On the numerous hills scattered around the island grows a luxuriant vegetation, which in turn is home to all sorts of wild animals. Those staying in Phuket for a long time will notice that the power of life is very strong here: plants will thrive in seemingly impossible conditions, and animals seem to never lack food.
The most significant virgin rainforest area in Phuket is the Khao Phra Thaew National Park, which is situated in the northern part of Phuket near Thalang town. Inside the park live many wild animal species, such as the barking deers, mouse deers, malay sun bears, wild boars, monkeys, gibbons, and many species of birds, as well as many rare plant species, all actively protected by the park’s authorities.
Although the wild animals very rarely expose themselves to the visitor's sight, it is not unusual to hear them when you go along the 8km long discovery trek, prepared by the park’s administrators, complete with informative panels at several rest stations. There is also a Nature Study Center that provides interesting information regarding the species that inhabit the forest, and that can also provide a guide to lead you inside the rainforest, which is recommended. Visiting the park is en enriching experience that will fulfill the wishes of nature lovers and trekking enthusiasts alike!
Next to the Khao Phra Thaew National Park there is also a Gibbon Rehabilitation Center. Aiming to protect the Gibbons and their rainforest habitat through rehabilitation and education, the Center is open to visitors, and allowing you to see the gibbons from a viewing platform. There you can learn more about the Gibbons, their current protection status and what you can do to help them.
In the northern part of Phuket is also the Sirinath National Park. Encompassing more than 60 square kilometers of sea, and 20 square kilometers of land, the land area is mostly the coast from Naiyang Beach to Maikhao Beach and Saikaew Beach. The highlight of this park is that it is a nesting site for the sea turtles to lay their eggs from November to February of every year.
Besides the natural parks, Phuket also has a surprisingly interesting Shell Museum, located near Rawai beach. A true testimonial to the impressive biodiversity of the local marine lifeforms, this facility enables you to witness an astounding variety of shells with information about them and their natural evolution. Some of the shapes are just incredible! The Shell Museum is really worth a visit if you are staying in south Phuket.
Near town there is also the Butterfly Garden, with hundreds of species of butterflies. In some of the areas, the butterflies will actually come and cling on you if you stop moving, which can be a wonderful occasion for some awesome photos! The butterflies are, of course, beautiful, some of them surprisingly big.
Phuket also has a Zoo, and an Aquarium. The Zoo is known for its popular Crocodile Show, where a courageous performer puts his head inside the jaws of a big crocodile. As for the Aquarium the most memorable part is an underwater tunnel that goes through a large aquarium with many sorts of exotic fish, including a couple of really huge fish and manta ray. It's well worth a visit, especially if you have small children.
The most amazing fact about Nature in Phuket, is that despite all these attractions, sometimes you just have to look outside at the garden of your private villa to witness the daily life of squirrels, pheasants of a local sort, and other intriguing birds and insects. Phuket is really full of life!
You must be thinking "So many things to do and so little time", and we haven't even mentioned natural wonders you can find on the islands around Phuket yet! Come back soon or follow us on Google+ / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest for more things to know and do around Phuket!