Khao Kho mountain is in Petchabun province, which borders the Central, Northern and North Eastern provinces of Thailand. As you look at a map, it’s roughly above Bangkok towards the border with Laos. This area is a popular tourist destination within Thailand, known for cooler weather and beautiful scenery. Stunning views greet you around every corner of the winding mountain roads. Coffee shops and restaurants are plentiful, each located on a spot to give you something to wonder at whilst sipping or snacking – see below!
We are on a road trip. My dad is over for a spell and he and some friends fancied a little trip away. So they aquired a mini-coach (as is usual for them) and we set off North. The drive is estimated to take 5 1/2 hours from central Bangkok, however you have to add time to allow for traffic! You also (as far as my experience goes) have to add time in for multiple delicious meal / snack / coffee stop(s) too.
Khao Kho itself is the tallest mountain of a range that extends up into Laos called the Luang Prabang range. It’s 1174 metres above sea level at it’s peek, and whilst it’s not the highest in Thailand, the drive to the top has some really stunning scenery. I’m thinking it must start from a pretty low altitude, as the road to reach the peek winds steadily upward for about an hour. It’s the kind of panoramic view you wish you could capture, but it’s so vast that even with a fancy extra-wide setting on your camera you just can’t do it justice!
The mountain gets it’s name from the Ton Kho trees which are abundant in this area. The cooler climate is also used for growing alpine loving plants and fruits, most noticeably strawberries (you see statues of strawberries everywhere)! This climate is also good for tamarind (so you also see gigantic tamarind statues too, these look like a peas pod but are light brown). Tamarind fruit is sticky with a sweet – sour taste. It is used in Thai cooking as well as a snack, fresh or dried – be careful though the stones are literally as hard as pebbles and can easily crack a tooth! If you want to see a fruit plantation and buy some gourmet bits, BN farm on the 2196 road has been here since the 60’s is the place to go.
We have friends who live in the area, giving us insider information on where to go. Places I can thoroughly recommend visiting include a beautiful temple perched on the edge of a massive valley and a restaurant on the top of Khao Kho which is famous throughout Thailand for it’s stewed pork knuckle. There are too many coffee shops to mention, but each gives a different view of the valleys, with giant green hills fading into the sky. It can be pretty windy at some of them, hence Harro’s side-sweep.
I’ve a little more to write on Khao Kho, but this place is really all about the scenery. Check out the view from the road alone…..Show on map