Hidden Gems of Phuket
Off the Beaten Path in Thailand
Let us take you off the beaten path into the hidden gems of Phuket, Thailand.
Head to an alternative beach
The beaches along Phuket's west coast – Patong, Kata, Karon – are filled with travelers throughout the year, suffocatingly so. While few beaches remain entirely untouched, there are some quieter options available.
Slightly to the west of Nai Han, a quick drive through The Royal Phuket Yacht Club and out the other side, is Ao Sane, a very small rocky beach visited by only a handful of people a day. There are a few bungalows and one restaurant, and this is a prime spot for snorkeling. Facilities are minimal here, so you may want to pick up a snorkel or chairs in the busier areas before arriving.
To the far north of Phuket are Hat Nai Yang and Hat Mai Khao, two long stretches of beach often only visited by locals. Situated immediately next to Sirinat National Park, these beaches offer a space to lounge around in the sun and enjoy some of Phuket's greener areas. What's special about Mai Khao is its proximity to the airport – come here if you have an interest in planes as they fly directly over (and alarmingly close to) the beach as the runway is just meters from the coastline. Head further north up the shore for a more peaceful visit.
Black Rock Viewpoint
Phuket is famous for its huge number of viewing platforms. Some of them, such as Karon Viewpoint, attract hundreds of tourists, while others can only be discovered deep in the woods. Popular locations are easy to reach but all their charm disappears when you have to compete with a crowd of onlookers all chasing the same beautiful views. If you want to admire the beauty of nature in a secluded place, try to find Black Rock Viewpoint. You can get there by car as there is no shortage of Phuket car rental services, but keep in mind that a part of the route is a dirt road. Then you will have to climb a little through the jungle. But trust us, the scenic view from the top is worth the sweat. As a bonus, you will discover the beautiful and secluded Nui Beach.
Adventure seekers will love this hidden gem in Patong, Phuket. Made up of drop pools, Kathu Waterfall is best experienced during the green season. To get to the very top of the falls, you’ll have to be ready to take a challenging climb with stone stairways and shaded rest stops along the way.
Two areas divide the falls. One side is a natural pool perfect for swimming and the other is a steep climb to the extravagant waterfall. Along the way, explore the tropical vegetation of the dense green forest. Be sure to have shoes that are good for hiking as there are lots of slippery rocks and paths covered in moss.
For panoramic views of southern and eastern Phuket, head to Panwa Viewpoint on the road to Cape Panwa. The two-story tower offers two viewpoints. You can see turquoise seas and lush greenery across the hills on the first level. On the second level, you’ll see even farther views of Phuket’s coast.
The climb is not for the faint of heart, but the scene is rewarding with 360° views of crystal blue waters, Chalong Bay, and the Big Buddha on Nakkerd Hills