Khao Kad Viewpoint (Panwa Viewpoint) is a solitary standing viewpoint on top of one of the highest and most remote hill of Phuket, and a bit of a mystery. With a parking designed to accommodate a large amount of buses and cars, a shop and a massive staircase leading to a large tower, you would expect to find a crowd up there… but when you arrive, the solitude of the place is striking.
Maybe it was just the three times I went to Khao Kad Viewpoint, but I never saw more than a few cars and a bike. Only one shop is open and an old man selling drinks was watching Muay Thai on TV and while commenting the action to his cats. The whole place is surprisingly well maintained and clean, grass mown and signage bright.
So get ready to climb up some two hundred steps and see how fit you are. Panwa Viewpoint building has two levels above the ground floor and the 360˚ view from the top is breathtaking. On a clear day, you can see all the way to Phang Nga Bay. Some signboards written in English, Thai and Japanese are strategically placed around the circular room to help you recognize beaches and islands around the hill:
Koh Sirey, Makham Cape and Taphao Island.
Ao yon Bay, Ell Island, Lone Island and Tanan Island (well it’s more like a rock).
Take the direction of the Phuket Aquarium in Cape Panwa until you see a sign on your right, soon before the aquarium, or follow the signs to the Novotel Panwa and you will see the board to the viewpoint near the hotel pointing to a steep road.