Nai Harn Beach Attractions
What to See in Nai Harn Beach
Sometimes the charm of Nai Harn Beach is overlooked, with other west coast beaches getting a lot more attention. But ask the many frequent visitors to Nai Harn and they’ll tell you that they love the beach for its peaceful and unspoiled character. It’s also in a handy location, not far for all the action and fun nightlife spots (Patong is just 20 minutes away for example).
Beside the white sandy beach itself, there are a few interesting attractions in the area such as Nai Harn Lake, Nai Harn Monastery and a few nearby viewpoints such as Phromthep Cape and Kata Viewpoint.
All Attractions in Nai Harn
Elephant Shrine at Promthep Cape
Up the steps from the car park is a shrine to Brahma that is surrounded by thousands of wooden elephants of every size. It's all meticulously taken care of and the arrangement is photogenic, colourful and impressive.
Kanchanaphisek Lighthouse is located at the famous Phromthep Cape about five minutes by car south of Nai Harn Beach. It was built in 1996 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the reign of Thailand’s current king, King Rama IX. This active lighthouse features a beautiful golden peak and is open to the public (climb up the tower steps for a better view). It also used as a mini museum with some examples of vintage lighthouse equipment. Nearby stands a monument to Prince Jumborn, the first person to build a naval base in Phuket and a shrine to Brahma with hundreds of small elephants and colourful flowers.
Shoes must be removed when entering the lighthouse and the shrine. Phromthep Cape is the best-known viewpoint in Phuket and a major tourist attraction so you will find many shops there selling everything from souvenirs to drinks. There is also a popular restaurant to the side where many enjoy dinner after sunset. Sometimes you will see entertainers like fire dancers, a man dressed up in white, posing in different characters and a solo musician are among them.
- Opening Hours: The museum opens daily from 08:00 – 19:00 with free entrance Phromthep Cape is at its best at sunset, so try to be there from around 17:30 onwards as it can be very hot at midday.
- Location: Promthep Cape, South of Nai Harn Beach
Nai Harn Buddhist Monastery
Though many people call this building a ‘temple’ it is not. This monastery is known in Thai as Samnak Song Nai Harn, and has been a spiritual centre for Buddhists from nearby villages since it was founded many years ago. If you would like to observe one of the most delightful scenes that demonstrates the connection between monks and common folks, you will have to wake up early and visit the Buddhist retreat in the morning. Villagers usually come by to ‘make merit’ by donating food to the monks and paying respect to them before getting busy with their daily business.
Many people believe that the Nai Harn monastery helps prevent the area from overdevelopment as it is said that Samnak Song Nai Harn owns a lot of the beachfront land (that can’t be sold under Thai law). When visiting, there is no specific dress code apart from avoiding too-revealing clothes such as singlets or shorts on women as it is a place of worship. Shoes must be removed when entering the building.
- Opening Hours: Early in the morning until late afternoon
- Location: Directly behind the beach
Nai Harn Lake
Nai Harn Lake is an inland freshwater lake about one-kilometre long and located very close to the beach itself. The lakeside is popular for picnicking, jogging, bicycle riding and organised water sports events. It has a small island in the middle with a causeway connecting it to the mainland on which is a children's playground and a pedalo concession. At the northeast end of the lake there is a group of friendly bars and restaurants serving a good a variety of food (Tex-Mex, Italian, French and Thai) at affordable prices. The Reggae Bar there is one of the most laidback bars in Phuket.
- Opening Hours: All Day
- Location: A very short walking distance to the beach
Phromthep Cape is the island's most photographed and perhaps best-known location. Every evening, large tour buses, scooters and private cars sweep through Rawai Beach and up the island's southernmost hill in order to watch the sunset at its peak. On the top of the hill stands a busy car park where vehicles disgorge crowds of people from every corner of the world. Cameras flash, fingers point and lovers cuddle as Phuket's most fabulous free show is re-enacted nightly – the sunset.
- Location: Nai Harn - Rawai
Nai Harn offers one of the most romantic sunsets in Phuket. In the nearby area are located quite a handful of interesting viewpoints including the island's most photographed and perhaps best-known location, Phromthep Cape. Not far up the coast road from Phromthep on top of a hill and facing out to sea you will see several tall, slim white windmills that look just like airplane propellers. Though the Windmill Viewpoint is smaller than Phromthep and can sometimes feel cramped it allows enough room for a few cars to park.
Next is the Kata Viewpoint which is situated on the road between Kata and Rawai. This viewpoint is called ‘Sam Haad’ (Three Beaches) by the locals as it looks over Kata Noi, Kata Yai and Karon beaches. It is a fairly well-frequented spot with a car park, nicely cultivated gardens, a few snack outlets and two large pavilions to sit in while you admire the westerly-facing vista. And the most talked-about viewpoint on the island is the Big Buddha in Chalong. Read More...
- Location: All viewpoints are within a short distance from Nai Harn Beach
Windmill Viewpoint is located between Ya Nui and Nai Harn beaches in south Phuket. Not far from Cape Phromthep, it has several tall, slim white windmills facing out to sea that look like airplane propellers. This hilltop viewpoint features west coast vistas similar to Phromthep, but is quieter. Read More...
- Location: At the top of the hill between Ya Nui and Nai Harn Beach.