Cape Panwa is located on the tip of the southern headland jutting out into the Andaman sea and is approx 15 mins drive south of Phuket Town. It is probably most well known for it’s internationally renowned Marine Biological Research Centre and Aquarium, although the drive through stunning mountain scenery is worth a visit it to Panwa alone as it provides wonderful panoramic views of the Andaman Sea.
The best beach at Cape Panwa is privately owned and reserved for exclusive use by the resort’s guests. The public beach is quiet with clear and calm waters and provides a lovely view of some of the nearby islands making it the perfect place to take a stroll, gaze out over the waters and gather your thoughts. This is not really a beach designed for tourists though, so you will not find any sunloungers and limited ammenities. This fact is emphasised by the imposing pier at the end of the beach which is used by the Thai military and for commercial ventures.
With so many other beautiful, world class beaches at your fingertips, Cape Panwa is better served to acquaint yourself with the wonderful variety of marine life at the Phuket Aquarium, located within the Marine Biological Research Centre. This is a truly wonderful family excursion containing over 150 different species set amidst stunning marine habitats. With superb interactive information displays throughout, you can learn all about the sea life of the Andaman Coast so you will be able to easily recognise the different species when you see them for real on one of the scuba diving, snorkelling or fishing trips.
There are plenty of dining options with a number of restaurants and cafes along the beachfront, offering good menus at reasonable prices. The nightlife outside of the resorts is pretty non-existent, so you would be better off taking advantage of the day time activities on offer at Cape Panwa before heading to Phuket Town or Chalong in the evening.
Ao Yon Beach
Situated just to the south of Capa Panwa is Ao Yon beach, which actually comprises of two stretches of sand divided by a rocky headland. The beaches are named Ao Yon Junior and Ao Yon Senior respectively and the latter of the two is the better bet, providing a shining example of how a picture postcard beach should look. This secret gem is hidden from the road and accessible by a couple of footpaths snaking down the hill. Palm trees line this white sand beach which gently slopes down to shallow, crystal clear waters. The water remains calm pretty much all year round thanks to it’s southern facing location away from the heaviest of the monsoon waves. This is easily the best beach in the south of the island and the perfect place to view the many sailboats bobbing out in the bay.
Laem Ka Beach
Laem Ka is located close to Rawai beach and has the advantage of being the only eastern-facing beach in the south of the island. This means it avoids the worst of the monsoon tides and offers good swimming pretty much all year round.