Phu Kradueng National Park
Phu Kradueng National Park is one of the leading National Parks in the country and houses the highest peak in Loei (1360 meters). The park is 359 square kilometers in size and extremely well organized. It offers numerous trails (around 50 kilometers worth in total) taking hikers past waterfalls, through pine, oak and beech forests, and past glorious fauna and flora. The park is home to countless species of wildlife - jackals, elephants, deer, gibbons, bears, and a small number of tigers. There is a good chance you will spot something along the way.
Venture to the top of the central peak and you experience temperate conditions all year round. The trail to the top is 6 kilometers long which an averagely fit person would complete in around 3 hours. The trail is littered with ladders and stairs that help make it quite an accessible hike - there are even food stalls along the way and if you have too much stuff to carry it is possible to hire people to carry it for you.
Details: You can hire people to help you carry your gear at a cost of 20 Baht per kilogram. The Park is open from Oct to May. March to May are the hottest months and suitable precautions need to be taken if you intend to go to the park at this time; likewise between December and January when temperatures of 0 °C are often recorded. The park is closed during the rainy months because it becomes too dangerous for visitors. As a National Park there is a 200 Baht entrance fee for adult visitors and a 100 Baht fee for children (under 14). Camping is available (tents for hire) on the top of Phu Kradueng.
Address: Phu Kradung National Park Moo 1, Tambol Sitan, Amphur Phu Kradung, Loei 42180
Tel: 66 4329 1393
How to get there: Buses are available from Khon Kaen or Loei to the village of Pha Nok Khao. From there take one of the trucks that service the 5-kilometer stretch of road to the park headquarters.