Cape Panwa Beach
Cape Panwa and its beach, also known as Khao Kat,are just eight kilometres from Phuket Town. The area has managed to resist the ravages of mass tourism and remain as it was decades ago.
Essentially, Cape Panwa is a haven of peace and beauty for those who appreciate a tranquil holiday destination away from the crowds. The sand on the beach isn’t as fine as on many other Phuket beaches, but the gentle sweep of the palm-lined bay is as scenic as it gets and gives superb views across the port town of Chalong to the distant Lone Island.
The Thai Naval Fleet Headquarters is located to the north of Panwa Beach and the Phuket Aquarium lies at southern end. Backing the beach is a charming mix of luxury boutique-style hotels and fishermen’s cottages leading away to a mangrove swamp at the end of the beach itself. Fishing boats dot the shallows, and return every day with ultra-fresh catches destined for chefs in the hotels’ fine dining haunts.
Named after a nearby Muslim village, Panwa Beach is ideal for a relaxing stroll along the sandy bay, offering a stunning location for a private picnic, free of tourist trappings. Those keen to explore can rent long tail boats for the 15-minute journey to Koh Lone, an island in the middle of Chalong Bay that functions as a lush and tranquil getaway.
Most of the facilities on Panwa Beach are part of the Novotel Panwa Beach Resort and during high season, a rustic shop sells beach items. If arriving by car, visitors can also follow the signs for Panwa Viewpoint, also known as Khao Khad Views Tower, to experience breath-taking panoramic views over southern and eastern Phuket.
From lunch at the restaurants along the strand to drinks at the friendly local Beach Bar, this forgotten gem of a beach has a charm all of its own. If you’re holidaying here, you’re in good company as many famous movie stars have chosen the ultra-luxury Cape Panwa area for their much-needed escapes from the daily grind. The list is long and includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Elizabeth Taylor, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Pierce Brosnan. Another frequent arrival is the much-loved Thai Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn.