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1. Khao Phra Thaeo National Park
If you’re in the mood for lush, green pathways, dense foliage, and a calming waterfall (or two), you might want to head to the northern part of Phuket. Khao Phra Thaeo National Park is a protected swath of virgin rainforest and it’s a great place to visit if you want to try hiking through a natural tropical forest.
Visitors often take a leisurely hike to the Tonsai Waterfall. Another option is to hike the 8 km trail from Bang Pae Waterfall to Ton Sai. While seasoned adventurers might want to explore on their own, it’s still a good idea to take a guide with you. The majority of the wildlife tends to stay away from humans, but some can still surprise even the most vigilant of explorers. An expert guide will be there to tell you when signs of nearby wildlife appear, so you can take a different path, if necessary. Since the guides have lived there all their lives, they can tell you some really interesting things about the local flora, as well.
The main attractions of the park are the two small waterfalls, exciting hiking routes, and a visit to the Gibbon Rehabilitation Center. Although the waterfalls will not be among the best ones you’ve seen, the refreshing route and lush and unpaved pathways leading to the falls are great for travelers who want to be immersed in a different part of Phuket.
2. Rang Hill (Khao Rang)
Khao Rang, or Rang Hill, in the middle of Phuket, is famous for a reason. If a whole day of hiking isn’t your cup of tea, a walk up to Khao Rang Hill might be an agreeable option. The charming location offers panoramic views to the south, right across the island’s main city, and all the way to the Big Buddha. Some of Phuket’s offshore islands are also visible from here.
The viewpoint is framed by a beautiful open pagoda, leading to a platform with safety rails. There are nice restaurants and cafes dotting the place and it’s a great option for anyone who wants to escape the busy beaches and take a few breaths of fresh air.
This peaceful scenic area is the perfect place for relaxation. Bring a yoga mat, a book, and a camera. There are a number of attractions leading to the drive up the viewpoint but the actual views on top of the hill are definitely the icing on the cake. Oh, and the monkeys say hi every now and then!
3. Saphan Hin
Saphan Hin is a seaside park that was once a major trading port. It played an important role in the island’s tin-mining history. Nowadays, it’s the go-to destination for people from all walks of life. You’ll see grandparents walking with their grandkids, couples taking leisurely strolls, and families enjoying the view.
Come nightfall, the place transforms into a picnic spot for locals and tourists. Wear comfy shoes and enjoy an amble. If you’re looking for a place to jog, you can do a 3 km loop by following the waterfront path.
On top of that, Saphan Hin has a preserved mangrove forest with a walkway that leads to the seaside. Explore the area a bit further and you’ll see Saphan Hin Stadium, the island’s main sports center, which is located inside the park.
4. Suan Luang Park
If you’re looking for a big, open park, head to Suan Luang Park (also known as King Rama IX Park). The park is well-maintained and you’ll enjoy the large trees, lotus ponds, and walking paths. You can feed fish, rent a waterbike, or just take a relaxing stroll there. While it’s often busy with joggers and tai chi practitioners in the mornings, kick volleyball (a Thai sport known as “tagraw”) players and families and couples usually frequent the park in the afternoons.
Don’t worry, there’s always a quiet spot for anyone looking for a bit of peace and quiet. After you’ve enjoyed a calm afternoon, you can check out some of the activities on offer.
5. Chaloem Phra Kiat Public Park
Another great place for jogging, Chaloem Phra Kiat Public Park is in the Muang District. It’s popular with locals who are looking to de-stress and enjoy a walk in natural surroundings. Depending on the season, you’ll see lots of well-maintained flowers and decorative plants.
It’s easy to get here from anywhere in Phuket since it’s just a quick drive away from Phuket Town.
We hope you find your inner peace, and maybe, a new favorite place to spend your spare time in Phuket. Enjoy!
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