Things to do in Phuket
Phromthep Cape (Laem Phromthep): This is the most popular and largest of all the view points. The area has been developed to offer extensive views over the sea and there are walking paths from the cliffs to the water's edge for the adventurous. The sunsets are absolutely breathtaking and never the same two days running. If you are romantically inclined this is the place to come in the evenings and hold hands as the setting sun paints the evening skies in towering kaleidoscopes of light and shade.
On top of Promthep Cape is a very pretty structure, the Kanchanaphisek Lighthouse which doubles as a museum. It was constructed in 1996. If you want to check the times of sunsets, ring the Phuket Meteorological & Radio Station on +66 (0)76 211494.
How to get there: Phromthep Cape is a headland on the extreme southern end of Phuket about 19 kilometres from Phuket City. You can drive there via Chalong Junction along Highway 4024 to Rawai Beach, and then follow the signs for 2 kilometres.
Windmill View Point: As the name would suggest this hilltop boasts a modern windmill – the only one on the island. It can be found on the south of Phuket between Nai Harn and Promthep. This isolated spot offers superb views of the tiny Ya Nui Beach and the main Nai Harn Beach. There are always boats moored off both beaches and in December the anchorages really come alive as the Phuket King's Cup Regatta gets under way.
How to get there: Drive from Nai Harn Beach towards the highest hilltop and take the first road on the right. You will spot the windmill on your right hand side.
Big Buddha Mountain (Khao Nakkerd): This is believed to be the highest point in Phuket and the huge Buddha image (still under construction), dominates the surrounding landscape. The development is set in a beautiful forest area and is designated as a national park. The site offers numerous images and statues of our Lord Buddha and Kuan Im-the Chinese Goddess of Mercy. These have been contributed by royal patrons and other senior personages. You are encouraged to make a donation towards the completion of the construction. The hill offers 360 degree panoramic views of the island and the sea. On a clear day you can see the Phi Phi Islands in the distance.
How to get there: From Wat Chalong, drive towards Chalong and turn right at Soi Yodsane. Follow this road for six kilometres. Don't be afraid of losing the way. The route is marked by yellow flags bearing the symbol of a wheel from Buddha's first sermon.
Rang Hill: Rang Hill lies to the northwest of Phuket City. The hilltop has been landscaped into a park and fitness facilities are offered. A winding tree-lined road takes you right to the summit where a sala offers shade during the day. Once there you can enjoy views of the city and beaches on the south and southwest of the island. Try a visit at night when the lights of the city are like a million diamonds scattered on night blue silk.
How to get there: Normal saloon cars can make the climb up Rang Hill. From the Phuket Administration Office Intersection take the road to Patong and after 500 metres turn right. From then on, there is only one road.
Khao Kad 360° Viewpoint: Khao Kad offers wonderful views of the Andaman Sea beaches and neighbouring islands from a different perspective – from Cape Panwa in Vichit district. Sunsets are on a par with Promthep. Visitors are faced with a stiff climb up 138 steps. Once there the fresh breezes and tranquil surroundings are a sufficient reward. The viewpoint has good parking facilities and services.
How to get there: Take Sakdidet Road as far as Baan Muang Thong (Muang Thong Village) or follow the signs to Makham Bay and turn right just before arriving at Panwa Cape. The turning is well signposted.