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Khao Kho + 3 Resorts Review – Ozone View, Phuphan Lodging, The Visa

Khao Kho + 3 Resorts Review, Ozone View, Phuphan Lodging, The Visa

Khao Kho Sea Of Fog

This article is all about the area of Khao Kho National Park, the sites to visit and the three small resorts we stayed at. I also mention a great place where you should eat once there and the nonexisting nite life.

Chapters: How to get there Khao Kho Ozone View, Phuphan Lodging, The Visa, Conclusion


 

An extended weekend trip to the Khao Kho National Park in Phetchabun Thailand

On Friday the 20. 10. 17 we left our beloved Dragonfly Farm Resort for an exploring expedition to the mountains of Khao Kho.  We knew it was a special weekend for Thai people but we also knew the high season did not really start yet. On Saturday we were a bit surprised at the huge number of people visiting the rather small area at the same time.

Slopes in Khao Kho

Slopes in Khao Kho

We first had some business to take care of in Phetchabun before we entered the park around 3 pm on Friday. We drove the adventurous smaller street 2196 off highway 21 a bit behind Ban Cho Phrueksa. Google still has the old number (2258) of the road which has changed last year. To drive back into the hills is great fun as it is quite a rollercoaster ride.

I never saw as many motorbikes hitting the road at the same time and place as I did the next two days. I am going to do the trip on my bike the next time too. It’s really fun to take the steep curves and slopes. A bit of a party killer was the weather. The rainy season is really never ending this year and it kept changing from heavy rain to sunny skies.

Once we reached Ban Khao Ya we didn’t take the turn to the right but went straight and made the longer route to get to the actual center of the region. Once we reached Ban Nong Mae, driving through the beautiful nature we turned to Khao Kho on 2325.

Sri Dit Waterfall

Sri Dit Waterfall

Slowly getting hungry again we reached the small Sri Dit Waterfall inside the forest where many food stands and restaurants invite to eat grilled food and rice. Two friendly ladies served us very tasty grilled fish and pork with som-tam and sticky rice. We were the only people there and until now I thought we came too early in the season and would find the place abandoned. We were to learn better the next day.

As it started getting dark and rainy again we decided to check into the next resort along the road. There are hundreds of guesthouses and

resorts to choose from but we were lucky to find a friendly place called Ozone View on top of a small hill.
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Khao Kho Ozone View Review

We found a fairly nice room for two on the first floor for 1000Baht. The room was clean, no Air condition but a fridge, hot shower, and TV. Another hour or so it was a pleasure to sit on the balcony, enjoy the great view and have few beers. That was really relaxing and no mosquitoes were there to disturb the peaceful evening. The place was very quiet at night and I had a deep, undisturbed sleep.

The owners are a friendly couple who offered to use the whole outside compound to sit here or there and served a nice rice soup with eggs and instant cafe for breakfast.

There is free WIFI and parking space in front of the room available and a small shop sells snacks and drinks just a few meters away.

In the morning, the thing to do is to go up to higher grounds and enjoy the sea of fog. From the Ozone View, it is only a five minutes drive to reach the nicest places where you can look over the valley.

The Sea of Fog is the main attraction of Khao Kho and also the reason the place is called as it is. Khao Kho means island mountains, which is how it looks like when fog covers the lower areas and only the peaks of the mountains stand out and look like islands in a sea of fog.

There is no guarantee to see this phenomenon but we were lucky enough to get a glimpse of how it could look like during an optimal situation.

Why do I recommend the Ozone View?

It is a friendly place in a nice, quiet location. The rooms are quite big for the price and it is very clean.

My Cost-Benefit Ratio is 8 out of 10

Out of my three choices, it comes second because: The breakfast isn’t overwhelming, a private space to have a BQ isn’t provided and it’s just not as lovely as number one.
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Day two in Khao Kho

After running around to find the best spot where we could see the fog in the valley it was about time to drink a nice real cafe. Around the tourist center, where we were at the moment there are several places that serve a good fresh cafe.

The Pug Cafe

A bit annoying for me was, although the shops have no walls and wind flows through everywhere it is not allowed to smoke while drinking cafe. Anyway, I had a cup of cappuccino, which tasted really nice too and costs a fortune, 85 Baht, more than two simple meals. And I had to sit in the sun outside because I wanted a cig with it.

Next thing, we checked out at the Ozone View and went to see some friends that sell sweet potatoes near another site where hundreds of Thai tourists gather and enjoy the “fantastic view” of huge wind turbines. We had a lunch there which wasn’t that great but cheaper than the cafe and asked for advice, on where to stay for the next night.

Wind Turbines in Khao Kho

Now we learned of the extent of masses of people from all over the country that came here for exactly this weekend. I did not see a single foreign tourist during these three days but cars from everywhere in Thailand stuffed the roads and let me think I am in a big city. Imagine diving over a small mountain road, 1.5 lanes and being stuck in a traffic jam. Not even the relatively cool climate could help not getting nervous and boiled in the midday sun.

It turned out to be almost impossible to find another place for the night. All was full. A pretty resort we found was full too but we managed to make a reservation for the next night. After looking the whole afternoon, we slowly realized the size of the whole area to be not that big. We drove back and forth the same streets over again and stopped at least for 20 resorts to find not a single room or just one that did not fulfill our demands.

Like that the second day passed by and it already started getting dark and rainy. Luckily a friend of ours, we contacted by phone recommended a place not easy to find. In the end, it turned out to be quite romantic, not expensive and had one last room available.
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Phuphan Lodging Review

The place is right along the main road but hidden behind many fruits shops and covered by tall trees that, once inside give the place a peaceful ambiance. There are about 15 small bungalows built about twenty years ago. We got the nicest one, a bit bigger and built of wood for only 800 Baht. The boss, a nice guy, let us in and switched on the air condition and TV and made sure we had everything we needed.

Here you find no food or shop close by. No breakfast either. WIFI and parking in front of the room are included. There is also a fridge and hot water for a shower. The toilet has a seat but no flushing system, you flush with water from a tank inside the bathroom.

The room was really small, maybe 9m² but quite clean and pretty furnished. The small porch in front could not be used as it was raining.

My Cost-Benefit Ratio is 6.5 out of 10

For reservation call directly to Elvis: +66 081-6801215 or +66 086-0060812 or contact me: dragonflyfarm52@gmail.com

Out of my three choices, it comes last because: Rooms are small and old, no breakfast or shop close by, small porch and no place for BQ but its cheap.


 

Dinner at the Laab Bet Udon Restaurant

Laab Bet Udon Restaurant

A really joyful experience after this rather boring day of being stuck in traffic was the dinner.

At the edge of the small town of Ban Thung Samo where you also find a gas station and the only 7Eleven in the area, we found this very delicious restaurant. It is Thai food only like I guess all the restaurants in Khao Kho but prepared especially good.

We had a tom yum gai nam sai (clear chicken meat soup), pad pet hom (mushroom dish) and laab bet (minced spicy duck) together with steamed rice. It was a dream and we ate almost everything they served and that was a lot.

The dishes were made fresh and right before our eyes. The fresh mushrooms are served with sweet sauce and some vegetables. The laab was very tasty, not too much chilly decorated with fried garlic slices. The soup had a lot of chicken meat and mushrooms and all it needs to be a  yummy yummy tom yum.

Get location click here

Going back to the resort with a happy stomach like this let us sleep like kings.


 

Day Three In Khao Kho

After a great night and all relaxed, we were ready at about nine for our morning cafe. Due to already having a room for the next night, we packed our stuff and went for a sightseeing tour to the Wat Prathat Phasornkaew. First, though a cafe in the famous Pino Latte Cafe and Resort was the plan.

Why, I asked myself, one million tourists had the same plan. The mountain road was stuffed again and to get a cafe we had to wait almost an hour. I slowly started to regret that we didn’t inform ourselves about the business of the weekend in advance. As we visited the Wat before and I just don’t like to follow herds of people we skipped the plan and went back down to the main road, where it already was time to eat lunch when we arrived.

I have never seen so many Thai tourists in one place and the restaurants were probably making their sell of the century. I heard that the Thai government was pushing the region as a holiday attraction but didn’t believe that it would hit that fast. The food was nice though and not expensive at all.

I had enough of all the traffic jams and just wanted to get to our last resort and relax from stress on the road. It was relaxing then indeed too up there, off the mainstream in the wonderful garden resort The Visa.
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The Visa Review

In the center of a place where lots of resorts were being built in the last few years, one small one looked really inviting to us. There are only five huts for rent and the atmosphere is very friendly and family like. At about 1.30 pm, when we arrived there was still food from breakfast and cafe offered. I was happy to sit down on the spacy porch, drink a cafe and calm down for a few moments.

We took a rather big room, meant for four people with two big double beds. We had TV, WIFI, and a hot shower. No air condition and no fridge. It did not really matter due to the cool weather up there and a room covered with green that gave shade to the house and porch.

The view from the room was beautiful, lots of flowers and exotic plants grow in a neat soft grass garden. A bit of the valley can be seen from the resort and if needed a few meters walk gives the full view of the sea of fog in the morning.

The owners are very friendly and let everyone have a barbeque either on the porch in front of the room or on the public porch near the office. They provided the grill and charcoal, salt and plates. At the near market, we bought fresh vegetables and some pork and I grilled everything ready to eat when it was already dark. We really enjoyed that evening a lot and met some other guests that were also eating their Moo Kata.

In the morning we were invited to a huge breakfast with eggs sunny side up, toast, fruit, the obligate rice soup, and some other Thai dishes. Instant cafe or hot chocolate and all, eat as much as you want. I was really satisfied here at the Visa resort and would go back anytime.

My Cost-Benefit Ratio is 9 out of 10

Out of my three choices, The Visa comes first…….


 

Night-Life in Khao Kho

That last night I went out to check the nightlife in the area. I am sorry to say, but there is no nightlife. All I found was a place where they played music but there were no guests but me and I had to share my snacks with the dogs. After midnight I went driving down all the larger streets but found nothing awake. By accident, I saw some guys having a party in front of a shop and thought that might be public. But no, they were the shop owners family sharing a few drinks together. They were friendly though an I stayed for some time and chatted with some of them.

At two in the morning, I drove home enjoying the empty streets, racing up and down the hills a bit:)


The official high season in Khao Kho starts end of November and lasts until the end of February. Although, to visit the national park during the hot season is a great relief from the heat in the lower parts of the country. The main reason to visit Khao Kho anyway is that of the cool climate.
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My conclusion of Khao Kho

I think it is a nice place to visit sometimes. I would not stay overnight anymore though (My home is only two hours away). There are a few sights to see but nothing extremely spectacular except the fog sea. The Wat Prathat Phasornkaew and surrounding plus the two waterfalls are nice to visit once you are there.

What I miss is some entertainment for kids as well as for adults at night. For foreign tourists, it is not yet developed to our taste, it is more a place for Thai citizens so far.

For a family holiday I was going to say it is a nice place but make sure you don’t book in a time where everyone is there. I was there before at a normal weekend about six months ago and liked it much better due to fewer people.

 I recommend a day trip, best with a motorbike and at most one overnight stay.

I will never again go during a special weekend and during high season, only under the week.

All in all, it was not too expensive, we spent about 12.000 Baht in these four days including gas. But still, of course, you can only see rather wealthy Thais coming here.


 

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All inklusive trip


 

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Places where its not so hot

 

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16 Comments

  1. Hi Stefan
    Such a splendid work out there. I’m having trouble where should i travel to for next year holiday that I plan to go with my friend. I never thought Khao Kho is such a beauty place to visit and there wind turbines in Thailand too. You save me so many time and problem of planning where should I visit. Thank you so much.

    Regards
    Jaden

    • Hy Jaden, I’m glad you like it.
      Khao Kho really is a nice place, especially when you like it not too hot. What I didn’t mention yet, There are many people enjoying camping holidays here as well. You can bring your own tent or rent one, furnished with sleeping utensils at many places.
      I hope you enjoy your holidays and if you need to know anything else just let me know.
      See You Stefan

  2. Wow, the Fog Sea is absolutely gorgeous. My wife and I are planning a trip to Thailand for this winter and I had never even heard of this particular place. I’m not super familiar with Thailand, are there any holidays I would need need to worry about in late December that might make it super busy like it was when you visited?

    • Hey Craig, welcome to my site.
      If you come around New Years, there is gonna be a lot of people everywhere. It is the main tourist season for foreigners and the Thai people have a week or so off too. I suggest you be prepared and book in advance anywhere you go in Thailand. You can check booking .com here on my site, they have good offers all over Thailand and so far, what I found out, often you don’t need to pay in advance and have the right to cancel without trouble.
      You have to expect a lot of people, whether you go to the south to the beaches or just all over Thailand. If you plan to drive your own car, be careful, millions of Thais are moving around the country around this time and some of them are stressed and some already start partying on the way.
      I wish you a great time with your wife and hope to hear from you again.
      Cheers Stefan

  3. Thank you for this great review of Khao Kho, Stefan. There are only a couple of Southeastern Asia countries I would like to visit and Thailand is probably at the top of the list. First off I know I would love the food because I eat it often here in the U.S. from a real authentic Thai restaurant.

    I personally would not mind that there is no nightlife. One of the reasons I go on vacation, especially to a somewhat remote area, is to get away from the excitement of nightlife entertainment. As long as there is free WiFi and I can have a few beers with some snacks, I am good to go.

    I would love to see the Sea of Fog. I could spend hours there photographing and just meditating, of sorts, with the natural surroundings. How far from an international airport is Khao-Kho?

    • Hello Robert, You are very welcome.
      I guess you would be happy to stay in the Khao Kho region for a while. There are many spots where you have all the peace you want.
      While looking for resorts on the second day we left the main road and found places without any people. The only cons, there the resorts didn’t have WIFI.
      A few beers and snacks you find everywhere and tasty Thai food too.
      About the int. airport, you’ll have to get off in Bangkok, maybe there is a connection flight to Phitsanulok, that would be the closest airport to Khao Kho. You can check inland flights at traveloka.com they are specialized for Asia and have great offers.
      With a bus from Bangkok it takes 4-5 hours for sure to get to Phetchabun and from there it is another thing to get into the park. Either you rent a moped in Petchabun or you just call me and I pick you up in Bangkok:)
      Please if you need details contact me per e-mail…. exploringrealthailand@gmail.com
      Thanks for your visit, hope to see you again.
      Stefan

  4. I love Thailand, and have been visiting the usual tourist places like Bangkok, Chiangmai, Phuket, etc. It is so interesting to find new and interesting places like Khao Kho. Thank you for introducing this world to everyone.

    And Visa does really look the best choice.

    I am not good at geography. Where is Khao Kho in relation to the more familiar cities? And how to get there?

    • Hey Timotheus
      Thanks for the comment.
      Sorry I didn’t add a map to the post jet, good you remind me. The area is in the Phetchabun province near Phetchabun town. From Bangkok straight up about 300 km., right in the middle of the country. see map
      Hope that helps, Have a great time and see you.
      Stefan

  5. Wow, the scenery is so gorgeous there! Wish you shared more food pics for us, foodies though, lol! I want to visit Thailand someday. I’m going to bookmark your site. Are the resort prices and tourist locations very expensive?

    • Hi, Marlinda, thanks for your reply.
      Food, food, Thai food, I know, there will be more posts about the delicious cuisine I enjoy here every day. I wrote a little about food here.
      The prices are not very expensive compared to Europe or other places. We stayed in rooms from $22 to about $35 a night. These are about the average prices for all of Thailand. Of course, you find cheaper and more expensive.
      I hope to hear from you again and wish you all the best.
      Stefan

  6. Hey mate,
    nice to get some informations from a now local 🙂 I hope you enjoy your life in Thailand.
    I am currently thinking about options that I have to stay somewhere for longer – I don´t really want to go back home. May I ask, I am just curious, did you ever think about going back home again if your family would follow?

    • Hey Manny
      nice to see you here.
      I think you are a traveling man at the moment, why not come and visit:)?
      To go to Switzerland with my family is no real option for me. My wife wouldn’t like to live there. The life here is so very different and the temperature as well. She visited me once there a long time ago and liked it for a month but to stay for sure, I think she would have a hard time and me too by the way:)
      Have a great time
      Stefan

  7. Excellent post Stefan!
    You included so much detail that I feel like I was on the trip with you lol. It looks very beautiful there!
    Do any of the places that you stayed at have websites with information about food available nearby or other points of interest? How does a person who is not from Thailand know when is the best time of year to visit these places? I think it would be fun to be there during some kind of festival, just to see how the Thai people enjoy life!

    • Hi Irma
      It is really beautiful in Khao Kho. I calmed down already and don’t see traffic jam everywhere anymore lol.
      About the websites, you must know, some years ago most of these resort owners were farmers, they don’t know much about working with the internet.
      Points of interest I already pointed out a bit, there is a war museum I didn’t mention but the main thing to enjoy there are the nature and climate.
      Food and restaurants you can find easily by driving around the area, it’s not that big.
      To come for a festival is a good idea, the most loved one by everyone is Songkran. To write down dates is a bit hard as they change every year due to lunar calender.
      Thanks for the comment and see you soon
      Stefan

  8. I have heard so much about Thailand. This country has so much to offer, I guess it must be a real vacation get away. Some day hopeful I will get to visit this place.

    • Hi Norman
      Thailand is a great destination for a holiday. The places and things to do are uncountable.
      I hope for you, you will get the chance to visit someday.

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