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With a string of sandy beaches lining its west coast and several panoramic viewpoints, finding a good spot to watch the sunset in Phuket is easy. But here are some of our favourite places around the island to sit back and watch the day wind down.
Sunset-seekers are usually well rewarded at Kata beach, where the little round Ko Poo (Crab Island) sits offshore and adds an attractive visual focal point to the sea and sunset view. Nai Harn beach is also host to some divine sunset views, especially during the calmer sea months of November through April when several sailboats moor in the bay.
Surin beach is another good spot for those who like to combine their sunset view with a sundowner cocktail, with a string of restaurants and beach clubs to choose from. And now, with Surin’s sands having been cleared of tables and sunbeds by way of an army-imposed eviction, the views are completely unobstructed.
For views from a more elevated position, go for a sunset meal at Nakkerd restaurant, just down the hill from the Big Buddha in Chalong, which has superb views over Kata and Karon beaches. Another hilltop spot is the windmill viewpoint along the road connecting Rawai and Nai Harn beaches. It’s near the busy Cape Promthep viewpoint, but is far less crowded at sunset.
Being on the east coast doesn’t mean forfeiting those sunset views, since the western edge of Cape Panwa offers some excellent views of blazing sunsets over Chalong Bay. Two good spots to watch the sun go down in Panwa are Khao Khad beach, especially at the Beach Bar with its good and reasonably priced Thai fare and beer, or at the nearby lookout point promenade along the west-coast road of the cape just north of the Panwa Beach Resort.
Another east-coast sunset spot is out of the way but certainly worth it if you have a bit of baht to spend. Breeze restaurant at Cape Yamu near the snazzy new Point Yamu by COMO hotel has some truly excellent food and a great sea-view position overlooking Sapam Bay. While the restaurant sits in a luxury villa estate, it overlooks a more rustic scene of Phuket. No fancy yachts here, just a few long-tails plying the bay and some floating huts.
For those on a tighter budget hoping for a similar view, drive out to the Cape Yamu area, about four kilometres east of the Heroine’s Monument, and stop at the small beach just before the entrance to the Cape Yamu estate. The fantastic sunset views here will likely be shared only with a few local fishermen, if anyone.
Sunsets in Phuket are always around 18:30 throughout the year, so be sure to get into sunset-watching position by about 18:00 to catch the best views. For all of the places listed above, you’ll need to arrange your own transport to get there and back since the songthaew buses from Phuket Town to the beaches run only to Kata and Nai Harn beaches, and only in daylight hours.
By Lana Willocks
Last updated on 17th September, 2014.