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Ramkhamhaeng National Park – the most beautiful views from the mountain and the most difficult hiking route in Thailand

Ramkhamhaeng National Park in Sukhothai

While we were climbing, from time to time we could hear our neighbors along the route thinking out loud: “Why am I here?!” I thought about the same thing: “why do I do this? Nobody pays me for this. No one even reads my blog – why am I suffering so much???”

In the next frames I climb the last, highest stone. And what I saw there should explain why I and everyone else, overcoming themselves, climbed this mountain.

Why is Ramkhamhaeng National Park interesting? Ramkhamhaeng National Park Map

Ramkhamhaeng National Park is a national park located in Sukhothai Province, Thailand.

There are two camping areas in the park: one at the foot of the mountain, and another at the very top of the mountain.

There are two routes in the park:

  • Nature trail
  • Mountain part

Nature trail is a small route 1192 meters long, dedicated to exploring the nature of this place.

Mountain part is a difficult route to the top of the mountain. The base part of this route is 3.7 km. At the end of this section of the path you will reach the Camp ground. You can have a snack there, and there is also everything you need for an overnight stay – you can rent a tent and bedding.

But there is nothing interesting in the campsite itself, so you need to continue on to see one of four viewpoints:

  • Sunrise Viewpoint, from the campsite you need to walk another 400 meters, the height of the viewpoint is 1169 meters above sea level
  • Sunset Viewpoint, from the campsite you need to walk another 1 km, the height of the viewpoint is 1200 meters above sea level
  • Khao Phu Ka, from the campsite you need to walk another 2.2 km, the viewpoint altitude is 1244 meters above sea level
  • Khao Jedi, from the campsite you need to walk another 750 meters, the viewpoint altitude is 1185 meters above sea level

The following map schematically shows the route:

And in this image you can see the location of the peaks (viewpoints) relative to the camping area.

On the way to the Camp ground / Camping area you will meet another Viewpoint, it is located 1.6 km from the start of the path (that is, a little less than half). Already from there there is a stunning view.

How much does it cost to enter Ramkhamhaeng National Park?

We paid the following amount for entrance tickets:

  • Foreigner – 200 baht
  • Thai – 40 baht + 10 baht insurance
  • Motorcycle – 20 baht

They didn’t sell me insurance or even offer me…

You can also rent tents:

  • for 3 people – 225 baht
  • for 6 people – 600 baht

Bedding:

  • sleeping bag – 30 baht
  • blanket – 30 baht
  • mat – 20 baht

Cargo porter services: 25 baht per kilogram.

There are also cabins for rent, but if I understand correctly, they are located only at the foot of the mountain. At the top of the mountain you can only sleep in tents.

How to get to Ramkhamhaeng National Park. How to get to Ramkhamhaeng National Park viewpoints

From the main city of Sukhothai, this national park is located at a distance of approximately 25 km.

You need to get to the place with coordinates: https://www.google.com/maps/@16.876183,99.6949143,15.51z

In the morning, from a distance, the mountains look magical: smaller mountains surround a large mountain, and the thought that now I will climb the highest of them, some doubt appears inside. In addition, near the top of the mountain something was white – at some moments it seemed that it was another, even higher mountain with a snow cap. But in fact it was just a cloud – there is no snow anywhere in Thailand, including in the mountains.

In this short video we are already quite close to the mountain.

Along the way you will meet a Check Point, where you will need to buy tickets and write down your names.

At the camp you will see signs for the Mountain trail.

There are also parking lots at the camp, but on the day of my visit they were all occupied – I parked nearby between the trees.

The camp has toilets and information boards.

There is also a rescue/ambulance team on duty at the camp – again you will need to write down your names. They will also ask you about your health. At least they asked me – maybe I just looked bad))))))

After completing all the procedures, you need to go through this gate.

Behind them you will be greeted by a fork in the road and signs:

  • Nature trail
  • Mountain part

You need to select Mountain part.

How difficult is the route in Ramkhamhaeng National Park?

On the one hand, the route is not at all easy. On the other hand, even schoolchildren are taken there, that is, schoolchildren can go through it.

I would rate my level of physical fitness as “average”: I train often, but I’m already old, overweight, and carrying a backpack with water – in general, there are many unfavorable factors against me.

If you have already walked mountain routes, you should imagine that there are two types of path fragments:

  • flat or with a slight slope – they are quite easy to walk on
  • steep climbs where you climb, sometimes holding on to a rope

All mountain routes are individual, but they often alternate between difficult sections and easier sections. So, in Ramkhamhaeng National Park the route consists almost entirely of steep climbs! That is, there you will continuously climb the mountain for 3.7 km.

If you are younger, not burdened with excess weight and do not carry all the water on yourself alone, then, of course, nothing is impossible on this route.

But if you haven’t done mountain hiking before, I would highly recommend not starting with this route. You'll probably finish it anyway, but I don't think you'll like it.

I reached the nearest viewpoint in 4 hours and 16 minutes.

And I finally finished this route in 7 hours 44 minutes.

Please note that the descent did not take much less time than the ascent. Yes, the descent is usually easier, but the slopes here are so steep that you need to be very careful. So that you understand even better: when climbing, we did not use ropes or other railings. And when descending, we used all this and had to walk very carefully so as not to slip down.

It is very important to return before dark, as this path is too dangerous in the dark. Despite the fact that we were in a hurry, darkness caught us on the last hundred meters of the descent – an unpleasant experience when you do not understand what is in front of you and your foot falls into the void.

This is the shady side of the mountain and, in fact, the feeling of twilight there came after about 15 hours.

Path to Camp ground

There are places to rest along the way.

After 1.6 km you will come across a Viewpoint – the view is very impressive.

A short video from a Viewpoint 1.6 km from the start of the path:

From useful: in a couple of places there is spring water. There is a mug there, but I didn’t dare drink the water, I just washed my face.

Wildlife and vegetation are varied and interesting, but I did not have the strength to get to know all this more deeply.

At some point during the climb, thoroughly damp from sweat, I suddenly realized that I was starting to feel cold. I asked my wife if she felt it? She replied that it was as if dew was beginning to condense. In general, even if it’s hot at the bottom, it’s still noticeably cooler at the top.

There is a small shop and restaurant at Camp ground. There you can order an omelet with rice. There is also hot water and you can buy and brew instant noodles. There are drinks like Coca Cola, Lay's chips, canned fish and some other products.

By the way, you need to take your garbage with you, including from the restaurant! You can only leave the Coca-Cola cans, everything else you have to pack and take away.

The viewpoint in Camp ground is not impressive – don't waste too much time on it, continue on your way.

Ramkhamhaeng National Park Viewpoints

Let me remind you that there are the following viewpoints (except for the one we met in the middle of the path):

  • Sunrise Viewpoint, from the campsite you need to walk another 400 meters, the height of the viewpoint is 1169 meters above sea level
  • Sunset Viewpoint, from the campsite you need to walk another 1 km, the height of the viewpoint is 1200 meters above sea level
  • Khao Phu Ka, from the campsite you need to walk another 2.2 km, the viewpoint altitude is 1244 meters above sea level
  • Khao Jedi, from the campsite you need to walk another 750 meters, the viewpoint altitude is 1185 meters above sea level

At the beginning of the route, I planned to visit them all. Even in the middle of the journey, I did not give up hope of visiting each of these places.

In the second half of the journey, I began to think, well, if I don’t watch one of them, then it’s okay.

Towards the end of the journey, I began to think that even if I watch two, it won’t be so bad.

Already in the camp, chewing an omelet, I thought – will I be able to reach at least one of the nearest viewpoints?..

In general, I was only able to watch Sunrise Viewpoint – I didn’t have enough energy or time for others.

Wide viewing angle, but, most importantly, the absence of vegetation that would block views:

I have visited many mountains, but I liked this view the most.

See those little mounds over there? These are mountains! Real mountains!

As the name suggests, Sunrise Viewpoint means you can watch the sunrise from here. In fact, as you can see from the photographs, it is always beautiful there.

Photos of Ramkhamhaeng National Park in high resolution, but without processing – you can zoom quite far into these photos to see more details:

This view is reminiscent of airplane views or satellite photographs. Please note that we are approximately at cloud level. By the way: if you are interested in climbing above the cloud level, then there are such places in Thailand and I have been there - stay tuned for new articles if you want to find out about this!

Video from Sunrise Viewpoint (Ramkhamhaeng National Park) in 8K:

How long does it take to visit Ramkhamhaeng National Park?

My ascent and descent began at 10.30 and ended at 18.10, that is, it took approximately 7 hours 40 minutes.

I keep wondering if it’s possible to visit all the viewpoints if you arrive at the very opening of the park? I think that if you are in good physical shape and arrive early, it is quite possible to cover all the routes in 1 day.

Possible problems: it’s cold in the morning and you’ll have to take extra clothes, which you’ll then have to carry with you as extra weight. If there is dew on the rocks in the morning and this makes them slippery, then this route may become too dangerous.

An alternative option is to spend the night at the top of the mountain in a campsite. Sample plan:

  • climb to the top any time
  • watch the sunset by visiting Sunset Viewpoint and stay overnight
  • the next morning watch the sunrise on Sunrise Viewpoint
  • on the same day, walk to Khao Phu Ka (the farthest viewpoint), visiting Khao Jedi along the way
  • go downstairs before nightfall, or stay one more night if you like, and go downstairs the next day

The only catch is to persuade my wife to return there)))) After finishing the route, she told me “Never again!” In fact, I thought the same thing myself, and about all the mountains at once. But then I rested and went back to my old ways – climbing mountains)))

Cargo porters in Ramkhamhaeng National Park

In the section on prices, I already mentioned that you can pay for the services of porters up the mountain. At first I thought it was some kind of crazy thing to pay someone to bring your things. But after going through the route, I understood everything.

On the mountain slope, which is difficult to climb even without things, and in some places two people cannot pass each other, thin men walk with a stick on their shoulder, to which large bags are attached on both sides. This is incredibly hard work. We talked to one of the cargo porters and asked how many times a day he walks back and forth. He said only once a day.

If necessary, you can use the services of a porter. But don't forget that you can simply rent things like tents and bedding upstairs.

Walking poles in Ramkhamhaeng National Park

When entering the trail, you will see poles that you can lean on while walking. When we got there, there were no more poles left. But we wouldn’t take them anyway, since we like to go without them.

However, it is possible that these poles could help, especially when descending – I always needed additional support to move a little more confidently.

Is Ramkhamhaeng National Park worth visiting?

It all depends on your ability to make it to the top of the mountain. If you can, then yes, it’s worth coming here, it’s very beautiful, in my opinion, here is the most beautiful view from the mountain in Thailand.

If you are not going to climb the mountain and do not want to do camping, then there is practically nothing for you to do in Ramkhamhaeng National Park.

This park has a simple route for studying plants, there are spaces for walking, but going to Sukhothai province just because of this, in my opinion, is not advisable.


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