Noen Maprang: Thailand’s Hidden Gem
Nestled in a secluded corner of Phitsanulok, lies a hidden gem that rivals the famed beauty of Krabi’s landscape. Noen Maprang’s Ban Mung (บ้านมุง) boasts a mesmerizing scenery, where limestone karsts majestically rise from emerald rice paddies.
Despite its awe-inspiring allure, this breathtaking destination remains blissfully uncrowded, offering a tranquil escape for those seeking rare beauty off the beaten path.
In the tranquil embrace of Ban Mung’s rural landscape, weary travelers find solace and respite from Thailand’s bustling cities. Far from the urban chaos, this serene haven beckons with its soothing natural allure, providing the perfect sanctuary for meditative mindfulness.
Amidst peaceful surroundings, stress melts away, and a profound sense of calm prevails, inviting you to wander through the wilderness and find inner peace through focused reflection.
In the absence of modern-day distractions, the symphony of nature unfolds its enchanting melodies. Birdsong weaves a pleasant tapestry while the wind gently whispers through the fields of corn stalks, creating a soothing harmony that immerses you in serenity.
In this blissful refuge, every sound becomes a soothing balm for the soul, guiding you into a profound state of tranquility and deep connection with the natural world.
To truly immerse yourself in the enchanting beauty of Ban Mung’s nature, embark on an early-morning journey by driving or cycling through the community’s vast plantations. With each undulating twist and turn of the road, a new world of serene vistas unfolds before your eyes, leaving you captivated by the countless breathtaking views that grace this remarkable landscape.
While venturing through Ban Mung, relinquish the need for a specific destination and surrender to the bliss of aimless exploration. Let the wonders of the natural world envelop you as you wander without a fixed plan, immersing yourself fully in the tranquil embrace of nature, allowing your mind and soul to decompress and find solace in the present moment.
In Japan, this type of immersion is known as “forest bathing” – an effective method used to rejuvenate a weary mind.
While reaching Noen Maprang’s Ban Mung may pose a challenge due to its remote setting, the rewards for your body and mind are immeasurable as you bask in the tranquility of the 300-million-year-old limestone mountain range that envelops the community.
For us, Ban Mung stands as a serene and undiscovered sanctuary, one of Thailand’s precious off-the-beaten-path gems, where genuine relaxation awaits, offering an opportunity to unwind completely.
Where To Stay: We recommend staying within the Ban Mung community (-79 km from Phitsanulok City) as this is where the highest concentration of resorts are located. In our humble opinion, นัชชานามุงโฮมสเตย์ is the best place to stay for a relaxing trip.
For a more wallet-friendly stay, there are a couple of homestays near the entrance of Wat Ban Mung – they typically charge ~300-400 baht per night for a small room that has WIFI and aircon.
When To Visit: Noen Maprang (อำเภอเนินมะปราง) is worth visiting year-round, but the best experience will be during Thailand’s cold season (November – February). The clear skies during this time of the year will offer you the best chance at seeing the long trail of bats that emerge from Wat Ban Mung’s cave every evening.
When we visited Ban Mung during Thailand’s rainy season, the sky’s cloud coverage prohibited our view of the bats at dusk. Because of this, we only had a few glimpses of them flying and zero chances to take any photos.
Tip #1: When visiting Phitsanulok, we highly recommend combing your trip with a stop at Sukhothai’s Historical Park. This nostalgic park is ~45 minutes from Phitsanulok city (by car) and is a must-see destination within Thailand (it’s significantly better than Ayutthaya).
Tip #2: While not many foreign tourists visit Noen Maprang’s Ban Mung, it’s relatively popular with Thai tourists. This means that weekends and government holidays can get quite busy here – it’s best to go during the week as it’ll be relatively empty then.
Tip #3: When visiting Wat Ban Mung as well as its cave, please behave and dress appropriately – refrain from making loud noises and wear long-sleeve shirts + long pants. Also, remember to bring mosquito spray as the forest surrounding the temple is littered with mozzies.