Khao Kho - the Thai Switzerland

KHAO KHO - that is the goal today. The wild mountain region in the province of Phetchabun is nicknamed the 'Thai Switzerland'. It is a popular excursion and holiday destination in Thailand and is located about 350 km north of Bangkok. We have often passed here on our way to Chiang Mai and now wanted to visit properly.

Udon-News thanks forum member Maithai for this report.

From Udon Thani the area is easily driveable in one morning, about 275 km. The shortest way is via Nong Bua Lamphu and then Chum Phae, then onto Highway 12 towards Phitsanulok.

Khao Kho in Phetchabun

Beyond Chum Phae the well-developed road leads to the area of Nam Nao. After a checkpoint, the route leads across the Nam Nao National Park.

Khao Kho in Phetchabun

A very nice ride through stunning mountain forests with sometimes huge, very old trees.
Khao Kho in Phetchabun

There are a lot of these warning signs and they probably have their place, even though we didn't see any elephants. Nevertheless, keep alert!

After a relaxing mountainous drive, the road cuts back and leads to Lom Sak. Beyond it begins the steep climb to Khao Kho.

GPS: 16.783757 N, 101.011187 E
You are now in the middle in Khao Kho.

Khao Kho in Phetchabun

This mountainous region looks lovely at a glance. This vantage point is about 1100 metres above sea level.

Khao Kho and Lom Sak lie between Phitsanulok and Phetchabun. The Phetchabun mountain range has peaks up to 1,700 metres. The climate is generally much cooler and more comfortable than in big cities. The whole area is highly developed for tourists - but only Thai visitors. For farangs there is not much on offer.

Khao Kho in Phetchabun

A beautiful resort with bungalows on a steep hill with great views. There is lots of accommodation - in all styles and price ranges.

On weekends and holidays there's a lot going on and almost everything must be pre-booked. During the week, however, there is freedom of choice and a tranquil, relaxing atmosphere.

Khao Kho in Phetchabun

Inexplicably, the Thais seem more and more keen on this 'comic architecture'. Everything is adapted to what we associate with comfort - and then built to a dollhouse scale like Disneyland. All structural stereotypes are used - the guests take their pick - and there are happy memories. We prefer to be more authentic.

Khao Kho in Phetchabun

A nice restaurant - beautifully built - with fantastic views from the terrace. Here there are many restaurants - almost exclusively with Thai menus - so no one has to starve.

Khao Kho in Phetchabun

Similarly the restaurants styles are very clichéd. Here is the adaptation of a 'original' Swiss mountain chalet.

Khao Kho in Phetchabun

Here we see strawberry fields. In this cool climate they grow well. On many slopes - always aligned with the sun - you can see these fields. Strawberry plants in small pots are also available for purchase. My wife was thinking of starting a plantation back at home - but I think in Udon Thani's climate we have no chance.

Khao Kho in Phetchabun

In the region there is a lot to see and do. The Chedi Phra Borommasaririkkathat in Ban Kong Niam is very impressive. Inside there are Sri Lankan relics of Buddha.

Khao Kho in Phetchabun

And these magnificent views of the mountains make you feel like you're in the foothills of the Alps!

Khao Kho in Phetchabun

Several nice, medium-large waterfalls are there too! This is the Nam Tok Si Dit.
So - lots to do! This is no lazy day on the beach!

Also, there are rafting and canoe trips, as well as trekking and mountain biking trails.

Khao Kho in Phetchabun

Walk along romantic paths in natural surroundings!

Khao Kho in Phetchabun

Camping is also very popular among the urban population. On the newly constructed camp site you can rent tents and spend time with your family for the weekend. The infrastructure is all in place.

Khao Kho in Phetchabun

Here are the tents!

Khao Kho in Phetchabun

Organic farming seems to be enforced here. Many farms here are open for tourists - offering ecotourism and their own farm shops.

Khao Kho in Phetchabun

On the edge of the highway, there are regional markets with home grown products. The mountain people of Hmong also offer various unusual fruits and vegetables. (Our car was always full!)

Khao Kho in Phetchabun

Special rice varieties can be bought here - in the supermarkets it will cost considerably more.

Khao Kho in Phetchabun

High on a hilltop the regional government operates a small zoo. We were the only visitors and paid no entrance fee. The construction and arrangement of cages is purely functional - with modern architecture, the zoo experience has no atmosphere. But everything was neat and clean, and some beautiful animals were on display, like this stately deer.

Khao Kho in Phetchabun

A large collection of colorful pheasants can be admired here.

Khao Kho in Phetchabun

Also bears, monkeys and porcupines can be seen. The main focus, however, lies with the birds.

Khao Kho in Phetchabun

The children can also visit the Adventure Park, with climbing and water features on offer.

Khao Kho in Phetchabun

You know these inflated tubes, where you can mess around on the water?

Khao Kho in Phetchabun

I must show you this! The first hotel room we have ever had in Thailand with a functional, open fireplace. That says a lot about the expected winter temperatures here!

Khao Kho in Phetchabun

And the view from the bungalow terrace in the morning! That's something special!

So - that's it! A long report - how can you summarize an entire region with some lines and images? The whole thing should only encourage your to make time and go exploring. (Individual, specific areas will follow!).

posted on: 14.11.2014 - last update on: 20.01.2017

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Coordinates for your navigation device

Latitude: 16.783757
Longitude: 101.011187

Khao Kho - the Thai Switzerland on Google Maps


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