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The road less travelled – trekking to the Kalim Viewpoint

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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There are two well known ways to get from Kathu to Kalim or Kamala – one is across the Patong Hill, and the other is much longer, through Srisoonthorn and along the coastal road from Surin the Kamala (very scenic too).

But there’s also another way. Also very scenic but will take you about 2 hours through dense forest although there is a well-worn walking track. The track will take you from Kathu up to the Kalim Viewpoint. From here you can head back to Kathu along a different path, or down into Kalim, near Patong.

Starting about halfway down Soi Namtok in Kathu, you head up a nondescript road past the Flying Hanuman zipline attraction, although there’s no sign at the entrance to the soi (below). About the first kilometre is paved but then becomes increasingly ‘agricultural’ as you get higher into the hills, heading towards the Kalim Viewpoint. There’s also a small temple on the way up.

The road less travelled - trekking to the Kalim Viewpoint | News by Thaiger

PHOTO: The start of the trek, a small soi off Soi Namtok – Google Maps

It will take around 2 hours to trek up to the Kalim Viewpoint. The walking is quite strenuous and you’ll need to be wearing the right shoes and take plenty of water – there’s no 7/11s on the way! As you get nearer the top, to the viewpoint, the track becomes less drivable although the track is still quite open and easy to follow. If you’re feeling a bit lazy you can take a motorbike about halfway up the road until you’ll need to proceed on foot from there.

From the Kalim Viewpoint you can see across Kalim to Patong Bay and the land that stretches along the bay south of Patong Beach. From the top you can either make your way down to Kalim or another exit along the Kalim-Kamala Road, just near the Iguana Beach Club.

You can also head back another way to Kathu, a longer return track that skirts around the top of the Kathu Waterfall. A lot of that track gets very narrow and parts of it are up and down the hills, some of it very steep.

The views are amazing and you get to see a vast swathe of Phuket, still very close to popular locations like Patong, Kamala and Kathu, but untouched by any civilisation.

You’ll need to be in reasonable health to take on the trip but, just to go up to the Kalim Viewpoint and back, or down into Kalim, should take around 5 hours in total. On a scale of 1 – 5 for difficulty, we’d rate it a 3. An easy trek for experienced people but will need a bit of planning if you’re not an experienced trekker.

Even on a hazy day, as it was today, the views were amazing. But best to start off early morning when the weather is cooler. Well worth the time for the views and the opportunity to see more of Phuket, away from the bars and beaches.

Thanks to BT for the pics and information.

The road less travelled - trekking to the Kalim Viewpoint | News by Thaiger

The road less travelled - trekking to the Kalim Viewpoint | News by Thaiger The road less travelled - trekking to the Kalim Viewpoint | News by Thaiger

The road less travelled - trekking to the Kalim Viewpoint | News by Thaiger

 

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Jason

    Saturday, January 16, 2021 at 1:55 pm

    I have been as far as Kathu Falls. Sadly when I got there and walked up the hill to the falls, it was littered with bottles (plastic and glass) and other rubbish. There was a bin there at the site, but no one used it. So my experience of Kathu Falls was to clean up every bottle and piece of rubbish I saw and put it in the bin where it belonged. I’m Australian and we have National Parks where such places like Kathu Falls are preserved for future generations and our enjoyment. I picked up a lot of rubbish when I was in Phuket. I don’t complain about it, I just go to work and fix it. I would love to see a program to encourage collection and recycling of plastic. Here in my home state of Queensland we pay an extra 10 cents on every plastic bottle. We can then return bottles to a recycling centre for a refund. I would love to see such a program in Thailand. You have a beautiful country that is being drowned in plastic.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Saturday, January 16, 2021 at 3:57 pm

      Plastic bottles are widely collected for re-cycling across most of Thailand, and locally a “collector” regularly comes round buying plastic or glass bottles in a cart behind his motor-bike … and we live in a “high-tourist” area, with waterfalls and 360 viewpoints, which is very popular with Thais (very, very few farangs) and there’s virtually no rubbish around at all, at least in the “tourist” areas.

      Maybe Phuket’s had too much money for too long.

  2. Avatar

    Ray

    Saturday, January 16, 2021 at 2:37 pm

    I haven’t been there but I take from the pictures that not so long ago the jungle must have been deforested. Those trees in the picture seem like 20 years old. Same story in the hills around Chiang Mai. I have visited each country in SE Asia and flown many times criss cross over the territory. Everywhere you see bare land with empty tracks where the lorries carried out the tree trunks from jungle giants. Seen from the air only some steep inaccessible ravines appear to be untouched. In some parts of SE Asia bamboo forests have taken over the land. Even the parks I visited are not dense primary forest. I have seen that only in Costa Rica.

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