Nov 05 2013
Phuket is a hilly island with several spots offering panoramic views over beaches and out across the Andaman Sea. More adventurous travellers may try to hike and hack their way up to the top of Phuket’s hills through the jungle, but several lookout points can be reached easily by road.
Promthep Cape is found at the southern tip of the island in between Rawai and Nai Harn beaches. Getting here is easy along the well marked coastal road, Route 4233, and there’s plenty of parking to be found at the top. This rocky cape topped by towering sugar palms is one of Phuket’s most famous – and most visited – sights, and it’s extremely busy at sunset when the tour buses roll in. To avoid the crowds, try going in the morning or early afternoon, or walk down the rocky path to the very tip of the promontory where fewer people venture.
Just a few kilometres along the road heading towards Naiharn is a lesser-visited yet no less impressive viewpoint spot that’s really easy to find. Just look for the giant white turbine and take the small soi that leads there off Route 4233. From the Windmill viewpoint you can peer down onto Ya Nui beach and enjoy relaxing in the small sala. A few vendors sell drinks and basic souvenirs from mobile carts.
Found along one of the most scenic roads of Phuket, Route 4233 between Nai Harn and Kata beaches, is the Karon Viewpoint, also called Khao Sahm Haad or “Three Beach Hill”. The Thai name becomes evident as you gaze to the north and see the full stretch of Kata Noi, Kata Yai and Karon beaches.
Though it’s a popular stop there’s not too much commercial activity at Karon Viewpoint, aside from a man trying to coax people into taking photos of his white-bellied sea eagles for 100 baht. Down the small road that starts at the base of the lookout tower, you’ll find a Reggae bar and Sabai Corner restaurant, a popular spot for sunset cocktails.
The Big Buddha hill in Chalong offers both the sacred and the scenic, with wide views across most of Phuket’s southern end. Just down the hill from the Buddha statue is the Nakkerd Thai restaurant, which has a great crab curry and a perfect west-facing position for watching the sunset.
In Phuket Town, Rang Hill overlooks wide expanses of the town and out to sea. We recommend coming up here to dine as well as to take in the views, with the long-running Tunk-ka Cafe and the Phuket View restaurant both offering some excellent Thai fare.
Phuket’s east coast is also home to some fabulous lookout points including Wat Ko Siray at the top of the highest peak on Ko Siray. From here you get a bird’s eye view of the Siray sea gypsy village. It’s probably one of the least-visited viewpoints on Phuket, so recommended if you wish to avoid the crowds.
Khao Khad Viewpoint is a lookout tower built on a hill in Cape Panwa, also on Phuket’s east coast. Though the site itself seems a bit neglected, if you climb that crumbling staircase you’ll be treated with some fine views and a more serene setting than the popular west coast viewpoints. The drive up here is also pleasant and peaceful, taking you through a sparsely-populated rural area past rubber and coconut plantations.
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