Dragon Crest mountain offers one of the most epic viewpoints in all of Thailand. The National Park Khao Ngon Nak, aka Dragon Crest Mountain is a stunning 3.7 km hike located in northern Krabi. This hike will indisputably offer some of the most breathtaking views you’ve seen and amazing photo opportunities. But be prepared for the hike, it’s strenuous and takes about 1,5 hour to get to the summit of Dragon Crest Mountain. Read in this guide everything you need to know about the Dragon Crest hike.
How to get to Dragon Crest Hike Krabi
It’s a 25-minute drive from Ao Nang beach and a 40-minute drive from Krabi Town to the starting point of the hike. It could be a bit misleading and confusing when you want to use Google Maps to navigate you to “Dragon Crest viewpoint” or “Ngon Nak”. These are false starting points. You need to navigate to “Checkpoint Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park” which is pinned on the map below.
Once you reach the park entrance, proceed straight past the gate to park your motorbike. You can see where the trail starts with clear signs. You don’t need to worry about a park entrance fee because it’s free. However, once you complete the hike it is recommended to tip the park rangers.
Best time to hike Dragon Crest Mountain Krabi
Considering the heat during the day, the best time to hike Dragon Crest mountain is in the early morning until 1 PM. It really is a tough hike of about 1 – 2 hours one way, so start as early as possible to be back when the sun is at its peak. You will also avoid the crowds because most tours start at 9 AM with the hike, bringing more people to the trail and viewpoint.
What to expect during the Dragon Crest Hike Krabi
The Dragon Crest Mountain trail is a 1 – 2 hour hike to an impressive elevated viewpoint. It’s a simple but strenuous up-and-down return route. The path is mostly well maintained and easy to follow with clear signs. Overall, it’s a challenging physical hike but not a technically difficult one. On our way back to the parking lot, we saw people of different ages and sizes starting the hike. Make sure to get a good night of sleep the night before, bring enough water and you’ll be fine!
The Dragon Crest hike
The trail starts on a wide unpaved path leading you into the jungle from the parking lot. The jungle trail alternates with wooden stairs and steep sections where a rope supports you to conquer the steeper parts. From about 9 AM, the trail starts to get busier when tour groups arrive. Because we were 90 minutes ahead, the route was wonderfully peaceful. On the way back down, we passed a lot more people-traffic coming in the opposite direction.
There is a beautiful first viewpoint where you can rest and take in the stunning panoramas. From this viewpoint, you are about halfway to the summit. So take your time to dehydrate, get your breath back to normal, do some stretching and get ready for the second part!
When you’re getting closer to the summit, you will see signs indicating how far it is until the peak. Keep going, because the view from the peak is worth all the sweat and shaky legs!
Once you’ve reached the summit, you will see the sign of the Khao Ngon Nak viewpoint and the incredible view. You’ve made it!!
But, this is not the only impressive viewpoint here. If you’ve seen pictures of the Dragon Crest viewpoint before, you know there are some epic photo spots! So how to get to this famous Dragon Crest photo spot?
The Khao Ngon Nak viewpoint
Continue to walk (and climb a bit) over the boulders. You have to find your way a bit through the jungle and over the boulders. But after a few minutes, you will finally see the famous photo spot! The protruding rock overlooking the amazing landscape of Krabi is without a doubt an amazing spot to take in the incredible views and of course make some unforgettable pictures!
Walk this way to the epic viewpoint of Dragon Crest mountain
We were blown away by the beauty of this viewpoint. You will feel exhausted, but this view gives energy back instantly. I changed my hiking outfit for my white dress to take some pictures. Below you can see the different results we made.
The incredible viewpoint of Dragon Crest mountain
What to prepare for the hike to Khao Ngon Nak viewpoint
There are a few things to know and prepare before you attempt the hike that will make it an enjoyable experience.
- Wear hiking shoes or at least sturdy sneakers with grip. Don’t try this hike in flip flops, you will be slipping a lot or sprain your ankle.
- Bring at least 2 litres water per person with you. Once the sun is up, it gets pretty hot on the trail and you’ll be sweating a lot. We were almost out of water on our way back, and that really sucked. Even though we needed the water more on the way up, we were so thirsty once we got back to the parking lot. We both finished another cold litre water in a few minutes!
- Take sunscreen with you.
- Bring mosquito repellent. They love a sweaty skin, so make sure to wear it!
- Take a small towel. You can use it for different things; to wipe all the sweat dripping from your forehead, or to sit on, or whatever you use a towel for!
- Of course don’t forget your camera, charged batteries and an empty SD card!
- Eventually bring another dry shirt which you can put on for the way back. After changing clothes for the photoshoot, I had to put on my soggy shirt again. It reminded me I had to bring another dry shirt, so I didn’t want to withhold you this tip!
- Go to the toilet before the hike starts. There are no toilets once you’re on the trail, the only one is at the starting point.
Make sure to wear sturdy shoes with a good grip!
I always change clothes for a photoshoot after a hike. The result is a fantastic combination of a white dress with sneakers, fashionable don’t you think?!
Photography tips for the Dragon Crest viewpoint
Designated as one of the best viewpoints in all of Thailand, Dragon Crest Mountain offers unbeatable panoramic views and endless photo opportunities. Once you’ve made it to the nicest viewpoint of Dragon Crest, you can see the rock sticking out. This is where you can take some epic photos of yourself, or someone else, standing on the rock with this incredible view. Check where the sun is coming from, and try to photograph with the sun behind you.
Especially in the morning, the sky can turn quickly into a bright, white area resulting in an overexposed picture. So if you have a ND filter, make sure to bring it here! Otherwise, you can better underexpose your pictures here, and adjust the settings in Lightroom. Below some examples of different angles we shot at Dragon Crest viewpoint!
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We hope you enjoyed this blog post about the Dragon Crest hike in Krabi. If you have any questions, let us know!
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