This past December, I revisited PHU LANG KA, one of my favorite places in Thailand. Not too much has changed at Phu Lang Ka since my initial visit in November 2008, however it seems that more & more Thai people have found out about this magical beauty spot in Northern Thailand, primarily through word of mouth. Many Thai visitors post their pictures online on different Thai forums; this no doubt has added to the buzz about such “off the beaten path” places as Phu Lang Ka.
Kevan, the delightful owner of Phu Lang Ka Lodge, has built some additional cottages to accommodate the increasing number of visitors - mostly Thai people – to Phu Lang Ka. However most of the Thai tourists only stay one night before moving on which is not the most ideal scenario for this small lodge.
According to Kevan, Phi Lang Ka only had 5-6 Farangs (Western tourists) during the past year. I find that a real shame as Phu Lang Ka is such a wonderful, high-energy place. Besides enjoying the serenity and the VIEW, there are any number of hikes, excursions and mini treks that can be taken from Phu Lang Ka. If you don’t have your own set of wheels, Kevan can set you up with a driver who can take you around the area.
My stay coincided with the tail end of the Thai Holidays (Kings Birthday Week). With so many Thai tourists on the weekend, Phu Lang Ka was an especially busy place. A group of Thais (about 15 in all) from Phuket as well as a contingent from a digital camera club based in Bangkok occupied most of the rooms while I was there, albeit both groups stayed only one night before moving on.
Displaying the fascinating pictorial scroll on the history of the Yao people, Kevan gave each group of tourists an impromptu education about the YAO. By enlightening strangers – both Thai people and westerners – about the history and culture of the Yao people, he helps keep the YAO flame burning.
Of course, the primary attraction here is The VIEW. Shortly before dawn, Phu Lang Ka buzzes with activity, as most of the guests and daytrippers – with cameras and tripods in hand - assemble outside waiting for the spectacular sunrise to come. On most mornings (during the predawn hours), a thick mist blankets the valley below, and when the sun finally rises above the distant mountains, the view is unforgettable – it is like being in heaven.
Planning to visit Phu Lang Ka? I recommend that you stay a minimum of 3-4 nights in order to appreciate the beauty and spirituality of this special place.