Camping 30 THB per person
It is hard to deny that the chilled morning breeze and the endless sea of fog are good reasons for waking up at dawn to see a spectacular view from the Phu Ruea Peak, the highest observation point of Phu Ruea National Park.
The origin of the park’s name comes from a strangely-shaped hanging rock that looks like an argosy ship from certain angles. Locals say that the flat area on top of the mountain is like the bottom of the ship. Surrounded by low lands together with other lesser mountain ranges and peaks like Phu Ku and Phu Sun, the Phu Ruea Peak stands elegantly 1,365 meters above sea level. This special characteristic allows it to be the headwater of numerous creeks and rivers. One example is Huai Phai Creek which is the source of Huai Phai Waterfall.
The structure of the park’s nature is made up of mixed forest, deciduous forest, rainforest, and coniferous forest, causing the area to be consistently verdant. Furthermore, the lush forest is also a habitat for numbers of flowering plants that take turns to bloom, splashing the colors to greet visitors all year long. Besides, keep your eye out for wild lives like bears, barking deer, deer, Red Junglefowls, Malayan Giant Squirrels, and hyenas.
The best time to witness the grace of the park is in the morning before sunrise. From the sea of clouds transforming into the many shades of red to orange and saffron, the sun peaks out giving you the warm energy to carry out for the day. There are many viewpoints if you cannot get enough of the beauty in one day like Pha Lon Noi where you can also see Phu Luang, Phu Pha Saad, Phu Krang, and the Phu Ruea Peak itself. At the bottom in the valley, there stretch the Hueang and the Khong Rivers bordering lines between Thailand and its sister, Laos.
The park provides accommodations as well as 2 camping spots for those who wish to stay the night in the hug of the nature. Ask the Nava Banpot Buddha which the townsmen installed from the old capital Ayutthaya for good fortune before you make your way back home.
The park is around 48 kilometers from Loei and can be reached by Highway No. 203. When you arrive in Phu Ruea District, follow the sign at the entrance next to the District Office (look for a 7-11). Proceed for 4 more kilometers and you will arrive at the park’s office.
Take a Bangkok – Loei bus from Mo Chit Bus Terminal. From Loei bus station, take a local bus or a rent car to get to the park’s office.