Phu Hin Rong Kla National Park

Phu Hin Rong Kla is a distinctive national park with a unique mixture of scenic attractions and historical sites. It was once the stage of armed conflicts between two extreme political ideologies. The Park covers a total area of 191,875 rai of land (76,750 acres) and is approximately 130 kilometers from Phitsanulokcity. It can be reached by taking Highway No. 12 and turning left at Km.68 marker into Highway No. 2013, a road leading to Nakhon Thai District.

The park area is mainly covered with lush green forests, several awesome waterfalls, and a vast plain of rocks with cracks scattered all around. The highest point of the park is 1,617 meters above sea level. Here, rock formations are naturally formed into different shapes beyond your wildest imagination. Some rocky grounds have deep splits (Lan Hin Taek), while others have uneven formations.

Apart from natural attractions, the park offers opportunities to explore many of its historical sites that tell the story of national political conflicts.

Because Phu Hin Rong Kla was the strategic headquarters of the Communist Party of Thailand (CPT) during 1967 to 1982, the area was declared as a red area by the Thai government. For nearly two decades, the site had become a strategic battlefield between the Royal Thai Army and the CPT. Phu Hin Rong Kla was the perfect location for the CPT to fight the military. Its remote, closed mountainous area was superb for an elusive defense. It was not until 1982 that the conflict was overcome when the government granted amnesty to all the students who had joined the CPT. In 1984, Phu Hin Rong Kla was declared a National Park.

During the CPT’s golden era, a hospital, a school of political and political tactics, living quarters, an air-raid shelter and other necessary facilities were set up. Today, visitors to Phu Hin Rong Kla can travel along the parks main road to witness the remains of a rustic meeting hall, the political school, and the administration building.

There is also a trail leading to Lan Hin Pum, an area of jutting rocks that the CPT used as an air-raid shelter. From the spot, it is possible to see the remains of the CPT headquarters with a small museum displaying some CPT weapons and medical instruments. Follow another trail to Pha Chu Thong, the cliff where a red flag was raise when the CPT gained a victory.

Tourists or visitors wishing to stay overnight are advised to make advance reservations at the National Park Division, Forestry Department tel. 0 5523 3527 or 0 2561 4292, or email: rongkla-00@thaimail.com,  Website : www.dnp.go.th.  Accommodations and tents are available.

Getting There:

From Phitsanulok, take a public bus 68 kilometers towards Lomsak. At Ban Yang, take a left and travel 29 kilometers to Nakhon Thai District. From Nakhon Thai, take a mini-van (song-taeo)  the remaining 31 kilometers to the park.

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