August 07, 2020.
Tags: Hua hin
While the town of Hua Hin offers many attractions to keep visitors happy and busy, people should make time to get out and explore the eastern gulf coast of Thailand for a greater appreciation of the beauty this area of Thailand has to offer.
Less than an hour’s drive south of Hua Hin is the ruggedly beautiful, beachside cliff destination of Khao Lom Muak. You’ll be able to see its imposing 280-metre prominence on the horizon long before you reach it. It’s at the southern tip of Prachuap Khiri Khan Bay. Just take Highway 4 and head south out of Hua Hin.
As Khao Lom Muak is on the airbase property of the Royal Thai Air Force, there are only a few times during the year when you can access the mountain. These will be on long weekend holidays throughout the year. If you plan on adding climbing the crag to your bucket list, it’s best to call 032-611017 to find out the specific opening days.
You don’t have to be an expert climber to hike Khao Lom Muak. But it's a steep climb, and you should be in good physical shape to attempt it. The steepness of the slope is the reason you need to check-in and register before being allowed on the mountain. It's also why you're required to hire an experienced guide to accompany you on the climb.
The guide costs 700 THB and carries a first aid kit, although there are also Air Force officers stationed along the route to assist you if you run into trouble.
The mountain is only open officially from 6 AM to 12 PM to take advantage of the cooler morning temperatures. 10:30 AM is the last sign-in of the morning, but you should arrive as early as 5:45 AM as there may be a crowd due to the limited opening days.
Even though you’ll be climbing in the morning hours, the tropical heat can still be a problem. You should carry at least a one-litre bottle of water with you in a comfortable backpack. You also should bring some sunscreen.
When it comes to clothing, you should dress in loose, breathable clothes that allow you freedom of movement. Because of the abrasive rock you'll be walking on for much of the climb, enclosed, lightweight shoes with textured soles are recommended.
A hat is always recommended in the tropics, as well as a towel as you're likely to be working up a sweat. For the steep part of the climb, as part of the ascent is along knotted ropes anchored to the rock, the guides also recommend you buy some lightweight gloves to prevent blisters and scrapes. They sell lightweight gloves at the check-in area for 20 THB, but they may be sold out depending on the number of hikers ahead of you, so it's best to plan ahead and bring a pair.
You may want to bring a banana or two along with you to eat at the summit (but watch out for the monkeys!). The potassium in bananas will help keep your legs from cramping up. Of course, for any climb where you're expecting a breath-taking view, a fully-charged-up camera is also a must.
There are public toilet facilities in the check-in area at the bottom of the mountain, and both internet and telephone connectivity on the hill.
Your climb will begin with an extensive, and tiring, series of steps. There are seven rest areas within the flights of stairs where you can catch your breath and rest your legs. You'll also notice some of the cutest monkeys watching you climb.
These are Dusky Langur monkeys, they are much less aggressive and threatening than the more widespread macaques around Thailand. These monkeys have developed a love of corn. The locals earn money by selling corn to climbers, which they then feed to the monkeys. So, if you want to support the local economy and give the monkeys a treat, keep lookout for corn vendors before your hike.
About halfway through your climb, the steps will end, and you'll be climbing on rock assisted by knotted ropes. There is only one route to the top, and traffic jams can occur. Depending on the day you plan your hike, both your ascent and descent could be crowded with hikers.
You should plan on taking between an hour to an hour and a half to complete the climb to the top and almost as long to descend. Once you've reached the crest of the mountain, you'll soak in the most beautiful panoramic views of the eastern gulf coast of Thailand. The hill is between Prachuap Khiri Khan Bay to the north, and Ao Manao Bay to the south.
Your view to the north will also include the islands of Ko Lak, Ko La, Ko Rom and further offshore, the larger island of Ko Raet. Rest awhile, take in the views, eat a banana, drink some water, enjoy the breeze and snap all the pictures you can. But take care on your way down. You’ll be a bit tired from your climb up and trying to hurry down can be dangerous.
You can enjoy a complete adventure on Khao Lom Muak and still have half the day left to explore other areas around Hua Hin or simply relax with a seafood lunch on Hua Hin Beach. If you’re wondering what to see in Hua Hin, try the town’s artist communities. If you’re wondering what to do in Hua Hin with younger members of the family, the town is also famous for its two large water parks.
Rentals for the Holidays have spacious and modern Hua Hin accommodations all over town. To experience a holiday exploring the eastern gulf coast, Hua Hin makes an excellent, central place to spend your holiday.