Phu Hin Rong Kla National Park: Beathtaking views, dramatic Communist history

Thursday, November 17, 2011 0 Comments A+ a-

Due to its rugged terrain and strategic location, Phu Hin Rong Kla served as the headquarters of the Communist Party of Thailand (CPT) back in the 70's. 

In 1984, two years after bombs wreaked havoc on its natural beauty, the 307 square km area was declared a national park.
Flag Pole Cliff
Historical Attractions

The visitor center offers a walk in the past in its small museum that showcases relics during the Communists era such as a prison cell, intelligence center as well as paintings of Mao Tse Tung and Joseph Stalin which inspired the CPT to fight for their cause.

A little over 3 km from the visitor center was the former CPT headquarters, the air raid shelter, and the breathtaking view of the Flag Pole Cliff where, according to the park's employee, the communist red flag once flew (see first photo). 

Natural Attractions

Not fat from the cliff is the park's iconic natural attraction called Lan Hin Pum. It's a hill packed with nodules or asymmetric stones believed to be formed by chemical erosion. It was a place for relaxation for wounded CPT soldiers. I doubt there's another one like this in Thailand.

The park has several waterfalls such as the small waterfall with a water wheel built by engineering students from Bangkok who defected to the Communists in the mid 70's as well some small ones off the main road. If you want to see gorgeous waterfalls you have to go a little deeper into the forest. 

Phu Hin Rong Kla also boast an impressive display of flowering plants such as narrow-leaf zinnia, wild orchid and doritis to name a few.

Admission Fee

The fees are different for foreigners and Thais. Foreigners are charged 200 baht (children 100 baht) and 40 baht for Thais (children 20 baht).

Where to stay 

The park has a lot of accommodation including tents and bungalows. Tents and sleeping bags are available for rent on the spot but staying in bungalows must be pre-booked. You can contact the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) at these numbers 0-2561-0777, 0-2579-6666.

Prices range from 800 to 2,400 baht with 3 to 15 people. As for food, restaurants in the area serve Thai food.

How to get there

Phu Hin Rong Kla is about 124 km from Phitsanulok. If you have your own car, take Route 12 (Phitsanulok-Lomsak) and turn left at the 68 km marker towards Nakhon Thai. Follow Route 2013 and turn right onto Route 2331. The road from Phitsanulok is mostly flat, but the journey uphill to the site itself is very steep. 

Local buses also run regularly from Phitsanulok to Nakhon Thai. Upon arriving in Nakhon Thai, you can take a songtaew going to Phu Hin Rong Kla.

John Benliro hails from Palawan, Philippines. He's a travel enthusiast who loves to read geography books as well as those authored by Sheldon and Grisham. He's a full time lecturer at a university in Thailand and has been blogging since 2009. Come and join him in exploring the vastness of our imagination, drifting from land to land one step at a time.