Unwind and De-Stress: Travel to One of These 7 Serene Parks in Phuket
While most tourists visiting Phuket go for the sun, sand and sea (and a few cocktails no doubt) there is also a plethora of flora and fauna in the area that travellers can immerse themselves in. Although you will find Phuket hotels offer a variety of facilities to keep you busy if you’re a nature lover you can also enjoy the many oases of relaxation on offer.
From national parks with affordable entry fees to the free beachside spaces or hilltop viewpoints that offer sweeping vistas over the island’s greenery, there are plenty of choices to explore. If you’re looking to cool off in the midday tropical heat, you can enjoy one of the many waterfalls in Phuket, or if you desire some peace and quiet and contemplation time, you can spend hours trekking through tropical forests.
Either way, the beauty and majesty of the island have more than enough natural variety for everyone to find something they can appreciate. Read on for a guide to some of the most breathtaking green spaces in Phuket.
Sirinat National Park
Covering 90 square kilometres on the island’s northern tip, Sirinat National Park offers some of the best beaches on Phuket (including Nai Yang, Nai Thon and Mai Khao) plus vital mangrove ecosystems, beautiful coral reefs, great nature trails and a well-known sea turtle nesting site. Founded in 1981, the area contains a wide variety of bird and wildlife species. These include the Asian Fairy bird, sea eagles, the Pied Fantail, Common Lora, Greater Racket Tailed Drongo, crabs, monitor lizards, mudskippers and Mangrove and Cat Eye snakes.
Also known as Phromthep Cape, this spectacular location offers magnificent views of Phuket and is packed with locals and tourists alike each early evening as people gather to watch the breathtaking sunsets from the peak. During the day visitors can hike down the cape or view the impressive Elephant Shrine to Brahma that’s surrounded by thousands of wooden elephants.
Khao Phra Thaeo National Park
With an abundance of natural flora and fauna, Khao Phra Thaeo park in northeast Phuket covers around 23 square kilometres of virgin rainforest. About a half-hour drive from Phuket Town and easily accessible from main tourist areas like Kata and Patong beaches, this pristine forest is home to many rare plants, flowers and trees plus numerous bird species, wild boar, langurs and mouse deer.
Providing one of the last remaining natural habitats for some of the island’s endangered animal species, the park offers plenty of peace and quiet — except perhaps at the Gibbon Rehabilitation Centre, where gorgeous yet noisy once-captive gibbons are reintroduced to the wild. The park also offers fantastic hiking trails and some popular, picturesque waterfalls.
Khao Sok National Park
This national park is located around 180 kilometres north of Phuket and is 900 metres above sea level. Eternally green due to the large amounts of rain the region receives (it’s the wettest place in all of Thailand), Khao Sok is home to a truly diverse number of exotic animal and plant species that live throughout its 700 square kilometre area.
The park contains more than 48 species of mammals, at least 184 bird types and thousands of different plants. It is one of the largest protected areas in Thailand and habitat for tigers and other rare and threatened species. With majestic limestone cliffs, spectacular waterfalls and challenging jungle trails to boot, this park is the perfect place for nature lovers to find some inspiration.
Suan Luang Park
A popular park with large green trees, peaceful lotus ponds and well-laid-out recreational paths, you’ll regularly be surrounded by runners, Tai Chi practitioners and late-afternoon strollers if you visit Suan Luang.
Northwest of Phuket Town’s centre lies pretty Khao Rang. Offering a bird’s-eye view of the city this fitness park is a popular area to walk, run, sightsee, picnic and to simply stop and enjoy the view. The hilltop also provides a bronze statue of the first Governor of Phuket, Phraya Ratsada Nupradit.
A large, popular seaside park that used to be the major trading port and only beach in Phuket Town, Saphan Hin features a stadium, mangrove walkway, multiple restaurants, fitness centres and running/walking trails. It hosts Muay Thai kickboxing nights plus is also a popular location for many annual festivals and events.
Whether you’re looking to find beautiful new scenery, a peaceful place to get back to nature or somewhere to escape the sun, a visit to one of Phuket’s plentiful parks certainly won’t disappoint.
About the Author: Kellie Edwards is a travel writer and blogger with a passion for international vacations, beach breaks and outdoor adventures. She loves to book hotels in Phuket on Expedia and she keeps up-to-date with the latest travel information on Expedia.