Hiking Phu Chi Pha – Chiang Rai

Phu Chi Fa Forest Park is in the Phi Pan Nam range that offers a great destination for camping and maybe to see the sunrise.

It’s bordered by Laos. From the summit, dirt roads take you to an isolated village on the other side of the border. We hiked Phu Chi Fa on the same day as arrival. The contrast views in the morning and afternoon.

Summer is the off-shoulder season in that the summit becomes misty and not the great season to see the sunrise.

November to February is the peak season in Phu Chi Fa. It’s the best time to see the sea of clouds.

Phu Chi Fa’s Sunrise at 5:45 am

The duo brother and sister dancers took every opportunity to put up their shows. They are no less than aged 7 and already turned on the radio when we arrived in the Phu Chi Fa parking lot at 5:40 am.

The sun slightly peeks out from the clouds but the way up the summit was still dark. We were not alone. Five local tourists were with us to make up seven altogether walking on the trail. The trial is easy, well-defined amid fields of lush grass. It is not possible to get lost. The summit was windy and misty. At 6:25 am, the sun finally came so closer to us. The clouds moved too quickly and block the sun, unfortunately. We were like chasing the clouds just to get a glimpse of the sun.

Phu Chi Fa is an easy trek to the top, whilst on top, you can see the village on Lao’s territory. It’s better to visit in daytime for the scenic view.

Phu Chi Fa Town

Phu Chi Fa Town’s resorts and guesthouses were closed that left the town ghosted and the parking area Phu Chi Fa was empty. The vendors were desperate to sell food. Gangs of dogs roaming the deserted town. Only the permanent residents stay here and two restaurants open. If you come this season, you do not have to make any bookings. Walk into any gate-open accommodations, the care-taker would show you around. We chose one with a large garden and a view of the ranges. We ate every meal in Miracle Coffee. It offers coffee and a classic Thai menu.

Breakfast in Phu Chi Fa Town

Miracle Coffee is the only restaurant open in the morning. Drop by for hot coffee or noodle! Very few restaurants open for business. This place is great for dinner as well.

Around Phu Chi Fa

Rom Fa Siam Hill

I am not sure about the sunrise in Rom Fa Siam Hill compared with Pu Chi Fa. Rom Fa Siam Hill is another tourist destination. Camping sites are built on the slopes. If you are not in a hurry, camping grounds are available here. I stop here for the coffee shop. The shop is next to the soccer field and opposite the white plaster milestone. Look out for the Arabica Coffee signboard that you won’t miss. They sell decent quality Arabica beans and honey. Stop here for a cup. I already packed some in my backpack :).

How to Get to Phu Chi Fa

I visited the tourism office. The officer insisted that there is no bus to go to Phu Chi Fa. So there is a daily minivan departs at Chiang Rai Bus Terminal 1. You have to ask the drivers and people around. They would point you to the correct place.

Explore Phu Chi Fa by Scooter

Chiang Rai is slightly busy with traffic. The two routes’ distances suggested by Google maps are more or less the same distance. You will drive through numerous towns and some farming fields. The roads are well-maintained and some constructions on the way but not to be bothered. Traffics are normal that does not bother much. As you are familiarized with the country, food eateries are everywhere. No worries to find food if you are fine with anything.

The Road to Phu Chi Fa inside the national park is 30% – 70% steep and somewhat curvy. Don’t hold your break tight :). You can immediately feel the temperature drops and surround by a pine forest. Take a deep breath!

Where to stay in Phu Chi Fa?

Plenty of hotel and guesthouse in the Phu Chi Fa town.

เมฆสกุลดี ที่พัก ลานกางเต็นท์-ภูชี้ฟ้า (500 BHT for 2 persons)

This guest house with two rooms and a spacious garden where you can camp.

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