A walk in the cloud with the fabulous 360 degrees view at Khao Kho Royal Palace.
Over the famous mountain “Khao Kho” in Phetchabun, among many sights and attractions is “Khao Kho Royal Palace“. It is one of the must-visit for the tourists who visit this picturesque land of mountain and mist. The royal residence features the fabulous viewpoint and the magnificent colorful floral garden. It is a heaven for the photo hunters to snap, especially the lines of pine trees stand orderly along the hillside. Awe-inspiring landscape, indeed.
Becoming Khao Kho Royal Palace
The beginning of Khoa Kho Royal Palace was on the time HM King Bhumibol (King Rama IX) visited the site for the opening ceremony of the “Khao Kho Sacrificial Monument” in February 1984. At that time, the king remarked to Gen Pichit Kullavanich who was in the position of the 1st Army Area Commander and Phetchabun provincial governor. He realized that “the property over the land of Khao Ya is a good condition and abundant which is suitable to set up some project in term of natural forestry resource preservation.
Therefore, the 1st Army Area Commander and the governor agreed in collaboration to build the royal property “Khao Kho Royal Palace” in July 1984. The project was under the cooperation of many sectors with the purpose to offer this property to King Rama IX as the royal residence during the visit to any royal projects and observation in the area and other neighboring provinces.
Khao Kho Royal Palace Nowadays
And King Bhumibol presided over the official opening ceremony dated 25 February 1985. Nowadays, the royal residence, which is about 1,100 meters high above the sea level. It was the residence of King Bhumibol and Queen Sirikit and the royal family welcomes the visitors both local and from abroad continually. The estate was constructed by a collaboration of government officials, police, and army after the end of the Insurgency Terrorism by the Communist Party of Thailand – CPT. They raised the fund to create the royal residence to encourage the local people’s morale, as well as the accommodation and office during the royal visit of the king and members of the royal family.
“3 Forests, 4 Benefits”
The Khao Kho Royal Palace spent about THB26 Million of its construction that was not part of the government capital. The building took about 7 months in the estimate to complete.
On 25 – 26 February 1984, King Bhumibol (King Rama IX) together with Queen Sirikit and King Rama X (which was the crown prince at that time) visited the Royal Development Project of the Khek River (Khao Kho). While the king was observing the land, the HM remarked many initiative ideas to develop the property and solve the unrest problem via the strategic development scheme and resided at Khao Kho Royal Palace. Besides, the king also visited Combat Weapon Museum (Itthi Fire Support Base), Highland Agricultural Institute, and source of water. The king initiated to create the reservoir and reforestation “3 Forests, 4 Benefits”; lumber, edible products, and commercial timbers. Also, the king visited the subjects to inspect the living of the them, too.
What makes the place is worthwhile for you to visit?
The royal court consists of a group building in the half-moon shape connected by the 12 partitions court officials’ residence. The two stories structure that the upper level is two large chambers for the king and queen. The lower case consists of a banquet hall with a kitchen at the front space, dining room, audience hall, and main lounge.
Furthermore, the lower space used to be the chamber of the Royal Grandmother which better known among Thai people is “Somdet Ya”. She is the mother of King Bhumibol and the rooms of Princess Maha Chakri Siridhorn and Princess Chulabhorn. At the patio of the royal residence is a small garden and flower plot in the circle shape where the “Thong Maharaj” (the official flag of the king of Thailand) pole stood in the center with about 60 meters in its high. It was constructed in the occasion of to celebrate the 60th Birthday Anniversary of King Bhumibol.
“Khao Ya Peak”
After the visitors being a delight to the lovely colorful flowers and taking nice air at the front of Khao Kho Royal Palace. Then, it’s time for the real adventure to reach “Khao Ya Peak” at 1,305 meters high from the sea level. Over there is a fantastic viewpoint where you can see the picturesque landscape of Khao Kho mountain in 360 degrees. Just so you know, over the top of the peak used to be the military operation base to fight to the communist terrorists in the past.
The path to defeating Khao Ya Peak is same as one the rangers used to go to the Operation Base of Khao Ya. And one who completes the trail will get the certification as a souvenir and reward for your effort since it’s not the easy way with steep and slope road all through the 770-meter route. The trail takes about an hour in the estimate.
Beauty of Khao Ya Peak
Along both sides of the way to “Khao Ya Peak” filled with diverse species of plants and vibrant wildflowers that are blossom to greet the light of the sun. Not only adventure experience that the tourist will get from the tour but also a good chance of nature trail along the exciting road. It’s not recommended for anyone with unhealthy or related to heart disease and any congenital disorder. It could say that conquering the peak at Khoa Ya is a real proof of strength and strong will, indeed.
Once you reached the summit, the stunning panoramic scenery and the wide-angle scene of Khao Kho Royal Palace from the top view is your reward for the trekking. Additionally, a scenic point at the top of the mountain set up as the Sala (contemporary Thai structure) called “Sala Phra Thep”. It refers to the title of Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn which the princess used to visit the site, too.
What would be better than the mind-blowing panorama on the top of the hill with gentle nice breeze, in particular if you come here in the early morning you would see the sea of fog which is so romantic with the lovely nature of so-called the “Switzerland of Thailand”, precious present for the early bird one, indeed.
Khao Kho Royal Palace opens between 6.00am and 6.00pm with free of charge. The tourist who visits the place must be the appropriate dress.
- Khao Kho Royal Palace allows to the visitors only the area outside the building. The royal court is a restricted area for the use of the royal family only.
- The visitors must be in polite costume and wear proper shoes, such as trainers. And there are official military guides the visitors at the entrance.
- Inside the property is shop offers snack and beverages and military-style coffee for the visitors.
- The surrounding area of the royal residence is vibrant, with diverse kinds of flowers. Also, the house of the troopers, two lines of the row houses that presently opens the guesthouse for the tourist. Otherwise, the visitors also set camping in the area next to the house. However, you need to prepare yourself bedding stuff, and camping facility since up there is highland that it’s freezing at the nighttime.
Accommodation in Khao Kho Royal Palace
- The row house style guesthouse with more than 20 rooms.
- The spacious camping ground with restrooms.
- The large size of building perfect for recreation activity.
* for any further enquires, please contact the property office
How to go to Khao Kho Royal Palace
Drives along with the road number 2258 and you will spot the sign of Khao Kho Royal Palace. Then, make the left turn, and up to the hill with about 3.5 km, however, the road is restricted for the bus (the van is fine). The driver must be careful to drive until reaching the destination since it’s slide and steep path. Moreover, for the sake of safety, the vehicle should be high performance and good condition.
- The destination is about 1.5 km from Ruen Rudee Intersection.
- It is approximately 12 km from Sadopong Trisection.
- The destination is about 40 km distant from the town of Phetchabun.
For the tourist who does not travel by personnel vehicle, you can hire the van or pick-up truck service to go to Khao Kho Royal Palace, too.