Phu Phan Mountains

The Phu Phan mountains (Thai: ทิวเขาภูพาน, RTGSThio Khao Phu Phan, pronounced [tʰīw kʰǎw pʰūː pʰāːn]) are a range of hills dividing the Khorat Plateau of the Isan region of Thailand into two basins: the northern Sakhon Nakhon Basin, and the southern Khorat Basin.[1]

Phu Phan Mountains
Phu Phan Mountains - view from Wat Tham Kham.jpg
Phu Phan Mountains, view from Wat Tham Kham
Highest point
PeakPhu Lang Ka
Elevation624 m (2,047 ft)
Coordinates16°46′22″N 104°21′45″E / 16.77278°N 104.36250°E / 16.77278; 104.36250Coordinates: 16°46′22″N 104°21′45″E / 16.77278°N 104.36250°E / 16.77278; 104.36250
Length180 km (110 mi) NW/SE
Width50 km (31 mi) NE/SW
Map of Isan showing the Phu Phan Range
RegionNong Bua Lamphu
Udon Thani
Sakon Nakhon
Nakhon Phanom
Roi Et
Maha Sarakham
Age of rockEarly Cretaceous
Type of rockSandstone and siltstone

The silhouette of the Phu Phan Mountains appears in the provincial seal of Kalasin since they form the northern boundary of the province.[2]

The Phu Phan mountains are among the places in Thailand more severely affected by the Illegal logging of Phayung (Siamese Rosewood) trees. Although officially a protected tree, the cutting and trading of the endangered rosewood trees has been going unabated in Thailand's mountainous forested zones, even in the protected areas. In Thailand and in China this wood is highly valued in the furniture industry.[3][4]


The name of the range is derived from the characteristic tabletop shape of its peaks, for phan is a kind of traditional tray on a pedestal.

Phu is the word for mountain in the Isan/Lao language (as opposed to khao in central and southern Thai and doi in northern Thai).


The Phu Phan Mountains rise above the plateau and are not prominent. They straddle most of the provinces of northern and eastern Isan, including Khon Kaen, Nong Bua Lamphu, Udon Thani, Sakon Nakhon, Nakhon Phanom, Kalasin, Roi Et, Maha Sarakham, and Mukdahan Province.

The highest elevation of the Phu Phan Range is the 641 m high summit known as Phu Lang Ka. It is in Nakhon Phanom Province.[5] Other important peaks are 624 m high Phu Mai Hia in Mukdahan Province[6] and the 563 m high summit known as Phu Langka Nuea in Nakhon Phanom Province.

The hills are mostly deforested, although patches covered with mixed deciduous forest remain in zones spread across the range.[7]

Phu Phan Royal Palace is in the area, as is the Nam Un dam.[8] Other local sights are Lake Nong Han near Sakon Nakhon and the Khmer-style chedi ruins of Phu Phek, dating from 1050.

Protected areasEdit

The area of the Phu Phan mountains includes national parks and other protected areas:[9][10]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Schuler, Ulrich. "NE-Thailand (Isan)". Geosciences. Retrieved 23 July 2017.
  2. ^ Seals of The Provinces of Thailand
  3. ^ Fredrickson, Terry (2011-09-19). "Forest robbery". Bangkok Post. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  4. ^ Waewkraihong, Jakkrit (6 Feb 2013). "Cambodians caught for phayung smuggling". Bangkok Post. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  5. ^ "PHU LANGKA NATIONAL PARK". Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). Retrieved 23 July 2017.
  6. ^ "Phu Mai Hia". Retrieved 23 July 2017.
  7. ^ Phu Kao - Phu Phan Kham National Park Archived 2012-04-26 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Nam Un Dam Archived 2012-04-26 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ National Parks Archived 2008-12-04 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ "Phu Phan National Park". Trek Thailand. Retrieved 23 July 2017.

External linksEdit