For someone who has the passion for hiking and climbing mountains, Bangkok can be a tough place to live. Although, if you’re up for just a quick hike, head up to Khao Lom Muak mountain.
Khao Lom Muak is just a couple of hours drive from Bangkok, located within the Prachuap Royal Air Force base (Wing 5) of Prachuap Khiri Khan Province. At 280 meters high, Khao Lom Muak is hardly a big mountain but nevertheless is quite a difficult climb. The ascent will only takes about an hour, but features hundreds of steps of stairs and then a rope assisted climb on a very steep rocky trail to reach to top.
There are military officers that assist climbers in using the ropes and negotiating the steep parts, often joking that there is a Starbucks waiting upon reaching the top. Well, true enough, not a Starbucks but from the top you will be rewarded with beautiful and very impressive panoramic views of Ao Noi, Ao Prachuap and Ao Manao bays below.
Visitors to Khao Lom Muak not only go for the climb, but also go to see the friendly Dusky Langur monkeys at the foot of the mountain. These spectacled monkeys are less aggressive than macaques, and quite happy to receive foods from visitors.
Aside from climbing and seeing the Dusky Langurs, Khao Lom Muak is also a sacred mountain. At the foot of the mountain stands a shrine “Sarn Chao Pho Khao Lommuak” where people come to pay respect to the spirits.
Tips & Recommendations:
- Bring water to drink (no Starbucks on the top)
- Bring gloves to protect your hands from the rope and the sharp rocks
- It is highly recommended to wear shoes/boots
- Don’t forget to bring a camera or phone camera to capture your best selfies
- Go early, the trail can get a lot of traffic going up and down
- And the best way to go to Wing 5 Air force base is to either bring your own car or else rent a bicycle in town, as it’s only a 15-minute ride out to the peak.
- Khao Lom Muak is only open for visitors during the long weekends. So it is recommended to contact Prachuap Tourism Office (032 513 885 or 032 513 871 or 032 513 854 or visit http://www.wing5.rtaf.mi.th for opening announcements before going there.
- A registration is required. From the foot of the mountain be sure to register before going for a climb. Registration can be done from 6:30 to 10:30 am.