95% of Thai people are Buddhists and if you ask them, almost none should not know about this sacred place of worship. Each year, especially a few weeks after Chinese New Year, thousands of people with strong faith make a pilgrimage to “Khao Khitchakut” to pay respect to what’s believed to be the Lord Buddha’s footprint. This act of reverence is considered one of the most exemplary acts for a Buddhist. The annual “Phra Bat Luang” celebration is held every year during the third month according to lunar calendar.
Khao Khitchakut National Park covers an area of Makham District and Khao Khitchakut Sub-District. The “Phra Bat Luang” on the top of Khao Khitchakut is recognized as the highest Buddha’s footprint in Thailand as the mountaintop where it is enshrined is 1,000 meters above sea level. The pilgrim tradition of hiking up the mountain has been practiced for a very long time. It is a way to display their strong courage and determination and is thought to be extremely meritorious. The route begins from a temple called Wat Pluang and goes on for 8 kilometers before an uphill trek for another 1.2 kilometers.
Apart from experiencing the rich culture and gaining merit form paying respect to the great Buddha’s footprint, prepared to be mind-blown by the sky-view scenery and the enormous stone “Hin Look Phra Bat” sitting on the edge of the cliff right outside the shrine. On the way back, you can make a stop to enjoy nature at a waterfall like Namtok Krathing or Namtok Khlong Chang Se.
Follow the Sukhumvit Highway from Bangkok and turn left at Khai Rai Ya intersection to go onto Highway No. 3249. Proceed for 24 kilometers until you reach the Khitchakut National Park.