If you ask your tour guide or friendly taxi driver to recommend the best view point on the island of Phuket they will almost certainly direct you to Promthep Cape and with some justice. The cape offers superb seaviews and the sunsets are a kaleidoscope of light and shade. However, for those who seek the ultimate and are prepared to take the road less travelled we will let you in on one of the islands best kept secrets - Khao Kad View Point.
Located in Vichit sub-district on Cape Panwa to the southwest of Phuket City, the view point is unique in offering 360 degree vistas over the whole of the island and surrounding seas. Getting there is slightly tricky if you are planning to drive, so it is probably a good idea to invest in a road map - actually most hotel receptions will give you one for free. Aren't we kind!
There are in fact, several ways to go but let's start with the simplest. From Phuket City take the Sakdidech Road (the 4023 highway).
If on the other hand, you are approaching from the south end of the island follow the Chao Fa East road (highway 4021) until it joins the Sakdidech Road (mentioned above) and turn right. From there the routes converge just follow the Cape Panwa signs. There are a few twists and turns so take it easy and stay alert. It is a very pretty drive through what is a largely Muslim, traditional farming community.
In the fullness of time you will reach the Khao Kad Intersection, where you should turn right. (It's signposted). Three kilometres further on you will reach the view point car park. Mission accomplished!
Parking is always easy and the area has the usual amenities - toilets, food and drink stalls, etc.
There are excellent views towards the south and west including the beautiful Chalong Bay, studded with marine craft - luxury yachts and local fishing boats are moored side by side.
However, the best is yet to come. To your right and up a bit (quite a big bit actually) is the Khao Kad Tower which is reached via a staircase with 138 steps. There are a couple of Salas (small rest houses) along the flight where you can rest and catch your breath. So what are you waiting for? Grab a bottle of water, your binoculars, check that your camera is loaded, charged and ready to go, and then commence the ascent. Believe us, the effort is worthwhile.
The tower consists of two lofty storeys so the actual height is probably equivalent to four normal floors and suddenly at your feet is the whole of Phuket - the beautiful Chalong Bay, the tip of Cape Panwa framed by vivid sapphire seas, Phuket's highest mountain called Nakkerd, dominated by the giant Buddha statue - Mingmongkol Naksri, and to the north is the city itself, its detail made misty by distance.
On every quarter, islands of emerald green with small sandy bays or rocky promontories delight the eye. On a very clear day you can see Phi Phi Islands.