When people think of trekking in Thailand they have the northern part of the country in mind. But so many people overlook Kanchanaburi in Western Thailand close to the border with Burma. With peaks like Sun Nhok Wua and the famous Khao Laem National park, this part of Thailand is an excellent place to go trekking and escape the crowds.
Sun Nhok Wua is located in the heart of Khao Laem National Park which is best known for the Kroeng Krawia waterfall. Most people just come here for the cascades but there’s a lot more once you get off the beaten track. The area is renowned for its spectacular sunsets too, and one of the best places to base yourself to see the lakeside at sundown is Pom Pee. There are some great campsites here and most are within easy reach of those sunset views. For most people the journey begins in Bangkok with a long drive to Kanchanaburi and on to Pom Pee.
Sun Nhok Wua is the highest mountain in this region and stands at 1767 metres. Its name translates into Green Bull’s Hump and the peak does resemble the cattle seen in in this region. A trek to the summit takes 1 day from Pom Pee and anyone participating needs to be physically fit as there are very basic facilities. You’ll also need a sleeping bag, adequate supplies of water and food for the trek, and strong hiking boots. The best time of year for trekking in this area is November to February.
The trek begins early from Pom Pee and heads through the lush jungle of Khao Laem National Park past bamboos and forest to the base camp of Sun Nhok Wau. This is a 9km trek and the base camp is just below the summit of the mountain. There are spectacular views across the national park and you’ll set up camp here for an overnight stay. After a rest at base camp the summit is approached in the later afternoon. There is a challenging path known as Keuk Ma or a horseshoe followed by a scenic trail to the summit. Once you are on top of Sun Nhok Wua you’ll see for miles around on a clear day and be at an altitude of 1767 metres above sea level.
The advantage of camping at base camp ensures you can see the spectacular sunrise over the park. After breakfast you’ll trek back down through the jungle to Pom Pee. Finish off the day by having a dip in a local hot spring. What a way to relax after that amazing walk.
These photos were taken during our Thailand Unlimited hike, organised by TravelledPaths.com and supported by Singapore Adventurous Nature-Lovers meetup group. Credits to participants Celia, Premkrishnan, Alice and Wa Sukkharin
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