Imagine waking up to the first rays of the sun casting a warm golden hue over a dreamscape of craggy limestone peaks and serene turquoise waters.
As dawn breaks, the gentle hum of fishing boats fills the air, their silhouettes gracefully skimming the still waters of the Phang-Nga Bay.
This isn’t a scene from a travel fantasy—it’s a daily occurrence at Samet Nangshe viewpoint in Phang Nga, Thailand, a locale that offers panoramic vistas so breathtaking they etch themselves into your memory.
Located a mere 45-minute drive north of the Sarasin Bridge that connects Phuket and Phang Nga, Samet Nangshe lies just far enough off the well-trodden tourist track to retain an air of exclusivity.
But don’t let the proximity to tourist hotspots like Phuket and Khao Lak fool you; this gem has somehow managed to fly under the radar.
Worth every second of the scenic drive, the road to Samet Nangshe takes you through lush jungles, sprawling rubber plantations, and towering palm trees. As you approach the viewpoint, even the road becomes part of the spectacle, offering glimpses of the jaw-dropping Nangshe Bay.
Despite its rising popularity, Samet Nangshe has managed to keep its charm intact. It’s more than just a single viewpoint; it’s a mosaic of multiple vantage points, each offering a slightly different, yet equally magnificent, perspective of the bay below. From any of these spots, the vista is perfectly aligned with the east, making it an ideal place for both sunrise and sunset admirers.
Adding to its appeal is the fact that this slice of paradise was only recently converted into a tourist destination in 2016. Even now, it remains privately owned, featuring a range of accommodations and facilities. For the perfect stay, consider the Samet Nangshe Boutique, where cozy tents equipped with fans go for a reasonable 3500 Thai Baht per night during the low season.
If an overnight stay isn’t in the cards, the Bay View Cafe offers an alternative way to soak in the scenery, all while enjoying quality food and coffee.
Adventurous souls can opt for a climb to the summit, though be warned—the path is steep. Most visitors prefer parking at the base and taking a local pick-up truck shuttle to reach the top. A small conservation fee of 30 Baht is collected from those opting to hike, a modest price for what you’re about to experience.
As the day winds down, a celestial spectacle takes over. The sky transforms into a canopy of twinkling stars, and if you’re lucky, a clear night will offer sublime stargazing opportunities. Some avid photographers even make a night of it, camping out to capture the captivating sunrise and ethereal beauty of the night sky.
While you may have visited the more iconic Thai destinations like James Bond Beach or The Grand Palace in Bangkok, Samet Nangshe offers a different kind of experience—one that’s slightly off the beaten path yet every bit as enchanting.
Whether you’re capturing the morning fishermen in their element or simply gazing at the celestial skies, this “lesser-known” wonder ensures that your Thai experience will be anything but ordinary. Prepare for a night of little sleep but a lifetime of unforgettable memories.