Dragon Crest Mountain has one of the most beautiful viewpoints in the south of Thailand. The mountain is 565 meters above sea level and offers a stunning but tough 4 km hike to the top. The Dragon Crest Hike will undoubtedly offer some of the most breathtaking views of Krabi and its surrounding islands.
This mountain is known as Khao Ngon Nak by the locals and we did some research on what this means. So the name Dragon Crest Mountain is very fitting as ‘Khao’ means mountain, ‘Ngon’ mean crested and ‘Nak’ means Naga.
Now Naga is the serpent creature that stands guard at the Buddhist temples in Thailand. These Nagas are the dragon/snake-looking creatures you mainly see by the stairs of temples.
We hope you found this interesting. Here is our guide to everything you need to know about the Dragon Crest hike:
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How to get to Dragon Crest Hike Krabi
There are a few ways to get to Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park, where Dragon Crest Mountain is located. Unless you stay close, walking here is not possible. It’s 18km from Ao Nang beach and 30km from Krabi town. Here are the best ways to get to Dragon Crest Mountain:
Renting a scooter
This is the cheapest way to get around Krabi just in general. Renting a scooter will cost you between 300 Baht to 350 Baht per day. This is a fast and easy option.
You can also take your time on the hike and don’t have to worry about a pickup time. If you don’t feel comfortable riding a bike for 18+KM, then the next option is for you.
Private taxi/ Tuk-Tuk
Simply ask a taxi/tuk-tuk driver to take you to Dragon Crest Mountain from where you are located. This option can be expensive depending on the distance the driver has to cover. Make sure to negotiate a price you are willing to pay and agree on a pickup time as well.
Make sure to give yourself enough time for the hike. Most people say the whole hike will take you 4 hours but this barely allows for any time to rest or look around. Taking a taxi/tuk-tuk is convenient and you don’t need to worry about finding the place.
Renting a car
This way is the most comfortable but also the most expensive. There is car parking at the start of the hike. Renting a car will cost 900 Baht and up depending on the size of the car. This option gives you the advantage of going and leaving the hike at any time and it’s safer and more comfortable than a scooter.
If you are driving to Dragon Crest Mountain by yourself and you are using Google Maps to navigate we will recommend that in the search box you put ‘Checkpoint Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park’ so you don’t get a false starting point.
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Best time to do the Dragon Crest Mountain Hike in Krabi
There are two things to consider when determining the best time to do this hike, the month of the year and the time of the day.
Best time of the year to do the Dragon Crest Mountain Hike in Krabi
Southern Thailand has two seasons, wet and dry seasons. We only recommend doing this hike during the dry season from November to April. It can still rain during the dry season but it’s generally dry, just make sure to check the weather in advance.
Best time of the day to do the Dragon Crest Mountain Hike in Krabi
This is a long and tiring hike so we recommend you start the hike as early as possible. The national park opens at 08:00. If you start hiking early in the morning you can get most of the hike behind you when it’s still cooler and before the sun is at its peak. The hike will take about 1 to 2 hours one way.
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What to expect during the Dragon Crest Hike in Krabi
Before doing this hike, we read a few articles to prepare ourselves. What we read vs. what we experienced was very different so let us set the record straight so you know exactly what to expect.
The hike is 3.7 km from the start to the top, 7.4 km in total. However, some trees fell and some paths got washed away so you need to do some detours which round the hike up to about 8km. The path up to the top is challenging.
You are hiking through a rainforest with high humidity levels. Drink lots of water and take breaks when you get tired.
The path isn’t even ground for most of the hike. There are many rocks, tree roots, logs and mud on the path. The closer you get to the top the easier the hike becomes. Take it slow and steady.
Along the way, you will also encounter lots of wildlife. We saw lizards, spiders, birds and many insects such as dragonflies and bumblebees. If you are lucky, you can see monkeys.
Keep an eye out for the coastal eagles that live in Southern Thailand. We didn’t see any snakes but this is the rainforest so just be aware of your surroundings.
The national park has also laid out markers every 500 meters so you know how far you still have to go. This hike can take you between 4 and 6 hours to do. The National Park stops people from entering at 14:00 but they stay open until 16:00.
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Whilst doing this hike, you might be covered in sweat, hot, tired and don’t want to carry on. We felt like that. But we urge you to keep going to the top, it’s worth it.
From the top, you have an incredible view of Krabi. You can see far inland, as well as Koh Poda, Koh Chicken, Railay beach, Ao Nang and Koh Hong.
The viewpoint is 565m above sea level and has sheer limestone cliffs all around it which makes it feel even higher. Be careful as there are no railings and you can slip and fall.
What to prepare for the hike to Khao Ngon Nak Viewpoint
Hiking to this viewpoint takes at least 4 hours and it’s a tough hike. Some of the essential items that we recommend you need to pack for this hike:
- 2 Litres of water per person. You can also bring a drink with some sugar to give you a boost of energy.
- Mosquito repellent (There are lots of mosquitoes)
- Sunblock / Sunscreen: This will mainly be needed at the top of the mountain. The hike is mainly in the forest which doesn’t allow a lot of sun to pass through.
- Camera: Make sure it’s fully charged and that you have a lot of space on your memory card.
- Snacks: You can’t buy any food or drinks on the hike so bring what you need.
- Candy: When you get tired, candy is a great way to boost your energy and keep you going.
- If you like, bring a small towel and maybe a dry shirt. You will be sweaty when you reach the top and it could be nice to change into a clean dry shirt if you are interested in doing a little photo shoot.
There are also a few other things you need to make sure you have the best hike possible. The most important is comfortable shoes. Flip Flops won’t work here, you need proper shoes as most of the hike is up and down rocks and mud which can be slippery in parts. You also need a backpack to carry all the things you need.
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Entrance fee and opening hours
Recently they started charging an entrance fee. This entrance fee for foreigners is 200 Baht for adults and 100 baht for Children. For Thai locals, it is 40 baht for Adults and 20 baht for Children.
Opening hours: 8 AM to 2 PM every day. However, they might close for some public holidays.
Important Emergency Numbers
These emergency numbers can be found on the hike but only near the top. We think it’s important that you save these numbers on your phone before you even start the hike. You never know what can happen. Please stay safe out there.
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This is truly a holiday of a lifetime!! You have made the most amazing memories on this adventure.
Thank you so much. We were very blessed to have these amazing experiences and we can’t wait to share more with all of you!