Ubon Ratchathani’s Pha Taem National Park is filled with incredible things to see. Having your own transport is essential to make the most of your time in the national park, as there is so much ground to cover and a really wide range of interesting sights.
If you love nature, the outdoors, and natural attractions, this really is a terrific place!
Camping is possible within the park, and they also have a few cabins that can be rented but it is fairly easy to find accommodation not too far away from the main park entrance. There are a few places to eat both within the park (near the main parking places) and also outside the park’s boundaries. There are also several market stalls close to the Visitors’ Centre where you can pick up some inexpensive souvenirs, t-shirts, etc.
You can see both the first sunrise and sunset in Thailand within the park. The first sunrise view in the country can be seen at Pa Cha Na Dai, and you can watch the nation’s first sunset each evening at Pha Taem Cliff.
There are lush, dense forests that are bursting with wildlife to explore, many walking trails and driving routes, cascading waterfalls to admire, interesting rock formations to see … and more! One of the most interesting rock formations in the park is Sao Chaliang; a collection of strange mushroom-like rocks. Large and impressive, it is believed that were once at the bottom of the ocean. Close to Sao Chaliang you can also hop over a gaping chasm in the volcanic rocks that was caused by eruptions thousands of years ago. The views out over the surrounding landscapes are incredible! There are many other amazing viewpoints too around the park where you can look down at the Mekong River and right across into nearby Laos.
Another thing of interest in the park is the prehistoric rock paintings. Interesting ancient pictures adorn the sides of steep cliff faces, and you can see depictions of different creatures, hands, old equipment, and geometric patterns. The paintings are thought to date back to around 1,000 BC. The trails to see the pictures can be fairly steep and challenging in parts. Make sure you have plenty of water! The trails are not so good for people who are afraid of heights, as there are large drops at the edge of very narrow walkways in some sections.
Pha Taem National Park is also home to the biggest flower field in the whole of Thailand. This is best visited between the months of November and February when all of the colourful and vibrant flowers are in full bloom.
The wide-variety of things to enjoy in Pha Taem National Park make this a wonderful destination if you are exploring Ubon Ratchathani province or taking a journey around Isan.
/// Written by Sarah-Jane Williams