There’s no shortage of breathtaking views in Krabi, but hikers know that the best vistas are the ones you have earned. Within Hat Noppharat Thara National Park is an exciting trail Khao Ngon Nak, also known as Dragon Crest Mountain, is close enough to Ao Nang to make a perfect half day trip and a lasting memory of an interesting and diverse trek.
+Total length of trail is 2.3, so roundtrip hike is 4.6
+Elevation of mountain is over 1,800’
+Free to hike, you just need to pay for transportation to trailhead
+Thirty minutes from Ao Nang, no public transportation
+Cost of driver who will wait and bring you back to town is approximately 1,200 baht or you can rent a scooter and drive yourself
We decided to take a Tuk Tuk to the trailhead, our first for the experience. A taxi may have been cheaper, but the ride was wonderful in the open air.
All the sudden as we were getting closer – a wall of noise hit us so loud and abrupt we thought something was wrong with the engine. Nope, that was just the sound of the jungle – something that could drive you insane. First time I ever heard bugs like that.
Sign in before you head up, it’s kind of nice and reassuring someone knows where you are. Follow the lovely creek initially on a well packed trail across some bridges.
Mileage is marked every so often, I always appreciate knowing how far I’ve gone so I can best pace myself.
Soon the elevation starts kicking in and it won’t quit. Stairs are a welcome sight.
Then it gets steeper with roots and rocks, a bit dusty and slippery in spots.
We laughed with some local kids who offered us oranges on the way up, thanks! Until this point the jungle has been shaded and surrounded by trees, but a rewarding window pops into view as you’ve busted through some of your elevation.
Next extraordinary sight are the glowing red trees in the auburn zone – truly magnificent in the afternoon light.
From then on the hike serves up massive views.
With each step they change and inspire.
At this ledge, it is a short climb to the very top of the crest where views stretch out beyond the horizon.
There are so many enclaves with stellar views, pick a quiet one and enjoy. We discovered a very neat sight, an ant nest up in the tree.
On the way down if you have the energy, check out some of the spur trails. One goes to a waterfall, though I heard it’s only worth heading over in the rainy season. Another goes to see pitcher plants which sounded like a great plan.
On our way down the sun was low in the sky. The insects were going crazy with songs – but none seemed to be biting at us, thankfully. We made it out just moments before sunset, as the thick jungle was darkening. Our driver was such a sweet kid, though he could have taken us right home he asked if we wanted to stop at the nearby beach, Tub Taek, to watch the sunset.
A true showstopper.
If you hike the trail earlier than we did, this would be a nice place to spend the afternoon for a change of scenery. There were some restaurants nearby.