Phu Tub Berk, sometimes also spelt Phu Tubberg, can be found in Phetchabun province. Phetchabun is in the lower part of northern Thailand. Phu Tub Berk is the tallest mountain within the province, with a height of almost 1,800 metres. As you journey higher up the mountain you can feel the temperature getting cooler and cooler – make sure you take a sweater, especially if you are planning on spending the night at one of the campsites on the mountainside!
The road leading up the mountain is in good condition, but it can be very steep in parts! There are plenty of places though where you can pull off the main road for a break. You’ll find a number of small cafes, restaurants, and refreshment stalls as you drive up, and part of the fun of exploring the mountain is making frequent stops to admire the sweeping picturesque views. You can see over the fields, villages and towns far below, as well as other mountains in the distance.
The mountain is home to many people from the Hmong ethnic group. They make a living from farming, and you’ll notice many stalls selling locally grown fresh produce. Many Hmong people wear their traditional dress, and it’s not uncommon to spot groups of small children wearing their customary clothes as they run and play on the mountain.
One of the main products is cabbages and, although this doesn’t sound too interesting at first, seeing the stretching cabbage fields really is quite a sight! The cooler temperatures are also good for growing strawberries. It is possible to go into some fields and you’ll certainly get some great pictures! If you feel like really getting stuck in you can also arrange to spend a few hours cabbage picking! There are also many flower fields that look really beautiful when in bloom.
You can also visit a sheep farm, where you can feed and pet the sheep and lambs.
At night, the lack of light pollution makes for great star-gazing if there are no clouds. The views are incredible both by day and by night!
Although you can enjoy the great scenic views all year round, it is better to visit in the cool season when all the vegetables and flowers can be seen too. Between November and February are the peak times to visit this pretty and interesting mountain.
There are several other places of interest not too far away, including the popular Khao Kho, another mountain that is well-known for its lovely views and Swiss-style resorts, waterfalls, lakes, and temples. Of particular interest is Wat Trai Phum with its unusual Buddha statue.
/// Written by Sarah-Jane Williams, Thailand