Khon Kaen to Hat Kruat

The way through the Petchabun Mountains on Route 12 (Asian Highway 16) is always a great drive. The road is mostly double lane, the surface is good enough, the scenery is picturesque and the driving is exhilarating. However, …

The Challenge starts as the road ascends into the mountains where Chaiyapum Province leads into Petchabun Province. Here is the start of radical curves, blind bends, continuous yellow lines and ‘No Overtaking’ signs. It’s a challenge for the idiot, kamikaze, boy racers who wish to ‘grandstand’. And it’s a challenge for the ordinary driver to stay safe.

It’s crazy enough watching these morons (who would be locked up in any jurisdiction where the LEOs actually did their job) travelling in the same direction but very scary when they are oncoming. Fortunately, in the most convoluted stretches there are concrete barriers between the two directions of traffic.

Out of the mountains and the road straightens, giving time for a breather. Just before Khao Kho it’s on again as Route 12 climbs into western range of the Petchabun Mountains. The constant left/right/brake/accelerate provides a neck workout for everyone in the vehicle. And for the crazies who shouldn’t be allowed within cooee of a motor vehicle, The Challenge continues – sadly, unfortunately and dangerously.

Phitsanulok City is the capital of Phitsanulok Province in lower north Thailand. The name apparently means ‘Vishnu’s Heaven’. Much evidence suggests that the area has been inhabited since the Stone Age.

Wat Chulamani

We visited ancient Wat Chulamani, the oldest temple in Phitsanulok still standing. It was built in the Sukhothai era (1238-1438) and features an elaborate Khmer style Stupa.

More information and photographs.

With plenty of time left in the day we continued north, eventually finding a base for the night at a resort in Hat Kruat.

The drive of 443 kilometres through five Provinces (Khon Kaen, Chaiyapum, Petchabun, Phitsanulok, Uttaradit) was a ‘big day’.


Go to Hat Kruat to Tak

Go to Northern Thailand Overview


© Kim Epton 2024
390 words, four photographs, one images.

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