Viewpoints - Phuket
Phuket has views so spectacular they inspire the artist in all of us. White sandy beaches, fiery sunsets, 360-degree panoramas, historical buildings and the luminescent jungle are all within a short drive of each other.
1. Karon Viewpoint (Kata Viewpoint)
Karon Viewpoint (previously named Kata Viewpoint) is popular due to stunning panoramic views over Kata Noi, Kata Yai and Karon beaches.
Deep blue sea, white-sandy beaches, neighbouring islands and thick jungle make this one of the most photographed views on Phuket. The closest beach is Kata Noi, followed by the bay of Kata and accompanying Crab Island. The long beach in the distance is Karon Beach.
You can buy drinks, snacks and some souvenirs here. Karon Viewpoint makes a great road-side stop on your way to the Windmill Viewpoint and Promthep Cape.
2. Promthep Cape
Sunset from this viewpoint is unforgettable. Watch as the sky, water and neighbouring hills change hue as the sun drops from view.
Tourists, lovers and locals come together to appreciate the beauty of this spot at sunset. The views of the surrounding islands including Koh Racha Yai, Phi Phi, Koh Racha Noi and Koh Kiaow are spectacular from here. Promthep Cape also features a lighthouse that houses historical maritime artifacts.
Those with stamina can trek down to the end of the cape’s promontory. By the car park there are stalls selling shells, batik, sarongs, shawls, toys and beachwear. Refreshments and snacks are available.
3. Windmill Viewpoint
At the top of the hill between Ya Nui and Nai Harn Beach and close to Promthep Cape, Windmill Viewpoint stands out due to the tall white windmills that provide electricity to the local area.
There are amazing views over Prompthep, Ya Nui and Nai Harn beaches, and Koh Man island. Sunset views are spectacular here, and less busy than other spots. It’s also meeting place for model airplane hobbyists and hang-gliders.
There are no permanent shops or facilities, though you may come across the occasional vendor selling drinks or trinkets.
4. Phuket Old Town
Phuket has been home to many nationalities since tin mining began in the 16th century. Hokkien Chinese, Malay, Indian, British and Nepalese have all influenced the Old Town’s development. During the boom of the 19th century, tin ore was taken to Penang to be smelted. Entranced by Penang’s architecture, wealthy tin barons brought architects, builders, and materials to Phuket to build their mansions and their city. A protected heritage area today, stroll among the lovingly restored shop houses, mansions and museums.
Phuket Old Town shines with colour, vitality and history. Shrines, temples, ornate shop-houses, tiny printing shops, café’s museums and mansions line the vibrant busy streets. Small enough to walk around, Phuket Old town consists of five main roads: Phang Nga Rd, Thalang Rd, Dibuk Rd, Krabi Rd and Rasada Rd.
Phant Na Road: The Taoist Buddhist Shrine of Serene light, the famous On On Hotel (from the movie ‘the Beach’), Chinese shophouses, tailors, cobbler shops and art galleries line the street.
Thalang Road and Soi Rommanee:
This is the heart of Phuket’s Old Town. The shops with archways, called ‘five-footways’ allow for a mostly covered walk and are unique to this area. Most of the buildings have been or are mid renovation, a great example being China Inn at number 20 Thalang Road. Once a run down foreign exchange centre it has been lovingly restored and reopened as a café.
Soi Rommanee: a smaller side street, was once a red light district for Chinese miners. The word ‘Rommanee’ loosely translates as ‘naughty with the ladies’. Today the shop houses are brightly painted and trendy shops, cafes and restaurants are making their mark.
Dibuk Road: This road features fine examples of well-renovated Chinese-style houses.
Krabi Road: The Thai Hua Museum, set back off the road in a beautiful garden, acts as a museum and exhibition centre. Fruit shops are popular in this area. Head east and cross over Satun Rd and you will see a beautiful building called Phra Phitak Chyn Pracha Mansion. This is the most famous ‘angmor-lao’ (‘red-haired’ or ‘foreign’) residence in Phuket Town. Further up is another beautiful mansion called the Chyn Pracha house, which you can explore for a small donation. Sam San shrine, built in 1853 is further along the road. Built in 1853, it is dedicated to the Goddess of the sea.
Rasada Road: The Thavorn Hotel lobby houses an interesting collection of artefacts from Phuket’s tin mining past. At the western end of the road is the Suriyadate traffic circle fountain. If you continue west along Ranong Road you will find two beautiful examples of Chinese temples, the Jui Tui Shrine and Pud Jow Shrine. The Pud Jow Shrine was built over 200 years ago and is the oldest of its kind in Phuket.
5. Samet Nangshe Viewpoint
Made famous by photographer Theerasak Saksritawee, visit this spot just before sunrise. On clear mornings you will be spellbound watching the milky-way fade as the sun rises between solid limestone islands.
Located on a hilltop in Phang Nga, around 30 minutes drive from Phuket town, this is one of the most beautiful panoramas on the island.
The 180-degree view takes in thick jungle and mangroves, and the breath-taking limestone islands that dot Phang Nga Bay. There is a small entrance fee, and quite a steep walk to arrive at the Viewpoint, which should take around 20 minutes.
There is a campsite at the top should you prefer to star gaze throughout the night. Vendors sell drinks and snacks in the car park during the day.