Phuket’s landscape is blessed with glistening waterfalls and hills, affording panoramic views of the azure blue sea and evergreen rainforests. This means that the terrain offers some cool hiking opportunities to nature aficionados. You’ll find plenty of short trails through lush green jungles, leading to secret waterfalls and hidden beaches here. So, if you’re looking for quality time in the lap of nature, check out these scenic hikes in Phuket.

1. Kathu Waterfall

The promise of a beautiful waterfall with a spectacular view from the top is all the motivation you need to start this trip. You also get an amazing jungle view as you climb your way to the peak point.

Kathu Waterfall

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It is a wonderful experience hiking with lush greenery all around and the melodious sound of the waterfall for company. Though the hike is not the most difficult one out there, remember to grab a pair of non-skid grip shoes as it can get slippery during the rainy season.

Kathu sees plenty of adventurers throughout the year, so even if you forget to carry a bottle of water, there are tons of small shops selling drinking water along the way.

The best time to trek to the waterfall is the rainy season, as the water flow is strong, foamy white and presents a splendid view up close. Don’t forget to have your lunch at the Pai Lin restaurant after the hike.

2. Khao Sok National Park

Khao Sok is hands down one of the most sought-after hiking spots in Thailand. The wide expanse of rainforest, a shiny blue lake, limestone karsts popping out of the water, and the abundance of wildlife make it a paradise for nature lovers.

Khao Sok national Park

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Walking through the jungles, you can discover swimming holes, caves, cascading waterfalls, bamboo groves and orchards of oil palm trees. Keep a lookout for monkeys swinging over the tree-tops, for you might even spot gibbons if you look carefully. You might even stumble upon Rafflesia, the largest flower in the world.

While walking through the jungles, you will come across inviting natural pools, so make sure you pack a swimsuit. If you want to take it easy, camp under the stars at night which in itself is an exhilarating experience.

You can also stay in the floating raft houses on Cheow Lan Lake. In the morning, kayak through this magical lake and catch its famed limestone pillars.

There are a number of packages offered by tour guides and, while you can explore Khao Sok on your own, we recommended you go along with a local for added safety.

Khao Sok is a day-trip from Phuket and, although you can see bits of it in a day, it’s best to spend a couple of days to explore all its natural wonders. December to March is the best time to take a trip to Khao Sok.

3. The Big Buddha

The most revered place in Phuket, the Big Buddha can be seen from many areas. It is a mesmerising marble-clad idol towering over the surroundings with a miniature golden version nearby completing the glossed look.

Big Buddha

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You can hike to the Big Buddha from Karon Beach, passing through vine plantations and crisscross paths often used by locals. The trail gets narrower as you walk towards the top, but gives you an immensely pleasing view of the beach.

The journey is peaceful with a mild sea breeze blowing, the silence only disturbed by the sound of soothing bell chimes. This is one of the busiest attractions in Phuket, especially during sunset, with the orange rays and white marble giving it a breathtaking look. Try reaching before 6.30pm to catch this bewitching spectacle.

Note: Dress conservatively here, as it’s a religious site and locals find it offensive if you arrive in beachwear.

4. Bang Pae Waterfall

One of the few waterfalls in Phuket with a generous amount of milky-white water flow throughout, Bang Pae naturally strikes as an ideal spot for hiking.

Bang Pae Waterfall

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The trek is fairly easy, but extremely rewarding. You will have to pay Rs 400/US$ 6 as an entry fee, though, since the waterfall is part of a national park.

Tip: Don’t forget to visit Bang Pae Seafood, the island’s all-time favourite, that affords a splendid mangrove and sea view. While going back, you can also check out the “Gibbon Rehabilitation Centre”, which was started to rescue gibbons.

5. Patong To Paradise Beach

Paradise Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Phuket. The green-blue waters, palm trees, its secluded nature and laidback vibe make it a perfect spot for some relaxation.

Paradise Beach

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You can either drive down to this beach or take a wonderful 4-kilometre hike amid tall palm trees, granite rocks and scenic views of the beach.

Start your trip from Patong, passing the Tri Trang Resort and follow the road to Emerald Bay. The twisted roads open out to the beach.

A dip in its cool waters is the perfect way to end your trek – just remember to pack a lot of water.

Now that you know the best trails in Phuket, grab your backpack, take your hiking shoes out, and explore the island’s raw natural beauty.