- Nai Harn Beach and Yanui Beach
- Windmill Viewpoint
- Black Rock Hike
- Laem Krating Cape
- Promthep Cape View
- Promthep Temple by the Sea
- Rawai Pier and Rawai Beach
- Phuket Seashell Museum
- Island Hopping – Koh He, Koh Lon, Koh Bon
- Laem Panwa Viewpoint – Baba Nest Rooftop
1-Nai Harn Beach and Yanui Beach
Nai Harn is known for its exquisite fine sand beachfront and a tree-fringed freshwater inland lake that is lovely to jog around or paddleboat on. The beach is flanked on both sides by mountains covered with jungle greenery and palms. There is less hustle bustle in this quaint village with a peaceful, unspoiled vibe that goes along with the Nai Harn Buddhist Monastery that is a prominent feature here. Yanui Beach is tucked in a small cove between Windmill Viewpoint and Promthep Cape. A unique rock formation splits the beach into two bays great for snorkeling or kayaking. When the sea is calm you can paddle out to Ko Kaeo Yai, a small island around 700m from Yanui Beach.
This is yet another hilltop viewpoint with spectacular vistas looking out to the Andaman Sea. You will note the tall white windmills near by that give this location its name. The windmills belong to the Promthep Alternative Energy Station and generate electricity for the area. Windmill Viewpoint is a premium sunset viewing point and also beautiful through the day where you can watch the boat traffic and get a birds-eye view of Yanui Beach and Koh Man. This is typically a quieter spot due in part to very limited parking space.
3-Black Rock Hike
Black Rock Viewpoint Loop from Nai Harn Lake is a 6 km loop trail or 5 km out and back. It is a challenging hike but worth the effort through the rainforest as you are rewarded with a stunning view of Nai Harn Beach, Promthep Cape and Koh Man. The viewpoint itself is a natural large terrace featuring a huge black granite stone – hence its name. The trail starts from the parking lot for Nui Beach. There are two trails starting from here – one to the beach and the other (the one you want) to the left is to Black Rock. About 850 metres in a signboard to your left leads you into the jungle to the viewpoint. If you continue to walk on the main trail past this turn you get to Laem Krating Cape.
4-Laem Krating Cape
This location is a photographer’s playground. There is a fabulous view of Nai Harn Beach, Windmill Viewpoint and Promthep Cape. The highlight is a big horn-shaped rock that you can’t resist climbing on to get your picture taken. Here makes for amazing sunset shots (the path is difficult though so give yourself time to travel back before it is completely dark). For those more familiar with the area they will come to photograph the night sky as there is limited light pollution. Start your hike into this location from Nai Harn Beach to Baan Krating Phuket Resort, walk along the seafront cliffs to a small path. The walk takes about 30-35 minutes.
5-Promthep Cape View
Promthep Cape is the most southern point of Phuket Island. It is typically on everyone’s “must see” list when they come to visit Phuket and for good reason. This lookout is known for its stunning sea views and is a very popular place to come and photograph the sunset behind its iconic tall sugar palm trees. There is a path leading down to the very tip of the cape where you can watch the waves crashing over the rocks. You’ll need shoes with some grip for this hike. It is not recommended you try it with your flip flops on. The big open space at the very top of the hill has a lighthouse with a small nautical museum inside and a Buddhist shrine that is surrounded by hundreds of elephant statues and carvings in all sizes. Post viewing the restaurant Bukito offers good Thai food, a beautiful view and cool sea breezes.
6-Promthep Temple by the Sea
A hidden gem of a temple can be found off the beaten track near Rawai. Before reaching Promthep Cape there is a discreet entrance that will take you to this modest southernmost temple in Phuket. The temple grounds lead down to the sea to a beautiful view looking towards the cape. A fabulous place to watch the sunset without the crowd of tourists. It is peaceful and serene here with some unique statues and buddhas that tend to represent more nautical images. There is also a small cemetery. From here you can also see the Buddha found on the island of Kaeo Yai directly in front of the viewpoint.
7-Rawai Pier and Rawai Beach
Rawai Beach faces west with plenty of shade trees along it. Many of the longtail boats are moored here making for spectacular photography particularly during sunrise. The Rawai Pier is a major point of departure for boats available to hire to head out and explore the surrounding islands. When the tide goes out you will see how shallow it is as the mudflats are exposed for an impressive distance. During low tide you can observe locals out on the flats collecting shellfish or on shore watch the fisherman chalking their boats, mending their nets or building new longtail boats.
8-Phuket Seashell Museum
This museum near Rawai showcases over 2,000 specimens and displays of rare and valuable seashells from all around the world. The exhibitions are divided into four collections among which you can see some unique and interesting items including the world’s largest golden pearl, shell fossils and a shell weighing 250 kg! On the ground floor there is a souvenir and gift shop that is worth checking out. Items to purchase include shell carvings, jewellery, mother-of-pearl dining sets and other shell arts and crafts. The museum is open daily from 9am to 5:30pm.
9-Island Hopping – Koh He, Koh Lon, Koh Bon
Koh Lon is the largest of the 3 islands closest to Rawai situated in Chalong Bay. Lon Island is a quiet and laid- back place that is rugged and mountainous. It is mainly populated by Muslim communities that make a living from fishing or rubber and coconut tree plantations. Koh He or Coral Island is the most popular of the islands south of Phuket for as its name suggests it is well known for its shallow coral reefs and excellent snorkeling. Koh Bon is a small island covered with lush vegetation dotted with tiny sand coves. Bon Island Restaurant is located between 2 of these small beaches. All these islands can be accessed by hiring a longtail boat at Rawai Pier or along Rawai Beach.
10-Panwa Viewpoint and Baba Nest Rooftop
There are two places at Cape Panwa where you can get spectacular 360-degree views. The first view is at the Panwa Viewpoint where after climbing up the 200-step staircase you can get a breathtaking view from the top of the 2-storey circular tower. Signboards placed around the circular room help you to recognize various islands and beaches. The second viewpoint can be found at Baba Nest’s exclusive rooftop bar at Sri Panwa Resort. There is a wrap around infinity pool that goes along the edge of the rooftop deck that looks out to 360-degree panoramic views of the islands in the Andaman Sea that surround the peninsula. The sunset from this vantage page is out of this world. Of note though there is a minimum spending limit of 1000 baht per person required to access the rooftop.