One of Thailand's most visited national parks, chances are Phu Kradueng (sometimes Phu Kradung) is the mountain you nevertheless haven't heard of yet. Its location in the often-bypassed Isaan Region is most likely to blame for this relative obscurity. Still, the renowned beauty from the mastiff's 1,316 meter summit is enough to draw many thousands of visitors every year, enticing outdoors enthusiasts with cliffs, waterfalls and a lone camping area known fondly as "tent city." Over-exploited natural splendor? Perhaps, but it's still a damn fine experience.
Start with the 5.5 km trek from the main office to the summit. It's a strenuous hike, eased somewhat by the availability of porters to carry your packs, food stalls to replenish your energy along the trail and bike rentals to carry you through the flat stretches. Once settled at the campsite, various trail heads direct you along paths that visit the picturesque cliffs and cascades that have given this national park its impressive reputation. For those looking for an opportunity to take in the beauty of northeast Thailand, a camping trip to Phu Kradueng is absolutely worth a few days of your time. Just be prepared for a crowd.