Basalt columns in Phrae province

Basalt columns in Phrae province

When lava solidifies, it can form columns of regular geometrical shapes. Hexagonal is most common.

How I got there:
I went from Sawan Khalok สวรรคโลก to Sri Satchanalai ศรีสัชนาลัย by bus, to find that there is no public transport in that direction. Hence switch to hitchhiking (along hwy 101 to the begin of hwy 1177, then to the begin of hwy 1125 and walk to begin of hwy 4039 at km marker 1 of hwy 1125) and finally rent mocy with driver at the village (250 Baht return 10 km each way including 1 hour walking around). There is an infrequent bus from Phrae แพร่ to Wang Chin วังชิ้น which should pass on hwy 1125.

Gate on hwy 1125 km 1 (31 km to Wang Chin, 66 km to Long ลอง, 43 km to Sri Satchanalai, 54 km to Den Chai เด่นชัย) to hwy 4039 (near Wat Amorn Tham วัดอมรธรรม). Google maps has shorter accesses elsewhere from highway, I drove past but didn’t see signs.


10 km further, entrance to area with columns.

View from visitor parking (with pavilion and toilet) at location
17.8364523,99.8031279 = 17°50’11.2″N 99°48’11.3″E
to first hill:

First hill Chao Archya Hill ม่อนเจ้าอาจญา:

Second hill strangely columns not vertical like elsewhere:

Third and most impressive hill ม่อนสะเดาะเคราะห์. I guess the indentation is man-made to show the columns clearly. The white stain is from rubbing powder to read future lottery numbers?

All in walking distance (total 500 m round trip) from car park and suitable for everyone if you can walk on uneven ground. No other visitors during my stay (about 1 hour). The place could do with some maintenance in form of removing plants and dry leaves that cover the rocks.

I found out about this place by chance from the internet 

(it’s not in the standard English or Thai language guidebooks I know):
http://www.bloggang.com/mainblog.php?id=sky-thesea&month=25-09-2010&group=13&gblog=4 (looks more impressive here without plants, leaves and white powder)
http://www.gt-rider.com/se-asia-motorcycling/topic/some-interesting-things-to-see-in-the-north (visit during rainy season, more green)
http://www.phrae.go.th/tem/tip/nature_phrae/nature4.html
http://www.tiewpakklang.com/miracle-thailand/726/
Sometimes called Mon Hin Kong ม่อนหินกอง
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phi_Pan_Nam_Range


Similar structures can be found all around the world:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_places_with_columnar_jointed_volcanics

The most popular is Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giant’s_Causeway

There is one more in Thailand in Trat province at
Wat Mueang Kao Saen Tum วัดเมืองเก่าแสนตุ่ม
http://patricklepetit.jalbum.net/TRAT/Wat Mueang Kao Saen Tum/index.html
http://woodychannel.com/tag/วัดเมืองเก่าแสนตุ่ม

And two in Vietnam:
The Cliff of Stone Plates (Ghềnh Đá Dĩa) near Tuy Hòa city, Phú Yên Province, Vietnam
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ganh_Da_Dia
Dray Nur Waterfall (not in the wikipedia list)
http://phuots2.blogspot.com/2015/05/thac-dray-nur-ve-ep-huyen-thoai-giua.html
http://asiabooking.com.vn/chiem-nguong-ve-dep-cua-thac-dray-nur-2105g.html

There are more interesting stone formations in Phrae province (Phae Mueang Phi being the most famous; coral mountain in Doi Pha Klong national park) and temples and old houses, and it’s a convenient stop (railway) on the way to Nan/Phayao/Chiang Rai, and I somehow like the town (there are many beautiful old houses with information tables in English and Thai, no Western influence visible in town – didn’t spot any McDonald’s or Starbucks, shopping malls are out of town) I will be back some time. Previous trip to Phrae:
http://christianpfc.blogspot.com/2015/05/wat-phra-that-suthon-monkhon-khiri-in.html

Copyright 2016 ChristianPFC

You can read full article here: http://christianpfc.blogspot.com/2016/02/basalt-columns-in-phrae-province.html

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