Visiting Samet Nangshe Viewpoint, a stunning spot near Phuket

As viewpoints go it doesn’t get more breathtaking than the panoramic vista of Phang Nga Bay. The best place to soak in the towering limestone islets and inland estuaries is at the Samet Nangshe Viewpoint. This is everything you’ll need to know for a visit and why you should absolutely add it to your Thailand bucket list.

young girl in baseball cap, shorts and red converse boots on a moon shaped swinging seat at the samet nabgshe viewpointwith limestone islands in the background

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What is the Samet Nangshe Viewpoint

The Nangshe viewpoint is an 800 metre high viewpoint overlooking the stunning Phang Nga Bay. It is located near Tha Yu about 25 km North of Phuket island. The main area of the viewpoint is a large flat space located on the top of a hill. It is only accessible via a steep track by songthaew or on foot.

The songthaew drive is an adventure in itself, I was sure it wouldn’t make some of the steep inclines but it always did. It was a little scary as there are no seatbelts and open air but I’m sure it’s very safe (although very dusty). If you choose to walk then the hike should take around 20 minutes but it will be tough, take plenty of water, suncream and something to cover you up. If you want to visit the viewpoint for sunrise, the songthaews may not have started. I couldn’t find a definitive answer but I think they start at around 6am, this will vary depending on the time of year.

sandy hill track up to the samet nangshe viewpoint.

I really think it is the best Phang Nga viewpoint, at the top you’ll be rewarded with sweeping views of the bay. It’s an amazing place for soaking in the sunset and if you can squeeze in an overnight stay you may even spot the stars of the milky way. This place is a photographers dream.

What will you see at the Nangshe viewpoint

Obviously there’s the view – that’s the reason for your visit and if that was all there was at the top it would still be well worth the trip. However, being such a popular place for photographers and instagram influencers, over time various photo props have been added.

young girl with long wavy hair sitting in a heart shaped woven swing with her bacl to the camera. you can see the islands of phang nga bay in the background

We had heaps of fun trying out the various woven swinging seats and model birds nest. There are also plenty of “Samet Nangshe” signs in front of the Phang Nga Bay view.

karen and piper quinn sat in a birds nest photo prop at samet nangshe

We also enjoyed the “stairway to heaven” which we ascended with slightly wobbly legs. This one didn’t feel too secure and the handle at the top wobbled. Just be careful if you try it out.

There’s also a little viewing platform you can walk across to – maybe ask a kind stranger to take a family photo of you and offer to do the same.

viewpoint overlooking phang nga bay and its limestone island rising from the sea

If you’re fans of epic viewpoints, be sure to check out my post on the Jungle Club which offers amazing views on the island of Koh Samui.

How to get to Samet Nangshe

We drove to Nangshe from Krabi on our way to the Waters Hotel, Khao Lak. The drive was relatively straight forward and the roads were in great condition. The route was super scenic taking us through the massive limestone rock formations famous in the area. We took the 4 out of Krabi then the 4311 round the bay before picking up the 4 again. The final ten minutes of the drive are down a smaller road passing locals homes and food stalls. The journey took us about an hour and a half.

driving from krabi to samet nangshe and what you will see on the way

If you are driving from Phuket you’ll cross the Sarasin Bridge on the 402 then the 3086 before hitting the same small road for the last ten minutes. from the North of Phuket it should take no more than 45 minutes to reach Samet Nangshe but if you’re travelling from the South of the Island you’ll need to factor in Phuket traffic which can make it around 2 hours.

Unfortunately there is no public transport to get to Samet Nangshe, you will need to hire a car or motorbike, book a taxi or arrange a tour.

If you download the Grab App, which is a lot like uber you can prebook a car and it tends to work out cheaper than calling a taxi off the street.

Samet Nangshe Tours

A guided tour is a great way to visit the Nangshe viewpoint. You can be picked up straight from your hotel. This Samet Nangshe Tour on Get Your Guide looks like a great option. After being collected from your hotel, it will take you to the gorgeous Natai Beach, just North of Phuket where you can relax or go for a quick swim. Then to the Benyaran Museum to discover more about the history of the area and see some Thai antiques. Finally to the Samet Nangshe Boutique hotel before heading to the top of the viewpoint for those amazing Phang Nga Bay views. You’ll finish your day canoeing in the emerald waters of Phang Nga Bay. How perfect does that sound?!

view of islands in phangnga bay from above

Facilities at Samet Nangshe

This is no fancy modern restaurant, you’re here for the view, to take in the beauty, to lose yourselves a bit. But there are plenty of facilities for you to enjoy during your visit. At the top you’ll find a lovely little cafe where you can get cold drinks, coffee and small snacks. The view from the overhanging terrace is amazing. Further up the hill but with less of a view is a great restaurant serving lots of different Thai dishes. Both places are great value. You cannot buy alcohol at Samet Nangshe as it is in a mainly Muslim area but if you are staying over night you are allowed to bring your own.

viewpoint cafe at samet nangshe

You’ll find public toilets both in the carpark and at the viewpoint. Just note, the ones in the carpark are bucket style (no flush) toilets. This was a bit of a shock to my daughter.

bright blue toilet block at samet nanshe

There’s a small shop in the carpark selling cold drinks, fruit and ice cream. This was much appreciated after our trip to the top.

Where to stay for your visit to the Nangshe Viewpoint

If you can stay overnight at Nangshe then you have a few options.

Samet Nangshe viewpoint camping

You can rent a tent at the top of Nangshe for 130 baht (just over £3). There are also small and rather basic bungalows if you don’t fancy a night under canvas. These cost a little more at 700 baht (still only £17). There are pretty basic showers and toilets you can use if you’re staying. These are Thai showers (basically buckets of water you throw over yourselves).

small and basic bungalows at samet nangshe viewpoint

Samet Nangshe Boutique

If you’re after a more luxurious stay then opt for the Samet Nangshe Boutique hotel. This place looks absolutely gorgeous and will make your stay super special. Breakfast will be served with the most incredible view and you can even take a bath overlooking the bay. It is incredibly good value – a room for two is only £110 and what a unique stay! Rooms only fit two people so this isn’t a great option with kids.

Best time to visit the viewpoint

Many people visit Samet Nangshe for sunrise. For this you’ll need to arrive no later than 5.15am. I don’t think the pickups run this early so remember to bring a torch for the hike up. This is also a popular spot for star gazing so for this you’ll need to stay overnight.

multi coloured grass in the foreground with an archipelago of islands jutting from the sea behind

We arrived around 2pm which was fine. It’s the hottest time of the day but really it will always feel hot. It didn’t feel too busy although there was a bit of a queue to get back down.

How much does it cost to visit the Samet Nangshe Viewpoint

If you self drive then this is an incredibly cheap place to visit in Thailand. I would pay a fortune for these views! It’s 90 Baht (just over £2) to get the truck up and down to the viewpoint with no extra payment required at the top for all those photoprops! The price drops to 30 Baht (70 pence) if you make the hike up yourselves. Parking is free.

karen quinn at samet nangshe viewpoint

You buy your tickets at the small kiosk in the carpark then wait for the next available songthaew. Both at the top and bottom, you should never be waiting more than 15 minutes.

Organised tours can cost anything from £50 for a straightforward visit to the viewpoint to £200 for a full day trip with other activities included.

How long to spend at the Nangshe viewpoint.

You really don’t need too long at the viewpoint if you only want to snap some photos and soak in the view. We were on a pretty tight schedule and probably only spent an hour at the top. That didn’t feel too rushed to explore the area and grab a cold drink. The drive up and back will add around 15 minutes.

all the photo props at samet nagngshe viewpoint

If you can spend longer then I highly recommend you do. Enjoy a meal at the restaurant – there aren’t many restaurants in Thailand that serve up such a remarkable view. Or even stay overnight, it’s a great place to stargaze the Milky Way at night and wake up to a glorious sunrise in the morning.

Is Samet Nangshe a good place to visit with kids?

My 12 year old daughter absolutely loved her trip to Samet Nangshe. The sangthaew ride up the cliff was just exciting enough to fuel her adventurous side and she loved posing at and photographing all the props.

piper quinn with her back to the camera wearing nike pro shorts, white t shirt and baseball cap taking photos of a view with her phone

There are no fences at Nangshe so I would keep a close hold on little ones – they’re not going to fall off a cliff but they could take a nasty tumble down the side. They also may be a little wary of the drive up and down – again, no seatbelts! I wouldn’t attempt to hike it if you’re visiting Samet Nangshe with kids. The incline will be tough on little legs and in the Thai heat it’s easy to become dehydrated very quickly.

Samet Nangshe Viewpoint video

I’ve made a quick video of our visit to Samet Nangshe so you can get a good idea of what to expect.

Have the photos convinced you? Would you make the trip to Samet Nangshe for these unbelievable views? Or perhaps you’re already planning a Samet Nangshe tour. Let me know in the comments, I’d love to know what you think.

For more excellent viewpoints in Thailand have a read of my post on Koh Samui viewpoints.

Make sure you pin for later for when you’re planning things to do in Phuket.

samet nangshe pin image