Phuket’s scenic coasts and turquoise waters may wield a strong hold over hordes of vacation makers. However, its plethora of alluring beaches is not the only attraction that the tropical island has to offer. Home to an array of nature sites, such as national parks, jungles and rolling waterfalls, gorgeous Phuket provides plenty of trails for outdoor enthusiasts to embark on captivating treks.
Get your dose of outdoor adventure, and venture on a trek to one of these charming nature spots:
Lace up a pair of good hiking shoes before you embark on a trek to the top of tumbling Ao Yon Waterfall. Be prepared for a relatively difficult hike, for the sharp rocks and slippery paths present quite a challenge. Visitors may take a cool respite from the tropical heat by taking a dip in one of the several drop pools situated along the way.
Situated in the northern end of Phuket, the virgin rainforest of Khao Phra Thaeo National Park is home to a diversity of flora and fauna. Walking trails snaking through the verdant forest offer a relaxing stroll, while vacation makers in search of a more challenging trek can venture on an eight kilometres walk from Bang Pae to Ton Sai Waterfall.
Travellers who prefer guided tours can engage one of the local guides available. Apart from leading you in the right direction through well-trodden paths, the guides will also point out sounds and sights of exotic wildlife residing within the forest.
Trekking from Bang Pae to Ton Sai Waterfall
The trek along an eight-kilometre path leads visitors from Bang Pae to Ton Sai Waterfall. This natural attraction offers a nice spot for birdwatching. Bird enthusiasts should keep their eyes peeled for sightings of local birds, such as the red-billed malkoha, greater racket-tailed drongo and red-backed sea eagle, as well as migratory birds like the Siberian blue robin and forest wagtail.
Travellers who seek to escape the bustling crowds along the western coasts of Phuket can make an escape to the lush greenery and cascading waters of Kathu Waterfall.
The nondescript scenery at the bottom belies the picturesque surroundings awaiting visitors at the higher regions of the waterfall. An arduous climb is required to reach the top, for travellers will have to surmount a steep stairway and climb over a series of slippery rocks. Visitors will reap the fruits of their labour at the end of the trek, for they will be rewarded with breathtaking vistas from the top of the waterfall.
Active and enthusiastic vacation makers ready for a second expedition may further embark on a hike up to the peak of Radar Hill, known to be the highest point on the island. However, this is a little known trek without marked trails and signage. Those with a keen sense of adventure may check out the experiences detailed by Jamie’s Phuket and Fiddlehead in their treks to the summit.
Situated on the mainland between Phuket, Krabi, Khao Lak and Koh Samui, Khao Sok National Park is a lowland jungle that is believed to be one of the oldest rainforests on the planet. The park contains a myriad of features, such as bizarre limestone formations, cascading waterfalls and a diversity of flora.
Nature lovers should not miss out on jungle trekking, regarded as one of the most popular activities for exploring the forest grounds. The national park, as well as its surrounding parks offer a selection of treks suitable for hikers with varying ages and fitness levels. Trekkers will have plenty of opportunities to catch sight of wildlife creatures, such as elephants, leopards, Malayan sun bears and dusky langurs, as well as a plethora of exotic bird life.
Located in the northern region of Phuket, the expansive compounds of Sirinat National Park encompasses the sweeping beaches of Nai Thon, Nai Yang, Mai Khao and Sai Kaeo.
Keen trekkers should venture to the northern end of the park to explore the grounds of Tah Chatchai, a mangrove forest containing salt water swamps. Visitors will encounter a variety of flora and fauna as they take a trek along a nature trail and wooden walkway built within the swamp.