Khao Ngon Nak Hiking Trail (aka Dragon Crest), Krabi, Thailand

21 March 2020, by Oana Badiu

Khao Ngon Nak hiking trail offers incredible panoramic views of Krabi province in Thailand! This trail is also known as the “Dragon Crest” and some might argue that the views from the mountain peak are the best in Krabi!

I must say I was very hesitant to try out Khao Ngon Nak hiking trail after reading the comments online, but, close to the end of my journey in Krabi, I decided to go for it. I am really happy I did because it was one of the best hiking trails I have ever been on and this was actually a really fun trail to hike!

About Khao Ngon Nak Hiking Trail

Distance: about 4 km one way (8 km in total)

Difficulty: Medium (energy demanding, but not scary)

Duration: 4 – 5 h (including lots of pictures)

Height: 565 m

Getting to Khao Ngon Nak Hiking Trail

The best way to get to Khao Ngon Nak is by taxi or scooter. We asked at our hotel reception if we could reserve a taxi for next morning with pickup. Our hotel had only minivans as taxis and it costed us 800 BAHT per way, however you can also go ask on the street from one of the TUK-TUKs if you can arrange a time. Our staff was saying that we could get it as cheap as 400 BAHT/way, however we really wanted something reliable, so we just went ahead with booking the minivan. If you feel adventurous you can also rent a scooter for the day and drive yourself. It is really important to arrange a pickup time, as there are no taxis waiting at the trail. There are a few resorts around the area, which you could probably walk to and ask for taxis, however why complicate things? We booked our pickup 5 hours after our arrival, even though it took us 4 hours to get back. Better safe than sorry, right?

If you are planning to drive yourself, you can search for “Dragon Crest (Khuan Sai)” on Google Maps, point which marks the beginning of Khao Ngon Nak trail. You can also search directly for “Khao Ngon Nak” and it will point you close by the trail start.

Before you go…

According to the information written on a board at the trail entrance, Khao Ngon Nak hiking trail is not suitable for elderly people, small children, nor people with health problems.

This trail is quite energy demanding, so prepare to sweat! A LOT!! I recommend waking up really early in order to be at the trail head at 8 AM (time when the park opens). It will make a huge difference whether you are hiking this trail in the morning or during the heat of the day. By 10 AM it’s already quite hot in Krabi, so this gives you about 2 hours to hike up the trail while it’s still OK.

I recommend taking at least 1 L of water with you. I was able to find at the store 2 bottles of 750 ml, which were perfect to carry in my small backpack. This amount of water was actually perfect for me. I drank one bottle while going up and the rest while going down.

The trail itself has some portions of steep climbs, but you always have roots, trees and ropes to make your ascend and descend easy. I can imagine that this trail is really slippery if it’s raining, so I would recommend waiting for a sunny day to go hiking. If not wet, I don’t see this trail as dangerous and you shouldn’t require great hiking skills to complete it, but getting up requires a lot of physical effort, so if you think your physical condition is in a terrible shape you shouldn’t attempt this. Otherwise, with a lot of breaks, probably any average person can do this hike without much hassle.

I recommend wearing hiking sandals, which have protection for your toes. It’s way too hot for proper, heavy hiking shoes, but flip-flops are really NOT OK. I was wearing these hiking sandals from the image below and I didn’t have any issues (please ignore the dirt on my legs, this is how you will look like after this hike).

Most of the hike is in the jungle and you will be in the shadow, however at the top you will still be exposed to the sun, so wear plenty of sunscreen. Since it’s the jungle, wear also plenty of mosquito spray. The probability of getting malaria in Krabi is quite low, however there is still a possibility, especially in the dense jungle.

While on the trail watch out for snakes and other creatures. This trail is quite popular, and I haven’t seen any snakes, nor other animals while I was there, not even a lizard! However, a big group of children where making quite a noise, so probably they were scaring all the animals away.

Khao Ngon Nak Hiking Trail – Own Experience

After the taxi had dropped us off at the trail entrance, we had to sign our names and time of arrival at the local ranger. Unlike other sites in Krabi, this one doesn’t have an entrance fee. There are toilets at the site and a small boutique where you can buy sodas, water and a snack (bananas, chips, ice cream).

The trail starts with a wide, rocky trail through the jungle and other than “watch where you’re going because of the rocks” kind of thing, it’s just walking.

After a short walk the angle gets a bit steeper and a bit of sweat starts to make its way on my face. The angle is steep, but the ground is really grippy and there are big holes in it, making it feel more like climbing stairs. Other than sweaty and feeling your muscles burning while going up, it’s not that difficult. Plus, you can take breaks whenever you feel like it. The pictures are a bit deceiving, as the trail is much steeper than it looks.

Then comes a long set of wooden stairs, which really take out the energy from you!

Shortly after the stairs you are rewarded for your effort with the first viewpoint!

I think the most difficult part is now behind you! There are still a few steeper parts, but most of the way until the scenic point is quite an easy walk. On the way there is an opening in the trees, which gives a glimpse of what you are about to see when you get to the peak!

Shortly, you will arrive at Khao Ngon Nak scenic point and the view is spectacular!

However, you shouldn’t stop there! The trail continues up and the views are just starting to unfold! This last part is a bit trickier, due to big rocks, so you’ll need to make some big steps to get passed it, but it will be so worth it! On the way to the peak there are several openings where you can take a deep breath and relax!

After a few meters you will reach the top, the Hang Nak Peak! Take your time to relax on the rocks and maybe have a snack! We made it here in aprox. 1h 35 min.

The trail continues downwards, where you will find more viewpoints. The famous rock, where you probably have seen pictures of people standing very close to the edge, is now closed due to safety reasons. People taking selfies were at high risk of falling down the mountain.

After admiring the views, you can head down the same way you got up. Don’t underestimate the “going down" part! It actually requires a lot of focus to make sure you don’t stumble on the roots or rocks. You do have things to hang on to, so I believe you shouldn’t have a problem if you pay attention where you are stepping!

When you get back, while waiting for your taxi, you can enjoy a cold Coca-Cola, while listening to the sounds the animals in the jungle! Coca-Cola from a can has never tasted as good as now!

Btw, these shoes below were grey when I left from the hotel in the morning!

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