[Page Updated: 3 August 2019]
Hang Nak Nature Trail | Complete Guide
Hang Nak Nature Trail and mountain park sometimes called “Dragon Crest Trail” and is a Thailand National Park in Krabi province, Thailand that is near Ao Nang Beach where all the tourists go. Google calls it “Hang Nak” in “Tab Kak” subdistrict of Krabi. The rest of Thailand calls it Tub Kaak. Whatever!
If you want to go for a couple of hour hike up a mountain trail and see amazing views from 500 vertical meters (1,640 feet) you should climb this mountain!
The Hang Nak trail is well-marked and it’s not easy to get lost. At the finish is the most amazing view maybe you’ve ever seen in your life. Krabi has a lot of things to do and this is one of the best if you’re looking for some physical activity and climbing without putting your life at risk. Those looking for an Ao Nang Hike or Krabi Town Hike should make the effort and DO THIS!
The mountain stream that runs down the length of the mountain, forming a waterfall at one point, passes by the start of the trail here at the bottom of the mountain near the parking area. Thai children are often found swimming here on hot days as the water is clean and quite cool.
At the base of the Hang Nak trail is a nice map. The trail up the mountain is 3.7 km (2.3 miles) long and at its peak reaches 500 meters above sea level. There are a few scenic viewpoints and a waterfall along the way, so if you don’t make it to the top at least you’ll have taken in some incredible views.
The path leading up to Dragon Crest peak is well worn and easy to follow. It’s quite warm most days afternoon so I’d suggest you go around 9 am. You won’t likely see too many hikers in the morning, but around lunchtime, you might see ten or more as this becomes a more popular trail among those looking to explore some of the lesser-known attractions in Krabi, Thailand.
The first viewpoint at 1.9 km offers a glimpse of the ocean and some limestone formations in the waters of Tub Kaak Bay. Google calls it TAB KAK on the map. Tub Kaak has sea kayaking and is an excellent day trip away from the crowds doing the same thing in and around the more crowded Ao Nang and Railay Beaches.
The path continues upward until at 2.8 km it splits at the sign for the waterfall. The waterfall is a no-go in my opinion. You’re probably going to be tired by the time you reach this sign. It’s a strenuous trek. The waterfall consists of a drop of water over some rocks… and that is during the height of the rainy season! If you insist on going it’s only another 200 m or so to get there. Be careful to return on the same path from the waterfall that you took to get there as a couple from the UK got lost going the other way last time.
As you get closer to the top of the mountain there is more variety of plant-life like these yellow bulbs that I’ve never seen before. I saw some ferns that I remembered from Oahu, Hawaii ridge hikes called “Uhule” ferns, they are rough and scrape your legs as you walk by.
I also saw some fly-eating plants that I took videos of. They were 4-inch vertical tubes growing on vines close to the ground. They had some sticky juice in the bottom that kept the insects from flying away once they landed in it. There were probably hundreds of plants and flowers I missed because of my focus and excitement to be close to the top.
Don’t worry about snakes – I’ve looked hard and not found many in the daytime. There are water monitors that will tear through the woods – running away from you as you get close. Once I surprised a big eagle near the top too.
Once you are within the last hundred meters of the peak of Hang Nak Nature Trail there are many open areas to take in the views. This was one looking northeast in the direction of the Surat Thani province. The Hang Nak Mountain peak is clearly visible from most areas in Krabi, and even as far as Tiger Cave Temple in Krabi Town.
The final 200 meters or so will take you longer than you might think. One can’t help stop at all the little places that open up to wide-open views of limestone mountains and views of Thalen Bay. The last few meters are rocky and not really a path at all, you just find your own way up to the top.
The summit gives a clear view of Ao Nang and Noppharat Thara Beaches to the south. Whichever way you turn there are breathtaking views from this 500 meter-high peak. The day I did this hike the air was not all that clear but still I could see the whole way to Krabi town, Thalen Bay, and all of the beach areas.
Hang Nak Nature Trail Helpful Tips
Hang Nak Mountain Trail in Tab Kak (Tub Kaak Beach), Krabi province is a must-do hike that most of the family can take part in. It’s challenging if you’re going to go quickly up the hill, but if you pace yourself and bring a couple of liters of water for each person and some fruit (rambutans are amazing) you’ll probably make it and be very glad you did!
This is an amazing hike that leads to a lookout point (well a couple of them, but the final peak is breathtaking. The hike is arduous. I’ve helped find a lost couple up there who were walking for 13 hours unable to find their way out. Stick to the trail and don’t try to take a new trail down the hill and you’ll be fine.
What is Hang Nak?
Tub Kaak’s Hang Nak (Dragon Crest) Nature Trail is an ideal Thailand sightseeing opportunity. This is a 3.7 km hike on a mountain trail to the peak with an option to see a small waterfall if you hike another .5 km.
What to Bring to Hang Nak Nature Trail?
2 liters of water per person. Water, mosquito lotion, small flashlight, a phone that works in Thailand and number for an English speaking person at your hotel. Bring all of these if possible.
Where is Hang Nak Nature Trail?
Krabi province as part of the Ko Phi Phi – Noppharat Thara National Park just past Tubkaak Beach and near Thalen Bay. You will need a map to reach it.
Elevation of Hang Nak Peak?
500 meters gives you almost 360-degree full-circle views of the surrounding beach and mountain areas. Visibility varies from 20 km (12 miles) to 100 km (62 miles).
Estimated Time to Climb to Hang Nak Peak?
If you go slowly it will take just over 2 hours to reach the summit. If you go quickly it can be done in an hour. If you run up all but the difficult parts, you can make it in 30 minutes. Are you super-fit? A trail race each year has people 50+ years old running up to the peak in 35 minutes. Can you top that?
Hang Nak Nature Trail Cautions
It’s a safe trail, be alert for small roots sticking up that will catch your foot occasionally. Also, DO NOT take any other trail other than the main trails. None of the faded trails lead down to the same place the trail starts from.
Facilities at Hang Nak
At the base of the trail are wash basins and restrooms. There is a small concrete bench area next to the stream at the bottom. Once you start the hike up the mountain there are no facilities, but there are sitting benches in a couple of spots.
Hang Nak Nature Trail Online Guide
Krabi province in southern Thailand just might have more to do than any other province in the country.
Just a little further down the beach from Railay, Ao Nang, and Noppharat Thara beaches is a little known beach that offers stunning pink sunsets and few visitors as there are only a couple hotels that have been built there recently. The name of the beach is Tubkaak beach and you’ll be hearing of it more in the coming months and years as it becomes a reclusive getaway for those people who are crowd-shy of Ao Nang and other populated areas of Krabi.
Following the only road as far as it goes you’ll find a park with a small mountain stream running through it. There are some signs of what is one of the coolest hikes available in Krabi. “Hang Nak Nature Trail at Tab Kak (Tub Kaak)” is easily one of the top 5 things to do in Krabi while you’re here.
Get this helpful Krabi Hiking Guide now for Free:
- 34 Pages of very helpful, crucial information for this Trek!
- 30 High-Quality Images of the Actual Hang Nak Hike!
- 9 Essentials to Ensure Your Trip to the nature trail in Tab Kak is Delightful!
- 7 Cautions You Need to Know! (Snakes? Bees? Water? Getting lost?)
HERE is our complete guide for the Hang Nak Nature Trail.Download our free Hang Nak Nature Trail guide at the link above and take it with you on your phone or tablet. You definitely don’t want to miss the rest of what is on this page as we have VIDEO and BIG PHOTOS you didn’t see above. :P
Download on PDF now!
This guide prepares you for everything you need to know to go to this nature trail yourself and climb by yourself. No guide is really necessary.
1/2 DAY MOUNTAIN HIKE with 360° VIEWS! – HANG NAK MOUNTAIN RAINFOREST TREKKING!
Best Mountain Trail in Krabi!
What Can You Expect at Hang Nak Mountain Trek in Tab Kak?
This jungle trek is a short trail up to the peak of a mountain top which is a short distance from the beaches of Ao Nang and Noppharat Thara. In fact, it is located in Tub Kaak near the Amari Vogue Hotel. If you stay at the Amari, you can simply walk to this jungle path and start climbing after stocking up with some water and mosquito spray.
But, read this guide first!
This is a rather intense hike. Meaning, if you are between the ages of 13 and 50, you can probably complete it if you go slowly and pace yourself, hydrating with water as you walk. The distance of the trail from bottom to top is just 3.7 kilometers (about 2.3 miles) up and the same path is taken back down.
Anybody can walk 4.5 miles, but the difficulty level is deceiving because there is a significant amount of climbing as you walk up the trail. There is just under 500 meters (around 1,640 feet) of climbing – a significant elevation gain. The terrain is varied. A lot of the hike is simply walking on hard-packed clay littered with small rocks. Some of the trail actually becomes a stream of water during very hard rain showers. The majority of the hike is over sand and leaf-litter, also covered with rocks and roots every now and then.
It’s sort of a technical trail and as you hike you will need to look at the ground constantly to make sure you’re not going to fall or twist an ankle. There are a few cautions that should be mentioned. Any hike in Thailand’s rainforest is not without some dangers. That isn’t to say any of you should call off the hike because you fear what might happen. Heck, your entire hotel could be swallowed up in a sinkhole if you really want to think about all the negative things that could happen!
HOW TO GET TO HANG NAK NATURE TRAIL?
1. If you do not have a motorbike or other vehicle to drive by yourself, go HERE and call or chat with SON on WhatsApp or LINE or email. He can help you with transportation.
2. If you have transportation – vehicle or motorbike, go to Google Maps (maps.google.com) and get directions for traveling from wherever you are (Ao Nang, Krabi?) to “Hang Nak Nature Trail Tab Kak.” The national park entrance for this hike is listed there.
HANG NAK TREK ESSENTIALS
1. Wear athletic shoes or hiking shoes. Do not wear sandals or flip flops. Some technical parts require good shoes that won’t fall apart. Resist the urge to go local style and walk barefoot because 1.) your feet will hurt incredibly bad when you’re done. 2.) Plenty of thorns that are on the ground.
2. Bring 2-liters of water for each hiker. Everybody sweats a lot from the effort, but it isn’t really all that hot. About 31°C (88°F) max.
3. Wear shorts and bring mosquito spray (SOFFELL liquid spray works well). See a bottle of this spray pictured below.
4. Tell someone where you are going and when you expect to return. It is difficult to get lost, but better to be safe. There is a login sheet for hikers to sign before hiking. Ideal if you have a local phone number.
5. Gibbons may be jumping in the trees. They might even stare at you. They don’t ever come down from the trees – you are safe as long as you don’t throw anything at them!
6. Bring a hat for the top of the hill when the sun can be bright. Around 95% of the nature trail is under the shade of the tree canopy.
7. Bring some ‘energy food’ to eat at the top to restore your carbohydrates. It will make the walk down easier.
8. It takes about as long to walk down as it does to walk up. Figure that into your plan.
9. The forest is very dark at 6 pm. Even at 5:30 pm. it is getting hard to see.
HANG NAK MOUNTAIN TREK CAUTIONS
1. AVOID LIGHTNING at the top of the mountain during storms. I have climbed the mountain about 400 times and I’ve been caught in some bad storms at the top. Now, when I see a storm coming in, I get under the tree canopy and back on the path to make my way down as quickly as possible away from the top of the mountain.
2. SNAKES on the Path. I’ve twice seen dangerous snakes on the trail during the daylight hours. Remember, I’ve run the trail often for 11 years so three snakes is not that many. There are other harmless snakes you’ll sometimes see. Be aware of the one below which is dangerous. When you walk, make sure you’re constantly watching where your feet are going. Another reason not to wear sandals or flip-flops.
The snake I’ve seen is the Malayan Pit Viper (photo above). It is not supposed to be active during daylight hours, but I’ve seen it as late as 11 am. in the morning. So, just watch the trail as you walk.
3. RUNNING OUT OF DAYLIGHT! The forest starts getting dark around 5:30 pm. By 6 pm. you’re going to be wishing you had planned things better. By 6:30 pm (sunset time) you will be in almost total darkness and you had better have a flashlight (torch) to help you find your way down. Or, at least a phone so you can tell someone you’re stuck on the trail and the Thai forest rangers can come and find you.
Really, you don’t want to be stuck on the trail in the darkness. Start your hike no later than 1 pm. unless you have adequate lighting for the trail when it gets dark.
4. PLAN TO TAKE 5-6 HOURS on your hike up and down. This way you are less likely to get caught at night. This way you are not late for something else you thought you could do after the hike. You’ll be absolutely exhausted from the hike anyway, so don’t plan anything after.
I remember taking over an hour to go 1 kilometer (.6 miles) down the trail after twisting my ankle. It can happen to you too. Plan for contingencies and give yourself a couple more hours than you think it will take.
5. MOSQUITOS CAN BE BAD. But, the good news is – they are not usually even noticed. Bring this spray anyway, you can find it in 7-11 stores, but you may not even need it if you keep moving and don’t stop.
6. STINGING INSECTS. Make sure when you stop to rest you aren’t standing on ants or termites. Sometimes they are moving around after a rain. Scorpions can climb vines, so be careful grabbing them as you climb the hills. If you are bothered by a bee – do NOT swing at it or try to kill it. They leave pheromones in the air which bring many more bees and they may sting you. Just move away from a bee that is being a pest. If you hear a hive of bees near the top of the hill, just turn around and go back. Before you do, make sure it isn’t a large swarm of dragonflies above your head – which sound just like the hum of a beehive.
7. This hike is a STRENUOUS EXERCISE. I would not recommend this hike for anyone who has heart or other medical issues in which climbing up a steep trail (at times) could cause harm or injury.
I would also not recommend this trail for people who may not have full ambulation. Meaning, maybe you have a knee problem, back problem, or something else that could inhibit you from completing a physically demanding climb.
This is one of my favorite climbs, and I am there climbing two to three times per week. I have seen 8-year-old kids and 75- year-old men and women complete this hike, but it definitely takes a toll on the young and old, and any age if you are not in any shape to be hard walking for 3-4 hours.
Video: Hang Nak Mountain Trekking
LET’S GET STARTED!
When you arrive at the end of the road at the Hang Nak Nature Trail, it looks just like this. A small one-story flat is on the right and a covered bench area on the left. The path and stream are straight ahead. There is a small shop on the right, run by Thailand National Parks Service staff which sells water, soda, fruit juice in bottles, ice-cream, and sometimes fresh coconuts they soak in ice and cut open for you to drink with a straw. Highly recommended.
On the left there is a small hut with some rangers and a sign-in sheet that sometimes looks like this. You must fill out before you start your hike, and after you return. There is no charge for hiking at this park! Not yet anyway!
Here the trail starts! Do you have your water? Snacks? Torch? Good shoes? The trail has various surfaces to walk on – hard-packed clay, mud in small areas, rocks, sand, over leaves, and on roots.
Looking down at the stream from the hiking trail you can see small swimming pools where you can relax after you are done with your hike! The water is cool, never cold or warm. Just right!
Please have a look at the map and rules for the Ngorn Nak trail. This is a Thailand National Park. You cannot remove anything from the park – plant or animal – under threat of severe fines and imprisonment.
As you get started, listen for things rustling in the leaves. There are many different lizards, skinks, and even gliding lizards jumping off trees in front of you if you are aware of them. The gliding lizards look like leaves falling sometimes, tricky – right?!!
The lizard above is Calotes emma – the Forest Crested Lizard. They are really common, but difficult to see sometimes unless it is right in the middle of the trail. There are green-hued lizards and dark brown with a red streak around the head and neck. These are under 50 cm (well under 2 feet) long.
There are no bears, tigers, wild cats, or anything else big and dangerous in this rainforest.
Disclaimer – Nobody has reported anything dangerous for the last ten years. if you see something – do let us know!
You might also see monitor lizards. Some of these are over 2 meters (well over 6 feet) in length! If you hear something all the sudden ripping through the forest (away from you) – it is most likely a big monitor lizard. They are harmless, and never attack people.
The first part of the trail is just like this – wide and rocks packed into the clay. This almost becomes a stream when it rains hard. The first part of the trail is a very easy incline. It gets harder and harder until the top of the first steep hill where you are nearly halfway done.
Before you know it, you’ve conquered the first steep hill and you are nearly halfway to the top. There are some benches here that you might want to take advantage of because the climb you just completed was the toughest on the whole trail! Some people take around an hour to reach this spot, some people more. Some less! No rush, just go carefully… drink some water and congratulate yourself – you’re over the very difficult part.
After one more rather steep climb (the last big one), you reach the first real viewpoint! The view is of Thalen Bay on the right. You can see many islands and limestone karst formations rising up out of the water. The gibbons may be howling in the rainforest below, they sound a bit like bombs falling!
Views in the morning are like this. If you are hiking toward the evening and you are close to sunset (and have a very dependable torch (flashlight)) there is a really nice sunset here.
The second viewpoint is just about 2 minutes after that last one. This one gives you views all the way to the Khao Phanom mountain range way over near Krabi Town in the area known as Krabi Noi. This is a really amazing viewpoint, but you’ll have to peak between some trees to see as far as you can see. See our other QUICK GUIDES like this one HERE!
I took this photo close to where you are now on your hike… There are not very many flowers on the trail because the tree canopy blocks the sun for the most part. That means, if you hike in the morning, it isn’t very warm. Ideal!
The trail splits here and gives you an opportunity to go see the waterfall on the right. Honestly, I’d never call it a waterfall. It’s a trickle of water coming off the hillside. It’s an interesting area – very green – that might give you a nice photo. I usually suggest that people go to the left to the Ngorn Nak mountain peak first. If you have more energy by the time you come back down to this point, then go see the waterfall area too.
Do be careful here not to take the trail down the hill from the waterfall – thinking you will find your way back to the start of the trail. Some people have been lost doing the same. The trail does NOT end up anywhere near where you started, and there are dogs in some areas that won’t be any fun to walk through. Reverse course and head back up the hill to the trail you came in on. When you see this sign, you have about 25 minutes more!
Did you make it? Is this the end? Well, sort of. You’re not ‘there’ yet! This is the best view so far. You can see Thalen Bay area and past that is the Ao Luk and Phang Nga Province. This is a great place to rest, there are flat spaces to lay down on the rocks and enjoy the awesome views.
The Hang Nak trail continues up on your left side, along the edge of the hill. It isn’t so easy to see the path because it crosses rocks like this. Just stay to the left and pay attention to where the path is. At this point, you have about 200 meters left to go, but there are some rocks to climb. It isn’t dangerous really, just pay attention.
When you get just past that balancing rock in the last photo, you’ll come to a big flat rock on top of another one. Look up in there and see if you see a group of Tokay geckos.
Sometimes they are there and sometimes not. They’re harmless – I mean, you wouldn’t want to try to grab one, but they’re really amazing to look at.
When you reach the end of the trail just go straight over a rock, and you’ll see this. On the left side of this big rock is usually a small ladder built of branches from trees. If this ladder is not there, you can still climb right here – there is one little ledge you can use to climb up with your feet and hold on to the rock above to pull yourself up. When you do – you’ll see THIS!
The view here is spectacular. You can see all the way around from Thalen Bay, to Khao Phanom in Krabi Noi, to Railay Beach, to Ao Nang, to Noppharat Thara Beach, and down to Tub Kaak. It’s a great place for a panorama view if your camera does them. Make sure you know how to do it before you hike!
Hang Nak Nature Trail Video – Gives the best idea what it’s all about
Here’s a comprehensive video we did about the Hang Nak (Ngorn Nak) Mountain Hiking Trail! This is our favorite thing to do in Krabi… We have climbed it over 400 times!
LET ME KNOW IF YOU GO AND ENJOY YOURSELF. If you want to send me any photos you’ve taken of reptiles or other things – great!
See our Playlist on YouTube: Tub Kak Hang Nak Nature Trail
Important and Emergency Phone Numbers for Krabi Stay
- Krabi Emergency: 1669 from any mobile.
- TAT (Tourism Authority of Thailand): 07.562.2164
- Krabi Tourist Police: 07.563.7208
- Marine Police: 07.561.2756 and 2757
- Krabi Airport: 07.563.6541 and 6549
- Immigration: 07.561.1097
- Krabi Bus Terminal in Krabi Town: 07.561.1804 and 1184 • Krabi
- Hospital in town: 07.563.1768 and 1769
- Transportation / Tours: “Son” at 081.089.6135 (SonsKrabiTaxi.com)
DON’T FORGET TO GO -> Night Time Wildlife Tours are the BEST!
There is a lot of information in this little guide! Make sure you read it all because it will save you from experiencing a number of problems that may develop! Thank You for Reading!
© Vern Lovic