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A day in Sirinat National Park

Perhaps one of the most beautiful stretches of landscape in all of Phuket, Sirinat National Park, covers 90 square kilometres of coastal land and sea. Located in the northwest corner of the island, in the Thalang District, the national park makes a gorgeous nature-filled escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

August 2019

Featuring towering casuarina and pine trees, long stretches of well-preserved beaches and ample amounts of diverse flora and fauna, Sirinat National Park is a stunning, unspoilt park not far from Phuket International Airport. The surrounding neighbourhoods, although home to some of the island’s biggest resort names and patches of development, have managed to retain a local feel. Life seems to move at a slower pace here, and lazy days can be spent exchanging smiles with friendly locals and exploring the variety of tiny side streets and alleys that lead in and out of the national park area.

Sirinat National Park is composed of four beautiful beaches – Nai Thon, Mai Khao, Nai Yang and Sai Kaew. Each beach is just as attractive as the other, and sure to provide the quintessential tropical beach day that so many expats crave and tourists travel to Phuket for.

Nai Thon Beach is a welcoming stretch of sand that is home to lovely shades of blue water. There are various rock pools here as well as a small reef, making both snorkeling and scuba diving an excellent choice of activities. The winding road that leads to Nai Thon Beach showcases some of Phuket’s last remaining virgin jungle and crosses through a tiny, charming village.

 

Mai Khao is the island’s longest beach, and has recently gained notoriety as the perfect place to take plane spotting selfies. The beach itself remains largely undeveloped, and throughout the year remains practically deserted. Nai Yang Beach has no development. Instead, the beach is fringed by towering casuarina trees and is a wonderful place to search for driftwood and seashells.

Both Mai Khao and Nai Yang beaches are sea turtle nesting areas. Between November and February every year, turtles come to lay their eggs on these beaches. Sai Kaew Beach is located at the very north of Phuket, just before Sarasin Bridge. The beach seems endless and stretches on for miles. It is often deserted, even in the high season, which makes it appealing to those looking for a bit of solitude during their holiday.

While all of the beaches located inside of Sirinat National Park are beautiful and well worth exploring, it is Nai Yang Beach that seems to be the most popular with locals as well as highly recommended to tourists who are looking to escape from the crowds and spend a day relaxing amongst nature. As mentioned, Nai Yang Beach is backed by towering casuarina trees. The trees provide ample natural shade and a nice space to set up a picnic or chill out for the day.

In addition to its natural beauty, a huge part of the charm of Nai Yang Beach is observing the locals who tend to come in large groups of friends or with extended members of family to enjoy beach life. The beach gets especially busy during the weekend as people tend to take advantage of their time off of work and head to the beach to relax and rejuvenate.

A day spent at Nai Yang Beach presents the perfect opportunity to acclimatise yourself into local life; grab a mat, set up under one of the large casuarina trees and head on over to the roadside to perhaps buy a souvenir or indulge in some terrific local eats. There is a large variety of food vendors to choose from at Nai Yang Beach. Expect to find classic dishes such as pad Thai as well as loads of local fresh fruit. Barbecue chicken and sticky rice are also plenty, as are Thai sweets and various drinks. Is there anything better than going for a swim, grabbing some delicious local food for a picnic and then relaxing a bit under a towering tree on a gorgeous beach? We think not!

Sirinat National Park is truly one of Phuket’s last tropical gems. The nature here is virtually untouched and there are so many interesting species of trees and birds. The coral reefs located just offshore include species of soft coral and sea fans, and there are many colourful fish to observe while snorkelling or diving. For those wanting to go for a swim, the water is refreshing and enticing. During the monsoon season, it can get rough, so if you are visiting Phuket from mid-May through the end of October, do exercise caution when swimming at any of the beaches in Sirinat National Park.

A day at Sirinat National Park is a day well spent. Enjoy Phuket like the locals do and take advantage of these long stretches of beach and a much simpler, quieter side of the island.

  Photo gallery : A day in Sirinat National Park

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