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Most people classify Phetchabun Province as being in the North of Thailand, but it actually sits right between the North, Central, and Northeastern regions of the country. This makes it an interesting place to visit, but a difficult one to get to. From all the major routes out from Bangkok, you have to take a side track to get here (though there is direct bus service). Partly because of this, there are very few foreign tourists who come here which for more adventurous travelers is a good thing. Phetchabun is popular with Thai tourists as it’s one of the closest areas to Bangkok with high mountains that offer a cool climate to escape the normally stifling heat.

Best time to visit

The rainy season runs from May to October with the worst months in terms of precipitations being August and September. Even if this is the period when forests, rivers and waterfalls are at their best we would recommend you to avoid it especially if you’re planning multi-days treks in the natural parks. Yet the rainy season is a perfect timetime to experience the sea of mist over the mountains almost all day long, so if you are not going to venture into the forests, go without any hesitation.

During November and December everything will still be lush and green and the weather will be constantly dry making your adventures a lot more pleasant and safe. Keep in mind that during the cool season that lasts until February the temperatures will be quite low everywhere but especially in the mountains at night.

April and May will be warmer but still bearable compared to many other places in Thailand.

If you’re in town in January, every year at the end of the month the Sweet Tamarind Fair takes place; the province is famous for production of the sweetest and tastiest tamarind in Thailand and during the fair the local farmers will bring their products to sell and to participate in various contests. Cultural shows and food tasting opportunity will give you a deeper look into the culture and tradition of this part of Thailand.

Check the below table for the general idea of Phetchabun weather throughout the year.

Month Avg. High (°C) Avg. Mean (°C) Avg. Low (°C)
Jan 31.8 24.1 17.5
Feb 34.7 26.8 20.1
Mar 36.2 28.7 22.4
Apr 37.3 30.1 24.1
May 35.2 29.2 24.7
Jun 34.4 28.9 24.6
Jul 32.9 28.1 24
Aug 32.3 27.6 24
Sep 32.6 27.5 24.1
Oct 32.7 27.2 23.2
Nov 33 26.4 20.9
Dec 31.8 24.7 18.4

Phetchabun’s current weather and 7-day forecast

PHETCHABUN WEATHER

Phetchabun is truly Thailand’s perfect diamond as it boasts pristine forests, rivers and mountains which make up a host of exciting things to do. Here’s our list of things to do in Phetchabun.

1. Phetbura Buddhist Park, the power of belief of the Phetchabun people

Is a place for performing the Buddhist activities and being a leisure attraction where the people of Phetchabunhave joined hands to build the replica of PhraPhutthaMahaThammaracha, a big Buddha image, which was cast by pure brass on the occasion of the 7th Cycle Birthday Anniversary of King Rama IX. PhraPhutthaMahaThammaracha is considered to be a sacred image of Phetchabun province. 

Location: On Highway No. 21, near downtown Phetchabun, Amphoe Mueang, Phetchabun.  

2. Visit thesea of mist at Khao Kho all-year round

The climate in Amphoe Khao Kho is Cool and pleasant all-year round and quite cold in winter. With an altitude of about 1,174 meters above mean sea level, Khao Ko encompasses many undulating mountains of the Phetchabun Mountain range including the Rattanai Reservoir located in the basin area, which results in the sea of mist phenomenon almost every day all year. Visitors can witness the misty flow of Khao Kho from numerous scenic points; such as, the sea of mist viewpoint in front of the District Office, Khao Takian Ngo Viewpoint, and Wat Kong Niam Viewpoint. 

Location: Amphoe Khao Kho, Phetchabun.

3. Wat Phra That Pha Son Kaeo, the marvel of faith

Is a Dhamma practice place built amidst nature and peaceful atmosphere surrounded by undulating mountains with an outstanding 7-tiered lotus shaped stupa named Chedi PhrathatPha Son KaeoSiriratThamnaruemit.It is decorated with mosaics in various colors, accessories, gemstones, necklaces, bangles, as well as Bencharongporcelain or traditional five-colored Thai ceramics. The decoration was done piece by piece all over the stupa. The stupa’s compound has been divided into a zone of Dhamma practice residence and Sangkhawator templezone. Furthermore, the place enshrines the majestic “Five Buddhas” statue, which is the five-layered white Buddha image that creates an exceptional beautiful image enhanced by the breathtaking landscape of the mountains and cloud like a paradise on Earth. The attraction is one of the 10 Dream Destinations.  

Location: Amphoe Khao Kho, Phetchabun.  

4. Experience the coldness all-year round at PhuThapBoek

As part of the route “travel through the cloud”, this place is breathtaking with the magnificent scenery of mist and cloud flowing along the meandering and inclining route to the top of PhuThapBoek with an altitude of 1,768 metres above mean sea level, which is the highest viewpoint of Phetchabun covered with a cold climate all year. One of the magnetic charms drawing tourists to the place is the cabbage plantation of the Hmong ethnic group on the mountaintop that is available to see during July-August and October-November every year. 

Location: Amphoe Lom Sak, Phetchabun.

5. Freshwater Jellyfish, the one and only in Thailand,atKaeng Bang Rachan.

Kaeng Bang Rachan is an about 300-meter-long large rapids, which is the origin of the Khek waterway and a habitat of the freshwater jellyfish living in the moving River species, Craspedacustasowerbyi, the one and only in Thailand and can be seen once a year. The activity “Paddle in the Forest and Look for Freshwater Jellyfish” is annually held by the Nong Mae Na Forest Community for tourists to enjoy feedingfish, seeking shells, and sightseeing flocks of butterflies during March-May.  

Location: Kaeng Bang Rachan, TambonNong Mae Na, Amphoe Khao Kho, Phetchabun.

6. Biking across the savanna field at Thung SalaengLuang National Park

ThungSalaengLuang, 23 kilometers from the ThungSalaengLuang national park’s headquarters in the area of Nong Mae Na, is savanna covering a widespread open area of approximately 16 square kilometers. Along the path through the mixed deciduous forest, visitors can see wild animals feeding and varietiesof flora. In addition, there is savanna alternating with the PinusMerkusiiforest called ThungYa Mueang Len and ThungNonSon. The transition period of the rainy to the cold seasons is a perfect time for Trekking, camping andbiking across the fields to ThungSalaengLuang and Thung Nang Phaya, which are savanna surrounded with pine forest and hill evergreen forest. On the pine branches, some rare orchid plants like Dendrobium senile and Dendrobium  trigonopus can be found.  

Location: TambonNong Mae Na, Amphoe Khao Kho, Phetchabun.

7. Thai Lom Walking Street, the charm of the community

The Thai Lom Walking Street is situated on Ronnakit Road, a Historical road of Amphoe Lom Sak, which has been in use since 2012. Both sides of the street remain classic with traditional wooden houses of two stories. The walking street is filled with vendors selling local Food that is quite rare; such as, Khanom Chin Thai Lom, Ping Kai Khao Buea, Khao Lam, PhayaLuemKaeng, etc.Tourists can also buy local products, Cloth, accessories, and handmade goods by the people in the community for souvenirs. Furthermore, the walking street offers cultural performances, demonstration booths of weaving Ban Tio ancient textiles,ancient blade smith by the Ban Mai Blade Smith Group who has carried the handicraft legacy for over 100 years from Vientiane artisans, folk music performances, as well as retrospective folk dances that locals and tourists can enjoy participating. Thai Lom Walking Street is open every Saturday evening from 5.00-10.00 p.m. 

Location: Amphoe Lom Khao, Phetchabun.  

8. Si Thep Historical Park

Is one of the country’s significant civilization centers. There is evidence that indicates a long continuous settlement of humans since the prehistoric era, including the Dvaravati and Khmer civilizations, respectively, which have dated more than 1,000 years in total. The Park occupies an area of approximately 2,889 rai that is divided into 2 sections in which over 70 ancient ruins are scattered. Some spots have been unearthed and restored. The important Monuments feature Prang Si Thep, Prang Song Phi Nong, and Kho KhlangNai Ancient Monument. Open daily between 8.00 a.m. – 4.30 p.m. 

Location: Amphoe Si Thep, Phetchabun.   

9.Phu Phaeng Ma

 

PhuPhaeng Ma is one of the highest scenic points in the PhuHin Rong Kla national park, as well as a viewpoint for admiring the sunrise, Sunset and sea of mist in the morning during the cold season. The spot is en route to PhuThapBoek. 

Location: The PhuHin Rong Kla National Park, Amphoe Lom Kao, Phetchabun.

10. Tat Mok National Park 

Is an abundant forest on the high undulating mountain range. It is an important watershed of the Pa Sak and Chi Rivers as well as a buffer area for three forests; namely, Nam Nao national park, PhuKieo Wildlife Sanctuary, and Tabao-HuaiYai Wildlife Sanctuary. The interesting highlight for tourists to yearn for is being nestled by the surrounding beautiful nature; for example, the scenic point where the landscape of Phetchabun town can be seen below, as well as a romantic scene to watch the Sunset. The Park also features Namtok Tat Mok, a one-layered large waterfall that runs down from a high cliff to the ground below and becomes drizzle, of which its name, Tat Mok came from. 

Location: Amphoe Mueang, Phetchabun.

Despite being a small capital town far from the usual touristy paths, Phetchabun has enough accommodation options for travellers willing to spend a few nights here. Many of the digs can be found on the main road coming from Bangkok or in some of the nearby side streets. Simple fan rooms are available for less than THB250 while several budget hotels offer better air-con rooms for THB400. There are also a few more upmarket solutions for those with a mid-range budget. Some luxury resorts will let you splurge when you’re visiting Khao Kho National Park.

What to eat

All things tamarind

A trip to Phetchabun wouldn’t be complete without a ful immersion into the tamarind world. Tamarind is commonly used in everyday cooking all over Thailand, and Phetchabun province is well known for production of some of the best tamarinds in the country. There are two kinds of this fruit; the more sour one which is grown and found everywhere in Thailand and used primarily for the seasoning sauce in many recipes; and the sweet one, which is grown only in several provinces Phetchabun included and because of its delicious flavour mainly used as a snack to be eaten either fresh or with sugar, salt and pepper.

The harvesting season for tamarind is from November till February and this is the best period to learn how important tamarind for this province is, especially at the end of January when the annual tamarind fair is held to celebrate the end of the season with lots of local farmers showing the best products of the recent harvest.

Tamarind is quite easy to preserve and the fruit can be stored in a fridge for months without losing its properties and taste; for this reason it doesn’t really matter at what time of the year you’ll be visiting; take a stroll downtown and tamarinds will be everywhere, and everyone will be more than happy to explain to you (or try to explain to you in a broken English) the countless benefits that the fruit have on your health. You’ll have a chance to taste tamarind juice, buy tamarind candies, or simply taste fresh tamarind on the spot.

Don’t be surprised when you’ll find yourself wondering whether tamarinds are that big everywhere; these are giant sweet tamarinds, and you can find them only in Phetchabun.

Khanom jeen

A famous local recipe that you can’t miss when traveling in Phetchabun is khanom jeen, which is a kind of particularly thin flour noodles, soft and sticky, served with fresh or boiled vegetables and a number of different curries; you’ll usually have a fish curry with coconut milk, a fermented fish curry and a sweet peanut curry.

In the north of the province, Lom Kao district is famous for giving the noodles different colours while preparing them. Bright yellow, pink or violet noodles do look weird, but the different colour is normally due to natural colorants only. Restaurants selling khanom jeen are everywhere in town and around the province, make sure you give it a try.

Grilled chicken

Finally for all the meat lovers, Phetchabun will delight you with the exquisite gai yang wichian buri (grilled chicken). Wichian Buri is a district in the south of the province, and home to this peculiar way to grill chicken. The biggest secret is the use of regional ingredients to marinate the chicken overnight before cooking it and a terrific sauce made of tamarind (no surprise), garlic, chilli, sugar and salt. The chicken comes out extra juicy and the skin is crispy and tasty. The grilled salty chicken is served everywhere, in restaurants and food stalls, and it pairs perfectly with papaya salad and sticky rice.
If you’re visiting during August and September try to stop in Wichian Buri; this is the time where lots of festivals take place and gai yang is the biggest star.

Where to eat in Phetchabun

When you arrive in Phetchabun, head to the city centre where the clock tower is. Here is where the majority of street vendors and simple Thai restaurants are located and you’ll have a chance to try not only khanom jeen and gai yang, but all the most common dishes of Thai cuisine at cheap prices.

If you’re craving for Western food instead, unfortunately Phetchabun is not the best place to be; some of the hotels and guesthouses will offer burgers, fries and pizzas but don’t expect anything above average.

Getting to Phetchabun

By bus 

There is frequent bus service to Phetchabun from Mochit Northern Bus Terminal in Bangkok. The ride should take four to five hours and cost a bit under 300 Baht.

By plane 

Phetchabun has an airport but it is currently served only by charter flights. You can fly to Phitsanulok airport and come here by car or taxi. If you are visiting Khao Kho, Nok Air has a combined plane and minibus ticket to get you there.

By train 

There is no train service to Phetchabun. The nearest train station would be on the Northern Line in Phitsanulok, though this wouldn’t be a convenient way to come here. It could be a nice adventure.

Getting around

In Phetchaburi City, motorbike taxis and tuk-tuks are available near the market and at the bus station. Your hotel should also be able to arrange one for you, and possibly a private car and driver. There does not appear to be any motorbike rental shop in Phetchabun town.

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