Kao Khad and Ao Yon

I remember when I first arrived in Phuket back in 1987, the 'road' to Ao Yon was quite an adventure! You could take the road down to Cape Panwa and drive across the hill down to Ao Yon or you could take the road along the edge of Kao Khad with fear of driving over the edge and plunging into the sea. In those days there was little built along there and Ao Yon was a quiet cove with a small Sailing School run by a Dutchman called Robert (See photo below). Almost every Sunday I would go there with my friend Maria and enjoy sailing a small catamaran or relaxing on the deserted beach. 

Sailing Club, Ao Yon, Phuket 1988

Time and progress have changed all that and the drive now follows a good road lined with resorts and restaurants down to Ao Yon and another collection beach-side restaurants and bars. Sadly I never took a photo of the old road, but my memory of it never fades.

Viewpoints in Phuket
Roadside Viewpoint
A perfect place to sit and watch the sunset!

Sunsets in Phuket
View of Chalong Bay

Sunset views in Phuket
Looking towards Ao Yon (out of sight)

But now the best place to see the view, 360 degrees of Phuket, is at Kao Khad Viewpoint which lies on the hill between the Panwa Bay side and the Chalong Bay side, and can be reached by road from either side.

View Kao Khad Viewpoint in a larger map

Kao Khad Viewpoint, Phuket, Thailand

Kao Khad Viewpoint, Phuket, ThailandKao Khad Viewpoint, Phuket, Thailand

There are several tables to sit and enjoy a drink and the walkway leads back to the parking area.

The view from the top is really quite spectacular with a clear view of all Phuket's off-shore islands and a hazy view of the islands in Phang Nga Bay. There are information boards to help you identify the island and landmarks such as Wat Chalong. (Click on photo to see larger version)

Laem Panwa, Cape PanwaAo Makham

Koh Tapao
View of Koh Tapao and almost visible in the distance - Koh Phi Phi

Koh Lone
View of Koh Lone

Chalong Bay, Bon Island, Buddha Island
View over Chalong Bay with Bon Island centre and Koh Kaew or Buddha Island and Laem Promthep 

Chalong, Palai, Big Buddha
View over Chalong Pier, Palai Beach and Big Buddha (on hilltop below and to right of cloud)

Phuket Town
View towards Wat Naka

Phuket Town
View over Phuket Town with the Waste Incinerator smoking away on the right!

Klong Mu Dong
View over Klong Mudong - note the new sports ground under construction.

Follow the road back down the hill towards Ao Yon and stop for lunch at the Ship Inn or Secret Cove. Both restaurants are right on the beach and make a great place to relax, enjoy the view and maybe take a swim! 

Follow the road from Ao Yon back over the hill to Laem Panwa take a right turn and follow the road to the very end and you will find yourself at Phuket's Marine Biology Centre and Phuket Aquarium. I must confess on my last trip the Aquarium was looking old but they seemed to working on refurbishing signs and certain tanks. Take a look at my Aquarium blog post to see a bit more about it.

If you fancy something a bit luxurious and very colonial then try dinner at Panwa House, an old plantation owner's mansion located in the grounds of the Cape Panwa Hotel.