Khao Sok and Khao Yai national park are popular among tourists, but if you want to go to a park where you won’t spot much foreigners, try Pha Taem National Park in Ubon Ratchathani province. This small and relatively unknown national park is also the place to be if you want to be one of the first people in Thailand to see the sunset!
Pha Taem national park is well known for a few things: prehistoric paintings, unusual rock formations looking like mushrooms and the earliest sunrise/sunset of Thailand. The visitor center is the center for all the three main attraction.
Before heading to the main attraction, don’t forget to visit the many waterfalls the park has to offer. We went to Soei Sawan waterfall. This waterfall is easily accessable but prepare to walk a bit to reach the waterfall.
Go a little bit up from the visitor center and you will notice weird looking mushroom rocks, better known as Sao Chaliang. The mushroom shape are formed from centuries of erosion. The stone pillars have larger flatter stones resting precariously on top, making them look like mushrooms. It was fun exploring the area where we climb onto the rocks and take many pictures.
Back to the visitor center, follow the walking trail to the view point, one of the highlights of the park. From the cliff you have a panoramic view over the forest and the Mekong river that is the border between Laos and Thailand. Be careful, there are no fences or whatsoever, only a few signs warning you not to stand close to the cliff. Pretty adventurous but if you fall down the chances are very slim that you survive.
Get ready for a 2,5 kilometers trail along the foot of the overhanging cliff and discover the mural painting. Most images are well preserved and you can see the catfish, and people with triangle shaped heads. It’s quite a walk in the heat so bring some water with you. The 2 kilometers trail end at the viewpoint, the starting point of the trail.
We were also back on time for the sunset!
It was fun to experience a national park with all its history still preserved well and not many tourists can be found here. If you’re looking for something small and unique, this is a good place to be.
Combine with a visit to the Sam Phan Bok and Elephant Village and you have a great weekend getaway!