Monday, May 2, 2011


Phetchabun province is just over 4 hours easy drive from Bangkok, but it's a great place to visit which (despite it's proximity) still receives next to no tourist; even Lonely Planet doesn't mention this beautiful province!

In essence, Phetchabun province is a wide north-south valley, crammed between at first hills, later on 1000+ m, so no wonder that waterfalls are a major feature, though surprisingly scarcely visited.

One of the lesser known national parks in Phetchabun is that of Tat Mok, considering that the province also contains the Hin Rong Kla national park. The 290 square km Tat Mok National Park is named after it's signature waterfall which is said to be a 1-level 200-300m high waterfall

Getting here is not too difficult, from Phetchabun town head southeast and take road no. 2271 until it reaches road 2275. A right turn is required and then quite quickly the entrance to the park will need a left turn. From the entrance it is 18 km over a mountainous road to the road head.

Not many foreigners make it this far up-country and after the ticket lady contains her surprise thereafter followed a frantic scram (involving 4 staff members) to find the correct 200B entrance tickets, nearly 7 $US (April 2011).

It takes about half an hour to drive the deserted road to it's ultimate destination. Going up there are two larger viewpoints, if clear one could easily see Phetchabun town. After the first hill there are some more offices and a campground, beyond seems to receive even less visitors. At a certain moment I need to get out and remove a large branch from the otherwise good road. The valley gets more narrower and ends at a small car park with some amenities, but no one seems to be hanging around on a late Monday afternoon.

The track then starts and should last for nearly 3 km, 45 minutes. It's not often that in Thailand there are long walks possible (Thai's prefer drive-in nature) and certainly not well signposted ones. The trail hugs either side of the stream and has seen better times. On narrower sections, the improved pathway has been washed away as do all bridges. Attempts have been made to keep the track passable and it really is a nice beautiful walk.

An improvised bridge

Finally one comes to a section where the trail splits, the lower path continues onward for another 200m to the Song Nang waterfall (or Songnang)whereas the higher steps should take you to Tat Mok.

As rain is threatening with clear intentions of today's daylight being curtailed, I skip the Tat Mok part, as it is a high waterfall but with little water.

Instead the Song Nang waterfall is in front of me. It's a 10 level waterfall with delicious pools to skin dip in, yeah!

Author chillin

After chilling out it's time to return, drops of rain are falling. The best part of this is that birdlife are welcoming the moist and are out in numbers, audible though not visible. A salvo of larger cries leads me to believe that horn-bills are overhead and low and behold at an opening I see no less than 10 juveniles frolicking in the tree tops.

Back at the end of the road, there is still a great place to rinse off the return sweat before returning to civilization.

There are a couple of web sites on Tat Mok, mostly poorly translated from Thai, resulting in a load of gibberish, see for instance
'Tat Mok - two waterfalls her'. has a good posting on Tat Mok / Song Nang including extensive photo's.
Thaiways has a picture of level 6.

Nearby is the hot spring of Nam Rong, possible as a post walk soak.

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