The best mountain views and viewpoint in Loei (Thailand) are at the Phu Ruea National Park and the Chiang Khan Skywalk. When tourism websites talk about Isan, Thailand they often say that the Northeast isn’t mountainous like Chiang Mai and the North of Thailand, seemingly forgetting the majestic mountain views to be seen in Loei province, as well as the gorgeous rolling mountains of Sakon Nakhon.
Phu Ruea National Park is located in the Nong Bua district of Loei Province. The park covers a mountainous area of approximately 186 square kilometers and is known for its stunning scenery, beautiful waterfalls, and diverse wildlife, including deer, bears, hyenas, porcupines, and a variety of bird species. Visitors can explore the park’s forests and grasslands on foot or by mountain bike, and there are several well-marked nature trails that have a rather mystical feel.
The park offer the best views of Loei (Thailand) at two locations: Phue Ruea Peak and Lourn Noi Cliff. You can take a 2-3 hour hike up the mountain to reach these points, undertake an arduous bike ride, or catch a 10 or 20 baht songthaew ride up to a drop off point, which is only a couple hundred meters from the cliff and a little over a kilometer from the peak.
The view from the summit of Phu Reua Peak is absolutely breathtaking. From the top of the peak (which stands at an elevation of 1,640 meters above sea level), you can enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys, with lush greenery and forests stretching as far as the eye can see. On a clear day, you can see as far as the Mekong River and the Laos border to the east. The sunrise and sunset views from the mountain peak are among the most spectacular in Thailand.
It is also important to note that the air quality in Loei province is much better than that of Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai (which have the worst air quality in Thailand), so there are fewer days when the great mountain views are disrupted by a smoky haze, especially during March and April when field burning and forest fires plague the North of Thailand.
The park states that it is the coldest area in Siam. While it is true Phu Ruea National Park is one of the coolest places in Thailand all year round, the designation for the coldest place in Thailand goes to Sakon Nakhon.
Many tourists also rate the Chiang Khan Skywalk as offering the best view point in Loei province. The skywalk is a long, elevated glass walkway that offers stunning views of the Mekong River and the surrounding mountains. It’s located on a hilltop and is approximately 500 meters long, with a height of around 20 meters.
The Chiang Khan Skywalk offers unforgettable sunset views, when the sky turns shades of red and orange, creating a fabulous backdrop for photos. There are also several shops and restaurants located near the skywalk, making it a great spot to relax and enjoy the gorgeous Loei landscape.
If you are traveling to Loei from Sakon Nakhon, it will take you about 5 hours and 30 minutes to reach these best view points by car. There are many lovely and inexpensive resorts (ranging from 500-1500 baht a night) to stay at during your visit.