Phu Kradueng National Park, Thailand – Much like a successful marriage, climbing a mountain takes persistence, hard-work, and the objective of reaching that topmost moment of Zen and sharing it with one another.
In Phu Kradueng National Park in Thailand’s northern Loei Province, couples take that idea literally by pledging their love for one another and testing their patience with a climb up Phu Kradueng Mountain, the country’s highest peak.
In 1999, the first group wedding ceremony took place on Phu Kradueng, located in the national park of the same name. Reaching Pha Kradueng takes between three and four hours, covering a distance of five kilometers.
The arduous trip is used each year as a pledge of love, patience, and a sunrise wedding ceremony couples will remember forever.
In 2002, the “Sweet Days, Happy Nights, the Ultimate Love” two-day group wedding ceremony was first held on Phu Kradueng. The ceremony begins on February 13 when couples sign up for the wedding climb at the Si Than Tourist Service Center at the foot of the mountain.
On the evening of February 13, couples will be briefed at the Wang Kwang Tourist Service Center, at the top of the mountain, and afterwards will spend the night in a tent.
At 5:30 a.m. on February 14, the couples will begin with a romantic sunrise at Nok Aen Cliff.
Afterwards, the engaged couples will present foods to the monks at the Phra Si Nagarindra Ground and pay homage to the Phra Phuttha Metta Buddha image. The ceremony is followed by a marriage registration on the mountaintop and an evening wedding banquet.
Visitors and the engaged should plan on spending two nights in the park to see all the sights, including the Pha Lomsak Viewpoint. A path leading through a forest of sand and stone will lead to this perfect sunset viewing spot. The viewpoint is nine kilometers from the nearest campsite.
Your exploration of Pha Kradueng should include visits to the many waterfalls, like that at Wang Kwang, Phen Phop, and Tham So, best enjoyed during the winter.
Phu Kradueng National Park was established in 1962 and is located in the province of Loei, in the northeastern part of Thailand. The park is 520 kilometers from Bangkok and encompasses an area of 250 square kilometers. The park is open from late October to January, with a rainy season in October.
Phu Kradueng National Park is covered by tropical rain forest and evergreen forests. Many bird species can be found here, as well as deer and elephants.
Reservations must be booked in advance to use the park’s bungalows or camping sites. For more information on the park or to book reservations, visit http://www.dnp.go.th/parkreserve/asp/style1/default.asp?npid=11&lg= 2 .