One of the biggest drawcards for riding in Thailand is heading into Phetchabun province, approximately 5 hours northwest of Bangkok. If your deciding to ride from Bangkok north to Chiang Mai, heading up through this province is a must.
Phu Thap Boek also known as Phu Man Khao, is a 1,794 m high mountain in Phetchabun Province, Thailand near the border with Loei Province.
The Phu Hin Rong Kla National Park is in the area around the base of the mountain.The park overlaps the borders of further two provinces, Phitsanulok and Phetchabun.
Most of the mountain is covered in mixed evergreen forest and there are also some farms on its slopes growing cabbage. The area around the mountain is part of the Luang Prabang montane rain forests ecoregion.
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Riding up onto Phu Tubberk mountain is not a ride designed for speed the thrills, due to the fact that the road is in poor condition, mountain people live close by the edges of the road, and the corners are sharp 1st gear only and extremely steep.
The ride up the mountain will see the temperate drop at least 15-18 degrees, and depending on the weather, you can expect the road to be wet and low lying clouds to hinder your view.
Unfortunately on the day I went with my mate John on his Kawasaki Versys, my Gopro SD card decided to die, and his battery in his Gopro also died, so we missed out on the biggest part of excitment for me which was filming the ride up onto the mountain.
The small mountain road carries a lot of local traffic, as well as tour buses so keep your eyes pealed as these trucks and buses will be happy to use the whole road and are not shy with entering your lane when they deem necessary.
If your inclined to go camping, you are able to camp right at the top of the mountain, but there is a gate within 1.3km of the top, maned by Thai Military where you will need to pay 500thb as a farang to get to the summit.
Camping at the top will reward you with a sunrise above cloud cover, one of the main attractions to coming here, which I will be definately returning for at some time in the future.
With the elevation being as high as it is, one interesting thing I found was the reaction it had with my GPS fitted on the Ducati. The pressure from the altitude caused my screen to bulge making it impossible to use the touch functions on it until I descended back down the mountain.
It is a wide twisty road, with sweeping curves, that allow for a bit of speed and some knee dragging to add to the enjoyment without concerns as much for your safety.
Nearby is the Khao Kho temple, named Wat Pha Sorn Kaew. Wat Phra Thart Pha Kaew, established in 2004 is a Buddhist monastery and temple with some quiet unique twists. It is sitaued on top of a mountain overlooking route 12 and the valley below.
The main street passing through the middle of the temple features stone walls adourned with broken pieces of pottery and china to give quite an artistic effect.
The main chedi features white 5 headed buddhist shrine that dominates the hillside.
Visiting both these moutains get considerably cold, with temperatures dropping to around 15deg and depending on the day, the wind get get very fierce.
Riding Route 12 between Phetchabun and Khao Ko.