Phu Hin Rong Kla National Park Travel Guide

Phu Hin Rong Kla may be a national park, but its greatest claim to fame is the central role it played in armed conflicts between the Thai government and People’s Liberation Army of Thailand (PLAT), a communist insurgency, during the 1970s.

The area was easily defended due to its high elevation and proximity to Laos. China is even relatively close, and PLAT combatants received most of their training and funding there. The PLAT were defeated in 1982 and within two years their stronghold had been converted into a national park.

Today’s visitors find a more peaceful environment dotted with waterfalls and forested hiking trails. Lan Hin Taek is a unique rock feature cut with a massive fissure that hosts otherworldly moss and orchid species. Man Daeng Waterfall tumbles through 32 cascading levels and can be seen as part of a six-hour hike. Be sure to hire a guide.

Despite its natural endowments, the park attracts more history buffs than nature lovers. The visitors center operates a museum that can get you started, retracing local history, but the best way to follow the events of the 1970s is by following the Third World Trail as it leads to the old Communist Town Hall, raid shelter and abandoned prison.

Getting There & Away

The park is just over 75 miles from Phitsanulok and can be reached through a combination of bus and songtaew or by hire car. For the latter, follow Highway 12 from Phitsanulok to marker 86 and then take Route 2013 followed by Route 2331. The airport in Phitsanulok operates regular 40-minute flights to Chiang Mai and 55-minute flights to Bangkok.