Travel Phuket

Tourist information for Phuket, Thailand

National Parks in Phuket

Travel Phuket

More than just sun, sand and sea, visitors can immerse themselves in the beauty of Phuket's flora and fauna with an up close and personal tour of one of the National Parks in Phuket. Although entry to parks isn't free, it's usually very affordable.

Laem Phromthep

Also known as Phromthep Cape, this location easily commands the most magnificent views of Phuket. A popular spot for locals and tourists alike, at sunset Phromthep Cape parking lots are brimming with tour buses, scooters and cars transporting sunset-watchers nightly to the pinnacle for Phuket's most breathtaking free show.

During the day, spectators can relish in the postcard-perfect view of the surrounding ocean and islands, including the Phi Phi Islands, Koh Racha Yai and Koh Racha Noi. Or, take the steps up from the car park to the impressive and well-maintained Elephant Shrine to Brahma, surrounded by thousands of wooden elephants.

In the evening, the sparkling lights of Nai Harn Beach and Le Royal Phuket Yacht Club can be seen. While some sunset-watchers make the challenging hike down to the cape, most opt for their best seat in the house on the hilltop to view the setting sun.

Khao Phra Thaeo National Park

A preserve protecting more than 23 square km of Phuket's remaining significant virgin rainforest, Khao Phra Thaeo is found in the island’s northern region.

Enjoy hiking through the rainforest to the photogenic Tonsai and Bang Pae waterfalls. The rainforest residents are a little shy and tend to hide, but stand still long enough and something might reveal itself.

Guides are available at the park, and for the 8 km trek to the Bang Pae waterfall definitely recommended. There is also a museum and information center at the foot of the waterfall.

Gibbon Rehabilitation Center

That cute gibbon you see locals lugging around as pets or for photo ops? They're the product of poaching, snatched from their dead or dying mother who was shot trying to protect her young.

While super-cute when they are young, by age 5 gibbons are mature adults and turn aggressive, inflicting severe bites and injuries on their keepers and others, which of course, leads to abandonment or being killed.

The lucky ones that are found or turned in are brought to the Gibbon Rehabilitation Center, located near the Bang Pae waterfall in Khao Phra Thaeo National Park. It is the only program of its kind, working to introduce once-captive gibbons to the wild.

Gibbons are shown how to recognize wild food, since many were probably fed beer, peanuts, rice and sweets. Many may not have even seen a tree, and need to be taught to climb, as well as improve their strength and mobility. Basically, they are being taught to be a gibbon again – a long and arduous process.

Entry is free, but the program is funded by the donations and generosity of visitors and volunteers. Contributions to this important cause are needed and appreciated.

Sirinath National Park

Spreading from just west of the airport to the island's northern tip, Sirinath National Park covers 90 square km, enveloping Nai Yang, Nai Thon, and Mai Khao beaches.

The park features bungalows and tents for rent, or there’s a hotel nearby for those that appreciate a few more amenities.

Saltwater swamps in the mangrove forest at the northern end of the park near Tah Chatchai provide the perfect home for unique ecosystems. Visitors can follow along the nature trail and 800 meter wooden walkway, well-marked with signs that explain the species of various plants and animals.

The park entrance is found near the Phang Nga bridge at the northern tip of the island.

Town Parks

Phuket Town also has some well-known parks that are popular with fitness buffs, sightseers and picnickers.

Khao Rang Hill is a fitness park, and a popular treed area to walk, run or just sit and enjoy the view protected from the sun. A bronze statue of Phraya Ratsada Nupradit, the first Governor of Phuket, sits on the hilltop.

Saphan Hin is a large park, featuring fitness centers, a stadium, running/walking trails, a mangrove walkway, as well as restaurants and food shops – even a software development center. This park is a popular location for festivals and events during the year, and hosts Muay Thai kickboxing in the stadium Friday nights. A drive to the end of the park takes visitors to the shore of Phuket Bay.

Suan Luang Park is an emerald-green park with large, graceful trees, peaceful lotus ponds, and serene recreational paths. This is a popular park in the mornings for runners and Tai Chi enthusiasts, or a late afternoon stroll.

For visitors longing to escape the hectic craziness of Patong Beach, Loma Park at the beach's north end offers a quiet, shady respite, perfect for families to enjoy an afternoon. It's also popular for festivals and events throughout the year.

Whether it's a quiet outing to get back to nature, escape the sun, or find fascinating new scenery, a visit to Phuket's parks won't disappoint.