Are you looking to meet monkeys in Phuket? Then Monkey Hill is definitely the right place to do so. Situated in Phuket Old Town, Monkey Hill is a free tourist attraction where you can interact with wild monkeys and take in some breathtaking views of Phuket.
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. Here’s what we experienced, what we learnt, and what we believe you should know prior to your own visit to Monkey Hill.
How To Get To Monkey Hill
Let’s start by 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 it’s 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.
Monkey Safety & Etiquette
As you approach the Monkey’s how they react is going to depend on whether there are other people around, and 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 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 Monkey’s 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. If you’re planning on spending a number of days in Phuket and the surrounding areas then consider checking out our itinerary.