If you’re planning to go to the Monkey Hill in Phuket for the first time, this is all you need to know:
1. What you need to know about Phuket Monkey Hill
Monkey Hill or Khao Toh Sae Hill, is one of the highest hills in Phuket Town. This is a place worth visiting yet not easy to reach since the walking distance from the bottom to the top of the hill is about 3.5km. However, it still worth the effort because the view from the peak is amazing and meeting the funny monkeys on the way up is exciting.
The entrance of the hill is easy to be seen with a large pink sign and two golden monkeys sitting on the top of it. At the bottom of the hill there is a vendor selling nuts and bananas, which are favorite food of the monkeys you will meet on the way up.
Location: Near Phuket Provincial Hall and Provincial Court in Phuket Town. If you are coming from Thepkasattri Road, take the first road left after Phuket Prison situated on Dammrong Road. This is Toe Sae Road which leads up to Monkey Hill.
#2: How to get to Phuket Monkey Hill?
There are several public buses from either Kata Beach, Karon Beach or Patong that can take you to the Phuket Town. The drop-off location is a bus stop near the Fountain Circle, which is 2.5km far away from the start of Monkey Hill. You can choose to walk and explore the Old Town on the way or get on a tuk tuk or taxi and go straight to the Monkey Hill.
Taxi, tuk tuk or private car is capable of taking you to Monkey Hill and it is possible to drive straight to the top of the hill. But if you decide to visit the hill during 7:00-8:00 or 16:00-19:00, better ask the driver to stop at the entrance since at that time vehicles are forbidden and people are encouraged to walk up and watch the sunset at the top view.
#3: Best time to visit
In the morning at 7:00 – 8:00, the traffic is pretty comfortable for those who love jogging because there is no motorcycle in the way. Besides, the atmosphere is cool and fresh at that time, which makes it easier to walk up a long steep hill.
Another suitable time to visit is when the sun descends. The sunset view from the top of the hill is breath-taking and it’s really worth the trek.
2. What to do at the Monkey Hill in Phuket
#1: Seeing the monkeys
There are about 400 monkeys living wild and free on this hill and most of them hang out together on the main path. Once you see them, you will feel very excited. The monkeys are of all ages, from the cute little babies that are not steady enough to walk to the older ones jumping and chasing each other, even running after people for food.
For first-time visitors to this place, it’s important to know that the monkeys on this hill are not afraid of people. They are pretty wild and if you feed them, they will let you stay close and watch them eat whatever you give them immediately. The mischievous monkeys are so used to having people around that they can even climb on your shoulders and head.
Some tips when playing with monkeys:
- They can be very wild and aggressive, so be careful not to give them a chance to bite you.
- If you don’t have food to feed them, they can get pissed off and climb on your body to scratch.
- Don’t be fooled by their cute looking and trying to cuddle them. They might feel threatened and bite you.
- Don’t let them see the food you prepared for yourself, or else they will follow you no matter what to take it.
- The monkeys love bottles and they are very fast too. Hence, you’d better hide it somewhere safe.
- If you want to feed them, just walk slowly near them and put the food in your open palms.
- Not only bottles, the monkeys also like stealing people’s stuffs. Remember to keep all values out of their sight.
- Baby monkeys are protected strictly by their mother, so don’t try to make the mothers angry by letting them think you will harm their babies.
- It’s dangerous to let the monkeys have the plastic bags.
- Some monkeys like chasing and howling at each other, it can be a little scary.
#2: Watching the sunset
From the top of the hill, it is possible to have a spectacular view. You can choose to stand at the Khao Toh-Sae viewpoint as it gives you the interesting experience of having the whole city under your feet. During the sunset time, the scene here is stunning with white fluffy clouds on the sky to form a perfect picture.
Here is a great 4K aerial video of Monkey Hill Phuket for your preference (Big thanks to Drone & Travel):
#3: Taking some photos
A picture of the sunset view on the Monkey Hill or an album full of pictures of the monkey life might be very memorable and become an interesting story to tell with your family and friends. There are many good spots on the way up hill that can be a perfect background, especially the view below your feet when you stand on the top of the hill.
#4: What to bring along
Here is the list of things you should bring along on your way to the top of the Monkey Hill in Phuket:
- Nuts and bananas: You can choose to bring them from home or buy them at the store at the bottom of the hill. These will satisfy the stomach of the playful monkeys.
- Water: Walking on a steep hill might need a lot of strength and you need water to keep yourself hydrated. You’d better bring it from home since there are only two shops on the hill selling water, but remember to hide your water bottle from the monkeys.
- First-aid kid: In case you have accidents or being scratched by the monkeys.
- Comfortable shoes: It’s a steep hill and the way on top is pretty long, so comfortable shoes are highly recommended.
- Camera: You might not want to miss some stunning picture of the sunset view or capture some memorable moments when playing with the monkeys.
The Monkey Hill (Khao Toh Sae) is a place worth visiting for both tourists and locals in Phuket. Playing with monkeys running freely around for the first time and watching the sun descends from the peak will surely be a highlight of your holiday. Though walking up the hill is fun, it is advisable for you to take a taxi or drive a scooter up there if you plan to go somewhere after and remember to bring a camera and enjoy the view up there!