Phuket isn't all sand and sea. On the north half of the island, this reserve protects 23 sq km of virgin island rainforest (evergreen monsoon forest). Because of its royal status, it's better protected than the average national park in Thailand. Tigers, Malayan sun bears, rhinos and elephants once roamed the forest here, but nowadays resident animals are limited to humans, wild boars, monkeys, slow loris, langurs, gibbons, civets, flying foxes, cobras, pythons, squirrels and other smaller creatures.

Its highest point is Khao Phara (442m).

To get to Khao Phra Thaew from Phuket Town, take Th Thepkasatri 13km north to Thalang District and turn right (east) onto Rte 4027 at the Heroines Monument. Drive 9km, turn left (west) towards Nam Tok Bang Pae and after 1km you're at the Gibbon Rehabilitation Project. The reserve can also be accessed from the west, off Hwy 402.