On this trip we visited attractions in Phetchabun Province. Phetchabun is located in the lower northern region of Thailand, in an area between the northern and the central regions. The province lies in the broad fer- tile river valley of the Pa Sak River, with mountains of the Phetchabun mountain range to the east and west. It boasts many places of interest, including well-known na- tional parks, beautiful waterfalls and great lakes.
We began our trip from Phetchaburi passing Ratchaburi, Nakhon Pathom, Suphan Buri, Chai Nat, Nakhon Sawan, Phichit, arriving in Phitsanulok Province late at night.
This morning we left Phitsanulok City on the way to Phetchabun. This is one of the amazing regions of Thailand, with wonderful nature, forests and waterfalls. After a few hours driving, we arrived at the Khao Kho mountain ranges. Khao Kho National Park is a famous attraction in this area with waterfalls, beautiful scenery and cool weather mostly cold during November until February.
Some people say this is the little Switzerland of Thailand. Our first stop was the Combat Weapon Museum (Itthi Fire Sup- port Base).
The museum displays military tank remains, weapons and cannons used in the battle of Khao Kho.; it’s also a view point with beautiful scenery. Next to the museum is the Khao Kho Memorial or Sacrificial Monument, honouring the heroic deeds of civilians, soldiers and policemen who fought to protect the three ad- joining provinces, namely Phitsanulok, Phetchabun and Loei between 1968-1982. We continued to Sridit, a large single-tiered waterfall situated on the Wang Thong River. This is a beautiful wildlife refuge and a must see tourist attraction. It is also used to generate hydroelectricity. The water runs throughout the year.
We continued to the northern part of the province, on the way to Lorn Sak and from there to Phu Thap Boek Mountain. The mountain is about 1768 metres above sea level and covered by greenery. Thap
Buek is a high mountain on the border of Phetchabun, Phitsanulok and Loei Provinces. It is also has panoramic views and a climate that is cool all year.
Ρhu Hin Rong Kla National Park
Our next stop was the very famous Ρhu Hin Rong Kla National Park. This is quite different from other national parks in Thailand. The park has many different attractions such as waterfalls, plains of rock, scenic views, viewpoints, forests and cliffs. It is also a historical area with many sites from the period of 1967-1982 when Phu Hin Rong Kla was the headquarters of the Communist Party of Thailand.
Lan Hin Pum
Lan Hin Pum is the major attraction in this park. The shapes of these rocks are rounded and short. It is believed that this formation resulted from physical and chemical erosion. I can say it is one of the top viewpoints of Thailand. Next to Lan Hin Pum is the Pha Chuthong Cliff or Flang-Ple Cliff. The magnificent view from here makes this park popular with nature lovers. It was also used by commu- nists to fly their red flag after each victory over government forces.
Lan Hin Taek
Lan Hin Taek is a similar attraction located close to the Thai army headquarters. It is a field of cracked stones created by the shifting Earth’s crust with mosses, ferns and ground orchids. You will find a museum at the park headquarters that showcases the history of the Communist Party of Thailand struggling against government forces. There are artefacts from this period such as CPT weapons and medical instruments. More attractions include the Man Daeng Waterfall, Phalat and Tatfa Waterfalls, Romklao-Pharadon Waterfall, Siphatcharin Waterfall and Political Military School. Next the road back to Lam Sok then to the Nam Nao District with an overnight homestay as there are no hotels here.
Nam Nao National Park
This day we travelled around the Nam Nao District and visited some interesting places such as small waterfalls and viewpoints, then continuing to Chaiyaphum at the northeast of the province. Our first stop was Chulabhorn Dam located at Amphoe Kon San, which diverts the Nam Phrong River. The dam is 700 metres long and 70 metres high generating hydro-electricity. After about 25 km we stopped at the Phu Khieo Wildlife Sanctuary. This wildlife reserve is ideal for studying flora and fauna.
This day we visited attractions in the city of Phetchabun. We began at Phra Buddha Maha Dhammaraja then to the City Pillar Shrine and Wat Mahathat, one of Phetchabun city’s signature temples. The Nakhonban Phetchabun Cultural Hall is a centre for the study of Phetchabun’s history. We left the city and continued south.
After about two hours we arrived at the Si Thep Historical Park, one of ten historical parks in Thailand with the ruins of ancient Phetchabun. This city was built in the Khmer era, with bricks and laterite. Attractions include Prang Reusi, an ancient tower, Khao Khlang Nai and Khao Khlang Nok ancient monuments and Prang Si Thep. Finally returning on the road to Hua Hin; an other amazing trip into the heart of Thailand.