SPECTACULAR PU CHI FAH
- THAILAND -
This mountain sunrise is one of the most breathtaking views in Thailand, yet well off the tourist trail.
Phu Chi Fah is a must for anyone seeking the perfect sunrise experience. Located on the Thai/Lao border, this mountainous area is several degrees removed from the mass tourism Thailand is known for. It is quite far (almost 60 miles) from the nearest city, Chiang Rai, and there are hardly any other sights in the vicinity. And let’s not forget that in order to get to the peak before dawn, you need to wind up and down rural roads in the dark. Yet, it is well worth it.
Once you’ve reached Phu Chi Fah before the sun rises, darkness begins lifting, and most days a thin layer of mist appears from the lowlands, forming a bed of fluff through which the higher hilltops peek through. This is the signature view of the Phu Chi Fah sunrise. Once the mist begins lifting, the view opens up, revealing forests, hills, valleys, farmland and the mighty Mekong River all the way to Laos and beyond. And above it all, colorful hues and shades turn the sky into an ever-changing work of abstract art.
The beauty of the Phu Chi Fah sunrise appears in many tourist brochures and posters, but its name is rarely mentioned, which also goes to explain why so few visitors make it here—that is international visitors, as Thai locals are very fond of this place. The Phu Chi Fah viewpoint is the top of a steadily rising mountain that terminates abruptly with a dramatic drop. The most photogenic spot is just before you arrive at the top, so that both the cliff and the misty blanket are in sight.
Clancy's comment: I can speak from experience about this area. In fact, it is mentioned in my current book. Sunrise and sunsets are stunning.