The Big Buddha statue is just east of Kata and north of Chalong. It is a prominent landmark for much of the southern half of Phuket. I have been going up there for 7 years now and remember the first few times, it was just the base of the statue.
the windy road is now paved 90% of the way.
So, what’s keeping you from going up and enjoying the famous structure as well as the great views of Phuket town to the east, and Laem Prom Thep to the south, and Kata/Karon beaches to the west!
(There is a small lookout behind the small sitting Buddha to the south near the top.) (picture on the right)
2. Khao Khad Views Tower
Cape Panwa Tower Khao Kwa
This is a new structure, having been completed 2 years ago over on Cape Panwa.
The 360 degree lookout was built on the highest point of Cape Panwa and is very spectacular.
Once you go up the 100 steps to the top of the tower, you will find maps for each compass point with descriptions of what you are looking at.
You can even see Ko Phi Phi on a clear day.
Last time i was up there, it was a beautiful sunset and there were 4 other people there (Thai couples)
So, if you like to see a nice sunrise or sunset view, that takes a bit of climbing, with peace and quiet around you, and,
you like spectacular views, this is one of the best!
There is even a restaurant near the parking area at the bottom. Enjoy!
3. Laem PromThep
This is the southernmost point on the island of Phuket.
But just above the point (at the water’s edge) is a mountain of hill called Laem PromThep.
There is a big parking lot nearby and then steps up to a
very fine lookout and great place to catch the sunset over the Andaman sea.
There is a statue of a Thai mariner on top and a huge plaza type area that fills up every night and especially on the weekends.
There is also a great restaurant nearby with the same stunning views of the sunset.
(The owner is a bonsai expert too and the gardens are as spectacular as the view.)
4. Karon Viewpoint
Between Nai Harn and Kata beaches on the back road over the mountain, you’ll come to a great lookout called Karon Viewpoint. (Also many locals call it Kata Viewpoint)
The best views are looking north at Kata and Karon beaches. You can also spot the Phuket Beach Meridien’s private beach as well as Kata Noi from here.
A very romantic, and picturesque spot.
There’s a guy that has 2 eagles that hangs around up there and you can have your picture taken with the birds (for a fee)
This is a very scenic road in the daytime and also has 4 elephant trekking companies within 3 kms between the two beaches
5. Rang Hill in Phuket Town
This is a romantic hill with it’s great views of Phuket Town and the South China sea to the east.
To get there, go to the north part of Phuket Town and look for signs.
There is a very nice restaurant near the top and it’s very popular with Thai locals and young couples.
Also there is a fitness park nearby.
6. Windmill HIll
If you start at the top of the list with Big Buddha, you will notice a large, modern windmill in the southern view.
This is the 2nd high point coming north from Laem PromThep and a beautiful view also.
One of the highlights of this view is looking almost straight down at Ya Nui Beach, which is a small beach that has good snorkeling and kayak rentals.
Looking northwest, you can see the famous Nai Harn beach and it’s Yacht Club hotel.
Another great sunset viewing lookout.
Every evening you can usually find some people with their homeade gliders and remote control boxes flying them through the view.
Parking is limited
7. Monkee Hill in Phuket Town
This is the hill that can be seen from most of Phuket town that has all of the TV and radio towers on top.
On the way driving up (or walking) there are literally hundreds of monkeys nearby.
They often come out when people arrive to feed them.
Careful though, they do bite sometimes. Especially if you get between a mother and her baby or a fight going on between the males.
8. Lookout near the top of Mae Sip Song
Mae Sip Song is the big mountain with the golf-ball looking structure on top.
This is actually a Thai Navy radar station.
Many people think that this is actually the highest point on the island. Many publications say it is so.
It is not though. If you read through my blog, I have an entry on how I determined there is a higher point to the west of the Kathu Waterfall.
But there is still a good lookout from the last big turn before the top on Mae Sip Song mountain.
One word of warning: If you drive up this road, you will pass 2 signs saying “No Trespassing” Miltary Base or something similar.
The 1st time i was ever up here, i hiked up through the jungle while planning my hiking trail (available on this blog elsewhere), and got to this beautiful lookout overlooking Patong to the west.
While i was enjoying it, about 15 4 wheelers with tourists riding them drove up and stopped and everyone was instructed to get off and enjoy the view. I have been up about 6 times since that 1st time and never been hassled in any way. That doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen.
This list is a small one compared to the numerous possibilities of great viewpoints throughout the island.
There are so many really good views that i find almost weekly when driving around and sightseeing.
Like heading up to windmill hill from Nai Harn Lake, there’s one spot where someone cut some trees back and there is a fantastic view of Nai Harn beach.
Or, up at the Small Sea View restaurant and sunset view spot on the back road between Kata and Nai Harn. (head towards Kata Noi and turn sharp left and go up the steep hill about 1 km to the now 3 restaurants built to take advantage of this great view overlooking Kata Noi beach.
Another is the view up at Pub Pla restaurant which is now closed and for sale. But this restaurant commands a spectacular 360 degree view which is between Kata and Chalong and just SE of Big Buddha. I believe the road is now closed so you can’t drive up there. Perhaps someone will buy it soon and open it back up.
There are also many great viewpoints that have to be hiked up to.
As well as the unlimted beach views, from the sunrise shots on the eastern side of Phuket, to the great sunsets on our island’s more famous beaches.
Mai Kao Beach from our campsite
1st beach north of Patong