Climbing on Paneon Thung Mountain – Kaeng Krachan National Park : About two and a half hours away from Bangkok you will find Thailand’s biggest national park – Kaeng Krachan National Park. It is one of the prettiest and most fascinating national parks in Thailand as far as its scenery goes, with plenty of animals and birds, butterflies, and variety of activities and adventures such as rafting, waterfalls, nature treks, camping, etc.
There are other articles on the web site about Kaeng Krachan national park – rafting on Phetchburi river, Pala-U waterfalls, etc. This article will deal with another tourist attraction of Kaeng Krachan National Park – climbing on Paneon Thung mountain.
Some background information about the national park – Kaeng Krachan National Park spreads over 3,000 square Km. It begins on the eastern slopes of Tenasserim mountains which border with Myanmar and spreads over half of Petchburi province and vast areas of Hua Hin district (Prachuap Khiri Khan province).
Two rivers flow through the national park – the Petchburi River going down to the great Kaeng Krachan dam, creating quite a big lake there and continuing towards Petchburi town and the Pranburi River going through the national park’s eastern side towards a dam and then flowing down towards Pranburi town.
The intense humidity and plenty of rain in the area create a great habitat for the ever green forests of the national park giving shelter to lots of wild animals such as elephants, leopards, monkeys, dear, etc. as well as many species of birds and butterflies.
The mountainous terrain and few roads of the area have led to a low density of population so that the forests have not been cut down and wild nature has been kept in an almost untouched condition – 95% of the land is covered by ever green forest, including mountains, rivers, waterfalls, stalactite caves and plenty of wild animals – all of these makes the national park and ideal target for real trek lovers.
Paneon Thung mountain: one of the national park’s attraction, especially for the Thai visitors is Paneon Thung mountain. It is one of the highest mountains of the national park, (1207 meters), and the view that can be seen from its pick is absolutely magnificent – a great area of ever green forests covered mountains and green valleys stretching as far as you can see.
During the early morning hours, all the valleys around the mountain are covered by fog creating an enchanting phenomenon – a sea of fog! The fog disappears later on when the sun warms up the air so it is really worth your while to go up to the top of the mountain in the early morning hours or in the afternoon hours a day earlier.
Unfortunately, I did not take this picture and I will explain why later.
Going up the mountain through the ever green forest can be done only by 4×4 jeep as the way is steep and narrow and it crosses small streams, rocky terrain and wood on the way, so passing it is not an easy task.
I have a pretty strong 4X4 jeep which at first I thought to use to go up the mountain but when we arrived at the national park we met a couple of old friends from Bangkok and decided to go up the mountain with them in a rented pick-up track. (for a small fee). When I saw the way I thanked my lucky stars for not going up there in my own jeep J
We gathered together in an early morning hour and sat ourselves in the pick-up track heading towards Paneon Thung mountain top.
As I wrote, the way is narrow steep and pretty tough. It goes through a wild jungle with rocks and small streams. From time to time we had to stop and cut down a tree that fell and blocked our way.
As the way is very narrow it is impossible to go up and down at the same time so there are two rounds of going up: 05:30 – 07:30 and 13:00 – 15:00 and two rounds of going down: 09:00 – 10:00 and 16:00 – 17:00.
Although we were not there on the season there were lots of vehicles going up one after the other together with us. Finally, our excellent driver brought us safely to Paneon Thung mountain top after two hours of driving.
As can be seen in the picture, the weather was pretty gloomy when we arrived at the mountain top. It was cloudy, drizzly and pretty cold. The mountain top was covered by fog and we could hardly enjoy the view. We took a short stroll there and drunk a spicy hot Thai soup at the restaurant, visited the camping area found right at the top and at 09:00 AM headed back down the mountain. This is why I put a picture which I did not take so you can see the beautiful view that can be seen from the mountain top on a clear day which unfortunately we did not see. I have no doubt that I will visit there again during the season and update this article with plenty of pretty pictures.
Some words about camping at the national park: Kaeng Krachan National Park is absolutely heaven on earth for camping lovers. There are lots of camping sites all around the park – in the park entrance, the offices and lake, at the heart of the park and even at the top of Paneon Thung mountain.
The camping sites are clean and kept in good order providing electricity, toilets, showers and a restaurant.
One of the park’s known camping sites – Baan Krang – is located at the bottom of the mountain and from it there are trails leading to the waterfalls and to the mountain top, (approx. 6 Km. each way). One of the best ways to experience the national park’s wild nature is camping in it and enjoying the animals, birds, butterflies and flowers.
- Click here to read a great article I found on the internet about camping in Kaeng Krachan National Park.
Summary: kaeng Krachan is the biggest national park in Thailand and one of the most beautiful and interesting nature reserves.
The park is great for those of you who want to enjoy easy activities such as rafting or simply getting to the nearby waterfalls – Pala-U waterfalls, and for those who are looking for extreme adventure in the wild such as treks, mountain climbing and getting to far away waterfalls.
What makes Kaeng Krachan National Park an ideal place to combine with any of the other tours of the area is its relatively short distance from Bangkok and the wonderful beaches and great holiday towns surrounding it, such as Hua Hin and Pranburi as well as other national parks such as Sam Roy Yot National Park and Ao Manao Bay.
Kaeng Krachan National Park is open all the year apart from Paneon Thung mountain and the camping site near it (Baan Krang), which are closed during August – October (3 month) due to the heavy rain pouring down during these month which makes the way up the mountain more dangerous.
- In the picture you can see sweet Thai girls camping at the top of the mountain.
Click here to read another article I found on the internet about Paneon Thung mountain.
To those of you who are interested, it is possible to combine going up Paneon Thung mountain with “TipTop Travel” : Thailand Private Family Adventure Tours Hua Hin tour program
As always, here is a short video I prepared for you with plenty of pictures of the way up Paneon Thung mountain.
** We went up the mountain out of season and had bad weather – the mountain top was covered with clouds and we could not see much. It is recommended to go up the mountain during November – March and see the magnificent view from the top. I intend to go up the mountain shortly and take some pictures there so I can upload a new video for you to enjoy.
Thailand-Expert : Thailand Travel Guide
“TipTop Travel” : Thailand Private Family Adventure Tours