Pha Taem National Park, Ubon Ratchathani
Pha Taem National Park is a significant and remarkable national park in Ubon Ratchathani Province, northeast Thailand, located along the Mekong River. The park is directly opposite the Phou Xieng Thong National Protected Area in Laos. Spanning approximately 340 square kilometers, Pha Taem National Park is widely known for its Dipterocarp forest cover and extensive rock art on cliffs above the Mekong, estimated to be 3,000 years old. The park is also home to several examples of mushroom rocks and the largest flower field in Thailand1.
In the past, the Pha Taem area was seen as a prohibited location, with locals believing the mountain was protected by the holy. The mountain was even referred to as the “Mountain of Death,” with a belief that trespassers risked becoming ill or dying. However, the Pha Taem region gained popularity after professors and students from Silpakorn University’s Department of Archaeology discovered prehistoric paintings dating from 3,000 to 4,000 years old. The park now features prehistoric paintings divided into four groups, the longest of which is 180 meters long and contains over 300 images. The national park is also surrounded by densely packed trees, contributing to its picturesque landscapes and rich biodiversity1.
The park’s habitat is dominated by Dipterocarp forest with Shorea obtusa, Shorea siamensis, and Dipterocarpus obtusifollus as the primary species, along with some dry evergreen forests near streams. It houses a variety of wildlife, including Siamese hares, barking deer, civets, wild pigs, and serow, which migrate from Laos in summer. Notably, a new frog species, Fejervarya triora, was discovered in the park in 2005. The park’s habitat also includes wild elephants that migrate to areas of Ubonrachathani Province1.
Pha Taem National Park is a popular destination for visitors to catch the first rays of the New Year’s sunshine in Thailand. It also offers various natural beauty features, including Pha Chan, Soi Sawan Waterfall, Sao Chaliang, Tham Patihan, and Phu Na Tham. The Mekong River forms Thailand’s longest national park boundary, allowing for a view of the forest on the Laos side.
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