Khao Nang Phanthurat National Park

Cha-Am, Tha-Yang, Kaeng Krachan, and Petchaburi. Discussion on areas north of Hua Hin.
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Khao Nang Phanthurat National Park

Post by Big Boy » Tue Mar 18, 2014 9:16 am

The Gardens

Have you ever noticed the small set of mountains as you approach Cha-Am? These mountains form the Khao Nang Phanthurat National Park. To explain how to find is difficult, but if you drive North from Cha-Am, about a mile after the railway flyover, there is a turning/u-turn on the right for Jalaprathan Cement Co. Ltd. When you go through the gates, just follow the brown touristy signs (written in Thai). Beware though, the road does become a dirt track for a couple of miles (it isn’t as bad as driving Soi 88 in Hua Hin). Don’t be surprised to see hundreds of monkeys lining the road.

As the dirt road comes to an end, there is another signpost directing you left. Follow this road around, and you will find the visitor centre on your right, quickly followed by the gardens on your left.
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Khao Nang Phanthurat National Park
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The gardens are like an oasis in the desert. After following quarry works and paddy fields, you do not expect to come across such a well sculptured garden. There are some excursions up the mountain accessed from the garden, but today we were concentrating on the garden aspect.
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The gardens
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The gardens
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The gardens
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The gardens
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The gardens
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The gardens
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The gardens looked very clean, and had well positioned concrete picnic sets all of the way around. The natural backdrop of mountains on 3 sides make this a spectacular setting.
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Picnic tables
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The gardens themselves are wheelchair friendly, but the excursions up the mountain are strictly not.

Looking for somewhere to chill out? Want somewhere nice for a picnic? Look no further – stunning.

More photos here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set ... 718&type=1
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Re: Khao Nang Phanthurat National Park

Post by Bamboo Grove » Tue Mar 18, 2014 11:10 am

You mentioned the monkeys on the way to the park. How about the park itself, is it also a monkey kingdom?
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Re: Khao Nang Phanthurat National Park

Post by Big Boy » Tue Mar 18, 2014 12:08 pm

In the park itself, I only saw 1 monkey and that was in Nang Phan Thu Rat Mirror, which I'll talk about in part 3 of this report on Saturday.

Of course, if there's one monkey, there will be many more, but I just didn't see them. They certainly weren't a menace in the park while I was there.
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Re: Khao Nang Phanthurat National Park

Post by Big Boy » Thu Mar 20, 2014 8:31 am

Mountain 1

As far as I can tell, there are 3 mountains here, which have relatively easy access for the public. We tried what we believe to be the 2 easier climbs on today’s visit. We started with the harder of the 2 accessed from the back of the gardens.

Looking at the sign, it appears there are 8 levels or attractions on this mountain. Unfortunately, neither of us had a good enough grasp of the language to know exactly what the sign said.
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Sign at the foot of the mountain
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We started up the mountain on easy steps, covered by very low (I’m 6’ 5” tall) branches and vines. This was an easy climb.
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A gentle start to the climb
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At the top of this part of the climb was a man-made mini-lake, which was almost dry.
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The mini-lake through the trees
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The stairs now turned into a forest walk, and very pleasant it was too. We had to climb up the odd rock, but the more difficult parts were supplemented with railway sleepers. As we reached the first summit, we could see a nice downhill forest path ahead of us – this was lovely/easy.
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A gentle woodland walk
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A gentle woodland walk
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At the end of this leg, was another dried up man-made lake and a small lean-to where you could sit and watch the wildlife (I actually sat here for about 30 minutes on the way down, and all that I saw was 1 lizard, 5 birds, 2 butterflies and the mandatory ants – I didn’t see the mosquitos that bit both of my legs).
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Lean-to for observing wildlife
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Beyond this point was where climbing started. It wasn’t too bad at first, with well-placed railway sleepers to help with the climb. The railway sleepers gradually petered out, and it became just sharp rocks to climb (I was glad that I’d brought my trusty walking stick, which had saved the day on my Phraya Nakhon Cave climb). The climb was getting steeper and steeper with more and more loose rocks.
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The climb becomes an actual climb
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The climb becomes an actual climb
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Then I came to an obstacle that significantly worried me. It was 3 railway sleepers forming a very steep bridge over a deep(ish) ravine. There were cross strips of wood to provide grip, but the nails had rusted through making it very dangerous. I managed to get up this obstacle with the aid of my stick, and even climbed about 10 feet further waiting for my companion to catch up (I had to clear the obstacle before he could start). While I was waiting, I took a look around, and started wondering how I was going to get back down again. I decided I should go no further, and return to a safe level (the small lean-to) and wait for my much younger/fitter companion.
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Getting too dangerous for me
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Getting too dangerous for me
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The climb back down was a lot worse than going up, but I took my time, and there were no mishaps.

Meanwhile, my companion took my camera and continued to the top. Strangely enough, just a few feet above where I’d given up, the climbing ended, and it became a gentle forest walk again…….. for a while. However, there were worse obstacles and rocks to be climbed.
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The going gets easier just after I'd given up
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When he reached top, going much faster without me, he said it was well worth the climb, with fantastic views.
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View from the top
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View from the top
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View from the top
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Right on top of the mountain was a large sink hole, and it was like looking into the lost world.
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The Lost World - looking into the sink hole
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The Lost World - looking into the sink hole
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The Lost World - looking into the sink hole
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My companion also found the downward journey a lot harder – he told me that he chose to do some parts on his backside. He’d phoned me from the top, and I was becoming quite concerned at his non-appearance back at my level. We eventually teamed up again, and continued our journey to the bottom, where we would climb the much easier mountain together.

This could have been a risky climb in wet/slippery conditions.

More photos here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set ... 718&type=1
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Re: Khao Nang Phanthurat National Park

Post by Bamboo Grove » Thu Mar 20, 2014 10:55 am

The sign post gives you instructions how to behave in the park, i.e. don't change anything in the nature, don't be noisy etc.
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Re: Khao Nang Phanthurat National Park

Post by Big Boy » Thu Mar 20, 2014 11:26 am

Thanks BG - I think we were good apart the odd wooden cross beam with rusted nails coming loose and almost causing injury.
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Re: Khao Nang Phanthurat National Park

Post by Big Boy » Sat Mar 22, 2014 3:04 pm

Mountain 2

This mountain was much smaller, and geared more to visitors. It had good steps and handrails all of the way. At the top were 3 attractions:
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Good staircases with handrails
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• Nang Phan Thu Rat Crematorium

• Nang Phan Thu Rat Mirror

• The shrine of Nang Phan Thu Rat
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Signpost at foot of mountain
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We climbed the typically Thai steps (every step has a different height) to the first level and visited the shrine of Nang Phan Thu Rat. Very colourful, with a few traditional Thai dresses hung outside a real wardrobe, and plenty of tailors dummies to wear more. There was a large viewing platform here, but apart from the steps back down again, you couldn’t see anything for the trees.
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Viewing platform and shrine
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The Shrine of Nang Phan Thu Rat
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We continued up the mountain to Nang Phan Thu Rat Crematorium, which was actually a bridge between the mountain’s twin peaks. There were some great photo opportunities of the gardens below.
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Up to Nang Phan Thu Rat Crematorium
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The bridge to Nang Phan Thu Rat Crematorium
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View from Nang Phan Thu Rat Crematorium
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Finally we crossed back across the bridge to Nang Phan Thu Rat Mirror. This was a large hole in the mountain looking out towards Cha-Am. However, a viewing platform was still under construction, and we couldn’t access this area properly.
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Nang Phan Thu Rat Mirror
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Nang Phan Thu Rat Mirror
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In true Thai tradition, even at the top of this mountain, somebody had seen the need to install one of life’s essentials (Thais have to charge teir mobiles :D).
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One of life's essentials installed 'Thai style' at the top of the mountain.
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Many more photos here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set ... 718&type=1
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Re: Khao Nang Phanthurat National Park

Post by Frank La Rue » Sat Mar 22, 2014 3:38 pm

Big Boy,

thanks for this informative contribution to the Forum in your series of field reports from your excursions.

One thing though, some of the pcitures appear as they should on my PC, some appear as white squares with the little x in the upper, lef corner.
I did not have these with any of the pictures you posted in you other reports, it may be my PC though or is it anything the way you loaded?

Anyway,

thanks again - enjoyable and useful read :cheers:
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Re: Khao Nang Phanthurat National Park

Post by Big Boy » Sat Mar 22, 2014 4:13 pm

All of the photos appear normally to me on both the forum, and on Facebook.

Is anybody else having problems please?
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Re: Khao Nang Phanthurat National Park

Post by Dannie Boy » Sat Mar 22, 2014 4:17 pm

I can view them fine on my iPad

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Re: Khao Nang Phanthurat National Park

Post by Frank La Rue » Sat Mar 22, 2014 4:24 pm

Big Boy wrote:All of the photos appear normally to me on both the forum, and on Facebook.

Is anybody else having problems please?
I logged out and back in - I can see them fine now. :thumb:

In Norway we call this approach "using the Swedish button", i.e. tunring something off an back on to see if that solves a problem which root cause then remains unexplained, as is the case here :?

Btw - the outlets for recharging mobile phones is a funny one, I would never hav thought of that......
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Re: Khao Nang Phanthurat National Park

Post by Big Boy » Sat Mar 22, 2014 4:26 pm

Don't worry, I use that method daily :oops:
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Re: Khao Nang Phanthurat National Park

Post by buksida » Sat Mar 22, 2014 5:40 pm

Does this "National Park" have an inflated farang entrance fee or can you just go in?
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Re: Khao Nang Phanthurat National Park

Post by Big Boy » Sat Mar 22, 2014 5:45 pm

Farangs pay the same as Thais - nothing :D
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Re: Khao Nang Phanthurat National Park

Post by Frank La Rue » Sat Mar 22, 2014 6:38 pm

Big Boy wrote:Farangs pay the same as Thais - nothing :D

The above brings a new perspective to the Thai practice of dual pricing, example, I paid 200 baht for me and only 20 baht for the thai family when we all visited the Zoo north east of Pattaya some years back.

If the principle is that for anything without value to Thais, we Farangs also pay nothing, there is a worth while case for bringing this principle to issues like Visa entry fee, recidence Visa fee etc, as we are worthless to the Thais.

This links nicely with another thread about farang rights to vote in Thai elections and our general participation in Thai party politics.
MAybe we have our first political issue to run with here: We are worthless to thais so we shold have to pay no Visa entry fee. :dance:
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