A short & steep 2 hour adventure offering breathtaking views over Koh Lipe and the Andaman Sea.
After a fortnight of beach hopping and scuba diving along the Andaman Sea coast in southern Thailand we finally reached Koh Adang, a semi deserted island opposite Koh Lipe and just north of the border with Malaysia. The island is a protected nature reserve with no roads and only 2 tiny resorts on the island.
Keen to work off our Christmas holiday bellies we decided tackle the short hike up the cliff to the viewpoint overlooking Koh Lipe opposite.
After a discussion with the very helpful resort staff at our hotel we came up with a plan to tackle the climb at dawn the following morning.
We rose before dawn at 6am and headed down to the hotel reception to pick up our packed breakfasts that we had arranged the night before and hopped into a couple of kayaks. Dawn broke in the east ahead of us and the gorgeous view of the sun climbing steadily over distant silhouetted mountains make the early get up worth it already.
We carried on paddling, hugging closely to the coast as we went, staring down at the coral reef below us as we went. After 20 minutes paddling we reached the beach by the national park office and pulled out boats up and tied them to a tree trunk above the high water line.
From there we walked through the grounds, carrying on in the same direction as we paddled and followed signs for Chado cliff, where the path up to the view point starts.
As soon as you reach the path itself the gradient increases to a steep climb and continues like this almost all the entire way up the hill, with some sections practically a scramble. I regretted not bringing my Salomon SpeedCross trainers, they would have been perfect for these conditions.
Keen to take full advantage the pleasant temperatures from our early start we made good time up the hill and within 20 minutes we reached the first of three viewpoints, each superior to the previous.
We stopped to admire the view and take a couple of envy inducing photos to annoy everyone stuck in lockdown back home. Then we carried on for another 10 minutes until we reached to final viewpoint at the to of the cliff.
Here we chilled out in the shade of the jungle for 10 minutes, admiring the view and eating our packed lunches we had managed to keep from getting soaked on the canoe journey.
Eventually we headed down back along the path down, taking care on the steep gravelly sections and within minutes we were back at the national park station, rewarding ourselves with a can of Coke at the restaurant there and headed back to the kayaks, which fortunately hadn’t been swept away with the rising tide.
A couple of dogs followed us along to the boats but then shot off into the jungle to have a shouting match with a family of Macaque monkeys that were chilling out in the trees above the canoes.
- 2-3 hours, depending on your fitness level
- Not recommended in rainy season.
- Best tackled at sunrise (630am) or late afternoon for sunset(4pm)
If you are staying at the Koh Adang Resort it shouldn’t cost you anything. If you are unlucky you might have to pay the 200 baht entrance fee to the park but if you go early in the morning you will probably get away without paying.
If you are staying on Koh Lipe then there is a taxi boat from near the Koh Lipe School on Sunrise Beach that takes you directly to the national park ranger station for 100 baht each way.
If you are staying at the Koh Adang Resort:
Getting to the viewpoint is pretty simple. You can borrow a kayak from reception and then kayak round the headland to the next bay and leave your kayak up under the trees near the ranger station. Make sure you pull the kayak up fully off the beach otherwise the tide may take away way boat.
Once at the national park ranger station you just keep walking through the ranger station grounds and follow the signs for ‘Chado Cliff’ to the east of the camp grounds. Finally you should see the sign for the the viewpoint and you can’t really get lost from there onwards – it just goes up.
If you are staying on Koh Lipe:
Take a taxi boat from near the Koh Adang School on Sunrise beach and skip the kayaking section. Don’t bother trying to kayak over from Koh Lipe to Koh Adang, it’s further than it seems!
You should bring:
- A packed breakfast/lunch to eat at the top.
- 1 liter of water per person.
- Proper trainers/hiking books. You can get away with sandals but flip flops won’t be much use as it’s really steep most of the way up.
- Dry bag to keep valuables and your sandwiches dry!