Karon Beach provides the perfect base to explore the south of the island and one of the best and cheapest ways of getting around is by hiring a motorbike. There are a couple of motorbike rental places close by to Thavorn Palm Beach Resort and a days rental will cost you somewhere between 200-300 THB.
The following itinerary is a combination of the highlights from several of my days of exploration in the south of the island, so if your time in Phuket is short this will give you a fantastic overview of the breathtaking scenery in abundance here .
After you have let your breakfast settle, jump on your bike and head on over to Wat Chalong. From the Thavorn Palm Beach Resort, head out east and join the Phuket Town bypass road at Chalong Circle. Wat Chalong is about 5 minutes north from here on the right hand side. You can’t miss it
For information on Wat Chalong, please read our previous blog post, but it is safe to say that this is the most spectacular temple in Phuket and a very pleasant way to while away a couple of hours.
From Wat Chalong, it is but a short drive to the bottom of the hill which leads up to one of the most famous landmarks in Phuket, the Big Buddha monument. It is quite a trek to the top, but my tip would be too take a leisurely climb up there and stop frequently at the numerous view points as they each provide a breathtaking panoramic of the island. The Andaman Sea from this high altitude looks like a polished glass surface and can be quite mesmerising.
By now you may will be ready for a spot of lunch, so after winding down the hill from Big Buddha, carry on South to Chalong Circle and take the right hand exit and head back towards Kata and Karon Beaches. After a scenic, winding drive up and over the hill, swing a left at the first sign for Kata Beach and then head through the town to the beach front.
There are many stunning white sand beaches in Phuket to choose from especially on the west coast, but Kata was the first beach I ever visited in Thailand, over 7 years ago now. With the uninhabited Koh Pu Island (Crab Island) just off shore it has an iconic feel to it which sticks vividly in the mind for years to come.
Park up the bike and order seafood from one of the many beach front restaurants located at the southern end of the beach.Phuket is world renowned for it’s white sand beaches, so if the weather is fine, enjoy a few hours on Kata Beach, sunbathing, swimming, snorkelling or a quiet drink at the very cool SKA Bar on the rocks.
You will want to get on the trail again, mid to late afternoon depending on what time the sun will set that day. Here’s a good little site to help you plan. You will need to leave Kata about 1 hour 15 minutes before sunset to give you time to take in our next destination.
Follow the road through Kata towards Kata Noi and take a left on the hill at the fork in the road. This road will take you on a winding, up hill road and about 10-15 minutes you will reach Kata Viewpoint or ‘3 Beaches Viewpoint’. From here you will see breathtaking views over Kat Noi, Kata and Karon Beaches, see if you can you spot our Thavorn Palm Beach Resort.
Depending on how close it is until sunset you will want to get your skates on as our next destination is about 15 – 30 mins away. You actually have one of two choices here for your sunset experience; the famous and most photographed place on the island Phromthep Cape or the lesser known and therefore generally more peaceful, Windmill Viewpoint. Which one you choose is down to you, they both serve up spectacular and unrivalled sunsets, but the first one you encounter on the coast road is the Windmill Viewpoint.
I actually loved this place more than Phromthep Cape which is a tough call, but when I was there, it was ridiculously peaceful, and one of those old junk boats was silhouetted against the sunset in the stretch of water between the cape and Kho Man, an other iconic uninhabited island lying just off shore. It was a magical experience.
Saying that though, I also love to ’see what all the fuss is about a place’ and had a great time with all the other tourists up at Phromthep Cape where there are some truly once in a lifetime photos to be taken.
Have you experienced the South of the island highlights by motorbike during your holiday in Phuket, Thailand?
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