The Khao Ra hike is the longest and toughest hike on Koh Phangan as it leads to the highest peak of the island. The 1,5 hour one way hike goes through the jungle of Koh Phangan, along a stream and water reservoir, further up in the mountains until you reach the last part where a bit of climbing is involved. The viewpoint of Khao Ra is beautiful with views on the Northern part of the island and Chaloklum bay. But also on the east side is a huge boulder where you can climb up and see the view from there. In this complete and extensive guide you will find all the information you need about the Khao Ra hike in Koh Phangan!
How to get to the Khao Ra hike & entrance fee
Khao Ra mountain is located on the northern middle part of Koh Phangan and is the highest peak of the island with 627 meters. You will find the starting point of the Khao Ra hike at “Khao Ra Terrace”. Put this into your Google navigation and it will bring you there. Along the road is a sign pointing you to the starting point of Khao Raa viewpoint. Once you’ve arrived at the parking lot, you will see a huge poster of the Khao Ra hike. You can park your motorbike here, pay the entrance fee of 20 Baht per person and start the hike from there. It’s also close to Phaeng waterfall, so eventually you can combine these if you’re short in time on the island.
What to expect during the Khao Ra hike
The hike up to Khao Ra is 627 meters above sea level, but you start already a few meters above sea level, so don’t worry too much about the incline, it’s not the complete 627 meters. But although we’re quite experienced hikers and didn’t think this hike would be too strenuous, it can get tough when you take into account the heat, humidity and steepness in the jungle.
The first part of the Khao Ra hike is pretty easy. You walk on a wide dirt path with a simple ascent up the mountain ad beautiful views of the jungle.
After the first few hundred meters you will come across a dam where the hike splits up in two paths. The best maintained trail is the wide dirt path. If you turn right, where Atiba is pointing to, you’ll hike on a narrow jungle path with some challenging parts involved. We took this trail on the way back and had to look several times on maps.me to check if we were still on the right path.. So choose the trail which is going straight after you’ve crossed the dam, and you can always choose the other trail on the way back!
When you follow the wide dirt path, you will soon get to a local’s house where you can find the first beautiful viewpoint of the Khao Ra hike. Take same time to rehydrate and enjoy the view for a few minutes before you make your way further up the mountain.
After this quick stop, you will soon see the “Khao Ra” sign which directs you further up the mountain and into the jungle. Take a look back here because the views are, again, absolutely incredible! See the picture below.
After the “Khao Ra” sign, the second stage of the Khao Ra hike begins. The trail goes more and more into the jungle and does get a bit steeper and narrow at some points. But there are enough branches or trees to hold onto to get yourself up the mountain. Watch your steps here, because we encountered a scorpion on the trail in the jungle here! That’s why it’s so important to wear proper hiking shoes in the jungle of Koh Phangan!
Be careful for animals like a scorpion!
But also take the time to admire the beautiful trees in the jungle of Koh Phangan
At this point the trail gets steeper and steeper. Especially the last few hundreds of meters had the most incline of the whole Khao Ra hike. But keep going, because at this part you’re almost at the highest peak of Koh Phangan and wonderful views are waiting for you at the top!
The last few hundred meters of the Khao Ra hike have the most incline
When you’ve finally arrived at the top of the Khao Ra mountain, there are two viewpoints to explore. One of the Khao Ra viewpoints is facing North towards Chaloklum bay. If it’s a clear day you can look all the way to Koh Ma island on your left.
The North view from Khao Ra, on the left side you can see Koh Ma island
The South east view from Khao Ra
After you’ve enjoyed the view on Khao Ra for some time, took pictures and had a lunch or snack, it’s time to head back down the mountain. You can choose to take the other trail back to hike a loop. But take into account what I wrote before, this trail is less maintained and has more challenging and technical parts than the other path! Sometimes both trails can even get slippery due to the leaves on the ground or loose gravel and stones. Always hike carefully and use the trees as your guides to help you down through the jungle by grabbing them.
Extra tips for Khao Ra hike in Koh Phangan
Hiking in Koh Phangan is one of the best things to do on the island. Although it’s humid and the sun can burn you easily while hiking, doing a hike on Koh Phangan is absolutely worth the effort! To be well prepared before you start the hike to Khao Ra, below some tips to make your Khao Ra hike as fun as possible!
- Start early, so it’s not too humid yet.
- Bring enough water, at least 1 liter per person. You will sweat so much during this hike! The complete Khao Ra hike up and down can take up to four hours including stops.
- Wear proper hiking shoes with good grip. Mot of the trail is on dirt ground where parts might be slippery or with loose stones. We also spotted a scorpion on the hiking path. You don’t want to step into that with flip-flops on…
- Use maps.me as offline navigation. The best Koh Phangan hiking map is the maps.me app which is very accurate on your GPS position and shows all the trails in Koh Phangan. You will never get lost when you follow the path, but if you unexpectedly get of the trail for some reason, than maps.me is your best saviour.
- Bring a towel or extra shirt. This is actually for several reasons. The towel is nice to sit on at the viewpoint. But it’s also to use as a wipe for all the sweat haha! The extra shirt is nice when the other shirt is drenched in sweat so you’ll still have a dry shirt on the way back.
- Don’t forget mosquito repellent. So much mosquitos in the jungle.. And they like people with sweat! So don’t forget to spray mosquito repellent before you start the hike and bring it with you during the hike.
- Put sunscreen on if you burn easily. Most of the part during the Khao Ra hike you’ll be in the jungle, but beter safe than burned.
- Don’t forget your camera or at least bring your phone to capture some of the beauty you will see on your way.
Bring enough water, wear proper hiking shoes and you’ll be fine hiking Khao Ra!
More Koh Phangan travel guides
We hope you enjoyed this guide about the Khao Ra hike Koh Phangan. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us!
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