Lesser Known Peaks Near Phu Chee Fah

Discussion in 'Touring Northern Thailand - Trip Reports Forum' started by ianyonok, Nov 8, 2019.

  1. ianyonok

    ianyonok Ol'Timer

    Dec 9, 2008
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    Most people know Phu Chee Fah, which is now quite a built up area. Also Phu Pha Tung and Pratu Siam are fairly well known and easily accessible at the north end of the ridge. But the other peaks on this Phi Pan Nam mountain range are lesser known.

    I met up with Nigel at the Miracle coffee shop at Phu Chee Fah, then we headed northeast along the 1093 ridge road, about 8 klms.

    When you come to this sign, in Bahn Rom Pho Ngoen, the road up to Phu Chee Dao is adjacent.
    Phu Chee Dao, at 1760m high, is higher than Phu Chee Fah at 1628m.
    2019-11-04 16.09.02.

    But it is a steep 3 klm concrete and dirt road up to the top of Phu Chee Dao. The village locals offer a 4WD service for tourists who wish to visit the peak.

    We left our bags and Nigel's Triumph Street Twin at a cafe opposite the entrance road. We then went 2 up on my KLX, up the track. This was easier than I expected, although needed to lean forward as the front wheel felt light. The surface was dry and the extra weight on the rear prevented the rear tyre slipping. There is a small parking area near the summit, then it's a 200m walk up to the ridge.

    The scenic views are spectacular. It was a clear day and we could see the Mekong, in Laos, easily.
    2019-11-04 14.50.44.

    From the ridge, it is steep hike up to the peak of Phu Chee Dao.
    2019-11-04 14.55.30.
    It feels like a 20m long razor edge, walking across here, with very steep drops either side. Thank you, whoever put the handrails up....
    I didn't realise when I took the photo, but you can see Phu Chee Fah, straight ahead, in the distance, southwest.
    2019-11-04 14.56.40. 2019-11-04 14.57.38. 2019-11-04 14.57.47. 2019-11-04 14.57.52.
    Past the peak of the summit, it's a steep drop down and you can see the border ridge clearly, running along to Phu Chee Fah.
    2019-11-04 15.00.06. 2019-11-04 15.00.39.
    Looking back the other way, to the northeast. There is another white peak marker on the ridge in the distance.
    2019-11-04 15.00.44.
    Phu Chee Fah, "The finger pointing to the sky".
    2019-11-04 15.01.33. 2019-11-04 15.13.31. 2019-11-04 15.15.07. 2019-11-04 15.15.56. 2019-11-04 15.15.57.
    Phu Chee Dao is a spectacular pointed peak, again with Phu Chee Fah in the background.
    2019-11-04 15.15.59.
    The walk down to the parking area, with green handrails.
    2019-11-04 15.27.14.

    We then attempted to ride back down the dirt track to the road..... 2 up.......... which did not work well.....
    After about 6ft, I threw Nigel and the KLX down the track. Just no grip on the front wheel, with so much weight aboard.
    So, Nigel walked most of the way, just getting on the back of the bike for the flatter sections of the track.

    After getting back down, we rode along the ridge road a little way and found a place to stay the night. No need to set our tents up. We took the pre-set tents at 400 Baht a night with a million dollar view, at Top View.
    2019-11-05 08.12.06.
    The tents were set on bamboo platforms hanging over the edge of the ridge. They had mattress, double duvet and pillows and were very comfortable. I opened the downside door of the tent to the cool night air, as there were no mozzies and slept very well. What a view to wake up to.
    2019-11-05 08.12.11.
    Next morning, we rode southwest along the 1093, back past Phu Chee Fah about 8klms. In the village of Rom Fy Tong, we asked about Phu Fah Sawan. A local guy agreed to ride ahead on the trail to show us the route. Again it was a steep dirt track, about 2klms, up to a small parking area. After saying I would not ride 2 up again on the dirt... we did the same thing again. We left Nigel's Triumph at a cafe on the main road and went 2 up on the KLX. Again it was OK going up, but some damp mossy slippery areas to be careful on.

    From the parking area, it was an easy 400m hike up to the ridge.
    2019-11-05 10.05.13. 2019-11-05 10.08.06. 2019-11-05 10.16.19.
    Through the cool forest in the morning.
    2019-11-05 10.16.20.

    Then we popped out into the warm sunshine with wonderful ridge views.
    2019-11-05 10.17.56.
    Miniature Phu Chee Fah rocks with the same almost vertical drops on the Laos side.
    2019-11-05 10.19.49. 2019-11-05 10.20.45. 2019-11-05 10.21.12. 2019-11-05 10.22.04.
    A short hike along the ridge..
    2019-11-05 10.25.12. 2019-11-05 10.27.06.
    ... took us to the peak of Phu Fah Sawan. This is a little lower than Phu Chee Fah, but a wonderful place with almost no visitors.
    2019-11-05 10.28.55.

    The clouds were rising up over the ridge, from the Laos side, warmed by the morning sunshine.
    2019-11-05 10.41.24.
    Looking down into Laos and the same flat valleys. There is a second ridge here, coming from the Laos side. This marks the border between Bokeo & Xayabouri provinces in Laos.
    2019-11-05 10.47.22.
    After we left the Phi Pan Nam mountain range, we headed west over Phaya Phipak and on the west side of the road down, Nigel showed me a rose farm he had found some months ago. The whole mountainside is covered with rose bushes, with white polystyrene covers over the flowers to stop them opening. So, that is where they all come from then.....
    2019-11-05 13.19.56.
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