Travel Diary: Camping in Kaeng Krachan National Park for 3 nights and 4 days

I have already experienced beach and island hopping and chasing waterfalls, but I never tried camping with nature. That's why we decided to be with nature for 4 days and 3 nights last week and do camping. I am so excited to do camping because I haven't tried it until last week and being with nature is such a great feeling to relax and unwind from a stressful work.

We decided to do the camping in a nearby National park, which is the Kaeng Krachan National Park in Petchaburi, Thailand. It is 3 hours drive from Bangkok and 4 hrs. and 30 min. from Pattaya. We leave our house early in the morning like 7:00 AM knowing that it will be so traffic on the road because it's also a public holiday on that day. We arrived around 4:00 PM because of traffic and we also had a lot of stops for lunch and toilets along the road. 

The Kaeng Krachan National Park is a forestry park, the area estimates around 2,915 square kilometers. It is known to have 3 campsites in the area, one near the dam (near), 2nd in Ban Krang and the 3rd one is in Phanoen Thung campsite (at the top). Kaeng Krachan National Park normally closes around 5:00 PM, so better come earlier in the campsite so you can still go inside. We had our first camp in our first night near the dam, luckily there's not too many campers in the area. The view of the dam and the entire campsite is so wonderful, clean, refreshing air and solemn. We set-up our tent and prepare our own foods, we brought our own cooking equipment and do the grilling, then the experience of camping starts. The entrance fee is 300 THB for foreigners and 130 THB for local Thai, you also have to pay another 30 THB for parking per day and another 30 THB for overnight stay. We paid only on the campsite, the ranger will check each camper around 6:00 PM to collect fees and give tickets. I had read a blog post that the ticket is only per day and they don't have tickets for 4 nights or 3 nights, however, my friend whose with us and whose the one who talk with the rangers and paid our tickets get a ticket for 2 nights already including the ticket in Palau Waterfalls. So, in summary, if you are staying 2 nights in Kaeng Krachan National park either in Dam campsite or Ban Krang campsite you can inform the ranger and they will give you tickets for 2 nights including the other fees. Furthermore, I also read that some foreigners go to Kaeng Krachan National Park by motorbike, and the rangers did not let them in. I think this is actually facts, because the park is so huge and I never saw a tourist or locals in the park riding a motorbike mostly are cars. If you don't have a car, no need to worry because you can ask the rangers to send you to another campsite or back to the entrance of the park, and there's a fee for this. In the Dam campsite where we slept in our first night, they also have stalls selling foods if you don't have any cooking equipment, they also have a washing area where you can wash your plates and utensils or get a water. And lastly, they do have a toilet and showers, if you are worrying about this

Dam view

Our tent

Washing area

Toilet and Shower  Area

Food stalls
The experience on our first night is mixed emotions, happy and excitement because it's my first and annoyed because it's too hot during the night. We hardly sleep in our tent because it's too hot. I think one of the reasons of this sleepless night is the wrong type of tent and the size. However, we still enjoyed the view and learned from it so that in our next camping we know already what to bring and what to do. 

Rise and shine adventurers! It's our day 2 in Kaeng Krachan National park and I woke up early in the morning to roam around the campsite and luckily found the famous bridge from the movie Crazy little thing called Love. After an amazing breakfast and refreshing shower, we packed our things and drive around the park and found a breathtaking view. Then, drive an hour to Pala-u Waterfalls, if you already paid in the campsite, then the waterfalls are already included in that fee. However, if your first destination is the waterfalls, then you need to pay for it. I'm not sure how much, but according to my friend's estimated cost for foreigners is 400THB.  

The famous bridge from the movie Crazy Little Thing called Love

Pala-u Waterfall is a very nice waterfall, it has many levels to walk to or climb to up to the top. The path to each level is so difficult, especially in the 3rd level, you need to hold tight with the ropes and twigs and walk through the big stones and make sure you will not fall into the heavy water current with big stones. We did not climb up anymore to the 4th till the top level, it's not safe anymore, especially that its pouring raindrops on that day, still we enjoyed the waterfall.

After trekking in Pala-u waterfall we headed to our next campsite for 2nd night, which is Ban Krang camp site. Again, we need to arrive at the campsite before 5:00 PM because they will close at 5:00 PM. We set-up our tent, prepare our foods and enjoy the night. We didn't pay anything because we already got our 2 nights tickets from the first campsite in our first night. However, the experience in Ban Krang campsite is so different from the Dam campsite. Ban Krang campsite is not humid or hot, the weather is cold, so it's comfortable to sleep in the tent at night. There are a lot of trees, ranger's office is so nearby, there is also a small restaurant inside the campsite, the food price are cheap, so no need to worry, and lastly there are also toilets and shower rooms

We also booked a car from the ranger office to go to Phanoen Thung view point where you can see the famous sea of mist or the sea of clouds. I know, you will ask this one cuz I also asked this thing before our camping trip. Why we need to book a car if we already have a car? Well, the answer is only heavy duty cars are allowed to go up in Phanoen Thung viewpoint because the road to Phanoen Thung is very difficult. And there's a scheduled time to go up and down from Ban Krang Camp to Phanoen Thung and vice versa. The reason for this is that there's only one way road to Phanoen Thung, the scheduled time to go up is 5:00 AM and go down to Ban Krang camp is 9:00 AM, in the afternoon time to go up is 1:00 PM and go down Ban Krang camp is 3:00 PM. The ranger car cost 2500 THB per car for foreigner and 1,600 THB per car for Thai local. 

It's our 3rd day in Kaeng Krachan National park, and we woke up early morning like 4:30 AM to prepare and meet our ranger driver at 5:00 AM at the ranger office. Travel time from Ban Krang camp to Phanoen Thung viewpoint is almost an hour and by the way the road to a Phanoen Thung viewpoint are very bumpy so prepare your butts. At the moment we arrived at a Phanoen Thung campsite we walked towards to the viewpoint, I guess it's only 5-7 minutes walk from the Phanoen Thung campsite to the viewpoint. This is my most awaited time, because one of the reason that I want to camp in Kaeng Krachan National park is to see the sea of clouds. Unfortunately, it breaks my heart because we did not see any sea of clouds, however, we still saw fogs but it doesn't form the way I expected to be. Even though, we did not witness the sea of clouds we still enjoyed the beautiful view of Phanoen Thung. There's also a canteen in Phanoen Thung that serves food for a very affordable price. At 9:00 AM we headed down back to Ban Krang campsite and rest and packed our things again.

The view in Phanoen Thung viewpoint 

Phanoen Thung Campsite

Canteen in Phanoen Thung 

Stalls in Phanoen Thung that sells water and coffee or hot chocolate 

For our last night in Petchaburi, we decided to camp outside Kaeng Krachan National park, we headed to T and P lake view to camp in our last night in Petchaburi. The place is nice, the resort is in front of the lake and they have some rooms like a hut for guest who don't prefer to camp. The owner of the resort also Ms. Gina speaks English very well and the resort also has kayak if you want to do some adventures on the lake.  Their toilets and showers are common. Furthermore, if you want to camp in T and P lake view you need to pay 100 THB per person, does not include breakfast and electricity is free.

We prepared our own dinner

Campground in front of the lake

T and P Lake view
And that was my first ever experience camping and it was totally awesome. I wanted to camp more and do some mountain trekking. And there's only one thing that I learned from this 4 days and 3 nights in camping and that is no matter how pricey and hassle always be prepared. Like bring your own camping chair, rechargeable mini fan and a lot more. You may think it is unnecessary, but I think it is totally important base in my personal experience. However, if you are going to camp out in cold places like really old country then I guess some things I mentioned are not necessary anymore. But, if you are going to camp out anywhere in Asia just be ready and be prepared. Have you tried camping? What is the most things that you cannot leave without during camping? If you haven't tried camping yet, do you want to try? Let me know below, maybe I can accompany you. 

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