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History Hunting: Nominated UNESCO Heritage: Phu Phrabat Historical Park


Deep in the jungle, within the Phu Phrabat Historical Park, you’ll come across otherworldly rock formations that have come into existence thanks to natural erosion over thousands of years. You’ll be able to spend hours following ancient trails and exploring places of historical legend in Thailand.

This area, like many geological places in Thailand, is steeped in mystery and wonder. Whilst wandering through Phu Phrabat you’ll learn all about the legend of princess Nang Usa and her possessive father. Beyond that, you’ll be fascinated by the incredible natural landscape that you can explore.

How to get to Phu Phrabat

Phu Phrabat isn’t too far from Udon Thani, so this makes for a great place to stop over and visit if you’re staying in that area. In fact, if you’re heading to Laos and Vientiane for a visa run, you might as well make a visit of it. 

You’ve got a few options to make your way there, and most people go for public transport. You can, of course, hire a driver for the day at a negotiated rate. That would be a far more expensive option though. From Udon Thani, you’ll easily be able to find a songthaew to take you for the day and the price when shared with multiple other visitors will make it far more affordable. Whilst you might not make it the whole distance from Udon Thani, you’ll then be able to hire a Tuk Tuk driver for the day. Again, make sure that you negotiate. Also, make sure everyone is sure that they’re going to wait for you…


What to expect from Phu Phrabat

Once you arrive, you’ll need to pay the foreign visitor fee of 100 baht to enter Phu Phabat. After that, all you’ll need to pay for is food and drink from any of the vendors on site. If you want to explore the whole park, you’ll want to put aside at least 2-3 hours. Right at the entrance is a small shop, make sure you grab some water here.

The hikes themselves aren’t too strenuous and the paths are really well maintained, so don’t think that you’ll need a machete. This is more national park than wilderness and jungle. There are also lots of signs, in both English and Thai, which alongside the detailed map that you’re provided means that you won’t be spending ages getting lost!

The area that you want to make sure to visit is to the north of the visitor centre marked with numbers 1 to 8. You’ll see lots of amazing rock formations and intricately carved images of Buddhas in the rock. Just on from there, you’ll be able to climb up to a nice shaded area with an incredible view.

What to take with you to Phu Phrabat

This is your typical national park/hiking list, but it’s worth checking:

  • Decent footwear – walking shoes are best, trainers ok, flip flops not.
  • Money
  • Plenty of water
  • Snacks
  • Sun protection of all sorts
  • Mosquito protection

Take it from a local

Make sure that you’re dressed respectfully. This is a somewhat religious site with lots of Buddhist imagery. Plus, there’s not always shade throughout the site so covering up is a worthwhile thing to do anyway!

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