Phu Thap Boek | Bangkok Post: Travel

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Phu Thap Boek

Negotiable

Address:Mu 14, Wang Ban, Lom Kao, Phetchaboon 67120 Thailand

Tel:+66816800223, +6656709026

Service day:Everyday, Service hours: 06:00-18:00

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Official description

A main attraction in Khao Kho district of Phetchabun province. It has mountainous terrain and high altitudes which guarantees year-round cool weather for visitors.

From December to January, during the cool season, the hills are covered in cherry blossoms, making it the perfect time to visit. During the rainy season, mists engulf the hills both day and night, earning it the moniker of “the Misty Town”.

Restrictions

Alcoholic beverage, Strong smell food, Children, Pets, Slippers, Short pants, Cameras

Rating

Editorial Reviews

Some 20,000 holidaymakers have swarmed Phu Thap Boek in Phetchabun, outstripping the capacity and facilities of the scenic mountain destination and causing a traffic jam as long as 30 kilometres.

The main attraction in the area, which tops the Unseen Thailand list, is the panoramic view of the "sea of fog" that can be appreciated from the hilltop at this time of year — if one can find a vantage point amid the sea of tents.

Located 400 kilometres from Bangkok, the destination is also considered not too far from the capital for a weekend visit.

However, popularity comes at a high price, with unchecked building of resorts, many of them illegal and some unsafe, turning green slopes into a veritable eco-slum. 

Authorities in recent months have taken action against resort owners and local communities found to have encroached on reserved forest land on the 47,000-rai hill. Of the 62 resorts built on an area covering 1,200 rai, 32 have been found to have violated the law so far. 

Officials acknowledged this week that a lot more must be done to better manage garbage, pollution and traffic at the fast-emerging tourist destination. They expect to complete a master plan in about three months. 

Sua Taoraktrakul, chairman of the Phu Thap Boek Community Enterprises group, said the heavy congestion on Saturday was caused by motorists forming three lanes on the narrow road uphill.

Holidaymakers reportedly have needed as long as three hours to get to the top of the hill. All of the hotel rooms and accommodation in the area are fully booked.

Police from the Lom Kao station have attempted to resolve the situation by allowing cars to move in batches. Tourists leaving the hill have to come down first before new visitors are allowed to drive up.

Some motorists turn off their engines while waiting their turn while others opt to get out and walk to their destinations.   

Some holidaymakers gave up altogether and went somewhere else, according to Thai media.

Social media users posted numerous pictures of the traffic jam on Saturday and advised their friends and followers to go somewhere else. Some photos showed the top of the hill almost totally covered with tents.

The arrival of Tourism and Sports Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul on Saturday exacerbated the situation as traffic had to be cleared so that she could arrive in time for the meeting.

She came to the district to meet with local community leaders and resort owners to discuss problems between the two groups.

Afterward she said that Phu Thap Boek would be used a model for cooperation between local communities and tourism operators.

"I want to see local people, tourism businesses and the environment coexist peacefully for sustainable development of the tourism industry," she said.

For this to happen, she said, it was important that local people maintain their identity in order to preserve the appeal of the destination to local and Asean travellers.

Location

Mu 14, Wang Ban, Lom Kao, Phetchaboon 67120 Thailand

Facilities nearby

Temple, Restaurant, Food shop/vendor

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