Exotic birds, wild blossoms and dense forest reach to a series of vertical limestone cliffs on Ko Muk’s wild western half. A hiking trail beginning behind Ao Kuan on the northeast coast takes you straight through the jungle on the way to a pair of remote, undeveloped beaches.
Starting behind Koh Mook Resort on Ao Kuan, take the red-dirt trail north and after about a kilometre of rubber farms you’ll descend to Coco 2 Beach. From here another trail cuts inland, marked by helpful signs for Haad Lo Dung and Haad Sabai. From here on you’ll pierce into pristine jungle with its snaking dipterocarp roots, car-length palm leaves and wildflowers.
After another kilometre you arrive at Haad Lo Dung, an ideal place to break for a swim and a lounge beneath the banyan trees. Once refreshed, jump back on the trail and keep marching uphill until you see a sign pointing right down a narrower trail to Haad Sabai. From here you climb steeply downhill and there’s a sense of stalking through the jungle as the forest slides off the sides of your body. Keep quiet and you might spot macaques, snakes, hornbills and other birds.
Heading back inland, turn right on the main trail rather than returning towards Haad Lo Dung and after about a half-kilometre the trail ends at a remote rubber farm with a view down to Haad Sabai. We kept huffing further through the rubber trees, hoping to find a trail to the Emerald Cave or at least further down into the jungle, but none appeared.
The hike to Haad Sabai takes a solid half a day round trip if starting from Ao Kuan. If you’re okay with riding on a narrow and rugged dirt trail, you can shorten the hiking distance by bicycling or motorbiking down to Coco 2 Beach and starting your walk from there. Bring plenty of water and mosquito repellent.
By David Luekens.
Last updated on 16th March, 2017.
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