Phu Kradueng National Park, situated in Si Than Sub-district, Phu Kradueng District, Loei Province, has been designated as the 2nd national park of Thailand on November, 23, 1962. It covers an area of 348.12 Kilometers (217,575 rai) with 60 Kilometers (37,500 rai) of plateau on the top of mountain.
The elevation of Phu Kradueng is between 400-1,200 meters with the summit point of 1,316 meters at Khok Moei. In general, Phu Kradueng is the sandstone mountain consisting of an abundance of flora and fauna and the fullness of cliffs, savanna, streams and waterfalls other than that it is still the head watershed of Lam Nam Phong River which is one lf the most important rivers in Northeastern Thailand.
According to its high elevation and climatic condition, the weather on the mountaintop is cool all year round. Sometimes, in the winter. temperature may drop to freezing point. So, it is the most incentive to visitors who would like to be the Phu Kradueng conqueror at least once of their life.
VEGETATION AND WILDLIFE COMMUNITY
Phu Kradueng National Park is not jast a destination for tourists to exploit their own pleasure in order conquer the summit,but it is still an invaluable site of natural heritage for the next generation and the source of knowledge for everyone.
The flora community of Phukradueng National Park can be classifion into 5 types, dry dipterrocarp forest, mixed-deciduous forest,hill evergreen forest, pine forest and tropical savanna.Besides the temperate tree such as two-needled pine, three-needled pine .oak and maple that can be seen on the mountaintop, there also exists by season, for instance, White and Res Roses (Rhododendron spp.),Kradum Ngoen (Eriocaulon henryanom), Krachieo (Cucuma paviflora), Som Pae (Vacinium sprengelii) and Wild Orchids
In addition, Phu Kradueng Dueng is the habitat of more than 266 wildlife species such as Asiatic Elephant, Indo-chinese Tiger, Aaiatic Black Bear, Barking Deer, Samber Deer, Wild Pig and Birds as well as rarely found reptiles such as the Snapper (big-headed tortoise)
Phu Kradung is a sandstone mountain with a vast plateau on top, surrounded by smaller hills. The highest peak is 1,316m above sea level. It is the watershed for the Pong River, which feeds the reservoir of Ubonrat Dam and Nong Wai Dam in Khon Kaen Province. The plateau of Phu Kradung is composed of pine forest and grassland, which have a variety of flowers, creeks, waterfalls and rocky fields. These features make in the park most pleasant.
Phu Kradung is a cool and comfortable all year round. The average temperature is 15 degrees celsius. In the cool season, temperatures of the coldest nights reaches feezing. In the rainy season, the weather can change quicky. Fog and low clouds tend to hang low over the landscape. Cliffs may collapse under their own weight after the soil which underlies the sandstone cap is eroded by heavy rain. Heavy rains can also cause flash floods in the streams which run down the mountain. Thus, the park will be closed during June and September every year for visitors safety and forest recovering.
Phu Kradung has a variety of forest types including dry dipterocarp, mixed deciduous, hill evergreen, and pine. Dominant tree species are Siamese sal (Shorea obtusa), Shorea siamensis, Diospyros spp., Lagerstroemia spp., Podocarpis nerriifolius, maple, Pinus murkusii, and Pinus kesiya. The grass fields support a variety of flowers, such as Hydrocera triflora, Torenia fournieri and marigolds. These flowers bloom at different times of the year. Some grows well in the rocky fields including Dendrobium sp. Close to the ground are ferns, mosses, and Serissa sp. Which is an abundant and beautiful moss. Phu Kradung, with its variety of forest types and vegetation, provides abundant food for wildlife community, including elephants, bears, sambar deer, barking deer, serong, squirrel, fox. And wild dogs. Birds include White-rumped Shama, Black Eagle, Silver Pheasant, Red-wattled Lapwing, Chinese Francolin, and minivets. There is one rare species of turtle called "Tao Poo Loo" or "Tao Hang" which has a long tail and lives in high elevations along streams in the forests. It can also be found in Cambodia and Lao PDR.