Manik Mining Trail: A Great Hiking Trail in Phuket

Written By: author image Kyle Cash
author image Kyle Cash
Kyle is the writer behind The Travel Runner. He’s a full-time traveler and adventurer who’s visited over 20 countries, including places like Thailand, Mexico, Vietnam, and Albania.


Hiking in Phuket, Thailand isn’t something most people think to do. But, the Manik Mining Trail is one of the best hiking trails in Phuket. Here’s how to do it.

The Manik Mining Trail is one of my favorite trails on the entire island of Phuket.

With a smooth trail, a lively jungle buzzing around you, and rewarding views at the top — it’s hard not to love it. So that’s why I’m here to share it with you today.

While everyone else flocks to the Phuket’s best beaches or the best viewpoints in Phuket, you’ll be hitting the trails and catching the viewpoints most people don’t see.

So, let’s get started!

Manik Mining Trail Information

Here’s what you need to know to do this trail:

  • Trail type: Out-and-back.
  • Difficulty: Easy. The trail is suitable for hikers/runners of all experience types. The climb may take others longer, but it’s easily manageable for most people.
  • Length: Approximately 7-7.5 miles (11-12 kilometers).
  • Elevation gain: Roughly 1200 feet (360 meters). The trail is a gradual elevation to the top, then a gradual descent back to where you started.
  • Estimated duration: On average, it takes about 3 to 4 hours to complete, depending on your pace and how long you spend at the top.
  • Best time to visit: Early morning or around sunset. These times help you avoid the intense midday heat. Bring a headlamp if it’ll be near sunrise or sunset.
  • Highlights:
    • Manik Dam: This is where you start and a great place for a road run.
    • Manik Viewpoint: This is not the official name for it at all. But you get a gorgeous view out over the island’s northern half.
  • How to get there:
    • Location: The trailhead is just east of the Manik Dam parking area.
    • Parking: A large parking area is on the main road to the dam. Also, there are smaller parking areas dotted around the dam’s edges.

How to hike the Manik Mining Trail in Phuket

If you prefer to see the entire trail then watch the video below. It’s also helpful to refer to if you’re confused by some of the segments I describe!

Start in the Manik Dam parking area. From here, start down the road you came in on, and make the first right.

This road is the one that runs around the entire dam, and is a great alternative if you prefer road running. On an average morning, you’ll see tons of runners, friends, and families gathering to work out.

Follow this road for about a half mile (.7 km) until it veers off right and uphill. There is a small dirt road that splits off left from it. Follow this dirt road until it splits three ways — left to some houses, straight to a field, and right up a hill.

The beginning of the Manik Mining Trail marked by a rustic dirt path winding through dense greenery and tall grasses, bathed in sunlight.

Go right and continue to follow this main dirt road and it’ll eventually bend right at about the mile mark (1.6 km). Keep following it up the hill until it narrows. The dirt road will have two obvious areas for trucks where the grass isn’t growing.

You can continue to follow this for around two miles (3-4 km) until it splits. The left path heads toward Kathu and the mine (a great alternative out-and-back if you want some different scenery). The right path leads uphill through some gates.

Take the right path.

A close-up selfie of a hiker on the Manik Mining Trail, with a partially visible face and trail surroundings blurred in the background.

Continue to follow it all the way to the top for around a mile (2 km).

At the top you have views out over Kathu on your left. Thalang is on your right, which makes it excellent for sunrise. And if you look closely over Kathu on a clear day, you can see Big Buddha on a distant hill.

A breathtaking sunrise view from Manik Mining Trail, showcasing golden light spilling over a serene landscape with silhouetted mountains and clouds.

Feel free to spend some time up here and enjoy the view. You earned it.

Plus, for the more adventurous, this is just the start of a HUGE trail system. If you continue on the path instead of turning around, it leads to a decent network of trails where you could spend your entire day hiking/running. (Trust me, I’ve done it 😅)

But if you’ve had enough, simply retrace your path back down to your car in the parking area! At the end, you should have totaled around 7.5 miles (12 km).

Safety tips for the hike

Jumping on an unknown trail and following it may seem daunting. (Once again, trust me…I’ve done it!)

But tourists and locals both visit this trail often. The biggest thing you have to be aware of are two things:

  1. Snakes
  2. Dogs

For anyone who’s visited Thailand, neither of these are a surprise. So it’s important to be aware of them.

But, you shouldn’t let it ruin your time. For example, I ran this trail 2-3 times per week when I lived there. And I saw snakes a handful of times, and it was always the same dogs on the trail who were harmless. (Both of them were fairly used to seeing me.)

With that said, there are tons of snakes and stray dogs in Phuket. And all it takes is one time. So be alert and prepared for if a situation does arise.

Ready to jump on the Manik Mining Trail in Phuket?

Of all the trails I explored and ran, the Manik Mining Trail was the one that I came back to consistently.

The mix of elevation gain, beautiful views at the top, and few people was a great mix. And I want others to be able to enjoy it as well! So hopefully this post inspired you to hit the trail. If it did, drop a message in the comments and let me know what you thought!

If you want other trails in the area, check out the Layan Trail Loop or my list of best running trails in Phuket for even more.

author avatar
Kyle Cash Owner
Kyle is the writer behind The Travel Runner. He’s a full-time traveler and adventurer who’s visited over 20 countries, including places like Thailand, Mexico, Vietnam, and Albania.