A local's guide to Thai National Parks in and near Phuket

Thai National Parks | 7 Best Things to Do in Phuket

By: John T May 18, 2022

Phuket Thailand is home and near to some of Thailand's most stunning National Parks. Paying a visit to these destinations could be considered a highlight activity to many tourists visiting Phuket. 

Our recommendation is to set up your resort and hotel base in Phuket as you gradually tackle these natural wonders in and around the island. 

Thailand National Parks that are INSIDE Phuket and its waters are:

  • Khao Phra Thaeo National Park
  • Sirinat National Park
  • Similan Islands National Park

Thailand National Parks that are NEAR Phuket and its waters are:

  • Tarutao National Marine Park
  • Khao Sok National Park
  • Hat Chao Mai National Park
  • Koh Lanta National Park


Khao Phra Thaeo National Park in Phuket, Thailand

Photo by Chirasak Tolertmongkol and The Gibbon Rehabilitation Project

For a glimpse of some of the world’s best preserved rainforests, Khao Prataew National Park is the larger of the two National Parks on Phuket Island and covers approximately 2,200 square kilometers. This Thai national park is the last remaining evergreen rainforest on Phuket island. The park covers an area over 23 kilometers, and its highest point, Khao Phra Mountain is 442 meters above sea level.

Located near the park is Phuket’s Gibbon Rehabilitation Project. An important conversation effort at protecting and preserving Gibbons in Phuket. Tourists are encourage to visit and support this centre. 

The park has two waterfalls, Ton Sai Waterfall and Bang Pae Waterfall for you to discover, which can be reached by trekking along impressive jungle trails through the rainforest.

Sirinat National Park in Phuket, Thailand

Photo by andatelhotel

Sirinat National Park is located to the north of Phuket encompassing some 90 square kilometers of white sand beaches, mangrove, and beach forests, crystal clear waters, and diverse marine wildlife.

This national park was primarily established to protect Leatherback Sea Turtle nesting grounds. The northern part of the park is a long stretch of pristine and virtually deserted white sand beach - a perfect antidote to the tourists looking for some serenity and calm from their busy lives.

Similan Islands National Park in Phuket, Thailand

Photo by Love Andaman

Experience another world at The Similan Islands National Park, an archipelago consisting of nine small islands that is ranked as one of the top 10 dive sites in the world.

Located approximately 100 km northwest of Phuket in the Andaman Sea, Similan Islands National Park contains an abunance of rich marine life diversity. Gentle sloping reefs, huge granite boulders, and swim-through caverns are a unique feature of Similan.

Regarded as one of the most stunning white sand beaches in the whole of South East Asia, Similan Islands National Park is a must visit.

Tarutao National Marine Park near Phuket, Thailand

Photo by Dream Andaman Queen

Koh Lipe is a part of Tarutao National Marine Park, which is populated with small islands surrounded by the mesmerizing Pink and Red coral reefs.

The Lipe island is home to about 500 Chao Lay, local island villagers and sea nomads. This is a growing popular island near Phuket as tourists may not only get to see unique color popping corals, but also see traditional Chao Lay's way of life around an island.

Hin Ngam Island is also part of Tarutao National Park and famous for its dark black pebble beach.

Khao Sok National Park near Phuket, Thailand

Photo by Khaosok, Elephanthills, and Weera Sunpaarsa

For a little adventure, visit Khao Sok National Park located a couple of hours north of Phuket on the mainland.

Khao Sok National Park is one Thailand's best known National Parks and is one of the oldest rainforest habitats in the world. 

Making a trip out of Khao Sok is sure to amaze all travelers due to the park's diverse range of plants and animals including Elephants, Tigers, Deer, Bears, Gibbons, Macaque and squirrels.

Hat Chao Mai National Park near Phuket, Thailand

Photo by Love Andaman

Hat Chao Mai National Park is a marine national park off the coast of Trang Province and near Phuket. 

Like the other national parks, Hat Chao Mai is famous for its beautiful beaches and abundant marine life. Some of its unique features include the Meng Rock Mountain, the Chao Mai Cave, the Emerald Cave, and Kradan Beach.

Fun Fact: Inside Hat Chao Mai National Park, there is a Sea Grass research institute. This institute focuses its research on the flowering plants importance and usage. A study into sea grass is important to the Andaman Sea's natural ecosystem as sea grass is an important food source for dugongs and many marine mammals that are on the verge of extinction. Check it out if you are interested in learning more!

Koh Lanta National Park near Phuket, Thailand

Photo by tourismthailand, Lakshmi Sawitri, and thaitourismdirectory

Lanta Island is a large island that many people have settled in for more than a hundred years. Its occupants can be considered traditional islanders. Due to Lanta island's size, many tourist attractions exist on the west side, while many unique park features exist in the south side, which is hailed as a national park, named Moo Koh Lanta National Park. This park contains the famous Khao Mai Kaew cave network and Khlong Chak Waterfalls