Visiting the Phu Phayak Communist Memorial & Mount 708 in Nan province

Phu Phayak Royal Project in Nan - Thailand
Phu Phayak Royal Project in Nan - Thailand

Phu Phaya means Giant Mountain and it is a mountain range in the most north-eastern side of Nan province in North Thailand. It was once the place for poppy farming and the battlefield between the Thai soldiers and Communists soldiers in the 1970's. It is famous as being one of the last strongholds of the Communist Party of Thailand (CPT). The reason for having a HQ in this area was of course the difficult accessible mountain range that is bordering (communist) Laos. The area is also home to hill-tribes (Lawa & Hmong) who came from southern-west China. Nowadays the area is home to a few villages that are supported by the "Royal Project Phu Phayak" to help local hill-tribes in a sustainable existence without growing opium. 
Communist Memorial in Nan - North Thailand
Communist Memorial in Nan province
And there is a "Communist Memorial" to honour the communist soldiers fighting the Thai government. The museum and memorial was officially opened in December 2005 and is the result of combined efforts of local hill-tribe people and ex-communists to reconcile the past disagreements. The museum shows the history of the ex-communist centre, the story of Ban Huai Chanin rebellion against unfair taxes and the stories of the battles.

The area is "only" 17-km from the main road (route 1081) but due to the bad road condition it will take you about 45-min to 1-hour to get there. You will pass 2 small villages and then you will be at the "Communist Memorial". Be aware that it is not always open. After the Communist Memorial the road continues to the Royal Project where is a small viewpoint and a small display of the work that is be done there. There is a small kitchen & coffee shop where you can drink coffee from local coffee beans. After the Royal Project the road continued to the high viewpoint in the mountains along the Thai-Lao border.

Display (in Thai) about the battlefields
Communist Memorial
Nan Thailand
Life before the Thai government stepped in

Communist Memorial

Communist Memorial
Coffee beans from the Royal Project
Mountain 708 at Phu Phayak, North Thailandf

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