Saturday, February 28, 2015

Phu Chi Fa - 'the Mountain that Points to the Sky'

A place not often visited by Western tourists, Phu Chi Fa or 'the Mountain that Points to the Sky' is a wonderful place to experience the sunrise in Chiang Rai Province.  To get the best from the experience, you either need to get up pretty early and take a tour bus or stay overnight. There is a campsite available or you can opt for local village accommodation in Ban Rom Fa Thong.

From the car park at the base of Phu Chi Fa there is a steep 1.8 km climb to the viewing point at the top of the mountain. At the summit you will discover a large grassy plain, which ends in a small peak (that points towards the sky). The climb maybe steep, but it is worth it when you are rewarded by spectacular views over the Mekong River and deep into Laos. The sunrises here are particularly wonderful as in the early morning the valley is covered in a sea of clouds. As the sun rises the morning mist swirls and subsides and the green mountain tops below begin to peak through – the effect is incredibly breathtaking!

Because the mountain is so high it is can get very cold up there – even freezing in winter. So if you do go to watch the sunrise, be prepared to experience frost. The lower temperatures during February enable a white, wild orchid called Dok Siao to bloom.

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