for foreigners, 20 Thai Baht for Thais, and 30 Thai Baht to park. Tent rental is only 200 Thai Baht per night and the campsites sites are free.

 

3. The Landscape

Phu Laen Kha is a series of plateaus. Elevations rise roughly 50 meters in between them from around 500 meters to a peak of about 720 meters. The visitor’s center area buildings and parking lots are on a large plain after the first rise from the entrance. Then the road goes up through forested hills to the camping areas and overlooks. There the scenery is almost surreal. The nature trails weave between large boulders and towering rock formations weathered by eons of windblown rock particles and rain. The trees thin out and open up to small fields in between them covered with flowers during the summer. The canopies of the trees provide wonderful shady comfort over the grassy hard ground.

 

4. The View

Along the rock ledge of the highest campground are a few overlook platforms made of rustic wood. A couple of them have small open-air wooden shelters at the base with a table and two benches inside. The platforms look a little dangerous to climb on but they are actually quite solid. The view from these platforms is an amazing panorama of the valley below and the surrounding mountains. On a clear day, you can see more than 30 kilometers in any direction. With the use of binoculars, the Nong Bua Deang buildings can be easily identified. From this viewpoint, the village below the mountain looks much bigger than when you pass through it on the road. From high up the patchwork of the fields is spectacular and the large scale of farming finally becomes apparent.

 

5. The Peace of Mind

Tourists come to Thailand to relax and get away from it all. One can not be further away from the rat race of life than a mountaintop in the middle of Thailand. The air is clean, and there is a light fragrance from the trees. There is no sound except the wind and the birds and sometimes the insects. The solitude is lessened by people on the weekends. But, the park is big enough to find your own space. Between periods of contemplation on one of the rocks one can relax in the fellowship of those other visitors. But the park is not a monastery (there actually is one nearby), and people do come there to have fun. At this park, however, you are able to separate from them and the outside world at will. Time like this for yourself or alone with your partner is priceless.

 

Camping at Phu Laen Kha National Park

The best thing about camping at Phu Laen Kha National Park in Chaiyaphum is that it's safe, secure, and you don’t need your own tent. The park office closes at 4, but the rangers are there 24 hours a day every day. You can leave if you have to. The ranger will let you back in. But, this is an exception, and going on a beer run is not a good reason. Alcohol is not allowed inside.

Tents are cheap but have limited availability. There are also camp chairs, ground cloths (tarps), pads to sleep on, and blankets for rent. The park shop has everything you need to make your stay comfortable.

There are campfire pits at the campgrounds and lots of dead wood around to make fires. There is also water from storage tanks that run to a faucet on a concrete pad at each site area. This is for washing dishes and other such uses only. You will need to bring your own drinking and cooking water. There is no electricity at the campgrounds, and generators are not permitted. So, bring battery-operated lights with spare batteries, and make sure you charge your cell phone beforehand. You can charge devices like this at the visitor’s center during operating hours.

The toilets at the main campground look almost new and they are very clean. They have hot water for showers at the toilet station near the visitor’s center, but none at the outlying campgrounds.

 

Is it Safe to Camp in the National Parks?

Everybody is safe in these parks because of the security at the gates. The main force for safety, however, is the ranger staff. They are not armed but have direct communications with police, fire, and rescue services. The park is also safe because the people that stay overnight are there to commune amongst themselves. This is not a party camp.

Loud music is not tolerated and folks keep to themselves in small groups. The boy scouts and girl scouts come there for group campouts, but they are always closely supervised.  People overnighting for organization or company activities are under self-supervision. None of them wants to get crazy and lose their job or respect within the group.

 

Avoid These in the National Park

One of the campground caretakers gave some good advice to everybody. Don’t come on weekends or holidays because it gets very crowded. Don’t draw attention to yourself or your group if you bring things you are not supposed to. There are no inspections on entry and the rangers don’t come around to check. Keep quiet. Do not play loud music or talk in a loud voice. Stay close to the campsite at night and use flashlights at night at all times. The rocks can be treacherous to walk on even during the day so always use caution when walking around.

She said the best thing to do is enjoy the view from the top. “The lights down below are just gorgeous at night. The stars are incredible and you can’t see them in the towns and villages like you can up here”. Come for peace and relaxation. If you want to party hard, stay in Bangkok or at the beach.

 

The Bear Travel  Did You Know?

Phu Laen Kha has some of the most diverse landscapes around ranging from mountain cliffs to rock formations such as Mo Hin Khao also known as Thailand Stonehenge. The cliffs offer some of the stunning views of the valley below. The park roads are paved and access to the park is very easy.

 

Outside of Phu Laen Ka National Park

If you are tired from hiking in the park and want to get around a bit, go to Nong Bua Daeng.

Nong Bua Daeng is the district capital. There are many shops with all kinds of things like electronics, hardware, and yes, camping supplies. You can take the opportunity to fix any mechanical troubles at one of the many repair shops and tire places. There are a few good sit-down restaurants in town too. There are places all over for Isaan food, traditional Thai dishes, and Shibu tabletop barbeque. One place, next to the Makro, even has Farang (western) food!

The best reason to go is usually for shopping at the market. You can find everything there to cook back at camp. Small vendors sell meat, fruit, and vegetables from their own farms. Local Isaan specialties like edible insects and rare herbs for soups are also available. Nong Bua Daeng has a Tesco supermarket. This is the place for Farang items like bacon and eggs, or more mundane necessities like Toilet paper and soap.

Alternatively, there is a Wat (temple) just about 2 kilometers from the park that is worth visiting. It is one of the oldest Wats in the area and has many interesting buildings and ornate shrines. Outside the entrance to this is a giant Banyan tree that is revered by locals. It is believed that it is inhabited by the spirits of long-dead monks and nearby village residents. Drivers passing the tree honk their horns out of respect and sometimes you can hear them from the park.

 

Visit the Next Park

Phu Laen Kha National Park in Chaiyaphum is actually more than just the one park named that. There are actually three more parks you can visit along an area stretching for more than 80 kilometers. To encourage visitors to stay and explore the park more, the ticket you buy once is valid at the others. Even the parking fee carries over so you can park at the other ones too.

Hiking and camping in the forest parks of Chaiyaphum are some of the best ways to see the natural beauty of Thailand. Isaan is out of the way, and not as glamorous as the better-known places in the tourist brochures. It is off the beaten track and it takes a relatively long time to get there. But traveling in Thailand is the thing to do if you are a tourist. And the reward for coming to these National Parks is worth it.

 

 

 

Map & More Information 

 

 

Phu Laen Kha National Park is one of the breathtaking national parks with a variety of terrain in Chaiyaphum, Thailand. It has nearly 37,000 acres of land covering 4 districts which include Mueang, Ban Khwao, Nong Bua Daeng, and Kaset Sombun.

 

Phu Laen Kha National Park in Chaiyaphum

 

Fees

Thai Citizens: 20 Thai Baht for Adults  |  10 Thai Baht for Children

Foreigners: 100 Thai Baht for Adults  |  50 Thai Baht for Children

Business Hours

08.30 – 16.30 hrs  |  Monday – Sunday 

Business Address

Huai Ton, Nong Bua Daeng District, Chaiyaphum 36000

Contact Number

+66 (0) 93 093 9193  |  +66 (0) 4 481 0902

Email Address

phulaenkha_dnp@hotmail.com

Website

http://portal.dnp.go.th/

Facebook Page

https://web.facebook.com/PhulangkaTH/

Instagram

อุทยานแห่งชาติภูแลนคา  |  #phulaenkhanationalpark

Twitter

#อุทยานแห่งชาติภูแลนคา

GPS

15.9994203, 101.8934187

 

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Written by
The Bear Travelers

Hi, we are The Bear Travelers. We enjoy traveling around Thailand. Come and join us on our spectacular journey as we dive together into the mystic of Asia. 

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