Southern Thailand is absolutely breathtaking with so much to do and see. It is home to hundreds of beautiful beaches, an unlimited amount of quaint cafes and eateries, some of the nicest people you will ever meet, and so much more. In October of 2018, Kevin and I were lucky enough to explore this beautiful country. In addition to visiting the Phi Phi Islands, Khao Sok National Park, and Koh Samui, we visited the more well-known city of Phuket and loved every minute of it. Though Phuket is a bigger more well-known city than the others, it still has some of that small town charm. Below are our favorite viewpoints, beaches, and activities in Phuket Thailand.
If you’re interested in visiting more than just Thailand check out our other posts.
The most common form of transportation throughout Thailand are taxis or Tuk-Tuks. However, you can also rent a car or hire a driver. Taxis and Tuk-Tuks are definitely the cheapest options but they are also less comfortable and less flexible. If you opt for public transportation, remember to check if the vehicle has air conditioning. Most Tuk-Tuks do not have air conditioning which could make it a long ride!
If you opt to rent your own car, a great rental car company is Pure Car Rent (www.purecarrent.com). Kevin and I highly recommend this company! Pure Car Rent offered both drop-off and pickup services in Phuket, which made it very easy for us since we arrived by ferry and were able to leave the car at the airport when we were finished with it.
Promthep Cape Viewpoint is notorious for beautiful sunsets and has become a popular tourist destination over the last few years. People from all over the world come to Promthep Cape to photograph the beautiful sights of both the sunset as well as the stunning blue water that the cape overlooks.
Each day large tour buses unload dozens of tourists all there for their own personal reasons. Though Promthep Cape offers beautiful views, it is also home to a historic lighthouse that is still open for people to climb. Also since the cape has become so well-known there are many vendors selling Thai goods and food here! If you are up for it and want to get away from the crowds, you can hike down the hillside to the southern tip of the cape.
For those of you renting your own vehicle, you can rest easy knowing that there is a large parking lot located very close to the viewpoint where you can park for free.
Ya Nui Beach is a small beach located in the middle of two of Phuket’s most well-known viewpoints. Luckily Ya Nui Beach is not a huge tourist location and for that reason, it is not as crowded as some of the beaches in the area. Kevin and I definitely recommend this beach if you are looking to escape some of the crowds.
Ya Nui Beach is located in a small cove that offers wonderful fishing, kayaking, and snorkeling. If you aren’t interested in water activities it is also known for its soft sand where you can sit and rest while you enjoy the views or even a good book.
The parking lot is small though and we imagine it will fill up fast on the weekends so arrive early.
Situated north of Ya Nui Beach, Windmill Viewpoint offers another cliffside view overlooking the Andaman Sea and Ya Nui Beach. Windmill Viewpoint offers sites that compare to Promthep Cape without all the of the hustle and bustle of tourists. Though this viewpoint is small it is a great place to enjoy a quiet picnic while watching the sunset with the one you love.
Nai Harn Beach, located north of Windmill Viewpoint, is a stretch of beach that is known for its waves. It is also one of Southern Thailands’ more popular beach destinations! Since Nai Harn Beach has recently been “discovered” by tourists local Thai residents have built up a little town around it that offers restaurants, hotels, and a few local shops.
If you are a beachgoer who likes to have fun in the waves then Kevin and I highly recommend this beach! Here you can expect to find waves from April to November! Though Nai Harn Beach offers waves, it also attracts divers, snorkelers, and kayakers as well.
Karon Viewpoint, formerly known as Kata Viewpoint, was our favorite stop along the southwestern coast. It offered fabulous views of both Kata and Karon Beach. Much like Promthep Cape Viewpoint, Karon Viewpoint has become a very popular tourist destination so it does get a bit crowded during golden hours. This destination does offer parking, however, during busy hours people park on the side of the road without issues.
This is a great viewpoint for couples, families, or even single travelers. At the top of Karon Viewpoint, there is a gazebo offering a shaded seating area where many read and/or relax with their families while enjoying the views.
Next to Karon View Point get drinks at sunset at Heaven Restaurant
After Karon View Point, if you have time, check out Heaven Restaurant for a drink at sunset. The views of the sunset are stunning and reminded us both of the views from the Conrad in Koh Samui. Drinks are on the pricier side however it was a small price to pay for the view.
Although the drinks and views are good, we would not recommend eating at Heaven. We didn’t find the service to be all that great nor the food. After enjoying the sunset and a few drinks we’d recommend heading to Kata Beach for dinner since there are plenty of cute restaurants to choose from there.
While in Southern Thailand don’t forget to visit Phuket Big Buddha. Big Buddha is 147.6-feet tall and can be seen on clear days as far as Phuket Town and Karon Beach. Though a popular tourist destination, Phuket Big Buddha is still a functioning monastery so please be respectful when you visit.
Phuket Big Buddha is located on a large hill offering 36o-degree views of Southern Thailand that are simply breathtaking. It also offers a very peaceful and quiet atmosphere giving tourists time to reflect and take everything in. Although Big Buddha is free, there are donation boxes located at the bottom of the statue itself. Donations are appreciated and are solely used for the maintenance of Phuket Big Buddha. If you want to make a donation while also hoping to leave your mark, you may purchase a tile and add your name to the site.
Tip: This is a place of worship so you want to be respectful. Wear non-offensive clothing and try not to be too loud.
If you’re in Phuket, you are bound to hear of Patong Beach and Bangla Road. It is well-known for its crazy nightlife, go-go bars, beer girls, and essentially prostitution. On our last night in town, Kevin and I decided to check this area out. Although we would not recommend bringing your children here at night (since it’s definitely rated R if we were to slap a movie rating on it), it is still a fun scene and we recommend at least walking through it at night when it comes alive.
Located right outside of Bangla walking street are a number of delicious restaurants we recommend checking out beforehand. They have everything from local Thai cuisine to Italian, Mexican, you name it. Also located right across the street is a popular beach that is known to fill up with tourists during the day.
Even though Patong Beach has a stigma associated with it, we definitely recommend checking it out, it is a cool town with a lot going on both during the day and at night.
If you’re interested in checking out these viewpoints but can’t operate without coffee than check out The Coffee Club! The Coffee Club is a coffeehouse-style cafe chain that is simply delicious. The Coffee Club originated in Australia but can be found all over Southern Thailand. Prices are similar to Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts however the vibe is much more modern and trendy. Also, The Coffee Club not only serves coffee and other delicious beverages but it serves wonderful food as well. This place is totally worth checking out!
Phuket has many things to offer, if you’re like us and love taking pictures and enjoy scenic views of new places than this post is for you. Starting from the southern tip of Thailand on upward it’s western coast will bring you to the following locations.
If you have any recommendations on what to do in Phuket or any questions drop a comment below.