Phuket is a hilly island and so it has plenty of good viewpoints to appreciate the spectacular scenery. The journey to find them is half the fun. If you get out on the road and search out some of the following viewpoints, you will not only enjoy the spectacular views, but also get the chance to explore Phuket. You will find many points of interest along the way and there is never a shortage of refreshment establishments.
Phuket Big Buddha
This new attraction is still under construction but is already worth a visit if only for the magnificent views. At 45 meters high, this will be the biggest Buddha image in Thailand. It is perched atop Nakkerd Hills at an altitiude of 350-meters and can be seen from much of southern Phuket.
At the top of the hill is a Buddhist Shrine so you should dress appropriately (not singlets, sport shorts or short skirts). Beyond this you can climb the steps to the base of the Big Buddha. There is also a 5.5 meter high brass Buddha here. When it is complete, there will be a Buddhism museum within the base of the statue.
They still have a lot of work to do to complete the project but you can see from the model plans that it will be a hugely impressive attraction when it is completed. The entire project has been funded by donations. You can help by making a small donation or you can even pay to write your name on a piece of marble that will become part of the project.
There are absolutely magnificent views across southern Phuket. You can see across Chalong Bay and beyond Cape Panwa. You have great views of the islands in Chalong Bay. From the other side, you can see Rawai and Laem Promthep. Looking inland, you can see that Phuket does still have plenty of undeveloped hills and forest.
A few little attractions have appeared on the new road. There is already a monkey camp and an elephant camp on the way up. Close to the top are a couple of little restaurants with great views over Karon Beach.
To reach the Big Buddha, drive to Chalong Circle and take the road towards Wat Chalong. Approx 1 kilometer from Chalong Circle is the left hand turn for the long climb up the hill to the Big Buddha. The road is not completed and some of it is still dirt track. The drive is easy enough although we imagine it might be rather treacherous in the wet.
The winding coast road between Kata and Nai Harn has some lovely scenery. Just two kilometers along it from Kata is Kata Viewpoint. There is a small car park, a couple of shops and a pavillion from which to enjoy the view..
If you climb the steps to the top of the pavillion, you have a wonderful view north across three of Phuket’s best beaches.
If the vegetation is not too high then the nearest beach you can see is Kata Noi. In the next bay is the sweeping Kata Beach. In the distance you see the long stretch of Karon Beach. f you keep driving south on this road, you will pass Nai Harn Beach and then reach Promthep Cape.
At the southwest corner of Phuket is Promthep Cape (Laem Promthep) also known as Sunset Point because of its spectacular sunset views. It is a popular place with Asian tour groups who congregate here from the late afternoon until sunset.
In one direction, there is a great view across Nai Harn Beach to the Royal Phuket Yacht Club. In the other direction is the dramatic cape jutting into the sea. For the adventurous, there is a footpath down to the end of the cape but watch your footing as you go.
Beyond the cape, you see Koh Kaeo and in the distance are the Koh Racha islands. There is a nice restaurant on the side of the hill where you can enjoy some food and drink while watching the sunset.
There are plenty of trinket shops, foodstalls, etc by the car park. You can also visit the small lighthouse on top of the hill.
Khao Khat (Cape Panwa)
This viewpoint in Cape Panwa is a little difficult to find as there are not so many signposts but the views are worth the effort.
The viewpoint is atop a hill in the heart of Cape Panwa. There are steps climbing to the top of the hill where a tower provides a commanding 360-degree view around southern Phuket. In one direction you have great views of Cape Panwa and the surrounding islands. You can see across Phuket Town and all the way to Koh Sirey. In the other direction Chalong Bay shimmers under the sun dotted with boats.
There are a few routes up to this viewpoint but we will only describe one. You need to get onto Cape Panwa’s western coast road (the Novotel Hotel side). Drive into Cape Panwa on Sakdidet Road. Turn right at the third set of traffic lights and you will come to a three-way intersection with a small monument in the middle. Turn left at this intersection and follow the road which turns left when you reach the mouth of a small river. Take the next right and you are driving along the Cape Panwa western coast road. You will see a left hand fork up a hill. Take this road and follow it until you have a choice to go straight or swing right – go straight and follow the road to the viewpoint.
Khao Rang (Phuket Town)
There is a great view across Phuket Town all the way to the southern coast and islands beyond. There is a small exercise park at the top of the hill.
Halfway up the hill is Viewpoint Restaurant. The food here is is nothing special but the views make up for it. At the top of the hill is the nicer Tung Ka Cafe, again with great views and nestled into the jungle.
If you enter Phuket Town at the Central Festival junction on Wichitsongkram Road then go on to the next set of traffic lights and take the left hand fork on to Mae Luan Road. Follow this road to the next traffic lights and turn left up the hill to the viewpoint.