Start journey on November 23, 2015.
On first day of journey to Phu Kradueng, I walk up to the hill, starting from the National Park office, by carrying a bag weighted 11 kg. It is a test to load weight my back and climb up the mountain which normally there is carrying service. However, I prefer to try on the way up. After a long journey since 7AM, I arrive at tourist center around 1PM where I set up a tent. Then I go to watch sunset with companions whom consider as my new friends. I usually get to know roughly 6 new friends in a trip but today, there are only 2 people at Pha Mak Dook. On the way, I find this spider. It looks bigger than real due to zooming. I'm too afraid to put a coin beside it, in order to compare size, because it may run away.
From tent, I walk along a path for 2km. where I find pine forest including other trees on sideways. The way is easy to walk. It is sand soil with some rocks, so you need to be careful. I recommend to wear sneakers.To watch sunset at Pha Mak Dook, you can rent a bicycle, at 60THB, which is available at Pha Mak Dook only. If you would like to go other places, let's say Pha Lom Sak, you have to rent whole day. The rental will be higher. In case you come with friends, walking is also pleasant.
The view from Pha Mak Dook is Phu Rua which may not be seen clearly due to weather. If it is sunny, you will be able to see it more clear. However, many are not interested in this point as they are waiting for sunset at mountain range on the west.
The above picture is not a real tree shadow. I take double exposure photo while waiting for sunset. Weather is quite nice, for early winter, approximately 13-15 °C which will get colder at night. If you plan to come, don't forget to bring flashlight and sweater, or something else to get warm. Sitting on the ground by the cliff is quite relaxing. There are not many tourists today. This area is equipped with shops and toilets. If you would like to go to Pha Lom Sak, you can use this route. The next day is suitable for cycling or walk.
Above two pictures are only apart from all sunset pictures. Though today is slightly cloudy, ultra zoom camera can capture this moment as shown in the pictures. Photographers may like those pictures but readers may think diversely. Each one has different tastes. If you are not hurried, you can hang around and take photos. It is because you can find companion to walk back. Although you travel alone, like me, you can find new friends to travel together. It clearly shows that traveling alone might be only one person at beginning but there are lots of friends along the way to destination.
Morning of second day for traveling alone at Phu Kradueng. This morn I bring you guys to watch sunrise moment of Phu Kradueng at Pha Nok Aen. It is a wonderful point to watch the view and the atmosphere won't disappoint you. However, you need to wake up at 5AM because you have to go with officer only. Let's say you wake up late, you strictly can't go without staff. There might be danger from wild animals. Today's morning ambiance is full with fog that covers below view. Moreover, it causes difficulty to see clear sunrise moment. There are four people, from different places, at this view point plus additional three people. So, there are all seven people in total. These people travel together for whole day. However, we didn't take group shot.
After appreciating with sunrise, the officer tell us to go back. We walk to Buddha yard and continue to the camp for having breakfast. Then we take a journey to waterfall and Pha Lom Sak. Thanks to nice weather and adequate amount of oxygen, we are not too tired today. Let's see picture of sideways. Beautiful wild flowersmostly found on highland, clear weather, bright morning.
Attractive ambiance of first place is Namtok Tam Yai. Though it doesn't rain, the waterfall still contains water. The ambiance suits for coming during winter when maple leaves do not turn red yet.
Along edgeways to Namtok Pen, we find various kinds of beauty including flowers and leaves falling from the trees. Before drying out and becoming manure, the beauty still remains as you can see in picture. I don't know its name but I'm quite sure it just fall down.
On the way to Anodad pool, afternoon sunlight reflects with faraway field resulting in gold color.
There are many routes going to Pha Lom Sak. You can either use normal way or walk pass Pha Yeab Mek. For those who prefer to stop by Pha Yeab Mek for having lunch, there are some shops you can visit. Anyway, you need to walk pass grassland with damp ground but during winter, the soil is nicer. However, this route is considered easy to walk. I capture this moment from Pha Lom Sak. Although there are no many tourists, it's still hard to find nice shot.
My home also has the tree below but seeing it in other place gives me different feelings. It is interesting even though it doesn't look strange at all.
Transportation and Expense
A train from Trang, Kantang - Bangkok, costs 645THB for Class 2 Sleeper type.
Grab a cap to Mochit 2, at 100THB. Normally should be cheaper.
Receive ticket that I have reserved earlier with Phu Kradueng Tour. Ticket price is 345THB and 790THB for round trip.
The bus is scheduled to depart at 9PM but actually leave at 10PM. It stops by Chaiyapoom and another site, not sure.
Arrive at Pha Nok around 6AM, appropriate time.
Travel to Phu Kradeung from Pha Nok Kao
I get on mini-bus which there will be other passengers sharing the fare. If there are 10 passengers, it would be 30THB per person. Otherwise, the total fare of 300THB will be divided by number of passengers. Luckily, there are 10 people, so it's 30THB.
Wait for National Park to open at 7AM. You can reserve tent or sleeping bag at this point or in case you have paid in advance, just show the receipt. It doesn't take lone time at this stage. Entrance fee is divided into;
- Weekdays 20THB
- Weekends 40THB
I go during weekdays, so it is half price, 20THB.
At the back, there is registration point for going up to Phu and luggage storage service. For the storage service, you don't have to pay now but keep the ticket once you arrive. Service fee is 30THB per kg.
Route to Phu
Some of you may be curious why there is no picture of the way up. I want you to select the route without any clues or ignore about it. It would be much more fun and exciting. However, you can easily find more details from other sources, if you wish to. The journey makes me moderately tired which there are many breakpoints. I wish you to better experience it on the day. It takes around 5-6 hours.
Expense for food mentioned above
- The main course is 60+THB which is not expensive at all. The portion is huge and tastes like normal food we eat.
- Small bottle of water costs 25THB. The price is reasonable for carrying up the hill.
- Large bottle of water costs 50THB. The price is reasonable for carrying up the hill.
The price will be higher according to distance from camp which is rational. For traveling at each point, bringing small notes or coins would be great since you don't have to wait for changes. Sometimes shopkeeper is busy with other customers causing difficulty in finding changes.
Nice spot for settle tent in case you go alone. Choose the area at your convenience but I recommend a place near big pine tree, close to first and second shop.
What you may try to avoid but still face is a loud noise from tents nearby. I also experience this situation in this trip. They still making noise after though it is after 10PM. At first, I plan to stay away from other tourists but this large group come afterward.
Journey from Phu Kradeung to the ground
- It takes shorter time since I can step faster on the way down. If you fell stiff, I would recommend to use bag carry service. Though the way down is easier, it's better to arrive at the ground sooner in case you book afternoon bus trip. Mine is night trip, so there is no problem to leave the tourist center at 10AM.
While waiting for a bus to Bangkok, I find something to eat at Pha Nok Kao and sit near police booth. There are lots of tourists on that day, so don't have to be worried. However, check timetable carefully. For those who want to arrive at Mochit in the morning, you should leave from Loei by 9PM - 11PM.
- Arrive at Mochit by 5PM and take a taxi to Southern Bus Terminal (Sai Tai Mai), 101THB.
- Buy a ticket for 7AM trip to Trang at 540THB. I get to Trang at 9.30PM.
New friends from the trip +6
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