Tremendous views with some history
Published/Last edited or updated: 27th April, 2017
Khao Tang Kuan is a large hill rising high above the city’s otherwise flat landscape to a viewpoint where you can best appreciate the distinctive geography of Songkhla.
Rather than pay 30 baht for a lift that runs up the east side of the hill from a station near Haad Samila, we opted to climb a steep stairway marked by naga images to the north. From this side, your first stop will be Sala Phra Wihaan Daeng, a European-style pavilion built of brick by order of King Rama V after he visited the site in the late 19th century.
Behind this “royal red pavilion,” another set of stairs leads to the top of the hill crowned by a chedi that first appeared roughly 1,000 years ago during the Dvaravati period. It was covered by a bell-shaped chedi in 1886, and a small lighthouse was added a decade later.
Surrounding the chedi, wide terraces with railings afford views of the city clustered between the Gulf of Thailand and Songkhla Lake—and this is the highlight of Khao Tang Kuan. Head to the north side near the lift station to gaze over Haad Samila and Sathing Phra Peninsula. If you’re up early or for a late-day excursion, this is an awesome spot to watch the sunrise or sunset.
Khao Tang Kuan is also known as Monkey Hill, thanks to the macaques that hang around; keep a hand on your possessions, as they do like to snatch.
Marked by a faded brown sign, the stairway leading up Khao Tang Kuan is located on Ratchadamnern Road around a kilometre west of Haad Samila. If you prefer to take the lift, head further east on Ratchadamnern and take a right on Sukhum Road.
David Luekens first came to Thailand in 2005 when Thai friends from his former home of Burlington, Vermont led him on a life-changing trip. Based in Thailand since 2011, he spends much of his time eating in Bangkok street markets and island hopping the Andaman Sea.
These tours are provided by Travelfish partner GetYourGuide.