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What to do at Panwa Beach?

Panwa Beach (also known as Kao Khad Beach) is not a great swimming beach and yet has the charm of these remote bays not many would take the time to explore while visiting Phuket. Located on the east coast cape but facing west, the whole area is peppered with luxury villas and few resorts, a great alternative to relax away from west coast crowded spots.

Panwa Beach (Kao Khad Beach) in Phuket

Where to eat in Panwa Beach?

So if you are after peace, this is an enjoyable region to spend a slow afternoon staring at nearby islands. Then, have lunch or drinks at one of the bamboo and thatched roofs restaurants available along the strand, such as the good old ‘The Beach Bar‘. You can even stay at one of the beautiful resorts around, the most popular being Andacura Beachfront collextion Panwa Phuket (formerly Novotel Panwa), and enjoy a great morning stroll along the sandy bay all the way to the few fishing boats at the southern end.

Panwa Beach Restaurant

The Beach Bar

The Beach Bar Phuket

The Beach Bar Phuket is a local restaurant half-hidden on Panwa Beach, away from most tourist crowds. Once a modest wooden shack, the restaurant grew in popularity and now displays a long row of tables and plastic chairs. Set on the east coast of Phuket, this fun restaurant is still mostly made of wood pillars with a thatched roof placed on the beach.

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The Cove

The Cove Phuket

For a more sophisticated lunch or dinner (but still casual), drive a kilometre further down the coast and stop at the excellent The Cove and enjoy a surprisingly great menu while sitting at tables by the sea!

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Panwa House

Panwa House Phuket

Panwa House is a white Sino Portuguese restaurant surrounded by palm trees, right on the secluded beach of the Cape Panwa Hotel on the east coast of Phuket. This house has been a Phuket icon for years, even appearing in movies or TV series.

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Baba Hot Box BBQ

Baba Hot Box at Sri Panwa

The quality of the meat, the cool equipment used to cook and smoke it to perfection, and the chef’s skills make this a treat. Probably one of the best steak experiences on the island.

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What to See and Do

Panwa beach and its surroundings are not your usual tropical holiday destination, but once you drive there on a nice day, you will see a side of Phuket island that not many take the time to enjoy.

The Beaches

Panwa Beach east Phuket

There are actually more than two beaches in the Panwa area. The one most people call Panwa Beach is in fact Khao Kad Beach. The seabed is covered with dead coral so it is not a great beach for swimming. Further south, The Cape Panwa Beach is a lot nicer and many people don’t even know it exists because the beach access is reserved to the guests of the Cape Panwa Hotel only.

Shopping and Massage


There is not so much to do on Panwa but enjoy the tranquillity of such a unique hidden spot. You can sit down at a beach table and enjoy your reading, order drinks, food and some excellent tropical fruits. Then you can have a beach massage at one of the bamboo huts! This is pretty unique as it is tranquil and feels like Phuket twenty years ago!

Ao Yon Beach

Ao Yon is a small hidden cove where you can swim all year round. It now has a few restaurants and a few small beach clubs.

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Khao Kat View Tower

Panwa Viewpoint - Khao Kad Viewpoint

Khao Kat Views Tower or ‘Panwa Viewpoint’ (or ) offers an amazing 360˙ view of the southeast part of Phuket and the islands around. It’s very isolated and despite some investments done to attract tourists, it may be too remote to ever become popular.

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Phuket Aquarium

Phuket Aquarium

Go further south and stop for a short visit to the Phuket Aquarium and its small glass tunnel. This aquarium may not be as big as the new Aquaria at Central Floresta Phuket, but this is a Phuket Marine Biological Center dedicated to rescuing dolphins, dugongs and turtles often found in distress around Phuket.

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Baba Nest Rooftop

Baba Nest Rooftop Bar at Sri Panwa

Baba Nest at Sri Panwa Hotel is the ultimate rooftop bar in Phuket. It is built high above Phuket Aquarium on the remote Cape Panwa, the southeast of Phuket Island. It’s far, hard to find, hard to book as you can expect a two weeks waiting list to get a reservation, but it’s worth it.

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Where to stay on Panwa Beach

Cape Panwa Beach in Phuket, Thailand

There are quite a few hotels and accommodation along Panwa Beaches. The best-known hotels and resort around Panwa are:

Cape Panwa

Cape Panwa Hotel

Cape Panwa Hotel is a long-established resort with a classic design on a very enviable location and a superb private beach. The hotel has more than 200 rooms and beautiful pool villas, 7 restaurants, including an old Sino-Portuguese house hosting a restaurant by the beach, and a funicular to easily go and down the hillside.

Sri Panwa

Sri Panwa Phuket Pool Villa

Sri Panwa is one of Phuket’s most amazing and exclusive hotels. Everyone we know heard of it, but not many actually stayed there, and we finally did. This resort is built on the remote Cape Panwa hillside and is best known for its incredible rooftop bar called Baba Nest.

Location: Cape Panwa
: 88 Sakdidej Rd, Vichit Muang Chang Wat Phuket 83000
Phone: 076 371 000
Range: 5-star
Swimming pools: 3
Restaurants and bars: 6
Distance to the closest beach: just a small private beach

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Pullman Phuket Panwa Beach

Pullman Phuket Panwa Beach Resort

Pullman Phuket Panwa Beach Resort is a vast hotel with 211 rooms, including 29 Villas with private pools, on its own vast but non-swimmable beach.

Crowne Plaza Phuket Panwa Beach

Makham Beach

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How to get to Panwa Beach?

Panwa beach is a little difficult to find for three reasons. First, the name can be confusing as it is occasionally called Khao Kad Beach. Second, there is another beach nearby called Panwa Beach, but it is a private beach reserved for the exclusive use of the Cape Panwa Hotel, and third, while the beach is long, the public access is a little tricky to find.

  • Distance from Patong to Panwa Beach: 22 km
  • From Phuket International Airport to Panwa: 42 km
  • From Phuket Town to Panwa: 10 km
  • From Bangtao to Panwa: 32 km

Panwa Beach Map

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FAQs about Panwa Beach

  1. ✳️ What is there to do around Panwa Beach?

    a. Panwa is has a few interesting places to visit:
    Ao Yon Beach
    Baba Nest Rooftop Bar
    Phuket Aquarium
    Panwa Viewpoint

  2. ✳️ Where can I eat around Panwa?

    a. There are many restaurants in Panwa. Here are some we tried and liked:
    The Cove
    The Beach Bar
    Panwa House
    Baba Iki and Baba Hot Box BBQ at Sri Panwa

  3. ✳️ What are the best hotels around Panwa Beach?

    a. Here are some of the most popular hotels in the Panwa area:
    Sri Panwa
    Pullman Phuket Panwa Resort
    Cape Panwa Hotel
    Crowne Plaza Phuket Panwa Beach

  4. ✳️ How Far is Panwa Beach from Phuket Town and Patong Beach?

    a. Panwa Beach is 9 km from Phuket Town, 40 km from Phuket International Airport and 20 km from Patong Beach.

What’s Around?

The Beach Bar Phuket – Panwa Beach

The Cove Phuket – A Hidden Gem on Ao Yon Beach


Willy Thuan
Born in France a long long time ago, I started to travel the world early and never stopped until I settled in Thailand in 1994. Then for the past 27 years, my passion for photography and my natural curiosity has taken me to every corner of Thailand, jumping frequently between Bangkok and Phuket and basically everywhere I could go. I run Phuket101.net and manage large international online travel guides.
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