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backpacker guide to hiking in Phuket

Hiking in Phuket: Take a Break from Drinking and Tour Phuket by Foot!

Become One with Nature on the Best Hiking Trails in Phuket

A trip to the beach isn’t just about partying, there’s also a ton of great hiking in Phuket for you to discover. The center of the peninsula is dotted with lush green jungle and steep limestone crags so it’s tailor-made for some excellent sightseeing walks, and we know the best places to go. Let’s give you the lowdown!

Khao Sok National Park

Starting with a real gem, Khao Sok National Park is packed full of epic hiking views. Known as one of the best hidden destinations in Thailand, it’s well worth the trip! There’s 650 square kilometers of park to explore here and the virgin forest is untouched for miles. In the center sits Cheow Lan Lake, which is not only a beautiful sight but also a great place to stay. Floating huts and lodges line the lake and there’s no shortage of accommodation if you want to stay overnight.

Khao Sok is to the north of Phuket so the best way to visit it to jump on a bus from Phuket Town (5 hours, 180 baht or $5.70) and start your hike at The Rainforest Camp where you can get advice on routes and weather conditions.

Khao Sok National Park long tail boatThe Big Buddha

Less nature-focused but just as impressive is the hike to the Big Buddha. It’s hard to miss this huge white statue sat on top of a hill in the south of Phuket, and the views from the top are spectacular. You can hike up to the Buddha starting from Karon Beach, just ask someone in town where the trailhead starts and keep checking with people that you meet as you climb. Generally speaking, if you’re heading uphill then you’re doing alright!

While you’ll probably work up a sweat on this hike, make sure you don’t strip off too far when you get to the top. All the usual temple sensibilities apply and you’ll need to keep shoulders and knees covered to visit. Time your climb to get here at sunset for a shivers-down-the-spine experience.

hiking in Phuket to the Big BuddhaBang Pae Waterfall

A great hike for a hot day, the walk to Bang Pae waterfall is easy but beautiful. Pay your 200-baht ($6) entrance fee and follow the path into the jungle. On a hot Saturday or Sunday you’ll be walking with a crowd, but head there on a week day and you’ll likely be all on your own. The water flow is good all year round so even during Thailand’s dry season this is a good place to come and cool off.

The plunge pool at the bottom of the waterfall is tailor-made for a splash around, and if you get hungry after all that relaxing then there’s an excellent seafood restaurant to try. Fans of the characterful Thai gibbons are in luck as you can combine a hike here with a visit to the Gibbon Rehabilitation Project! That’s one hell of a fun day out!

Paradise Beach

When you don’t want to travel halfway across the peninsula to start a hike, Paradise Beach is the place to head. Starting from either of our hostel locations in Patong you’re just 4 short kilometers from the golden sands and crystal-clear waters of the beach! Start by walking to the Tri Trang resort and then look out for the road towards Emerald Bay. You’ll find the ground underfoot becoming more and more sandy as you wind your way down towards the water, and relaxation.

Spend a couple of hours splashing around here and chilling out before deciding whether to tackle the 4km back, or flag down a tuktuk or songthaew.

hiking to Paradise Beach in PhuketFinal Tips for Hiking in Phuket

Some of these trails are quite isolated, so always take plenty of water with you when you set off for a hike in this part of the world. A hat and some sun cream are also a must, and make sure you tell someone where you’re going just to be on the safe side. There are so many beautiful places to hike in Phuket that you’re spoilt for choice. Grab your hiking shoes and get walking!