Northern Thailand has some gems. From the western border with Myanmar to the eastern border with Laos, the golden triangle region is incredible. The mountains are abundant up this way and that makes the landscapes that much more interesting.

Visiting the Phu Chi Fa viewpoint on the Thai – Laos border isn’t easy. It’s a long drive and its at the end of the road, meaning you don’t just pass through to get here. Out of all the places in the north of Thailand this is one of the most incredible ones. 
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My wife and I drove here from Chiang Rai. The journey itself is around 100kms and the road takes you high over one set of mountains before plunging to the valley and then back up the other side again. This trip is certainly off the beaten path and you’ll feel very remote as you pass through the small villages along the way.
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The drive takes around 2-3 hours depending on how many times you stop. The first 70kms are very boring as you just follow the flat roads all the way to the mountains. Once you hit the base this is when things get a lot more pleasant. 
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The mountain road jacks up and the incline is quite steep. I was going full gas with my wife on the back and the bike was sitting on about 30km/h. The top of the first hill is quite pleasant and the temperature drops significantly. There is a viewpoint at the top where you can stop and stretch the legs. From here it’s a windy and steep 25km ride down the valley and back up the other side.
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Here you’ll feel like you’re really out there and away from any tourist places. The villages are small and there aren’t too many stops for fuel so make sure you have a full tank before leaving the major areas. 
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You’ll come to a T intersection just before you enter town. Here, take a right and this will lead you to the Phu Chi Fa forest park. There are 2 gates that you’ll have to go through but no one should be there manning them. It is also free to enter here, no entry fee needed at all. You then continue driving all the way to the parking area at the top.
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There are a lot of stalls here and some young kids dressed up looking for money. After this point is where the walk to the view point starts. There is a huge gate that you have to go through and then it follows a dirt road right up to the border. The walk itself takes around 10 minutes to reach the first flat part and then another 5 minutes to reach the rock that looks like pride rock.
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This place is really cool and you could easily spend hours here just enjoying the serene area. There weren’t too many people there when we went but for sunrise I imagine the place to be a little busier. 
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Logistics

How to get there

From Chiang Rai head east towards the Laos border. There are a lot of turns you need to take so be sure to use the gps to get here. Check the map above for information.

Where to stay

There are a number of guesthouses in the town area that are targeted towards Thai tourists and generally aren’t found on booking.com or online. There is also a campground in the forest park if you would like to camp here. The best bet is to just go there and then find accomodation once you arrive. There are enough places up there that you would never have to worry about not finding a place. 

What to bring

You’ll need to bring at least a warm jacket as it is at 1500m asl and in the evening time it does get quite cold. Other than that just your camera and a good set of shoes to get yourself up the dirt track to the top. 
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