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Jamie's Phuket: Spellbinding views from the black rock

There’s always something new to find in the Andaman area. Just about a year ago we found a newly opened viewpoint in Phang Nga, not far from Phuket, called Samet Nangshe – and it was quite a find, hardly known a year ago, it has now appeared on quite a few tour itineraries and websites.


By Jamie Monk

Sunday 16 July 2017, 10:00AM


There are a lot of great views in Phuket, some are advertised viewpoints, for others you need to take a bit of a hike.

One viewpoint we can call “Black Rock”, or maybe “Black Cliff” – the Thai name means “Black Rock Cliff”.

I’ve not seen an official name in English and haven’t seen it on any English websites or blogs even though I first heard about it four years ago.

I was asked to keep it a secret, but until last weekend, I never actually got around to visiting it.

Well, the secret is out, so I think I can safely blog about Black Rock or Black Rock Cliff or Pa Hin Dum without spoiling the place.

Anyway, it’s still not that easy to get to – there’s not one drinks stall and no signs in English, just an indiscreet dirt road followed by a short hike uphill. I’m very glad we went and I will be interested to see how developed it gets in the coming year.

The viewpoint is above Nai Harn Beach, reached by a dirt road that starts not far from the Karon Viewpoint. It’s the same dirt road that heads towards Nui Beach – a secluded beach that I have never been to, partly due to the steep dirt road, partly due to the compulsory entry fee.

It was made into a beach club and was being investigated for land fraud and raided by the navy, but I think it’s still open!

This dirt road has been improved recently. It’s only about one kilometres along the dirt road which is signposted to Nui Beach, then you keep left while the road to Nui heads right and steeply downhill.

So, at this point we parked our truck and followed a small path up into the trees on the left side of the road.

Not a long walk to the top, only about 10 minutes. The path is obvious enough, no proper steps, just a narrow forest path which runs alongside a barbed wire fence for a while.

A few sections are kind of steep, watch your footing, but really nothing to break a sweat over.

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It’s really quite high up there – something like 290 metres (nearly 1,000 feet) above sea level. You’re looking south and Nai Harn and Ya Nui beaches are way below.

The wind turbine lookout between those beaches seems quite high when you are there, but it’s waaaay down there! You can see Phromthep Cape and islands beyond including Koh Kaew Yai and Racha Yai (Racha Yai is 20km away).

There’s not much room at the viewpoint here, and the cliff drops off very very steeply, so I advise caution!

There’s no railings or warning signs but you can walk carefully down a few metres onto a small flat area just before the cliff, but do it carefully!

We stayed up there taking in the view for about 20 minutes and then headed back home. Going the other way on the dirt road we had a nice view looking north along the hills.

Phuket has plenty of hills, which is actually how the island got it’s name – the Malay word for hill is bukit.

So, let’s see how long this place stays quiet! Looks like the landowner has made access much easier now, with the dirt road being improved and the viewpoint being signposted.

Easy enough to find if you know where you are going, but many other viewpoints in Phuket are easier to reach.

 

Jamie Monk works at liveaboard dive specialists Sunrise Divers. For more information call: 084 626 4646 or visit: sunrise-divers.com

You can read more about Phuket on Jamie's Phuket Blog or follow Jamie on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Flickr.

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