This is the ultimate destination for many Thai trekkers. The goal is to hike up to the summit and conquer the distance of 1,325 meters above sea level. At the top of Phu Kradueng is a wide plain of about 60 square kilometers. There is a cold-climate pine forest and a grass field full of wild flowers and orchids that bloom in different seasons. In addition, there are several lovely waterfalls and an observation point that is provides spectacular views during sunrise and sunset.
To get there, take Bangkok-Loei bus and get off at Pha Nok Khao, the boundary between Khon Kaen and Loei. From there, take a mini-bus to the park office at the foot of the mountain and walk up Phu Kradueng for 6 kilometers. The park is open during October to May and closed during the rainy season to rejuvenate the flora and fauna. Park attractions include: Pha Nok Aen, the cliff that offers a breathtaking view of the crimson sunrise, Pha Lom Sak, a sandstone ledge jutting into space providing a fine view of the hills and valleys and Pha Yiap Mek, where cottony clouds suggest a misty world of shadow figures.
The park is open to visitors from 7.00 a.m. until 2.00 p.m. daily and is closed for forest regeneration during 1 June – 30 September every year.
Admission: Adult 400 baht, Child 200 baht
Phu Kradueng National Park provides accommodations and has stores selling food and drinks. Call the Park at 0 4287 1333 or 0 2561 4292 – 4 (Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plants in Bangkok) or click www.dnp.go.th for more information and reservations.