Driving Route : Phitsanulok – Phetchabun

Driving along mountain roads is a joy that can be experienced during the green season. And if the destination is a place with cool weather, it’s a happiness that can be found in the rainy season.

Here is one of the best routes for a road trip in the rainy season. The journey starts from Phitsanulok, a city you can fly to from Bangkok and then rent a car, or you can drive from Bangkok, which takes only 4-5 hours.

This route partially follows Highway No. 12, a long highway that runs through beautiful mountain ranges. We’ll start our trip from Phitsanulok city, heading towards Lom Sak district in Phetchabun province. The initial part of the route runs parallel to streams with several waterfalls to visit. There are many nice restaurants along the way.

In the middle part of the route, we will turn left up a high mountain on the northern side of the road, with the destination being Phu Hin Rong Kla National Park. There, you’ll find especially beautiful hiking trails in the rainy season. This is our first night’s stay. You can choose to stay in the park’s accommodations (which are well-built, comparable to resorts) or camp out.

Another option is to stay at a resort in the Hmong village of Thap Buek, located on the mountain. This village has numerous lodges and restaurants and enjoys cool weather all year round.

On the second day, after descending from Phu Hin Rong Kla, rejoin the main route. This segment offers particularly beautiful scenery and a visit to Wat Pha Sorn Kaew, a temple with unique and beautiful architecture. Nearby, there are several cafes and restaurants with outstanding scenic views.

For the second night, turn right up to Khao Kho, located on the southern side of Highway No. 12. This area is another place with good, cool weather and numerous resorts, enhancing your trip.

At the end of the journey, if you drove from Bangkok, you can return via the route through Phetchabun province (Highway No. 21) without backtracking.

Before starting your journey, stop to pay respects to Phra Phuttha Chinnarat at Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat, located in the center of Phitsanulok. This is one of Thailand’s most important Buddha images, known for its beautiful features.

Location & Info :

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Phu Hin Rong Kla National Park features notable attractions like Lan Hin Pum, a cliff with peculiar rock formations created by natural phenomena. 

Location & Info :

National Park Head Quarter

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Lan Hin Pum (Parking)

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During the rainy season, the trail to Lan Hin Pum is particularly beautiful, adorned with wildflowers.

The scenery along the hiking trails in Phu Hin Rong Kla National Park is breathtaking.

The pine forest atmosphere at the park’s camping area. 

The camping grounds in Phu Hin Rong Kla National Park are picturesque.

The park’s accommodations are as beautiful as resorts but with better views and more affordable prices.

Ban Thap Boek is another option for the first night’s stay. Located not far from Phu Hin Rong Kla National Park, it is a Hmong village with many pleasant accommodations. 

Location & Info :

https://maps.app.goo.gl/cLko4HCQmJ6MbZkm7

The route heading to Ban Thap Boek is steep and winding but equally beautiful.

Returning to the main route, another significant attraction is Wat Pha Sorn Kaew, a temple perched on a hill in a stunning location. The temple is artistically constructed using colorful ceramic pieces intricately arranged.

Location & Info :

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Near Wat Pha Sorn Kaew, there are numerous restaurants and cafes set in scenic locations with great ambiance.

Khao Kho, located on the southern side of Highway No. 12, is a high mountain area with good weather all year round. For a visit to Khao Kho, finding an accommodation with a good atmosphere is recommended to enjoy the view right from your bed.

Location & Info :

https://maps.app.goo.gl/s4aLSNFzPG56MGuYA

Chanarint Coffee Farm is located on Khao Kho, where Arabica coffee is grown, roasted, and served at the farm’s coffee shop.

Location & Info :

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Thung Salaeng Luang is a vast and beautiful natural grassland, one of the attractions on Khao Kho. 

Location & Info :

https://maps.app.goo.gl/KLShms7Cr4SzWkvj9

The driving route from Thung Salaeng Luang to Thung Nang Phaya is rugged and adventurous, bringing travelers closer to nature.

Location & Info :

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In Lom Sak town, the weekend walking street is lively, offering a vibrant atmosphere. 

Location & Info :

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A famous dish in Lom Sak is Khanom Jeen (fermented rice noodles), distinguished by the variety of curries available to choose from.

Location & Info :

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