Cape Panwa in Phuket surprised me……Like loads of backpackers and travellers I have managed to visit Thailand a few times. The draw of the beaches and lifestyle always brings me back and the Thai Cuisine is my favourite food of all! Especially chicken satay – you can see my Top 5 Thai Dishes here
Phuket is pretty popular as far as tourist destinations go. It’s the biggest Island in Thailand and the most visited. Even if you’re trying to avoid the place you will probably spend a couple of nights here before heading off to smaller islands such as Phi Phi.
Most of the tourist resorts are along the western shoreline and plenty of the hotels are here too. I’m not sure why but I thought I’d remove myself away from the big brash resorts and plucked for Cape Panwa, it’s located right on the south eastern tip of the island and is convenient for Phuket town and the connecting ferries to other islands.
I have heard Cape Panwa lauded as Phuket’s best kept secret and whilst I haven’t explored every corner of Phuket I’d generally agree with this.
Outside the main hotels in the area there isn’t really much going on apart from a few street sellers and small restaurants, everything is quiet and peaceful. I often had the beaches to myself and during peak season when many are taking holidays to Phuket this is most definitely not the norm!
The Phuket aquarium is close by and the main road from here has lots of little side roads and tracks that lead down to the empty beaches with small fishing communities and little shack restaurants making it easy to escape and forget you are on Thailand’s top tourist island.
If you do decide to stay or even just visit the Cape Panwa region then my top tip would be to head to Khao Khad viewpoint. A viewing tower has been built and it’s a great place to take in the scenery. From you here you can see Chalong Bay, Cape Panwa, Koh Si Li and Phuket Town. The area has been developed for tourism and there is a walking trail, car park, souvenir shop and toilets also.
Most people think of Patong and the crazy nightlife and busy beaches when Phuket is mentioned but there is so much on offer and hidden away on the island. The journalist Tony Parsons has written a really good article saying why he loves the island away from the crazy tourism too http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/asia/thailand/9320124/Tony-Parsonss-Phuket.html
So next time you’re passing through Phuket don’t dismiss it and rush to leave on the next connecting ferry. Hang around for a bit and see what the island has to offer away from the big tourist resorts.