Monkey Hill Phuket is without a doubt the greatest place to meet monkeys when visiting Phuket, Thailand.
On a recent trip to Phuket, we decided to experience Monkey Hill and Monkey Hill Viewpoint for ourselves – sadly, we didn’t read up on it before our trip, that would have helped us a lot, as we’ll explain later in the post.
Situated in Phuket Old Town, Monkey Hill is a free tourist attraction that provides you with the incredible opportunity to interact with wild monkeys and take in some of the most breathtaking views of Phuket. The best time to go is early morning or late evening when the temperature is the coolest.
Here’s what we experienced, what we learnt, and what we believe you should know prior to your own visit to Monkey Hill.
Where Is Monkey Hill In Phuket?
Monkey Hill is located at the back of Old Town Phuket, up a hill covered in antennas and of course Monkeys. There are plenty of shops, markets and street vendors on the way for fresh drinks and fruit.
It is located within the more traditional and old part of Phuket which is more common with tourists looking to explore the beautiful coloured streets of the old town and boutique shops.
The address is: Ratsada, Mueang Phuket District, Phuket 83000, Thailand
How To Get To Monkey Hill
Let’s start with how best to get to Monkey Hill. As I mentioned in the introduction, Monkey Hill is situated just outside of Phuket Old Town.
We’d actually chosen to stay in Phuket Old Town during the visit in which we went to Monkey Hill, so we were able to walk directly from our hotel to the bottom of the hill.
However, if you’re coming to Monkey Hill from Patong or Kata then you’ll want to take a bus or a taxi. If you do take a bus then the bus will drop you off at Phuket Town Bus Terminal 1.
From here it’s around a 10-minute walk to Monkey Hill, however, it’s not incredibly popular with tourists, and doesn’t have any directional signs near the roads or paths so I’d suggest downloading a Google map of the area in advance to help you get there.
The Entrance To Monkey Hill
You’ll find the entrance of Monkey Hill marked with a large pink sign with two golden monkeys on top. You’ll also find a number of these signs as you make your way to the Monkey Hill Viewpoint.
At the bottom of Monkey Hill, you’ll find taxi drivers or tuk-tuk drivers offering to drive you to the top of the hill – it’s up to you as to whether or not you’d prefer to do this than walk.
Although I’d recommend reading the rest of this article and keeping in mind fitness levels and the weather during your visit before making a decision.
You’ll also find local’s selling nuts and banana’s that you can use to feed the monkeys. Sadly, at the time we didn’t realise this would be the only place in which we’d be able to buy food to feed the monkeys.
So, if feeding the monkey’s is something you’d like to do during your visit to Monkey Hill then I’d suggest purchasing some banana’s here – or on your way to the base of the hill.
Walking Monkey Hill Phuket
As I mentioned early, we chose to walk up Monkey Hill and had we read an article like this one prior to our visit, we’d have probably decided against it as it almost killed us.
The walk is roughly 3.5km and has a steep incline that creates the viewpoint at the top. This partnered with the extreme humidity, and lack of shade as you approach the top of the hill makes for very difficult conditions.
As you walk up the hill, markers on the pavement will highlight the distance in which you’ve travelled. Consider the time of day you plan to visit Monkey Hill if you’d like to walk to the viewpoint.
We completed this walk around lunchtime when the sun is at its hottest and the road is open to the public requiring you to stick to the paths.
You won’t see monkeys during the majority of the 3.5km walk, instead, you might see some pigs, dogs, chickens and other wildlife hidden among the bushes.
Of course, one advantage of walking to the top of Monkey Hill is the chance to stop multiple times to take in the breathtaking views out between the trees.
Monkey territory is marked with a large sign, informing you of some basic rules to follow when visiting Monkey Hill.
Here you’ll also find parking bays for cars and scooters, alongside two wooden benches and some gym equipment.
While there is a further climb from this point, it’s not necessary to complete it unless you want to visit Monkey Hill Viewpoint.
We found the section where the Monkeys were situated up to Monkey Hill Viewpoint and the TV towers to be the steepest part of the climb.
Best Time To Go To Monkey Hill, Phuket
We found the best time to go was earlier in the morning before the sun was really hot. As we walked up the hill we started early in the day so we could be up and back down before the midday heat was at its peak.
If you are looking at driving or going on a scooter you can pretty much go any time of the day as people will come and go quite quickly and so it will generally have the same amount of people around all day.
Another great time to go is in the evening before sunset, if you get up to the top during sunset it is a beautiful place to watch the sunset.
The early evening/late afternoon is a great time to go as it is much quieter with other people, the monkeys can be a little more active and the peak heat has cooled which is easier to walk around and be at the top of the hill.
Monkey Safety & Etiquette
As you approach the Monkey’s how they react is going to depend on whether there are other people around.
More importantly, whether there are other people around with food. If you’re the only person there, then they will all come running towards you as they’ll assume you’re going to feed them.
We found the monkeys to be very cheeky – as you might expect. While these wild monkeys are often around humans and have human interaction on a daily basis they are still wild animals and will act in such a way.
Monkey Hill Viewpoint
If you decide to visit Monkey Hill Viewpoint then you’ll want to continue the climb walking past the majority of where the monkeys situate themselves.
The distance from where you’ll first encounter the monkey’s to Monkey Hill Viewpoint is around 900m, and is in our opinion the steepest part of the walk.
However, you’re heavily rewarded for your efforts with some incredible views of Phuket.
Monkey Hill Opening Times
Monkey Hill is open from 7am until 10pm, however, vehicles aren’t allowed up the hill between 7am and 8am and 4pm through to 7pm.
Therefore, depending on how you plan to climb Monkey Hill is likely going to depend on the time you visit.
We began our descent back to the base of Monkey Hill and Phuket Town at around 1pm, we found that at this point Monkey Hill was the busiest we’d seen it during our visit.
What To Bring To Monkey Hill Phuket
Based on our experience of Monkey Hill Phuket here’s a couple of things we’d recommend packing for your visit;
- Nuts / Banana’s (or be sure to buy them at the bottom of the hill)
- Water (because there are only two shops on the hill that sell any
- Protein Bar (in case you need a sugar boost)
- First Aid Kit (in case you have any accidents)
- Money (so you can buy anything you’ve forgotten)
- Camera / Smartphone (so you can take photos of your experience visiting Monkey Hill)
We’d also suggest wearing comfortable shoes. Even if you’re not planning on walking up Monkey Hill Phuket it’s still likely you’ll do a lot of incline climbing when you make it to the furthest point for vehicles.
Though I enjoyed the walk and the experience I wouldn’t recommend it to everyone and would suggest a scooter or taxi would be more suitable.
Frequently Asked Questions
Have you still got questions about visiting Monkey Hill? Here are some of the most frequently asked questions first-time visitors to this popular tourist attraction have.
Is Monkey Hill Phuket Free?
Monkey Hill is a free tourist attraction since it’s simply a hill where monkeys happen to live. However, I still recommend bringing some money to Monkey Hill with you. This way you can purchase water (should you not already have any) and bananas for the monkeys from one of the several vendors at the bottom of the hill.
What Kind Of Monkeys Are On Monkey Hill?
The most common type of monkey found on Monkey Hill, and in Phuket in general is a macaque. These monkeys are known for being very wild, but typically are not aggressive – although they may come across as such, especially if you have food.
Things To Do Near Monkey Hill
Looking for something to do after your visit to Monkey Hill? Phuket benefits from an extensive range of attractions that benefit tourists and locals alike.
Sirinat National Park is a small coastal park situated on the northwest coast of Phuket Island, roughly a one-hour drive from Monkey Hill and Phuket Old Town. This conservation site is home to nesting turtles, tropical coral reef clusters as well as mangrove forests that shelter birds such as kingfishers.
Alternatively, located just 40 minutes from Phuket Old Town are Kata Beach and Karon Beach. These beaches are some of the best on Phuket Island and are the perfect place for relaxing.
If you’re planning on spending a little longer in Phuket then I highly suggest reading our ten-day Phuket itinerary.
Where Else Can You See Wild Monkeys In Phuket?
In addition to Monkey Hill, there are also several places in Phuket where you’re likely to encounter wild monkeys. They are;
- Rang Hill
- Sirey Island
- Wat Suwan Kuha Temple
- Bang Rong
Unlike Monkey Hill all of these locations are located a distance from Phuket Town and therefore you’ll need to drive to see them.