Promthep Cape is one of the island's most photographed and perhaps best-known locations. 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.
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But is this all there is to it? Hardly; Phromthep also has a lighthouse that houses interesting historical maritime artifacts and commands spectacular views over the east and southeast of the island and its environs. The lighthouse/museum is air conditioned inside and if you go up to the outdoors viewing balcony you can see the distinctive shapes of the Phi Phi Islands, Koh Racha Yai and Koh Racha Noi on a clear day and of course a whole raft of nearer islands such as nearby Koh Kiaow with its Buddhist monastery.
The view from the cape is like a huge eternity pool from which you can mentally project the far-flung shores of Sri Lanka and the Indian Subcontinent. Some people make the rather demanding trek down to the end of the cape’s promontory but most stay up in the viewing part for sunset. By the car park there is a handicrafts shop and a series of stalls that sell shells, batik, snacks, sarongs, shawls, toys and beachwear.
Phromthep Cape Restaurant
Promthep is busy at most times of day and frankly gets pretty manic at sunset but then all of a sudden peace reigns once again on this breezy hill. For those who like dining with a view the Promthep Cape Restaurant commands a great vista of Nai Harn Beach. Reasonably priced, this restaurant is an excellent place to enjoy the cool evening air along with a great view.
Once the last coach loads of tourists have left and the moon is rising, you’ll discover a completely different world up there. Gentle cooling breezes waft in from the Andaman Sea and peace reigns. It’s the perfect place for dinner and the restaurant fits the bill perfectly. Situated on the northwestern side of the hill, you can dine here under the stars or even take in the sunset and views over Ya Nui and Nai Harn beaches as you tuck into a seafood basket or your favourite dish from the extensive menu. This large open-air restaurant is one of the top ‘dining with a view’ locations on the island.
- Cuisine: Thai, Seafood
- Price Range: Reasonable
- Location: Nai Harn - Rawai