Thailand Mountain Hikes

Hang Nak mountain summit in Krabi, Thailand

This will be a list of mountain hikes in Thailand, and I’ll embed a Google map below with the hikes that I know about. If you know about any hikes up mountains or hills – leave a comment or zap me and email and I’ll add it to the list.

Southern Thailand

Krabi

Hang Nak (Hang Norn) Mountain – Tub Kaak, near Ao Nang in Krabi Province. This is a 3.7km hike up a mountain through dense forest, but the trail is well defined. There is an option for a waterfall, but it isn’t anything to see. The top of the mountain gives stunning views and straight down drops of 500 meters. Highly recommended.

Wat Tum Sua Buddhist Temple – Krabi, Thailand, near Krabi town. This is a set of steps up a mountain, leading to a great view of Krabi town, Ko Phi Phi, and Khao Phanom, the 1,400 meter high mountain in the same mountain chain. There are 1,257 steps (they added 20) and there is cold water at the top. I’ve seen 5 year olds climb it, and 80 year olds. Go slow, you can make it. More info ->

Ko Phi Phi Viewpoint – Ko Phi Phi, Krabi Province. Excellent view of the islands and surrounding ocean. Video link ->

Railay Beach Viewpoint – 10 minute boat ride from Ao Nang Beach, Krabi. Short, steep hike with a nice view.

Khao Phanom Mountain – Krabi province, district of Khao Phanom. Highest mountain in the area at 1,397m vertical elevation. There were landslides with the flooding in 2011, so the hiking has been postponed until they clear another way up the mountain. This is one I’m going to go on as soon as there is a route. Will report later. More information on Khao Phanom Bencha Mountain here.

Google Map for Thailand Hikes


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Best Places to Visit in Thailand – Wat Pah Nanachat

Wat Pah Nanachat in Warin Chamrap, Ubon Province, Thailand

Wat Pah Nanachat in Warin Chamrap, Ubon Ratchathani province, in Thailand is one place Buddhists should stop if in the area.

When I first arrived in Thailand I spent a couple of months in Phuket and left 2 days before The Boxing Day Tsunami hit – for Wat Pah Buddhist temple in Ubon. I met with the guest monk, the abbot, and was asked to spend some time there – if I wanted. I stayed overnight and then headed out the next morning. The grounds are peaceful and vast.

On a subsequent visit I had a tour by a monk from the UK that was leaving the monkhood after 3 years. He had done what was required for the years and he said it profoundly affected who he was. He was a rather bad dude in the UK apparently before he left. Anyway, we met because of a mutual friend and he gave my wife and I a tour of Wat Pah from an insider’s perspective. That was a couple of years back, and I took some photos – but they’re on hard drives buried in a box. These photos are from our recent trip there.

Wat Pah Nanachat is as beautiful as ever. There are many foreign monks ordained there, and some more people in white (laypersons) from all over the globe. When I was there and staying, I met people from Japan, Malaysia, UK, USA, Australia, and more.

If you like you can probably stay for a couple days, or weeks – if they have room and if you’re invited by the abbot or guest monk to stay.

A more beautiful Buddhist temple – you’re not likely to find… unless you prefer the garish temples of Bangkok instead.

More photos…

Chow Hall - Wat Pah Nanachat, Warin Chamrap, Ubon province, Thailand
Chow hall at Wat Pah
Path to main bot - Wat Pah Nanachat, Warin Chamrap, Ubon province, Thailand
Path to main Bot
Map - Wat Pah Nanachat, Warin Chamrap, Ubon province, Thailand
Wat Pah is located close to Ubon Ratchathani University (UBU), on the road to Sisaket Province.

Want more information on Wat Pah Nanachat? Here is a link to my first article about the place – with more photos and a link at the end of the article to a description of taking part in a retreat there – if you like.

Wat Pah Nanachat in Warin Chamrap, Thailand – more info.

Amazing Places to Visit – Wat Larn Kuad

Bottle temple in Sisaket, Thailand at Wat Larn Kuad (Million Bottle Temple)
Bottles at Wat Larn Kuad - Million Bottle Temple in Sisaket, Thailand

Wat million bottle – is a wat in Thailand’s Sisaket province that was built using a lot of bottles. Whether it’s a million or not, I don’t know. I’m guessing 1.5 to 2 million. The place is absolutely covered in bottles.

I’ll have a video up of it in a few days or weeks – depending when I get some fast internet.

Go south to Khun Han from Sisaket following 221 to 2111 (shortcut). Once in Khun Han go almost to the roundabout and turn right at the school. Go down that alley about 150 meters and make a left. Go 100 m and make a right into the temple grounds.

A cool place to have a look at. They get a decent amount of foreigners. While I was there I saw 3 farangs with 3 bargirl girlfriends or wives that took them there.

You know bargirls… tattoos, dressing slutty at a temple…

Krabi, Thailand Video Clip

I found this video clip of Krabi – off a blog I’ve never seen. The video is nice and comes with some mellow music… I was in the mood for this today so I’ll share it. Thailand is not just one of the most beautiful and exotic places on the planet – but, it’s one of the most laid back places… Krabi, Thailand Video – starting at Noppharat Thara Beach and visiting the islands off-shore.

Here are a couple things to do in Krabi if you’re visiting (about 100):

Things to Do in Krabi, Thailand >

Bungy Jumping in Thailand >

Mountain biking (and hybrid bicycles) in Krabi Town for Rental >

Bungy Jumping in Krabi? Yes, Today is 1st Day

A new bungy jumping facility opened in Sai Tai today in Krabi. Photos of Krabi Bungy Jump Sai Thai >

  • Prices: 1,600b per person.
  • Height: 55 meters
  • Hours: 9am – 6pm
  • Insured? Yes, 1mm baht.

Directions: Coming from Ao Nang toward Krabi town you’ll see the sign on your left after passing the large gas station on your right. Coming from Krabi town toward Ao Nang you’ll see a sign on your right after passing the Wat Sai Tai also on your right.

On a related note there is now a Krabi bicycle rental / mountain bike tour operator out of Krabi town. This is a first as the only bike tour company before this (Krabi Eco Cycle) was out past Ao Nang Beach and offered tours out that way. This place is called Krabi Bike Tours in Krabi town and offers 1, 2 and 3 day tours at reasonable rates.

Things to Do in Krabi, Thailand >

Buddhism Section Updated on ThaiPulse

I spent a couple hours today transferring over some of the Buddhist temple and meditation retreat information from the old TP site to the new one (www.ThaiPulse.com). There are many photos – probably 50 or more of Wat Suan Mokkh, Wat Pah Nanachat, Wat Tum Sua, Wat Tum Sang Phet and then if you really want to knock your self out you can see either the photo section of the old ThaiPulse site or see some of my photos up at Flickr.

My Thailand Photos at Flickr.

I think I have 600 photos of Thailand there at the present and in the process of uploading another 7,000 approximately. No I’m not uploading all my junk shots – these are my better than average shots.  The first photos you’ll see there are my beer bottle temple photos of a cool Buddhist temple in Sisaket’s countryside.

Here’s a better link that goes straight to my Thai photo sets so you can choose for yourself what you want to look at: Thailand photo sets

Buddhist Temple in Sisaket Built with Beer Bottles (and others)

I never posted my photos of this temple because I didn’t any great shots – the lighting was all wrong but I still took about 50 photos. I’ll add them to this post as I find them. There are many more buildings than this article shows – but the idea is well captured.

If you live in Sisaket or Surin -somewhere around there you might as well go – can’t go to the Cambodian border and see the temple anymore, can ya?

Buddhist Bottle Temple in Thailand

What are Thailand National Park Fees? Pull a number out of a hat?

Stream at Tai Rom Yen National Park, Surat Thani province, Thailand.I’ve posted a couple times about Thailand National Park fees and how they were due for an increase. They had been increased officially, and some parks were charging the higher amount, but now they’ve lowered the prices for entrance fees to Thailand’s National Parks in a bid to increase tourism to those parks.

Someone (Meadish sweetball?) at ThaiVisa forum had a well laid out post where he attempted to translate a Thai document regarding the prices for entrance of foreign visitors to Thailand’s national parks. Awesome work, and I must thank him for the effort… I wonder why Thailand is making it so hard for foreigners to know what the price will be? There is different tier pricing based on the popularity of the parks… Here’s the link: National Parks Pricing in Thailand Bizarre, yes? I’m going to copy some info from the ThaiVisa post because I can’t risk that the post will go away or be moved and my link will break. Know that all info provided re: pricing is FROM the link above… if it doesn’t work at some point all the following will still remain here… forever? ************** Here is the main pricing info: The pricing scale has been determined according to the estimated tourism potential, natural beauty, impact sensitivity, availability of public amenities and state of infrastructure for each individual national park. The parks are now classified as belong into 1 of 4 entrance fee groups. Group 1 charges 400 baht for foreign adults, 200 baht for foreign children, 80 baht for Thai adults and 40 baht for Thai children. Group 2 charges 200 baht for foreign adults, 100 baht for foreign children, 40 baht for Thai adults, and 20 baht for Thai children. Group 3 charges 100 baht for foreign adults, 50 baht for foreign children, 20 baht for Thai adults, 10 baht for Thai children. Group 4 is everywhere else than those places belonging to 1, 2 and 3, and is completely free for everyone. Once the entrance fee to a national park has been paid, it is valid for one day. If a person visits more than one national park on one and the same day, they will not be charged twice, provided they can show the ticket from the previous place of visit. However, if the fee for the second place visited is higher than the first, the difference between the higher and the lower fee has to be paid at the second location. (I.e. if one visits a park which is 200 baht, and later that day goes to a park which is 400 baht, one will have to pay an additional 200 baht at the second location. If the fee at the second location is 200 baht or lower, no additional fee will be required.) (As far as I have been able to make out, this document does not explain the situation for tourists who go to Koh Chang and stay, whether they will be required to pay each day, or just once for the entire trip.) The announcement makes only one distinction: ชาวไทย ‘chaaw thai’ (Thais) and ชาวต่างประเทศ ‘chaaw dtaang bpratheed’ (foreigners). There is no discussion of foreigners who are long term residents, exchange students, holders of Thai work permits or hold Permanent Residency in Thailand. As you can see – you might be charged anything ranging from free to 400 baht as an adult visiting a national park in Thailand. Your kids might be charged anything from free to 200 baht.

Kids are those 14 years and under… so your 15 year old is an adult.

Here are the parks that are placed into groups… I must say that this seems fair enough – Those in group 1 seem to be high quality parks and people will pay the fees. In group 2 I noticed Tai Rom Yen National Park in Surat Thani is there – which makes sense – 200 baht is probably right for that… though, confidentially – if you tell them you teach in Surat – like I did (and I did) then they might wave the fee for you. I got in free a number of times there – 5? Also in group 3 is Khao Phanom Bencha park in Krabi province, which – is really only worth 100 baht for an adult. So at first glance, and having limited knowledge of parks here it looks fair. But, it’s going to be confusing to people because every park has a different price… and, you MIGHT have to content with some unscrupulous workers who try to charge higher fees than they should. Maybe print out the page from ThaiVisa before you go on vacation to show someone if they try to charge you a higher rate? Up to you. Here is the list of national parks and what group they fall into (from ThaiVisa.com): GROUP 1. [My note: These parks belong to Group 1 – the most expensive group] – Koh Surin Islands, Phang Nga province [ENTIRE AREA] – Koh Similan Islands, Phang Nga province [ENTIRE AREA] – Doi Pha Hom Pok (Mae Fang), Chiang Rai province [The area near the summit of Doi Pha Hom Pok] – Doi Inthanon, Chiang Mai province [Starting from Checkpoint 2 (km. 37) on Jom Thong Rd. up until the summit of Doi Inthanon] – Thung Salaeng Luang, Phitsanulok and Phetchabun provinces [The Thung Nang Phaya and Thung Non Son area] – Phu Kradueng, Loei province [Starting from the Sri Than checkpoint until the summit of Doi Kradueng] – Khao Yai, Prachinburi / Saraburi / Nakhon Ratchasima / Nakhon Nayok provinces [Starting from the Noen Hom checkpoint until the San Jao Pho checkpoint] – Koh Lanta Islands, Krabi province (all islands, e.g. Koh Ngai, Koh Rok, Koh Tukonlima, Kong Hin Daeng etc.) – Had Nopparattara / Phi Phi Islands, Krabi province (all islands, e.g. Phi Phi Leh, Koh Mai Phai, Koh Yuung, Koh Pida, Koh Poda For group 1, only the areas specified above require payment of the highest fee (400 baht for foreign adults). Other areas of the same parks are 200 baht for foreign adults. GROUP 2. [My note: These parks belong to Group 2 – the next most expensive group (200 baht for foreign adults)] Northern Thailand – Doi Suthep / Pui, Chiang Mai province – Huay Nam Dang, Chiang Mai province – Ob Luang, Chiang Mai province – Chae Son, Lampang province – Wiang Kosay, Phrae and Lampang provinces – Mae Surin waterfall, Mae Hong Son province – Chat Trakan waterfall, Phitsanulok province – Phu Hin Rong Klao (Rong Klao rock), Phitsanulok and Loei provinces – Nam Nao, Phetchabun and Chaiyaphum provinces – Mae Jarim, Nan province – Doi Phu Kha, Nan province – Sri Sachanalay, Sukhothai province – Lan Sang, Tak province – Taksin Maharat, Tak province – Mae Wong, Kamphaengphet and Tak provinces – Khlong Wang Jao, Kamphaengphet and Tak provinces – Khlong Lan, Kamphaengphet province North-Eastern Thailand – Pha Taem, Ubon Ratchathani province – Phu Jong Na Yoy, Ubon Ratchathani province – Khao Phra Wihan, Srisaket and Ubon Ratchathani provinces – Phu Ruea, Loei province – Phu Wiang, Khonkaen province – Tat Don, Chaiyaphum province – Sai Thong, Chaiyaphum province Central Thailand – Sri Nakharin Reservoir, Kanchanaburi province – Sai Yok, Kanchanaburi province – Erawan, Kanchanaburi province – Chaloem Rattanakosin, Kanchanaburi province – Kaeng Krachan, Phetburi and Prachuab Kirikhan provinces – Khao Laem, Kanchanaburi province Eastern Thailand – Khao Khichanakut, Chanthaburi province – Khao Chamao – Khao Wong, Rayong and Chanthaburi provinces – Khao Laem Ya – Koh Samet Islands …and Rayong province [there may be something missing in the original doc here] – Phliw Waterfall, Chanthaburi province – Koh Chang Islands, Trat province – Pang Sida, Sakaew and Prachinburi provinces Southern Thailand – Kuiburi, Prachuab Kirikhan province – Khao Sam Roi Yod, Prachuab Kirikhan province – Koh Chumpon Islands, Chumpon province – Laem Son, Ranong and Phang Nga provinces – Ao Phang Nga, Phang Nga province – Koh Ang Thong Islands, Surat Thani province – Khao Sok, Surat Thani province – Tai Rom Yen, Surat Thani province – Yong waterfall, Nakhon Sri Thammarat province – Khao Luang, Nakhon Sri Thammarat province – Sirinat, Phuket province – Jao Mai beach, Trang province – Than Bok Kharani, Krabi province – Thaleh Ban, Satun province – Tarutao, Satun province GROUP 3. [My note: These parks belong to group 3, the next cheapest group. (100 baht for foreign adults).] Northern Thailand – Doi Luang, Chiang Rai, Phayao and Lampang provinces – Phu Chang, Chiang Rai and Phayao provinces – Khunchae, Chiang Rai province – Pha Daeng, Chiang Mai province – Sri Lanna, Chiang Mai province – Salawin, Mae Hong Son province – Mae Ping, Chiang Mai and Lamphun and Tak provinces – Doi Khun Tan, Lamphun and Lampang provinces – Mae Wa, Lampang and Tak provinces – Mae Moei, Tak province – Mae Yom, Phrae and Lampang provinces – Ramkhamhaeng, Sukhothai province – Srinan, Nan province – Doi Phaklong, Phrae province – Lam Nam Nan, Phrae and Utaradit provinces – Khlong Tron, Utaradit province – Tak Mok, Phetchabun province North-Eastern Thailand – Kaeng Tana, Ubon Ratchathani province – Phu Sa Dok Bua, Mukdahan and Yasothon and Amnad Charoen provinces – Phu Pha Thia, Mukdahan province – Phu Phayon, Sakon Nakhon and Nakhon Phanom and Mukdahan provinces – Phu Kao – Phu Phankham, Udon Thani and Khonkaen and Nong Bualamphu provinces – Nam Phong, Khonkaen and Chaiyaphum provinces – Phu Pha Man, Loei and Khonkaen provinces – Phu Phan, Sakon Nakhon and Kalasin provinces – Phu Laen Kha, Chaiyaphum province – Pa Hin Ngam, Loei province – Thab Lan, Prachinburi and Nakhon Rachasima provinces – Ta Phra Ya, Sakaew and Buriram provinces Central Thailand – Sam Lan waterfall, Saraburi province – Phu Toey, Suphanburi province Southern Thailand – Huay Yang waterfall, Prachuab Kirikhan province – Wonkon beach, Prachuab Kirikhan province – Ngao waterfall, Ranong and Chumphon provinces – Lan Nam Kraburi, Ranong province – Kaeng Krung, Surat Thani province – Khlong Phanom, Surat Thani province – Si Khit waterfall, Nakhon Sri Thammarat and Surat Thani provinces – Budo-Sungaibadi, Narathiwat and Pattani and Yala provinces – Khao Pu – Khao Ya, Phattalung and Trang and Nakhon Sri Thammarat provinces – Khao Lam Pi – Thai Mueang beach, Phang Nga province – Khao Lak – Lam Ru, Phang Nga province – Sri Phang Nga, Phang Nga province – Khao Phanom Bencha, Krabi province – Khao Nam Khang, Songkhla province – Koh Phetra Islands, Satun and Trang provinces – Bang Lang, Yala province Notes: 1. Persons below 3 years old are exempt from fees. 2. ‘Children’ refer to persons aged 3-14 years old. 3. Thai primary, Elementary, Secondary school and University students in uniform or carrying valid proof of study will be charged at the same rate as children. 4. The service charge for individuals is to be applied to tourists who spend a maximum of 5 days in any single national park. 5. Monks and novices are exempt from all charges. 6. Elderly Thais aged over 60 are exempt from charges. 7. Tourists who spend the entrance fee at one national park may use their ticket to enter other national park locations with the same or lower rate on the same day. 8. If tourists need to enter other national park locations with a higher entrance fee on the same day, they are required to pay the difference between the higher and the lower fee.

Thailand National Parks to Raise Foreign Entrance Fee to 400 Thai Baht?

I just heard this from my girlfriend who told me that the parks service at Phi Phi told a friend of hers that it’s already been approved by Thailand’s legislature – whomever that may be right now.

400 Thai baht ($12 USD) to get into a National Park to see a waterfall is not a fair price I hate to say. I would think virtually no foreigners that are living in Thailand will be going often to the parks at that rate. Right now that’s $12.00 USD. For a couple coming to Thailand – that’s $24.00! hahahha! To see a WATERFALL? Oh man. That’s not going to work well. TWENTY FOUR DOLLARS?

Also, they are raising the price for Thai tourists that want to see the national parks – well, in theory they are – in reality it wouldn’t make a difference if they charged the Thais’ 400 baht also because,

“Thai people do not PAY a fee when they visit the national parks” in Suratthani and Krabi provinces

It’s the truth – I’ve seen hundreds of Thai people walk right through the gate – before and after I pay.

I pay and I pay for whomever I’m with and nobody else does. If another foreigner arrived, he or she would also pay and pay for any Thais’ that came with him or her.

Living in Thailand and making the wages foreigners do – about 30,000 baht per month – it’s just too expensive to consider. There are many other free places to go see… Or, just go to the park early before they open and walk right in for free. Lol. Hard to do in Phi Phi island – but, rent a kayak… save you and your wife $24.00. That would even pay for your kayak rental.

Man… Can Thailand dick it up anymore than they are lately? Are they doing ANYTHING right?

Anything? Does anyone know one thing they are doing the right way? Please comment…

Wat Nong Pa Pong in Warin Chamrap, Ubon Ratchathani Province, Thailand

Wat Nong Pa Pong temple (wat) in Warin Chamrap, Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand

In March I visited a serene wat in Warin Chamrap in the province of Ubon Ratchathani in the Isaan (northeast) region of Thailand. More specifically it is located about 8 kilometers southeast of Warin Chamrap. If you’re coming from Ubon you can take a pink local bus from the bus terminal to “Ban Gor” and then walk the 2 kilometers from there heading west toward the temple.

“Wat Nong Pa Pong” is a large forest wat (temple) established by revered monk, “Ajahn Chah”, on a large piece of flat land on the outskirts of the city of Warin Chamrap. The name of the temple means, “Forest monastery of marsh and pong”. Pong is a type of Thai grass that grows very high. Prior to building the temple there the land was thought by local Thais’ to be inhabited by the ghosts of those cremated in the past. Apparently this land was used as a cremation grounds for many years.

This is the main wat that “Wat Pa Nanachat” is a branch of. Wat Pa Nanachat is a forest wat for English speaking (mostly) monks and those seeking to become ordained as monks, that Ajahn Chah established in the Buddhist forest tradition. Wat Suan Mokkh in Suratthani province and established by “Buddhadassa Bhikku” is another of these temples based on the forest tradition and that accepts English speaking monks.

The current Buddhist abbot at Wat Nong Pa Pong is “Ajahn Leeum” who is a Thai man of about 50 years of age.

Upon entering the wat you’ll see a visitors center with some descriptions about the wat written in English. A guestbook is there to collect signatures and places of origin of visitors that stop by. I searched the book back through about 30 pages of signatures and found only one other entry handwritten in English, so this is definitely off the beaten path for English speaking visitors to the area. It is widely quoted that the Isaan region of Thailand receives about 1% of Thailand’s total visitors. If that’s true then only a handful of westerners have ever seen this temple and grounds.

Pink Lotus flower and budThe visitor’s center is full of memorabilia from years past. There is the usual display of shells, bones and things that are there to remind visitors of the impermanence of life and that life is a continuous cycle of birth, life, and death.

Here is a short video of the inside of the Wat Nong Pa Pong visitor’s center >

You can hear a cock crowing in the video. There are lots of chickens and roosters roaming around as well as birds and some frogs can be heard during the evening.

Short video of the outside of the visitor’s center >

If you listen closely you can hear a dhamma talk being given over the loudspeakers that are around the temple grounds. One can hear the message anywhere in the temple.

As I walked down dirt paths that led to monk’s hootchies (kutis) and other buidlings and halls I had the feeling as if I was intruding. I usually have this feeling when exploring a wat for the first time, like I’m disturbing something. Everyone that I met during the walk made me feel welcome and some tried out their English greetings or had a short conversation with me. I did see one western monk among perhaps 40 or so Thai monks that were preparing for breakfast. They do accept western monks at this temple but I believe one needs to be moderately literate in the Thai language or the dhamma talks and other instruction and activities wouldn’t be understood very well.

There is a chedi in the large gold building you see in the photo at the top of this article. This chedi contains the cremated remains of “Ajahn Chah”, who was known worldwide and revered as a very special teacher of meditation and who established the forest tradition.

There have been over 140 temples established as branches of Wat Nong Pa Pong overseas in Europe and America.

Here is a link to a great Buddhist site with a detailed description of Wat Pah Nanachat as well as Wat Nong Pa Pong.

If you are planning to visit Wat Pah Nanachat or Ubon or Warin, and you have an interest in Buddhism why not stop by Wat Nong Pa Pong and sign the guestbook… you’ll find my name in there from sometime in March 2007!