When planning a beach vacation in Phuket you will enjoy the most lovely beaches, matter of fact Phuket is home of the best beaches in Asia, if not the entire globe. Phuket is also a great playground for nature lovers and you should take the opportunity to explore the place even further.
When exploring the South west of Thailand you will discover the abundance of landscapes rich in hilly terrains, breathtaking waterfalls, serene rainforest, and stunning beaches.
It does not matter whether you want to have a vacation enjoying the most beautiful beaches of Phuket or exploring the spectacular waterfalls, but you should add to your list the below seven of our favorite hikes and walks in this stunning region! Which one will be the one you will take?
Khao Sok National Park
Khao Sok National Park’s vast terrain makes it one of the last viable habitats for large mammals. During the rainy season that runs from June to October (be aware trails get slippery and leeches come out in force) you may spot gaurs, bears, gibbons, tapirs, deer, marbled cats, wild elephants and perhaps even a tiger. There are more than 300 bird species, 38 bat varieties and one of the world’s larger flowers, the rare Rafflesia kerrii, which, in Thailand, grows only in Khao Sok.
The best time to visit is during the dry season December to April.
Location: 62 Khlong Sok, Phanom District, Surat Thani 84250, Thailand
Timings: 8.00 To 18.00 Hrs (local time)
Trail Length: 7 kilometers for the full trail.
The magnificent Kathu Waterfall is a sight you should not miss to visit especially if you want to enjoy the views of the entire region. The trail starts with a lush sea of green forestry until you reach the waterfall. From there you can continue to the peak and see the marvellous scenery from the top.
The waterfall and rainforest are best explored during the rainy season, please be aware it gets slippery so you should be equipped with a pair of non-slip shoes.
Location: Halfway between Patong Beach and Phuket Town, near the Loch Palm golf course.
Trail length: Short. A couple of hundred metres.
How to get there: Take Route 4020, which connects Patong Beach and Phuket Town. Look out for the street light about 500 metres from the golf course (if you’ve reached the course, you’ve gone too far). At this light, you’ll turn onto Soi Namtok Kathu. There is a sign that indicates the waterfall.
Bang Hman Cave Trail
You start at the Aman Ranger Station in Khao Sok and runs through a beautiful cave, technically this sight is not in Phuket, but within the Khao Sok National Park. The cave itself is 400 metres long and has two exits that you can pass through.
The trail to the cave is 3 kilometres long, which can be taken back to the ranger stations, the circular loop continues for 7 kilometres. This latter part of the walk can get very steep, but you can pass by a 70-metre high waterfall on your way through. We suggest to hike this track during dry season (December to March) and also to hire a guide before taking this hike.
Location: Khao Sok National Park
Trail length: 6 kilometres if taking the easier trek, 10 kilometres for the full loop.
How to get there: The park is a three-hour car trip north of Phuket. It’s best to hire a driver for the day, following route 402.
Samet Nangshe Viewpoint
Not very far from Phuket, this spectacular viewpoint offering a landscape of all splendour: part of the bay of Phang Nga.
After crossing the Sarasin bridge that connects the island of Phuket to the rest of the country…and then drive a few kilometres. There are different places from where you can enjoy the panoramic view. Overlooking the Phang Nga Bay National Park, this breathtaking spot boasts 180-degree views of islands in the distance and lush mangrove forest below. The hike lasts roughly 15-20 minutes and is well worth the effort, once you reach the top there is a campsite and the views are gorgeous. If you visit the site at sunset, it’s possible to see the Milky Way on certain nights throughout the year.
Location: Phang Nga, about a two-hour drive from Phuket or 76 kilometres from Phuket Airport.
Length: About twenty minutes of climbing.
Direction: Drive north, 25 kilometres past Sarasin Bridge and towards the small village of Klong Kian. There are signs for the viewpoint that you can follow.
Time: 4 hours for the round-trip drive and about an hour for going up, down and looking around (unless you’re, of course, looking to take a lot of photos).
Banana Rock Beach
This is another relaxing and easy hike, the Banana Rock Beach trail. It is a downhill trail between Naiver Thon and Bang Tao beaches. There is a small wooden sign that will direct you to Banana Rock beach. Please keep in mind it is not easy to find this place, which is why it is considered a hidden gem!
Location: On Phuket’s west coast, between Naithon and Bang Tao beaches.
Get there: Banana Rock beach is found along Phuket’s west coast between Nai Thon and Bang Tao beaches, and is located about 50m north of Trisara Villas, one of Phuket’s most exclusive five-star resorts. Please be very very careful to spot the beach through the jungle that lines the road, there is a wooden sign nailed to the tree at the entrance. There is not a parking lot for the beach. We suggest experiencing this beach during the Dry Season from November to April when the waters are calm and crystal clear.
Time: Take the day and enjoy the beach.
Kata Beach To The Big Buddha: Experience the man-made wonder
From Kata beach the road will take you on the southwest side of the island that is very steep, the Big Buddha, a white 45- meter tall statue on Nakkerd hill’s highest park. The buddha statue is visible from many parts of the island, and so is a famous spot. The view is spectacular especially during the sunrise and sunsets. The hike is safe, please keep in mind it is a religious sight and you should wear conservative clothing. This trail is considered the most enjoyable hiking in Phuket. You can hike this trail all year round, but the colours during sunrise and sunset makes it even more beautiful.
Location: Start at Kata Beach and end at Big Buddha, on top of the Nakkerd Hills
Length: 4.6 kilometres
Get there: Begin at Kata Beach which is on the southwestern side of the island.
Time: About three hours depending on your fitness levels, the climb can get very steep.
Bang Pae Waterfall
Considered one of the most tranquil sites on the island, and it is perfect for children, Bang Pae Waterfall is a 16-metre fall surrounded by jungle. You can reach the waterfall hiking the jungle path that goes alongside a stream so you can jump in or cool your feet at any point. We suggest to explore this waterfall during the rainy season when there is more water from May through October.
Where: The east side of Khao Phra Thaeo National Park
Which trails are you going to climb?
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