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Sunrise Hike at Phu Chi Fa

Tambon Tap Tao, Thailand



2 miles

Elevation Gain

800 ft

Route Type



Added by Breanne McNitt

With fog dancing in the Valley below, watch the sunrise over Laos from atop a vertical cliff.

This adventure makes a great pair with Doi Pha Tang.

Having your own mode of transportation is the best option, but there are options for a van from Chiang Rai and then songthaews from the main town area.  As far as accommodations go, you can either get a guesthouse or stay in a tent.  Lots of options to chose from, and most cannot be booked in advanced, but we had great luck with just showing up and finding a cheap place to stay for the night.

Set an early alarm (we woke up at 5am and the sunrise was around 6:30), and then drive the short distance up to the Phu Chi Fa parking area.  The parking is at the end of the road and their are people directing traffic so it's impossible to get lost (if you are on the right road to begin with).

Once parked, begin the hike up to Phu Chi Fa.  Just follow the crowds of people and if you're a fast hiker it's easy to skirt to the outside and get around everyone else.  Along the way you will also hear music from the Hill Tribe children as they dance in decorative outfits trying to get money. A few hundred feet before the summit there is an area to get beautiful photos at sunrise with the cliff in the foreground.  I suggest stopping here and then as the colors begin to play around more, heading up the last little bit to the top.  The summit will be crowded so just be prepared to duck around people and scoot close to the edge to get the views and photos you desire.  

After the sun has crested over the horizon, the heards of people will vanish pretty quickly, so if you want a quieter summit and less chaotic trip back down, hang out for a while.  We ended up staying close to two hours up there.  

The way back to the car is the same way you came up, so just head back down once you have had your fill of the views. I will say it was very hard to convince myself to head back down- could have stayed up there all day.

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