While most arrive in Phuket and immediately hit the beaches, those who can muster the energy to tear themselves away from the sand find that Thailand’s largest island offers some extraordinarily amazing viewpoints from its hilly interior. If you’re planning more than just a fly and flop holiday, your best bet for exploring the island is using a Phuket car rental. The traffic isn’t heavy outside the main town and there are some spectacular stretches of coastal road. In no particularly order, here’s out favorites from across the island.
Without a doubt, the most visited viewpoint on Phuket is the Big Buddha, a 45-metre-high white marble statue perched on a mountaintop in the center-south of the island. Once you’ve marvelled at the truly impressive holy site, called Phra Puttamingmongkol Akenakkiri Buddha by locals, turn your gaze to the 360-degree panoramic views across the mountainous terrain and down to the turquoise waters below.
If you haven’t had your fill of viewpoints, be sure to hop in your Phuket car rental and make a dash for the Karon Viewpoint just a few miles south of Big Buddha. While it may not be as high as the temple site, its views across the lush forests and several white sandy beaches lapped by the Andaman Sea are no less impressive.
Tucked away on a little peninsula on the very southern tip of Phuket is Promthep Cape. While the views are marvelous any time of day, it’s famed for its achingly beautiful sunsets that turn the sky into a kaleidoscope of pinks and oranges as it melts behind the ocean horizon. Pro tip: get their early to secure a front row seat on the grassy peninsula’s banks in order to adequately prepare for the natural wonder.
While you’re in the south, you could make a dash for the Windmill Viewpoint, just a kilometer or two north of Promthep. Though you don’t have to be an adrenaline junkie to enjoy the views, if you’re feeling brave, why not take to the skies in one of the tandem hang glides and take in the coastline and sea in as you circle on the morning thermals?
Located to the east of the island, Monkey Hill offers some surprisingly good views down over Phuket Town and across to the sea. However, most people visit in order to get up close and personal with the 400-strong troupe of macaques who climb, jump, and screech in an effort to get the attention of visitors – and hopefully steal a banana or two.
If you’re going to visit just one viewpoint using your Phuket car rental, make it Radar Hill. Not only does it have the official title of being the highest viewpoint in Phuket, but when the skies are clear, it also has some of the most impressive. Bring your camera, because you’re not going to want to miss snapping pics of the views across the lush hillsides and down to Chalong Bay.
Wassa Homemade Bar
If you like to do things in comfort, try the Wassa Homemade Bar which is perched on a hillside just outside of the popular resort of Patong. The little wooden thatched hut offers a range of cold drinks and some fine Thai fare which you can enjoy while looking down over the bays and ocean. Another fantastic spot for a sundowner!