The Thailand Arrival & Survival Guide Get prepared

Phetchabun

Phetchabun (เพชรบูรณ์) is a Province situated in between the Central, Northern and Northeastern regions of Thailand. It has a number of mountain ranges cut through with wide fertile valleys. The province has national parks, waterfalls, forests and lakes.

Petchabun
Today 37° 27°
Tue 27th 38° 26°
Wed 28th 38° 26°
Thu 29th 38° 27°
Fri 1st 38° 26°
Sat 2nd 36° 25°
Sun 3rd 38° 25°
Mon 4th 37° 27°

Introduction

Most people classify Phetchabun Province as being in the North of Thailand, but it actually sits right between the North, Central, and Northeastern regions of the country. This makes it an interesting place to visit, but a difficult one to get to. From all the major routes out from Bangkok, you have to take a side track to get here (though there is direct bus service). Partly because of this, there are very few foreign tourists who come here which for more adventurous travelers is a good thing. Phetchabun is popular with Thai tourists as it’s one of the closest areas to Bangkok with high mountains that offer a cool climate to escape the normally stifling heat.

Note: Most of the things to do in Phetchabun are in the mountainous district of Khao Kho. This guide will mainly cover areas of the province outside of there. Check out our guide to visiting Khao Kho for things to do in that area specifically.


Recommended for

  • Anyone looking for a cool weather escape
  • Independent travelers who like to get off the beaten path
  • People interested in military history

Getting there

By bus – There is frequent bus service to Phetchabun from Mochit Northern Bus Terminal in Bangkok. The ride should take four to five hours and cost a bit under 300 Baht.

By plane
Phetchabun has an airport but it is currently served only by charter flights. You can fly to Phitsanulok airport and come here by car or taxi. If you are visiting Khao Kho, Nok Air has a combined plane and minibus ticket to get you there.

By train – There is no train service to Phetchabun. The nearest train station would be on the Northern Line in Phitsanulok, though this wouldn’t be a convenient way to come here. It could be a nice adventure.


Where to stay

We find our accommodation on Booking.com by first searching for the town or province and our dates, we then filter out any rooms with a score lower than 7 or 8 (depending on availability) as well as any rooms out of our budget. After this, we open the map and hover over all of the pins in the rough location we already decided we want to stay in. Hovering over the pins gives us the price for x nights plus the review score. We click on each pin to open those hotels in a new tab, review them and book our favorite.


Getting around

In Phetchaburi City, motorbike taxis and tuk-tuks are available near the market and at the bus station. Your hotel should also be able to arrange one for you, and possibly a private car and driver. There does not appear to be any motorbike rental shop in Phetchabun town.


What to do

Khao Kho – The mountainous area of Khao Kho is the highlight of Phetchabun tourism. Check out our Khao Kho travel guide for more information.


Fitness & gym

Phetchabun town has a few gyms. This gym is decent and has a 70 Baht day rate. No aircon but enough fans.


Getting out

From Phetchabun it’s just a small hop into any of the three surrounding regions.

Loei – Head north into beautiful Loei Province for some of Thailand’s best national parks and trekking.

Phitsanulok – Travel west to Phitsanulok, a transportatin hub for lower-northern Thailand and a great jumping off point to visit historical Sukhothai.

Saraburi & Lopburi – Head south back toward Bangkok and stop off Saraburi for limestone mountains and Thailand’s hidden rock climbin mecca, or hang with the monkeys in historic Lopburi.

When to go

Most of Thailand falls in to the generic high and low season categories, including Phetchabun.

High season - begins in November and runs through to February, bringing cooler temperatures, lush greenery from the previous months of rain, good air quality, and less rain. The downside is larger crowds and sometimes higher prices for tours, flights and accomodation.

Low season - begins in July and runs through to October. During low season the temperatures are higher, the chance of rain and storms are higher. That doesn't mean it's a bad time to visit though, if you can be flexible, there are deals to be found on flights and accomodation.

Destinations like Phetchabun in both northern and north eastern regions can be significantly cooler during the high/cool season than central and southern provinces like Bangkok or Phuket. It's a welcome and noticable change in season which may require a wardrobe change, especially at night.

As Phetchabun is in the northern/north eastern region, it's important you consider the smokey/burning season which affects the north, north east and sometimes central/eastern provinces. You can find more information for current and historical air quality on aqicn.org.

Need more? Read our post discussing the best time to visit Thailand.

Where to stay

Instead of recommending hotels, we think it will be more useful to share our process so you can pick based on your own critera for location, budget and style.

We always start our search on either Booking.com or Agoda. They have an easy to user interface and have some extra benefits for "Genius" and "VIP" users. You can also sometimes pay with credit card in advance if you're playing the cashback or air miles game.

Process:

  1. Search for specific province, city or town.
  2. Apply rating filters for a minimum rating or either 7, 8 or 9.
  3. Apply other filters: budget, fitness, breakfast, etc.
  4. If you have a specific location in mind, use map view to browse and make a final selection.

If there are too many properties available to choose from, increase the rating filter for less, higher rated selections.

Final notes: Prices are dynamic. Check the same hotel on both Booking.com and Agoda to see which has the best deal at any given time (go through to checkout to make sure all VAT and service charges are factored in). You can go one step further by calling the hotel and checking the price for booking directly. In our experience this saves money 50% of the time but you have less guarantees.

Emergency contacts

Knowing an emergency number could save your own, or somebody elses life. Take a photo or save these numbers on your phone:

Police & emergencies - 191
The most important number to remember. If the operator is unable to speak English, call 1155 (below).

Tourist Police - 1155 or (+66) 2308-0333
This hotline is available 24 hours a day and they will all speak English. This is an important phone number to remember - They will help you out with any concerns or questions you have and can redirect you to the correct number you may need.

Public Ambulance - 1669
Dialing this number will connect you to a public ambulance service, which will dispatch a vehicle to your location. The average response time for urban areas is around 10 minutes, but may take up to 30 minutes in rural areas. English-speaking staff should be available to assist you.

Fire Department - 199
In case of an emergency such as a house fire, or forest fire, call 199 for the Fire Department to be dispatched to your location.

Highway Police - 1193
If you plan on driving in Thailand, then you may end up needing to use this number if you break down in an unsafe place etc.