About Phu Pha Thoep
Formerly known as Mukdahan National Park, Phu Pha Thoep National Park is a small protected area covering 48.5 km² in Mukdahan Province east of Thailand, only 17 km south from Mukdahan city near the border to Laos.The highest point in the park is Phu Jongsi at 420 metres.
The forests are mainly mixed deciduous and dipterocarp forest, in deepers areas up on mountains there are few areas with evergreen forests along some cliffs. There are no bigger mammals in the park apart from deer, boars and flying squirrels.
The visitor center area has a few shops, various facilities, a smaller campsite and a few park accommodations.
Despite being small, the park has enough trails and attractions for a day or two days stay. The park is mainly known for its peculiar "mushroom shaped" rock formations, other attractions are viewpoints, waterfalls and a cave.
Right behind the visitor center a trail starts uphill and continues along a rock-floor plateau at the ridge of Phu Pha Thoep mountain and then splits in several directions, it leads to most attractions in the area. This easy to moderate trail is signposted but can be a bit confusing when passing the rock group further uphill. On top of the mountain the signposting becomes better.
There are English brochures to be picked up from the visitor center with information about the park attractions and a map.
Operating from Mukdahan, blue songthaews run along road 2034 right outside the park every 30 minutes. The visitor center area is another 2 km from the road where songthaews passes; there are no public services for the last 2 kilometers. It takes around 30 minutes for the songthaews to reach the turnoff road to the park. The last songthaew back to the town may pass by around 4:30 pm.
It is also possible to hire tuk tuk from the town for a round trip, 500 Baht or more.
Entrance fees & opening times
The entrance fee is 200 Baht for foreigners (100 Baht for children) and 20 Baht for Thai citizens (10 Baht for children).
Phu Pha Thoep National Park is open 8 am to 4:30 pm every day but will be closed from 15th May until 15th July every year.
Stay & eat
The park accommodations have spacious rooms from 1,800 Baht per night for 6 people, with 3 bedrooms and 2 toilets. A 30% discount applies when booked for Mon-Thu.
The park accommodation can only be booked online via DNP website and the bookings must be done in advance. As the money transfer needs to be done within 2 days of booking, it may not be possible to book from abroad. While in Thailand, the payment can be done via local banks or 7-Eleven convenience stores.
There is a smaller camping ground next to the visitor center. Tents for 3 people available for rent for 225, sleeping sets including a sleeping bag, a mat and a pillow cost 60 Baht per person.
There are no restaurants in the visitor center area but it is possible to buy instant noodles from the shops. A few stalls sell food only during the week-end and holidays when the park gets more crowded by the local tourists.
There are a few restaurants a few kilometers outside the park along the main road.
You are recommended to ask a Thai speaking person to call on your behalf.
- 094 289 2383 - Headquarters
The attractions of Phu Pha Thoep
Hin Thoep rock group
Situated within the vicinity of the visitor center, it is a complex of strange mushroom-shaped rock formations spread out several hundred meters along the ridge up to Phu Pha Thoep mountain. The shape of the rocks are the result of at least 100 million years of natural erosion, they are said to be resembling swans, crowns, tempes, camels, crocodiles and other shapes.
Further up the ridge there is a viewpoint with a nice vista of forested hills around, Mukdahan city, the Mekong river and Laos on the other side of the river.
Lan Mutchalin plateau and viewpoint
Located a short stroll distance from the park visitor center, it is a rock plateau further uphill from the rock group. The area offers many beautiful species of flowers around October to November. Parts of this plateau have very good views over surrounding areas.
Phu Tham Phra Waterfall and Fa Mue Daeng Cave
A smaller scenic waterfall which is worth visiting only during the rainy season. The rest of the year it is completely dry, the forest around looks like a jungle during the wet season. The trail is signposted well after the rock plateau to this waterfall. Along the trail to the waterfall, there is another nice viewpoint on the left, signposted well.