TopTen

Scenic Walks

1. Historical Architecture in Phuket Town

Take a walk back in time past marvelous classic homes and shops built during Phuket’s tin boom in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Many of these houses were constructed in the Sino-Portuguese architectural style. The best routes to take are down Phang Nga, Thalang, Dibuk, Krabi, and Yaowarat roads. Keep an eye out for the spectacular Soi Romanee, located off Thalang Road (for further details see Historic Buildings in Phuket Town).

2. Chinese Shrines in Phuket Town

Another popular way to enjoy the sights of Phuket Town is to focus on its wonderful markets and colorful Chinese shrines. Jui Tui and Put Jaw, two of Phuket’s most important Chinese shrines, are located near Ranong Road. This walking tour is marked on the Phuket Town Historical Map, distributed free at Phuket International Airport.

3. Khao Phra Thaeo Wildlife Sanctuary

The most popular trek in this national park begins at the park headquarters at Ton Sai Waterfall, navigates through 4 miles (6 km) of virgin forest, and ends at Bang Pae Waterfall. Besides abundant natural plant species, the park is also home to monkeys, flying foxes, wild pigs, and cobras (for further details see Khao Phra Thaeo National Park).

4. Mangrove Forests on Mai Khao Beach

At the northern end of Mai Khao Beach stands one of Phuket’s most pristine mangrove forests. An elevated walkway guides visitors above these fascinating trees, which survive in saltwater. Signs describe the unusual plant species here, which include black myrsina, red cycas, and mountain ebony.

5. Naiharn Beach to Phromthep Cape

Walk away from the beach, head clockwise around Naiharn Lake, and follow signs to Phromthep Cape. The hilly, stretching walk will take you past Yanui Beach. At the end of the path are two awesome viewpoints – one facing Naiharn Beach, and the other, westward over the Andaman Sea.

6. Surin Beach to Kamala

From ritzy Surin Beach, home to top-end resort properties, walk south along the sand until you reach a pathway crossing over to Laem Singh Beach. This stunningly picturesque cape on the west coast is tucked between Surin and Kamala. Spend some time here before continuing to Kamala, which features a relaxed beach and fishing village.

7. Khao Sok National Park

Trek through ancient forest in Khao Sok, encountering exotic birds, wildlife, and orchids. Bird-watchers will be delighted to see several species of hornbill, while long-tail macaque monkeys and gibbons swing through the trees above. Paddle Asia offers a popular soft adventure tour for spotting wildlife, as well as tailored trips.prac_infoPaddle Asia • 07624 1519 or 081 893 6558 (cell) • www.paddleasia.com

8. Patong

Begin this stroll from the southern end of Patong Beach around dusk. As you walk up the main beach road, you’ll pass bustling open-air restaurants displaying the day’s catch displayed on ice, and lively cocktail-sipping crowds. Turn right onto hedonistic Bangla Road and spend some time people-watching.

9. Similan Islands

Best known for its exciting underwater sites, the Similan Islands also offer a few hiking trails. On Ko Similan, the main island, a tree-lined path winds up to a viewpoint with breathtaking vistas. The best part, of course, is that you’ll see hardly a soul on your way up.

10. Khao Lak

A number of hiking trails can be found in and around Khao Lak, including a popular scenic forest path starting near the base of the 33-ft (10-m) tall Chong Fah Waterfall. Sturdy shoes help while walking on the rough jungle trails here. In the past, Buddhist monks maintained forest retreats in the area; the ruins of these shelters can still be seen.

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