An expansive island with a rich and vibrant past, Phuket hides several delightful treats in its nooks and crannies that first time travellers often miss. Usually known as the land of exotic beaches, vibrant nightlife, colourful night markets, delicious seafood, white marble Big Buddha, and scuba diving, Phuket is also the land of overlooked sites. Here is a list that beats the grandeur of the more famous landmarks in Phuket and gives you an alternative to the more mainstream areas.
The Samet Nangshe Viewpoint in Phang Nga is a place to enjoy stunning views of the limestone islets in Phang Nga Bay. It's located on a hilltop and it takes about 30 minutes to drive there from Phuket. The spot is far away from the city, so you can appreciate the beauty of the Milky Way galaxy during specific times without any light pollution. Witnessing the sunrise over Phang Nga Bay is also a must-see experience.
A picturesque and vast place, Banana Beach boasts crystal-clear shallow blue waters, towering palm trees, and high-quality sand. It's a wonder why it remains undeveloped compared to other areas on the island. Finding Banana Beach can be tough if you're not familiar with the area. Spotting the tiny entrance from the road is challenging for most visitors. The easiest way to get there is by heading to the airport and turning left at the T-junction, just before Phuket Airport. Follow the signs to Naithon beach, a lovely area, and drive a few more kilometres.
A hidden restaurant, Green Heart Garden is located on the hills above Kata Beach, and offers breathtaking panoramic views of the Andaman Sea. It is built with large wooden terraces and furnished with bamboo chairs.
Green Heart Garden serves Thai cuisine, and its breakfast dish, Kanom Jeen, is highly recommended. The dish consists of rice noodles served with various toppings such as curry, vegetables, and meat. It is the perfect way to start your day while enjoying the beautiful scenery. However, note that the road leading to Green Heart Garden is narrow, steep, and winding, which can make driving a little challenging.
The Black Rock View Point is said to be the best vantage point on Phuket Islands. It offers a stunning view of Promthep Cape and Nai Harn Beach. This spot is popular for both amateurs and professionals who enjoy hiking for a picturesque view. If you're planning to visit the Black Rock viewpoint in the southern part of Phuket, it's important to note that it can be quite challenging to access if you're unfamiliar with the area. It's highly recommended to have a car or a motorbike to get there. Additionally, you should be in decent physical condition as you have to walk on a steep incline. To locate the entrance of the dirt road leading to Black Rock Viewpoint, you will first need to drive past the well-known "Karon Viewpoint" in the south of the island and continue until you reach Nai Harn Beach. From there, take the second road on your right to "Nui Beach" and drive along the dirt road for about a kilometre until you see the large black stone with the words "Pa Hin Dum" (meaning Black Rock Forest) written on it. A 300m climb from there leads you to your destination.
Haad Sai Kaew, also known as Sai Kaew Beach, is a stunning and expansive beach situated north of Phuket Island. It can be found after Mai Khao Beach and before Sarasin Bridge. While here, take a moment to savour a refreshing seafood lunch in one of the numerous bamboo huts with thatched roofs.