A 3.7 km excursion to Khao Ngon Nak is the first place that I hiked solo in a foreign land. 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 doing it alone. Although I haven’t tried climbing the highest mountain in my country, I bet my experience in trekking every month is a 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 local living that captivates the 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, its 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 Thailand exceeded.
The time I arrived at the base of the trail, I was the only one who was about to do the trek. After signing the logbook, I was informed by the keeper who speaks little English but can easily be understood, he said that there were 2 other groups who came in first an hour ahead of me. After which he gave me an information about the 3.7 km trail, and he suggested to take a photo of the map for reference.
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. Probably because It was the end of April 2016, a dry season where almost no water in most of the spring in the country. 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 large enough to be easily recognized by the hikers. 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 the area. Everyone can notice the post and I suggest one should take a moment to read them.
What struck me most on this trails is the red-orange color tree uniquely stands among others 500 meters before arriving the peak.
It took 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. One will have a hard time pushing themselves up if they have a fainted heart as the dry and sandy path can lead to going up and down in the area taking all the body’s strength.
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.
As I move forward, I stumbled upon 1 group who surprisingly happened to be Filipinos and who also from the same island in the Philippines – Negros Island. They worked in Ao Nang and went up to the peak for the first time in their 2 years being in Krabi.
Thereafter, 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 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 was an English couple who were stunned by the view as well. We then took our turns to take photos.
On the other hand, what keeps me going are the 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) that I brought with me.
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? Perhaps, maybe I knew no one in my circle of friends who can do the same.
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.
Here’s a video to visually show you the whole experience and give you the view.
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Author: Ferna Mae
Ferna is a spontaneous traveler from the Philippines who had a great experience traveling her own country first before she embarked to other countries. She thrives to be more independent in her own skin. Connect with her at email@example.com