As Phuket, Thailand, prepares to re-open to vaccinated travelers, it’s the perfect time to enjoy the best of both worlds: local adventures in a castaway paradise. From your base at Marriott’s Phuket Beach Club, you can explore rivers that course through lush jungles, glimpse wildlife on scenic beaches and even give back to the local community. Here are some top locals’ picks in the lesser-visited area of Northern Phuket:
Get to Know Local Wildlife
After walking the entire length of Mai Khao Beach (site of Marriott’s Phuket Beach Club) or driving to its southern end, you’ll find the pristine Sirinat National Park, where plenty of natural marvels await. During high tide, you can hire a boat to take you through sprawling mangrove swamps, where the captain can help you spot snakes, lizards and dozens of fish species. If you visit from November through February, you can also witness the miracle of sea turtles nesting there.
Chase Some Waterfalls
Tonsai and Bang Pae waterfalls tower over opposite sides of the Khao Phra Thaeo mountain. While both feature tall, thundering cascades that flow into tranquil pools of water, Tonsai is easier to access, via a short stroll through the jungles of Khao Phra Thaeo’s western slope.
If you visit Bang Pae, make sure to stop by the adjacent Gibbon Rehabilitation Project, where you can meet and greet some of our graceful primate cousins.
Volunteer at an Animal Rescue
Another nonprofit group that takes care of our wilder cousins is the Soi Dog Foundation. A volunteer visit to this animal sanctuary allows you to view and interact with dogs and cats rescued from around the island and learn about the care that goes into bringing them back to good health. At the end of your visit, you can make a lasting impact by choosing to sponsor an animal.
Take in Views for Days
You don’t have to cross the pedestrian-only Sarasin Bridge into Phang Nga on the Thai mainland to sample the authentic world into which it leads.
You can scale its viewing platform to take in panoramic views of the Andaman Sea and idyllic beaches in the distance and read about the bridge’s history. Or visit restaurants and food stalls around its base to sample local specialties, from khaaw mok gai (Southern Thai-style chicken biryani) to freshly harvested young coconuts.
Best of all, Northern Phuket offers the chance to get away from it all in one of the world’s most scenic spots.