Photo: At the summit.

Khao Ra

Our rating:

At just 627 metres in altitude, the highest point on Ko Pha Ngan isn't really all that high – you're certainly not going to risk altitude sickness – but the views are great and climbing to the summit of Khao Ra makes for a fun half-day off-beach work-out.

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Set roughly at the centre of Ko Pha Ngan, Khao Ra's peak affords one of the best viewpoints on the island, with spectacular views on offer especially out to the north, and while you can't really enjoy a 360 degree view because of scrub and trees, there are a few different outlooks at the summit for you to enjoy.

On the way up, looking towards Thong Sala. Photo taken in or around Khao Ra, Ko Pha Ngan, Thailand by Stuart McDonald.

On the way up, looking towards Thong Sala. Photo: Stuart McDonald

The trail is reasonably clear and straightforward to follow with the occasional sign pointing you in the right direction just when you think you've gotten lost. As long as you've a degree of fitness you'll be able to do it – we managed it! We'd allow two to three hours for the entire trek to the summit and back – longer if you plan on relaxing at the top for a spell or like to walk slow.

Most importantly, bring sufficient water as there is none available after Khao Ra Bungalows (the small bungalow set-up at the trailhead) and we didn't notice any springs where you could refill. We took two large 1.5 litre bottles and drank all of it. Also a hat and sunscreen are sensible. We wore trekking boots, but you could do it in sandals if you really wanted to – just keep an eye out for snakes and spiders. We would recommend footwear sturdier than flip flops.

Some decent trees about. Photo taken in or around Khao Ra, Ko Pha Ngan, Thailand by Stuart McDonald.

Some decent trees about. Photo: Stuart McDonald

Also, we do not recommend doing the trek alone, as while the climb is not difficult, there is no check-in or security process, so if you do fall and injure yourself, you'll be laying around till the next trekker appears – which might not be for a couple of days.

The trail is just wide enough for one person to walk at a time, and in some parts, you’ll need to clamber up and over rocks. You'll pass both older and younger patches of forest, but don't just look up, as roots snake along the ground and are very easy to trip over. Also, when grabbing trees to help steady your stance, be sure to watch for jungle critters like spiders and snakes — there are very few that are poisonous on Ko Pha Ngan, but best to ... Travelfish members only (Around 500 more words) ... please log in to read the rest of this story.

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Location map for Khao Ra

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Popular attractions in Ko Pha Ngan

A selection of some of our favourite sights and activities around Ko Pha Ngan.

Best places to stay in Ko Pha Ngan

A selection of some of our favourite places to stay in Ko Pha Ngan.

What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Ko Pha Ngan.
 Check prices, availability & reviews on Agoda or Booking
 Read up on where to eat on Ko Pha Ngan.
 Check out our listings of things to do in and around Ko Pha Ngan.
 Read up on how to get to Ko Pha Ngan, or book your transport online with 12Go Asia.
 Do you have travel insurance yet? If not, find out why you need it.
 Planning on riding a scooter in Ko Pha Ngan? Please read this.
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