3.7 km excursion to Khao Ngon Nak is the first place that I hiked in a foreign land all by myself. I know some people think 3.7 km is not a long way to explore, and I thought the same, but being alone in a strange land is for me a different journey. I’m used to trekking in a dry humid season in the Philippines but with guests or with friends, haven’t tried by myself, though I haven’t tried climbing the highest mountain in the country, I bet my experience in trekking every month is great preparation to do this activity overseas. Solo hike to this unfamiliar country is definitely one of the highlights in my 3-week solo travel in Thailand.
Khao Ngon Nak or known as Dragon Crest is a 30-minute drive from the main town in Krabi. I hired a tuk-tuk at a reasonable price (1,200 Baht round trip with no time limit) fortunately the driver was also a local guide who is so welcoming, willing to be asked about Krabi province, its Thailand living and that captivates my soul (I am forever curious about local living).
Krabi town’s laid back scenery reminds me of Dumaguete city, its vibrant color plus the orderly ambiance sets the same style. Along the way to the crest, I was delighted by the seascape in Tubaek beach which is visible from the road, the limestone karsts and its landscape, the green palms that surrounded the area makes the whole town energetic with the sun shining through its color. It’s no question that Thailand is a well-developed country for tourism, it’s road which constructed up to par and is beyond my expectation. Though a third world country, yet, it’s avenue and highways are well built up compared to other southeast Asian third world country, furthermore, my admiration for tourism exceeded.
The time I arrived at the base of the trail, I was the only one who was about to do the trek. Signed the logbook and was informed by the keeper that there were 2 other groups who came in first an hour ahead of me, gave me an information on the 3.7 km trail, and he suggested to take a photo of the map for reference. It was the end of April 2016 when I drop into this place, it was the dry season where almost no water in most of the spring in the country. He mentioned that it will be a waste of my time if I will visit the falls as there is nothing to see as it’s a drought. So I figured, I will try to see if I can hear the sound of the water from afar then I will walk in that path.
The keeper gave an edifying advice, especially that I’m all by myself, checked if I brought massive amounts of water and food, even questioned me if I’m used to wearing flip-flop (yes, I hike and trek with my reliable flip-flop) for its dry over there. So, after the orientation, I move my butt out to pass through the trail.
The natural sound of the birds and the uninterrupted noise of the crickets were the ones who greeted me as I started my course. I’m a bit surprised on the first 100 meters, there’s a detailed embellishment which is posted in every zone, engraved in Thai and English. I like how it’s being presented. This is a good way for people to know the name of the trees, the name of the zone, what’s the purpose, what’s their use and what’s on it. I’m not an expert with the names of the trees, but I somehow know some of it, and on this trail, there are different kinds of trees which are new to me, what struck me most is the red-orange color uniquely stands among others 500 meters before arriving the peak.
It took me a while to arrive at the peak since there are heaps of stuff to capture, to notice, to witness the irresistible movement of the creatures that were mysteriously hazy to me, yet, my braveness stood still regardless of its unpredictable motion (I obviously have no choice LOL). The parched mountain stream never ceased my thoughts to move forward for this great adventure, I was in fact amazed by nature, it’s still colorful in my eyes. The dryness of the slope is difficult to maneuver, but, with my tried-and-true sandal, I was able to push myself up the steep hill. When I reached the waterfalls station, I decided not to attempt, I agree with the keeper’s advice since I didn’t hear the echo of the water.
I stumbled upon 1 group who surprisingly happened to be Filipinos and live the same island in the Philippines – Negros Island. They worked in Ao Nang and went up there for the first time in their 2 years being in Krabi.
After which, I got stunned by the amazing limestone karsts visibly situated along Andaman sea, I thought it was the tip of the hill, but I was 500 meters away from it. So I excitingly step furthermore, which, I erratically underestimated the path, there were massive stones trapped in a freaking steep hill, my yoga stunts were of huge help to brawl the dry area on a scorching 39 degree Celsius mid afternoon. This is for me, the hardest, almost 500 meters of this trail.
After all, the panoramic view of the tip of the hill welcomes me with an abundant flow of Krabi town. I have been fed by nature’s presence again and again. An indescribable feeling had me when I reached the peak, I had the best moment at that time. Luckily, though, there was no one around, so, I felt the queen about me being treated fairly. I manage to capture in every way I can of the view, joyfully playing in every area. As far as I could remember, I seated there for almost an hour when another group came, there were an English couple who were stunned by the view as well. We then took our turns to take photos. I brought with me sandwiches, 2 liters of water and 1 coca cola (Coke is the one that helps me with my sugar, it’s always been my confidant when I trek).
This solo hike to this amazing view of 565 meters above sea level was one of the best adventures I had on my 3-week Thailand visit. I mean, not all women on earth would be brave enough to do this right? Or maybe I knew no one in my circle of friends perhaps.
I realized, being alone will never make you lonely. Embracing every venture in life, taking little steps all by myself, had me pass through every difficulty encompassed with patience, strength, and determination.
Have you hiked solo to anywhere? What was your experience like?
Here’s a video for full view.
Author: Ferna Mae
Ferna is from the Philippines who travel spontaneously. Thrives to be more independent in her own skin. She first traveled The Philippines first before she embarked to other countries. She believes that by traveling, her undying crave for learning excites her in a more profound way. Her flexibility had proven her that time is genuine. As a former tour guide in the Philippines, she hopes that her travel experiences will give value to the aspiring travelers. Connect with her at email@example.com,