The Best Places To Go Hiking In Phuket
With its rolling hills and gushing waterfalls, Phuket is a paradise for hikers. Countless hiking trails run through evergreen rainforests, unveiling another side of Thailand’s largest island. From jungle treks to short walks through hillsides, here are the best places to go hiking in Phuket.
NAI HARN HILL TRAIL
The Nai Harn Hill Trail is a 1.9-kilometre-long track through the sloping sides of Nai Harn Hill. Given the views of the Nai Harn Lake and the beaches of Nai Harn and Yanui, plus Koh Man offshore, it’s surprising that this easy nature trail isn’t crowded with people. Remember to bring your camera when you enjoy outdoor activities in Phuket. Apart from the sweeping vistas, you’ll likely spot red-eyed cuckoos and crow pheasants with distinctive rust-coloured wings and glossy underparts. Their calming series of deep, resonant boop-boop-boop calls alone are worth the sweat on one of the best hiking trails in Phuket.
PA HIN DUM (BLACK ROCK) VIEWPOINT
Pa Hin Dum, also known as Black Rock, is a sizable granite boulder that was unknown in 2016. Now hiking tourists and locals are familiar with it. Still, only some people take the trouble to trek up to this vantage point that offers a panoramic view of southern Phuket and the adjacent islands. That’s most likely because the two to three-hour trek through the jungle, one of the longest hikes in Phuket known by hikers as the “lover version,” is challenging.
Be that as it may, you don’t want to miss the smashing view of southern Phuket from Black Rock. The granite rock looks out over the windmill viewpoint, Laem Phromthep Cape, and the islands of Koh Man, Koh Kaeo, Koh Bon, and even Koh He with its white-sand beach in the distance.
You can opt for the shorter route if you’re not a fan of long hikes. A few hundred metres after the Kata viewpoint on the way to Rawai Beach, there’s a sandy path on your right. You can park on the way to Nui Beach or drive further up the hill until you see the sign that reads, ‘Pa Hin Dum.’ From there, it’s a mere 15-minute trek up a steep hill. Bring water and sunscreen, as there isn’t always a street vendor.
Hike to the top of Nak Kerd Hill between Chalong and Kata, close to Metadee Concept Hotel, and can admire the 45m-tall Big Buddha from up close. Sitting cross-legged on a 25m-wide plinth, the Big Buddha coated with white Burmese jade marble is an impressive sight. Aside from the views of Phrom Thep Cape, Phuket Town and Chalong Bay beneath green hillsides, the peaceful atmosphere epitomised by the tinkling bells and dharma music attracts people to this landmark.
To easiest way to get here, 400 meters above sea level, is to trek along a gravel path from Karon or Kata Beach. Ten minutes later, you can see Karon Beach as the jungle opens up.
The high season in Phuket is popular for a reason. While Phuket’s nightlife area can get busy, the six-kilometre track from Patong to Paradise Beach is an excellent way to escape the crowds. Head southwest on the mountainous road to Thawewong and Muen- Ngern Road. Once you’ve passed the elephant camp, there’s no pavement, and you’ve got to walk up the steep hill. But the powdery, light-brown Paradise Beach with its crystal water is well worth the hike.
Whatever type of rambler you are, hiking in Phuket through staggering landscapes gives you time to recharge your batteries.
- Written by: Philipp Meier – Travel Writer