Phu Suan Sai & Phu Soi Dao NPs

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2 months 3 weeks ago - 2 months 3 weeks ago #5058 by BKKBen
Phu Suan Sai & Phu Soi Dao NPs was created by BKKBen
Hi all,

This is my first post here, and I'm just looking to see if anyone on here has any knowledge about hiking and camping at Phu Suan Sai and Phu Soi Dao National Parks in Loei and Phitsanulok provinces respectively.

I've been to Phu Suan Sai NP a few times (my wife is from Loei), but I've only ever stayed at the bungalows and birded the roads/hides. This December, however, a friend and I plan on hiking to the 'high' campground, which at 1408m claims to be the 'Top Camping Point in Northeast of Thailand'. I'm not sure if the sign is referring to it being the 'highest' campsite in Isaan (or if that claim is true), but thought it could be a fun little expedition.

When my wife and I were there in April, we casually asked about camping up there and we were informed that we'd need a guide and have to give a couple of days notice before arriving so they could arrange things. The ranger at the park told as that the hike up only took a few hours and wasn't too strenuous. My question to this page is, has anyone here hiked up and camped at this campsite at Phu Suan Sai NP?

Secondly, after we've spent a few days at Phu Suan Sai, we plan to move on to Phu Soi Dao NP, where neither of us have been before, and like at Phu Suan Sai, we plan on hiking to the top campsite for a night on the mountain. So, similarly to my last question, has anyone on here done the hike up to the higher campsite and camped the night, and if so, was a guide needed for this?

Given one can't book too far ahead at national parks, we've got some time before needing to book anything. Closer to the time, I'll probably just ask my wife to call the respective national parks for up-to-date info on pricing and logistics, but thought it couldn't hurt to ask on here.

Furthermore, I've read Robby's fantastic write-ups on here detailing his numerous expeditions to Thailand's many national parks, but was after more specific info on this occasion.

Thanks greatly in advance,

Ben.

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2 months 2 weeks ago - 2 months 2 weeks ago #5075 by WT admin
Replied by WT admin on topic Phu Suan Sai & Phu Soi Dao NPs
I think you may have to fill us in after your trip Ben ;+) 
It does not look like anyone knows any details yet.
I  am sure you have already seen these (?) ............


www.norththailandbirding.com/pages/localities/phu_suan_sai.html
www.thaibirding.com/locations/north_east/phu-suan-sai.htm

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2 months 2 weeks ago #5079 by BKKBen
Replied by BKKBen on topic Phu Suan Sai & Phu Soi Dao NPs
Yeah, I've looked at those sites many times, especially Nick Upton's; it was from that site that I initially learnt about Phu Suan Sai NP, and have subsequently visited on a couple of occasions while visiting family in Loei. Incidentally, the cabin that I've stayed in at PPS has been by far the best I've stayed in at Thai NPs - quite comfortable and very spacious (Cabin 102 for those interested).

I will definitely write up a trip report with sighting, logistics etc. once we've been on this trip. We also plan on spending a day at Phu Luang Wildlife Sanctuary on our way back into Loei before flying back to Bangkok.

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1 month 3 weeks ago #5097 by BKKBen
Replied by BKKBen on topic Phu Suan Sai & Phu Soi Dao NPs
A small update on the planning for this small trip:

To hike to 'Campsite 1408' (as it's known), you must hire a guide, and the cost is 600B (supposedly not per person, just per trip). Porters are not required, but can be hired for 30B/kg of equipment. The national park can provided all camping and cooking equipment; you must simply bring along the food and drink you wish to have while camping atop the mountain. The park staff did ask where we will be staying the night before ascending, and we told them that we'd be staying in the park bungalows, and they seemed happy with that as they would know we would already be at the park the morning of the hike up. Additionally, the staff at Phu Suan Sai NP were more than happy to take our booking when we called up.

At Phu Soi Dao, a guide is not needed to hike up to and camp at 'Lan Son' campsite, but one must be hired if you wish to hike further and actually reach the summit of Phu Soi Dao - the cost for a guide for this is 500B/person. The whole summit hike can easily be done in a day, and we plan on hiring a guide as we go up, leave our gear at the campsite, hike to the summit, and then stop and camp at Lon Son campsite as we descend. As with Phu Suan Sai, all equipment can be hired from this NP if required. However, unlike PSS, the staff at Phu Soi Dao didn't want to take any booking now, and told us to call back closer (within a week or so) to our arrival date.

So, that's it. It was all pretty simple to organize (so far...), and I'll be happy to write up a trip report on what was encountered on our hikes/stays in these national parks upon return to Bangkok.
The following user(s) said Thank You: WT admin, Paul T

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