The beautiful Island of Phuket has stunning viewpoints all over the island where you can appreciate the incredible views across the land and out into the Andaman Sea. Recommended viewpoints not to miss if you wish to appreciate Phuket's natural beauty are: Kata viewpoint, Phromthep Cape, Windmill viewpoint (Nai Harn/Promthep), Khao Rang Hill viewpoint (Phuket Town), Panwa viewpoint, Plub Pla viewpoint, Radar Hill viewpoint (Patong), Big Buddha viewpoint and the view from Patong Hill.
In addition to these viewpoints, if you are exploring the island yourself, you will find many great vantage points to appreciate stunning views, and many have bars or restaurants where you can relax and enjoy the views, either perched at the top of hills or on the white sandy beaches looking out to sea.
This viewpoint is less than 10 minutes up the coast road from The Villas, between Nai Harn and Kata. The Thai name for this viewpoint is "Kho Saam Haad", which appropriately means 'Hill of the three beaches' as it is an excellent venue to see the bays of Kata Noi, Kata Yai, and Karon, and also Koh Poo Island, which lays of Kata Beach. Patong Beach can be seen further up the coast.
At this viewpoint you will find a large public sala, or shelter, car park, gardens and a few retailers selling snacks and drinks. You also might find Phuket's "Eagle Man" who cares for a Sea Hawk and Sea Eagle, and for a relatively small charge you can have your photograph taken holding these impressive birds.
A little further up the road, towards Kata, you will notice two adjacent Reggae bars, the After Beach Bar and Viewpoint. The bars are very similar and both have the same view out over Kata Noi, serving drinks, cocktails and a wide range of basic western and Thai food. Either bar is a fabulous location to enjoy a "sundowner" and catch the setting sun. Remember your camera and mosquito repellent! There is usually someone outside on the road flagging cars down so you'll know where to stop.
Phromthep Cape, located between Nai Harn and Rawai has a spectacular viewpoint, a Thai restaurant, a lighthouse (and museum), a market and an elephant shrine, so well worth a visit, especially as it is less then 10 minutes from The Villas. "Prom" is Thai for the Hindu 'Brahma' signifying purity, and "Thep" means 'God', and the Elephant Shrine devoted to the Hindu God that is found at the Cape illustrates this.
The Phromthep headland is the most southerly point of Phuket, and it stretches down towards rocks meeting with the sea at the bottom, and has always been a prominent feature in recognisable landscape photographs of Phuket and well known by mariners who have navigated the oceans since the days of early seafarers who journeyed along the Malay–peninsula's west coast. Kanchanaphisek Lighthouse built here to warn mariners of the rocky headland now offers spectacular views over the east and southeast of the island, and is now open to the public and contains a small museum, and if you venture outdoors onto the viewing balcony, on a clear day you can see the distinctive shapes of the Phi Phi Islands, Koh Racha Yai and Koh Racha Noi, and many Islands closer to the shore, including Koh Kiaow with its Buddhist monastery.
Adjacent to the Lighthouse is a monument dedictated to the 28th son of King Rama 5th, Prince of Jumborn, who is famous for travelling to England in the late 19th century to join the Navy, and at the age of 21, on his return to Phuket, he built the first naval base on the island.
Located across from the carpark are a selection of local stalls, selling a variety of souvenirs including ornaments, sea shells, batiks, beachwear and casual clothes, sarongs, snacks, drinks and toys.
THE WINDMILL VIEWPOINT (Nai Harn/Phromthep):
On the road to the south of Nai Harn Beach, going up the hill towards Phromthep Cape, you will find the slim windmills of Phromthep Alternative Energy Station facing out to sea, marking a beautiful viewpoint looking down on Ya Nui and Nai Harn beaches, and out towards Kho Man Island. As this is a narrow, dead–end road the number of cars and access is limited, so it is a far more intimate location than that of The Cape itself.
The open–sided sala, or pavilion provides a venue to sit and take in the stunning views, there is usually a vendor selling cold drinks and snacks and a local Rastafarian jewellery maker selling his wares, and you may also find local enthusiasts flying model airplanes or paragliders riding the thermals.
KHAO RANG HILL VIEWPOINT (Phuket Town):
If you are touring Phuket Town, no trip would be complete without a drive up Rang Hill to the Khao Rang Viewpoint, in the north west of the City. The viewpoint not only has amazing views over the city and the southern part of the island, but out to sea and offshore islands. You will also notice statues of revered Governors of Phuket, and find the lookout complete with restaurants and snack bars, a park area suitable for picnics and many health conscious local residents who favour the shaded fitness park for their exercise regimes.
Rang Hill Viewpoint is accessed from two locations in Phuket Town, either at the junction of Mae Luan and Kosimbee roads OR next to Vachira Hospital on Yaorawat Road. This road also features a Buddhist temple that is home to a fine, large seated golden Buddha.
Although you are faced with a bit of a climb up several steps, the 360 degree views of Southern Phuket, once you're at the top, are thoroughly worthwhile. This viewpoint is found if you head towards Cape Panwa and follow the signs first for the Novotel then for "Khao Khad" Village and the 'Khao Khad Views Tower'. You will find cafes and shops, as well as a large carpark.
PLUB PLA VIEWPOINT:
For a 360 degree view of Southern Phuket, an excursion to the Plub Pla Viewpoint is worthwhile. Turning left at Chalong Circle when approaching from The Villas, will take you on the road heading to Kata, about half way between on the left hand side look out for the "Hilltop Restaurant" sign, and although the restaurant has now closed down, the viewpoint is still very much worth visiting. There is a one way system in operation up the steep road, and a carpark at the top, to get the best views climb the remaining of the way, using the stairs, to be reach the two–level view tower, which contains photographs and maps to explain what you are looking at, and enable you to take in the complete magnificence of the views.
RADAR HILL VIEWPOINT (Patong):
The highest point on the island at 500 metres is Radar Hill, and it is home to the military owned weather station ('Grom Utu' in Thai). If you look up above Patong and from several locations around the island you will see a bubble like structure, making the viewpoint easy to locate. To find your way up to the highest point, you need to head towards Central from Chalong Circle, and look out for a yellow sign written in Thai and a gateway–like entrance to a road leading to a temple, which you pass. The road begins to incline after this, steeply in places, and the journey up is worth stopping at intervals to take in the views, particularly the spectacular Bang Wad reservoir and Chalong Bay and outlaying islands, but nothing compares to the view when you reach the top, over the other side of the hill, of Patong in all its splendour.
Please note, as the weather station is owned by the Thai Military, so please do not go too close or try to approach the gates of the restricted area or take photographs.
BIG BUDDHA VIEWPOINT:
Located soon after Chalong Circle, as you head towards Central Festival and the Airport, at the first set of traffic lights, you will see a left turning with red arrows sign posting the way to The Big Buddha. The six kilometre winding road takes you up to this stunning viewpoint and the 45–metre tall Buddha. As you reach the summit there are various places to stop to take in the views of Karon and out over the Andaman Sea, and at the top is the impressive Buddha image that serenely looks out across much of the south of the island. Here you have the opportunity to appreciate views from the east of Island, over Phuket Town, across Chalong Bay and towards Phromthep Cape. You cannot quite see Nai Harn as it is hidden behind the hills to the south of Kata, but you can see right round to the west coast and in the evenings experience the picturesque sunsets.
If you wish to visit this viewpoint, remember it is a place of religious significance and you should therefore dress with respect, ensuring not to wear revealing clothes or beachwear and to cover shoulders, legs and not show stomachs.
For further details on Big Buddha, please read our information under it's own heading.
VIEW FROM PATONG HILL:
If you are in Patong, for the best views over the town and across the bay, head onto Soi Na Nai, behind the Jungceylon shopping mall, and turn up Soi Hassipi by Montes Restaurant. Here you will find unspoiled countryside and jungle, and although there has been some building development recently, you still have the opportunity to experience the beautiful scenery and views. The Krua Chom View Restaurant has both good local food and a good view, and then you can continue a further two kilometres following a track that takes you even higher.