Through 1 March, climbers in Thailand will be able to get a firsthand look at one of the country’s most stunning vistas – but not for long. 

Aerial vew of bay, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Thailand
Khao Lom Muak, a beachside hill in Thailand's Prachuap Khiri Khan province, is open to the public just a few times a year © itman__47/Getty Images

At nearly 985 feet (300m) and jutting out into the Gulf of Thailand in the province of Prachuap Khiri Khan, the beachside hill of Khao Lom Muak offers unobstructed views of the nearby coastline and its bays, islets, plus the town of Prachuap Khiri Khan itself. A nature preserve that’s home to both free-roaming dusky langurs (spectacled leaf monkeys) and Wing 5 of the Prachuap Air Base, Khao Lom Muak is only open during national holidays and local tourism fairs – and you’re only allowed to climb in the morning, before the sun’s heat is prohibitive. 

Scenic view of the sea against the sky in Prachuap Khiri Khan, Thailand
The hilltop offers unobstructed views of the nearby coastline and its bays and islets © Chn Kant Xisr A Ngkur N Xyuthya / EyeEm / Getty Images

It’s not a free-for-all, though. Climbers must enter the base between 6:00 and 10.30 am, register for their trek, and have their blood pressure checked, the requisite drinking water, proper footwear (no flip-flops!), and gloves in tow. It’s a two-hour ascent to the top, first an easy hike up a gently sloping 496-step stairway, punctuated by nature trails and lookouts toward the peak, but from there, the trail only gets more difficult, culminating in a rope trail leading to the limestone cliff at the top. 

a hilltop view of the Gulf of Thailand in the Prachuap Khiri Khan province
Climbers should prepare for a tough climb, culminating in a rope trail leading to the limestone cliff at the top © MR.WUTTISAK PROMCHOO/Getty Images

And there’s no lounging at the top – by noon, everyone will be asked to head back down to sea level. The base is open to the public, though, and it boasts an array of peaceful white-sand beaches, as well as a small history museum focusing on the local heroics during World War II. 

Fishing boats at the Hua Hin beach, Thailand
Prachuap Khiri Kahn is just an hour's drive from the busy resort town of Hua Hin © Monthon Wa/Getty Images

The quiet town of Prachuap Khiri Khan is 186 miles (300km) south of Bangkok on highway 4 and just an hour’s drive from Hua Hin and its busy resorts. According to the Bangkok Post, Khao Lom Muak will next be open during Songkran, the Thai New Year, in April. To check the schedules, call 032-611-031 or visit the tourism authority’s Prachuap Facebook page for more information. 

Read more: 

Escape the crowds in Thailand at these seven spots

Step up: eight epic hikes of the world

The world's 7 best new long-distance hikes to do in 2020

Explore related stories

an asian female tourist sightseeing Sukhothai historical park on a bicycle.


10 of the best things to do in Thailand

Dec 21, 2023 • 9 min read