The Complete Guide To Hiking In Krabi
Krabi is a hiker’s paradise, and it’s not surprising to see why. Much of its landscape is flanked by lush mangroves, misty mountains, and massive limestone karsts. Krabi is also home to a wealth of national parks, with well-marked trails running through them. A walk up these sinewy trails, will greet you with Krabi mains like hot-springs and emerald pools that you’ve often seen on postcards.
The trails meet you with varying degrees of difficulty, from challenging overnight hikes to quiet leisurely walks through scenic jungles. So, nature lovers and all you outdoorsies in the house put on those hiking shoes and go explore Krabi’s most spectacular trails.
Hang Nak Mountain (Dragon Crest Trail)
An outstanding hike, the Hang Nak Trail also offers a bounty of absolutely breathtaking views once you’ve made it to the summit. From up top, you can actually spot all of Krabi’s beaches and panoramic views of the valley below. A big rock sits right at the fringe – a perfect place for that ‘edgy’ selfie, quite literally. But do exercise caution. It’s a perfect place for some breather. Take a moment to soak in the stillness as the calm envelopes you in its soft embrace.
The climb, though extremely rewarding, is quite steep. It’s around 3.7 kilometres to the top and would take a fit person around two hours to complete. There are two scenic viewpoints and waterfalls along the way, so even if you decide not to continue to the summit, you will still be rewarded with some breathtaking views.
A stream runs down the entire length of the mountain and gurgles past the starting point of the trail. The path from here is well-marked, so as long as you stay on it, you won’t lose your way. Spot giant monitor lizards, see squirrels, and hear the call of cicadas while hiking, adding to the whole experience of a mountain trail.
Note: The thick forest ensures that it’s pretty humid here – so make sure you carry at least two bottles of water.
Bang Khram Wildlife Sanctuary
The terrain around Bang Khram Wildlife Sanctuary is the last patch of lowland rainforest left in Thailand. With more species of birds than any other forest reserve, this part of Thailand is a paradise for bird lovers. P.S.It’s the only place where Gurney’s Pitta, a rare bird species can be spotted.
Even if you’re not a bird lover in particular, just walking along the 2.7-kilometre trail, twisting through the forest, is a visual treat in itself. The forest is ripe with old trees reaching for the skies and limestone foothills that open up to the most beautiful little pool you can lay your eyes on.
The emerald pool has warm, crystal-clear aquamarine waters, making it ideal for a rewarding swim. The unique thing about this pool is that it changes colour as the day progresses – a magical experience to witness. Venturing ahead, a blue pool greets you with just as much allure as the emerald one.
Walk deeper still, to take a quick dip in the natural hot-tub jacuzzis found under the shade of rainforest canopies. The most striking part about the hot-water spring is that the cascading waters form tiny waterfalls before joining a stream. The spring is believed to have healing properties, making it perfect for sore muscles after a hike.
You can walk through the national park and hit all these natural wonders on the same day. The entry fee to the park is THB 200.
Khao Phanom Bencha National Park
Standing at 1,350 metres, the highest in Krabi, this national park is named after Khao Phanom Bencha mountain. The national park’s popular attractions are its waterfalls, like the Nam Tok Huay To, which features 11 tiers. On the largest tier, the water plunges from a staggering height of 70 metres to form pools – ideal for a cool splash.
For the serious hiker, the best experience is the hike to the peak of Khao Phanom Bencha. There are two routes to reach the peak. The first one takes four days and three nights, and starts from Namtok Huay To – roughly 300 metres from the park’s office.
The second route starts from Bang San Operational Base and takes around three days and two nights. You can take a car to reach the starting point of the trek.
No matter which route you take, you will be walking through a sea of fog and discovering hidden caves and still some more gorgeous waterfalls. The national park is home to many animals, such as wild boars, tapirs, Asiatic black bears, clouded leopards, panthers, and a number of birds.
Note: There are many hiking trails here, so it’s best to have a park ranger accompany you on the trek to ensure that you don’t pick the wrong one.