Arguably the most breathtaking of Khao Yai’s many viewpoints, Pha Diao Dai consists of several flat boulders where you can gaze over Khao Yai’s wild interior forest.
One of a few viewpoints found on Yod Khao Khiao mountain, Pha Diao Dai is accessed by a 450-metre-long trail with raised wooden footpaths running through hill evergreen forest and an unusual high-altitude swamp. During rainy season a stream runs alongside part of the trail. Keep your eyes peeled for exotic insects, snakes and birds, including the silver pheasants that often hang around here. Signs placed along the trail explain the distinctive environment.
At an elevation of around 1,150 metres, the viewpoint itself runs for around 30 metres alongside a sharp precipice with no rails -- keep a close eye on small children. The boulders are so perfectly flat that it seems like prehistoric giants could have placed them here as benches for relaxing in the breeze.
Pha diao dai translates roughly to “Solitude Point,” and indeed this is a wonderful place to soak up the serenity of the forest. On a few visits we’ve never encountered more than a dozen other people up here. Yod Khao Khiao mountain reaches up to nearly 1,250 metres and you’ll find a couple of other viewpoints along the winding road to Pha Diao Dai.
Another notable viewpoint is located right along the main road through the park, less than five kilometres south of the northern gate. Most visitors stop here on the way to the visitor centre to soak up the view and photograph some of the macaques that like to hang around the car park.
By David Luekens
Last updated on 7th September, 2016.