Blessed with lush inland forests Phuket Island offers a range of sightseeing attractions, including the following must-see sights…
Explore Phuket's last remaining virgin forest on an elephant safari through tropical evergreen forest.
Khao Pra Taew National Park covers 2250ha and is the natural habitat of monkeys, mouse deer, civets, flying foxes, lemurs, cobras and wild boar as well as some wild and semi-wild gibbons. At 442m, Khao Phra is the park’s highest peak.
Hike paved trails to cascading waterfalls such as Ton Sai falls and look at for native birdlife, including Asian Fairy-bluebird, Green Leafbird, Red-Billed Malkoha, Greater Racket-tailed Drongo and Brahminy Kite.
Check out playful monkeys at the Phuket Gibbon Rehabilitation Centre where abused ‘bar’ monkeys are cared for by volunteers in more natural surroundings before being released into the wild.
The centre sits near the parking lot at the Bang Pae entrance to the park.
Hike through lush forest to Bang Pae Falls. The 16m-high waterfall is the largest in the park and plunges into a stream that flows through rock pools where you can cool off with a swim.
Alternatively, join a guided 6km hike from Ton Sai Falls to Bang Pae Falls.
Khao Phra Taew National Park has separate entrances at the east and west sides of the reserve. The east side is home to the Gibbon Rehabilitation Centre and Bang Pae waterfall, while the west side is the park’s headquarters and closest to Ton Sai waterfall and Plam Lang Khao (Kerriodoxa) – the world's most endangered palm species.
Guides gather at Ton Sai (the park’s HQ) in the morning; expect to pay about 1000B for the day. This is probably the best way to experience the park. There‘s a choice of short and long trails through the reserve. Both park entrances have bathrooms, parking lots and food stalls.
Khao Phra Taew National Park is located in the north of Phuket.
Location: Ton Sai entrance is 16km from Phuket Town, and the Gibbon Rehabilitation Centre is 10km; Phone: Park HQ 07631-1998; Gibbon Centre 07626-0492; Admission: Park – 200 Baht (Thais – 20 Baht); Gibbon Centre – Free; Hours: Daily 9am-4pm, last tour 3:15pm
Visit Phuket’s largest and most famous Buddhist temple at Chalong, Phuket’s principle boat anchorage and the island’s first resort.
Inside the tiered temple, admire a large collection of seated, reclining and meditating Buddha statues as well as a tribute to two highly venerable abbots: Luang Pho Chaem and Luang Pho Chuang. The famous monks are immortalised in gilt statues wrapped in saffron robes.
In 1876, the Abbott of Wat Chalong, Luang Pho Cham, gave the people of Phuket courage when rioting Chinese tin workers rampaged across the island during the Ang-Yee Rebellion.
Wat Chalong is the most imporatant of Phuket's 29 buddhist temples. You can visit the wat during the day or show up at 5pm to watch the resident monks pray.
Location: About 8km south of Phuket Town at Chalong; Admission: By donation; Hours: Daily 6am-6pm.
Discover Phuket’s indigenous culture, history, arts and crafts.
Stroll through the five exhibition halls that chronicle Phuket’s history and trace the various ethnicities found in Phuket and southern Thailand.
See backlit display panels and touch-screen electronic presentations depicting the famous Battle of Thalong and the legend of the ‘two heroines’, Thao Thep Kasattri and Thao Sri Sunthon (memorialised on the nearby monument), who helped repulse a Burmese invasion force in 1785 by disguising local woman as male soldiers.
Other exhibits include a display of daily life during Phuket’s tin-mining boom in the 19th century and exhibits on the sea gypsies, the island’s original inhabitants.
Don’t miss the museum’s prize artefact, a 2.3m-tall statue of Vishnu, which dates to the 9th century.
Location: Pa Khlok Rd, 12km north of Phuket Town; Admission: 100 Baht; Hours: Daily 9am-4pm, except national holidays.
Take a guided hike along marked tracks through a pristine landscape, including an uninterrupted 13km stretch of beach and extensive mangrove forests. Spot various species of birds, from Brahminy kites to white-bellied sea-eagles.
Sirinat is also a breeding ground for a variety of sea turtles including the endangered Olive Ridley turtle that may come to nest between November and February.
Take a tour to see the fascinating floating villages of chao leh (sea gypsies), considered the indigenous people of Phuket, located on this tiny island and at Rawai Beach just south of Chalong Bay.
A protected area in the north-west corner of the island that offers Phuket’s largest coral reef in shallow water, only 1400m from the shore, and the nesting site for giant leatherback turtles that come to nest annually between November and February.
Discover hundreds of beautiful butterflies in a large enclosed garden at Soi Phaneung, Yaowarat Road, Tambon Rasada. It's open daily from 9am to 5pm.
Visit the largest shell museum in the world located on Viset Road, Rawai Beach, just south of Chalong Bay, The museum is open daily from 8am to 6pm.
Latest update: Phuket Attractions: 18 June, 2022