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Difference between revisions of "Phu Chi Fa"

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Chiang Rai Province : Phu Chi Fa
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[[Image:Phuchifa.jpg|thumb|300px|View from Phu Chi Fa summit.]]
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{{pagebanner|Phu Chi Fa Banner.jpg}}
 
'''Phu Chi Fa''' (ภูชี้ฟ้า) Forest Park is in [[Chiang Rai Province]] of [[Thailand]].
 
'''Phu Chi Fa''' (ภูชี้ฟ้า) Forest Park is in [[Chiang Rai Province]] of [[Thailand]].
  
 
==Understand==
 
==Understand==
 +
[[Image:Phuchifa.jpg|thumb|300px|View from Phu Chi Fa summit.]]
 
In an area of outstanding natural beauty, this peak is (was?) a word-of-mouth secret with minimal crowds or ''touristic tackiness''. It is not one of the largest peaks in [[Northern Thailand]] but its remote location, winding approach roads and final spectacular view makes it a trek worth making.
 
In an area of outstanding natural beauty, this peak is (was?) a word-of-mouth secret with minimal crowds or ''touristic tackiness''. It is not one of the largest peaks in [[Northern Thailand]] but its remote location, winding approach roads and final spectacular view makes it a trek worth making.
  
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==Get in==
 
==Get in==
 +
'''By Bus from Chiang Rai'''
 +
 +
Head to the Chiang Rai bus terminal (the old one where the night bazaar is located) and walk down the line of buses to the end. There will be ticket vendors behind tables, just say "Phu Chi Fah" and they'll point you to the right person. Round-trip tickets are 300 bhat with departures every day at 13:00 from the bus terminal. Once you get to Phu Chi Fah, the bus driver will show you where to meet for the ride back which is at 9am the following day (you should meet it at 8:45). The ride takes 3 hours and after 2 hours the driver will stop at a rest area for a 10-minute bathroom break.
 +
 
'''By Car'''
 
'''By Car'''
  
Driving is evidently the easiest option to get to the area, but be aware of the challenging nature of both the road and the (pickup truck) drivers upon it. Cars are available for rent starting at around 1000 baht per day (plus refundable deposit around 20,000 baht) at Chiang Rai airport and a full tank of petrol (~1000 baht) will get you there and back safely.
+
Be aware of the challenging nature of both the road and the (pickup truck) drivers upon it. Cars are available for rent starting at around 1000 baht per day (plus refundable deposit around 20,000 baht) at Chiang Rai airport and a full tank of petrol (~1000 baht) will get you there and back safely.
  
 
For car,driver and guide hire, from Chiang Mai to Phu Chi Fa:
 
For car,driver and guide hire, from Chiang Mai to Phu Chi Fa:
* <listing name="Thailand Hilltribe Holidays" alt="" directions="" address="" phone="+66(0)899569897" email="mja1906@gmail.com" fax="" url="http://www.thailandhilltribeholidays.com/" hours="" price=""></listing>
+
* <listing name="Thailand Hilltribe Holidays" alt="" directions="" address="" phone="+66(0)855480884" email="info@thailandhilltribeholidays.com" fax="" url="http://www.thailandhilltribeholidays.com/" hours="" price=""></listing>
  
  
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==Get around==
 
==Get around==
Once you're there, it's on foot all the way at these elevations.
+
The walk from town to the base is very possible although not trivial, but it's easy to find someone to take you for 30 bhat per person, just ask your guesthouse. From the base, it's a 750 meter hike to the summit and is not particularly challenging terrain although closed-toed shoes are recommended.
 +
 
 +
The town is very small and completely focused on staying one night, summiting, and leaving, so don't expect to find motorbike rental/etc.
  
 
==See==
 
==See==
Walk the final 750 metres on a dirt path to the summit and be rewarded with the immense beauty of the Thai-Laos border.
+
:The highlight of ''Phu Chi Fa'' had to cede viewpoint the '''sea fog''' and beautiful '''sunrise'''. The view of the mountain complex look far and wide. In the morning mist covered valley below. Sunrise through the mist of the meadows alternates with flowers trembled(during the rainy season to winter).
 +
:If you wait until the fog and heat evaporation is complete have also seen the Mekong River meander. Surrounded by the lush forests of Laos. If you visit Phu Chi Fa during the months of December to January the path up through the '''forest Sakura''' Phu Chi Fa is the serpent or tiger pink very beautiful as well.
 +
:In addition, the charm of ''Phu Chi Fa'' still has the atmosphere of a city park and other hill tribe village the foot of Phu Chi Fa is the atmosphere of the tour. There are a small number of options to choose from. Operated by the Tribe on us. And Cheng Meng at home prior to the foot of Phu Chi Fa is a '''Hmong village'''. If the visit Phu Chi Fa in the new year will also see the new year Hmong dress up  to complete both women and men. Highlight of the event is to throw the ball or marbles between men and women.
  
 
[[Image:phu chi fa.jpg|thumb|320px|View from Phu Chi Fa summit]]
 
[[Image:phu chi fa.jpg|thumb|320px|View from Phu Chi Fa summit]]
  
 
==Do==
 
==Do==
Enjoy a traditional song from local children in hilltribe costume as you climb. They will spot you, and those not astonished by your presence (assuming you are not Thai!) start singing - a smile or 'sawaadee kaaa(p)' as you pass by is fine but this is a rare circumstance when rewarding them with a few baht doesn't seem unethical - they are fun and friendly, and fascinated by 'farangs'. Rather than hassling you as they might at [[Angkor Wat]] they will return to happily playing shortly and rather than some cabal of gangsters, the money goes straight to their proud parents, invariably a few feet away. Those unwilling to support the 'use' of children for income could instead teach them a little of your language or compliment their song (''dee dee!'') or attire (''suay maahk!'').
+
Enjoy a traditional song from local children in hilltribe costume as you climb.
  
 
==Buy==
 
==Buy==
Line 48: Line 57:
  
 
==Eat==
 
==Eat==
If you're not into instant rice porridge (sold at stalls near the peak), pack a lunch. There is claimed to be a 'pub/restaurant' near the top but we could not find it.
+
There are several restaurants in town for dinner and breakfast. The food is surprisingly delicious!
 +
 
 +
If you're not into instant rice porridge (sold at stalls near the peak), pack food for breakfast when you go for the sunrise.
  
 
==Sleep==
 
==Sleep==
  
 
===Lodging===
 
===Lodging===
There are homestays available nearby. Keep an eye out for signage.
+
There are homestays available nearby and guesthouses at the base where the bus drops you off. These guesthouses don't have websites and don't really speak English so you can't book in advance, but there is always somewhere to stay so don't feel bad about arriving without a plan. A woman is usually waiting at the bus stop offering rooms for 500 bhat up at the top of the hill -- these rooms are actually quite nice with WiFi and hot water, and her English is quite reasonable.
 +
 
 +
All guesthouses know why you're in Phu Chi Fa and will have a shuttle to the base of the climb. Standard rate is 30 bhat each way and the driver will tell you a pickup time to get back down. You can technically walk from town to the base but at 5am the 30 bhat is totally worth it.
  
 
===Camping===
 
===Camping===
There is camping available very close to the summit. Essential for sunrise viewing.
+
There is camping available very close to the summit and in town.
  
 
===Backcountry===
 
===Backcountry===

Latest revision as of 04:43, 7 February 2016

Phu Chi Fa

Phu Chi Fa Banner.jpg

Phu Chi Fa (ภูชี้ฟ้า) Forest Park is in Chiang Rai Province of Thailand.

Understand[edit]

View from Phu Chi Fa summit.

In an area of outstanding natural beauty, this peak is (was?) a word-of-mouth secret with minimal crowds or touristic tackiness. It is not one of the largest peaks in Northern Thailand but its remote location, winding approach roads and final spectacular view makes it a trek worth making.

History[edit]

The area is today part of Thailand but the area is traditionally a 'Tai-Lao' homeland. The border division between Thailand and Laos created by the Mekong River (visible for the eagle eyed from the summit) is relatively new.

Landscape[edit]

An outstanding array of rolling hills, verdant valleys and elegant peaks.

Flora and fauna[edit]

Farmland and orchards/vineyards turn to bush, scrub and grass near the summit.

Climate[edit]

Chilly, for Thailand, in the morning and a very pleasantly cool temperature throughout the day.

Get in[edit]

By Bus from Chiang Rai

Head to the Chiang Rai bus terminal (the old one where the night bazaar is located) and walk down the line of buses to the end. There will be ticket vendors behind tables, just say "Phu Chi Fah" and they'll point you to the right person. Round-trip tickets are 300 bhat with departures every day at 13:00 from the bus terminal. Once you get to Phu Chi Fah, the bus driver will show you where to meet for the ride back which is at 9am the following day (you should meet it at 8:45). The ride takes 3 hours and after 2 hours the driver will stop at a rest area for a 10-minute bathroom break.

By Car

Be aware of the challenging nature of both the road and the (pickup truck) drivers upon it. Cars are available for rent starting at around 1000 baht per day (plus refundable deposit around 20,000 baht) at Chiang Rai airport and a full tank of petrol (~1000 baht) will get you there and back safely.

For car,driver and guide hire, from Chiang Mai to Phu Chi Fa:


Directions from Chiang Rai (2.5 to 3 hours)

Leave the city southbound on Route 1 (Phahonyothin Road). Take the turn off for Road 1020 which will lead you south and then east. 1020 eventually splits in a rural town - with a left turnoff continuing as the 1020 and 'straight on' becoming the 1021. Follow the 1021 - you will begin to see signs for Phu Chi Fa and will take a left turnoff for the 1155 before reaching the town of Ngao. This road passes through some incredible scenery but you will need to keep an eye on signs at junctions - eventually you will come to a checkpoint, keep right. A little further you will reach a T junction - take a right, following the signs for Phu Chi Fa Forest Park. From now it is a direct road and you will see signs for the amenities - parking, camping, information, and the 'viewpoint', i.e. the peak.

Fees/Permits[edit]

None encountered.

Get around[edit]

The walk from town to the base is very possible although not trivial, but it's easy to find someone to take you for 30 bhat per person, just ask your guesthouse. From the base, it's a 750 meter hike to the summit and is not particularly challenging terrain although closed-toed shoes are recommended.

The town is very small and completely focused on staying one night, summiting, and leaving, so don't expect to find motorbike rental/etc.

See[edit]

The highlight of Phu Chi Fa had to cede viewpoint the sea fog and beautiful sunrise. The view of the mountain complex look far and wide. In the morning mist covered valley below. Sunrise through the mist of the meadows alternates with flowers trembled(during the rainy season to winter).
If you wait until the fog and heat evaporation is complete have also seen the Mekong River meander. Surrounded by the lush forests of Laos. If you visit Phu Chi Fa during the months of December to January the path up through the forest Sakura Phu Chi Fa is the serpent or tiger pink very beautiful as well.
In addition, the charm of Phu Chi Fa still has the atmosphere of a city park and other hill tribe village the foot of Phu Chi Fa is the atmosphere of the tour. There are a small number of options to choose from. Operated by the Tribe on us. And Cheng Meng at home prior to the foot of Phu Chi Fa is a Hmong village. If the visit Phu Chi Fa in the new year will also see the new year Hmong dress up to complete both women and men. Highlight of the event is to throw the ball or marbles between men and women.
View from Phu Chi Fa summit

Do[edit]

Enjoy a traditional song from local children in hilltribe costume as you climb.

Buy[edit]

There is a minimal amount of warm clothing and souveniers available for purchase at the final car park near the summit. Don't pay more than 80 baht for a scarf.

Eat[edit]

There are several restaurants in town for dinner and breakfast. The food is surprisingly delicious!

If you're not into instant rice porridge (sold at stalls near the peak), pack food for breakfast when you go for the sunrise.

Sleep[edit]

Lodging[edit]

There are homestays available nearby and guesthouses at the base where the bus drops you off. These guesthouses don't have websites and don't really speak English so you can't book in advance, but there is always somewhere to stay so don't feel bad about arriving without a plan. A woman is usually waiting at the bus stop offering rooms for 500 bhat up at the top of the hill -- these rooms are actually quite nice with WiFi and hot water, and her English is quite reasonable.

All guesthouses know why you're in Phu Chi Fa and will have a shuttle to the base of the climb. Standard rate is 30 bhat each way and the driver will tell you a pickup time to get back down. You can technically walk from town to the base but at 5am the 30 bhat is totally worth it.

Camping[edit]

There is camping available very close to the summit and in town.

Backcountry[edit]

You will pass some rather affluent looking townlands on the way up the mountains.

Stay safe[edit]

Don't push your luck with the edges of the climb, and drive cautiously. If tired, pull over somewhere safe and take a nap. Alertness is needed on these crazy corners which the locals have no worries about overtaking on.

Get out[edit]

There is little choice but to retrace your steps for most of the journey. Taking the 1021 eastward rather than westward back to the 1020 will bring you through Phayao Province, near Phayao itself and to Chiang Mai along very obscure roads in a little under four hours.



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