About 5 hour drive on a good highway heading to the north of Bangkok, you will reach a lovely province of Kampaengpetch.  A unique lower northern province, a land with multi-tribal culture, a province with great national parks and a lesser known historical park.  For those who love nature, history, culture, this is the place.

If you leave Bangkok early, you will arrive in Kampaengpetch before noon. I left home at 6.30 am and it was about 8.30 am when I reached the first stop in Nakornsawan Province for breakfast.  It was simply a clear soup noodle with fish balls but very delicious.

Khampaeng Petch Historical Park

We continued on highway route AH 1 heading north until we reach the intersection with a sign pointed to the left to Kampaengpetch.  The province is home to Kampaengpetch Historical Park. Even though the historical park is accredited by UNESCO as a world heritage site, it has not seen many tourists over the years. The park is packed with big lush green trees, making a walk in the park pleasant.  The park is an archaeological site along with Sukhothai Historical Park and Si Satchanalai Historical Park in its neighboring province of Sukhothai (Both of them are also world heritage sites.)  There were three ancient towns in this area; Nakhon Chum to the west, Muang Cha Kan Rao to the east and Muang Tri Trueng to the southwest.  The ancient remains in the park are usually large and made of laterite.  I couldn’t imagine how the ancient people created such massive constructions in the 14th century with simple construction tools.

Wat Chang Rob, Kampaeng Petch Historical Park

Wat Chang Rob, Kampaeng Petch Historical Park

There are some important structures that we should not miss when we visit to this historic park. Wat Phra Kaoe is a royal temple that is believed to be part of the palace. Wat Pra Non housed the Reclining Buddha Image. Wat Phra Si Irriyabot, a large temple with a famous Monthop; a squared shape building with four Buddha images in four different postures (walking, sitting, standing and reclining) on each side.  Some of the images are damaged and only the brick pedestals remain.

Wat Si Ariyabot, Khampaeng Petch Historical Park

Wat Si Ariyabot, Khampaeng Petch Historical Park

After the historical park, we made a stop at Klong Wang Chao National Park. The national park is about 45 km from Kampaengpetch.  The park covers the area of two provinces (Kampaengpetch and Tak) and is separated by a stream of Klong Wang Chao. We visited a small village called Baan Loh Koh.

Wang Chao Stream in Klong Wang Chao National Park

This village is located in the remote area up in the hills in the national park.  The road to this village is ‘not too bad’ providing that you go there in the dry season.  For the access to the village during rainy season, you may need a good 4W vehicle to get there.  The distance from the office of National Park to Baan Loh Koh is only 14 km., but with the road’s condition, it took us almost an hour to get there!  It is a small village of multi tribes living together.  The first village we met was Karen and Hmong.  The villagers here work as forest watchers for the national park.  They live here under the project of the national park to preserve the forest.  We met a lot of children. Luckily, we have prepared some gifts for them from Bangkok.  They looked very happy to get our presents.

Houses along the way to Baan Loh Koh

Houses along the way to Baan Loh Koh

Children at Baan Loh Koh

With these people helping to protect the forest, this national park has water all year round. Since we came here in the hot summer month, the waterfall is a bit dry. The park is much more welcoming and refreshing if we come in the rainy season.

Nature Lodge in Klong Wang Chao National Park