For only about two months a year, the passage to heaven is open to the public. Khao Khitchakut National Park is located in Chanthaburi, a laid-back eastern seaside city that’s almost the polar opposite of Pattaya. While many destinations in Chanthaburi are already considered hidden gems among foreign travelers, Khao Khitchakut National Park is even more so, with its existence still obscure to most of them.
Khao Khitchakut National Park isn’t the easiest place to get to and conquer, but there’s much more to it than nature. Mount Khitchakut or Khao Khitchakut is guaranteed to be an experience of a lifetime for all adventurers, especially those who want to tap into the spiritual side of Thailand.
Khao Khitchakut 2018 Opening: January 17-March 17
4 Reasons Why Khao Khitchakut National Park in Chanthaburi Is a Must for Adventurers
1. The journey will get your adrenaline pumping from the start.
Before your 1-kilometer trek to the top of Khao Khitchakut National Park begins, you have to get to the starting point with a 4WD pickup truck. From Wat Pluang Temple, it’s almost a 8-kilometer vertical ride up the forested mountain. The ride takes about 30 minutes and often you’ll find another pickup truck zigzagging down the steep slope. The whole experience isn’t for the faint of heart.
So if you’re up for this treacherous journey, hop onto the truck and hold on tight.
2. See the otherworldly landscape with your own eyes.
While there are an abundance of wildlife and three waterfalls (including the 13-tiered Krathing Falls) amid lush surroundings, the most eye-catching part of Khao Khitchakut National Park is obviously the highest peak called Khao Phra Bat. As you arduously climb towards the mountaintop, you’ll see a lot of bells, Buddha images, shrines and strange stones. Locals say some of these stones resemble Buddhist ritual objects, such as monk’s alms bowl.
At the top of the Khao Phra Bat is a gigantic boulder that’s also known as the Floating Rock or the Stone Pagoda. Look at its epic position and shape. The definition of natural wonder.
TakeMeTour’s Tip: Since the trail is tough, wear good shoes. It’s open 24/7, so don’t be surprised when you see people sleeping in the mountaintop area. Thankfully, there are toilets and food stalls along the way.
3. Share the sacred experience with Thai locals.
Khao Khitchakut National Park is more than an adventure into the wild. Most hikers are locals from all over the country and despite their different backgrounds, they are united by their faith in Buddhism. Under the towering Stone Pagoda lies Buddha footprint. At 1,050 meters above sea level, it’s the highest Buddha footprint in Thailand. According to Buddhist beliefs, Buddha footprints are highly revered and making a pilgrimage to Buddha footprint is a great deed. After all, you can’t reach Buddha footprint at the top without strong faith and perseverance.
And the Buddha footprint under the Floating Rock isn’t the end of your journey. After worshiping Buddha footprint, follow the other devotees and continue onward for about 4 kilometers. There at the end of the trail are rows of holy red clothes, or pa daeng as the locals call them. It’s believed that if you write your wish onto a piece of red cloth, it will come true.
TakeMeTour’s Tip: Local legend has it that only one wish will be granted.
4. It’s an exhilaratingly rewarding hike.
The opportunity to experience local Buddhists’ faith in an extraordinary setting. The accomplished feeling of conquering one of Thailand’s most thrilling trails. The sweeping views of Chanthaburi from the top. It’s not every day that you get to do this, let alone all in one destination.
What’s more, you can treat yourself to Chanthaburi’s signature delights at Khao Phra Bat, namely Moo Chamuang (pork curry with chamuang leaves), seafood and durians. Sweet rewards for the brave indeed.
Khao Khitchakut National Park in Chanthaburi is open from January to March, but dates change every year, so we’ll keep you posted. From Bangkok to Chanthaburi, our Local Expert will be happy to take you to the top of this holy mountain and back. Book our adventure tour to the national park in 2018 and go on this pilgrimage to heaven.