Phromthep Cape Viewpoint
Of all the view points in Phuket Island, the most famous has got to be Laem Phromthep or Phromthep Cape. Whether the actual viewpoint does it’s reputation justice or not is up for debate, but there is no debating the flocks of tourists that congregate to the hilltop every evening at sundown. Starting just a little before sunset until the sun is fully set, lines of buses make their way up the hill to Leam Phromthep. Each day hundreds of tourists from all over the world come to watch what has been described as the most beautiful sunset to be seen in Phuket.
It is true that there are extremely beautiful sunsets to be seen at the viewpoint, on a clear day at least. Often times, especially during the monsoon season, there will be distant clouds on the horizon, obscuring the sunset. At times this can enhance the natural beauty as the sky appears to be alight with fire. Other times, it is just a major let down.
Despite the weather being hit or miss and regardless of whether Laem Phromthep is the most beautiful view in Phuket, it is definitely worthy of a look. It is regarded as one of the must see tourist destinations in Phuket Island.
As you first arrive at Laem Phromthep you will be in a parking lot with stairs going up a hill on one side and dozens of small souvenir shops on the other side. The prices in the shops are much higher then the vendors expect you to pay, so be sure to haggle. As you go up the stairs, to your right is a gift shop and access to the Laem Phromthep Restaurant. At the very top of the hill is the actual view point. You will know you are there when you can see the other hundred or so tourists that are also waiting for the sunset.
From the view point there are panoramic views from the southern tip of the Island all the way to Nai Harn Beach. You also get a good view of the islands and the Andaman Sea. But the sunset is the real reason to visit.
Also on the top of the hill is an elephant shrine which represents wisdom and strength in the Buddhist teaching. There is a lighthouse that was constructed in 1996 to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej. You are free to go in and out of the lighthouse as you please, try climbing up inside for a better view then you would outside. At the very top of the lighthouse, you will gain an elevated view of the sunset and will likely have some better photo opportunities as you are well away from the majority of people.
If you want to get away from the crowds and aren’t afraid of a little exercise, head on down to the south end of the viewpoint. You will notice an opening in the wall with stairs leading down. If you follow the path at the bottom of these stairs, you will be taken on a windy dirt path to the southern most tip of Phuket island. It can be quite a hike and in certain places the path is quite slippery with sand, so be careful. One you reach your destination, you will find that few people actually venture this far south and you can watch the sunset in relative privacy. Just be sure to head on back before it gets too dark or you may have trouble navigating the path.