Phuket’s Northeast is like a world away from the tourist crowds of the west coast.
The area has been developing slowly, so is still quite behind the rest of the island. It was only 15 years ago that there wasn’t even a proper road on this part of the island, just a dirt track.
But now the 4027 road is now even a dual carriageway when it leaves the Heroine’s Monument roundabout. From there it heads east, before looping north in a semi-circle around the Khao Phra Thaeo National Park.
It follows the curve of the coastline before rejoining Thepkasattri Road (402) further north – close to Phuket International Airport and Blue Canyon Golf Course.
Why Phuket’s Northeast is a Great Place if you Want Peace and Quiet and Stunning Views
There are many areas of Phuket where you can escape the crowds, but perhaps the quietest and least densely populated of them all is Phuket’s Northeast. The area is full of lush, tropical greenery, and the amazing scenery has also attracted many big name 5-Star luxury resorts.
This type of isolation isn’t for everyone, but it does appeal to many. Some residents and holiday makers want this type of holiday, and don’t necessarily care about proximity to west coast beaches.
Here on the east coast, the beautiful sunrises are just as spectacular as the west coast sunsets. The view across Phang Nga Bay each morning at daybreak justifies the choice of venue.
There are of course other attractions such as the amazing Mission Hills Golf Club on the northern end of the 4027, or the Ao Po Grand Marina, ideal for anyone who owns a yacht and wants a place to moor it. Cape Yamu is just off the southern end of the 4027, and only a 15-minute drive from the Boat Lagoon and Royal Phuket Marina.
For anyone reading this who gets the impression that you are in the middle of the wilderness, it is not really quite like that. While a car is an absolute necessity, we must stress that Phuket is not a huge island, so nothing is really that far away.
Whether you need a few basics from a supermarket, you’re looking to grab a coffee, fancy dining at a good seafood restaurant, or just want to down a few beers at a local bar – none of these are very far. But you will need a car for any of the above.
This area is for people who enjoy nice scenery, and who love being away from the crowds. Buying for investment here may be worthwhile. But only if you buy very wisely in stunning surroundings.
For the most part this is an area for residents who are looking for something very different than what Phuket’s more rapidly developing areas offer.
Property For Sale in Phuket’s Northeast
The northeast does not really have a bustling tourist industry. The area has attracted some developers, but there has also not been a great deal of development for property buyers.
There are some villa developments, housing estates, and even the odd condo or two. There is also a luxury branded residences for sale in Ao Po, with amazing views across the karst formations in the bay.
As already stated, this area is not for everyone, and is more likely to attract residents looking for this type of environment to settle in.
You can view some of the properties in the Cape Yamu area here:
And you can view some of the properties in the Ao Po area here:
The Beaches in in the Northeast of Phuket
The beaches in this area are not really ideal swimming beaches. Many are not really accessible, or even enticing enough to take a dip.
We suggest that if you are after a day out on a beautiful beach with crystal clear waters you head over to the west coast.
If you are on the southern end of the 4027, then head towards Surin and Bang Tao. It is only 20 minutes from Heroine’s Monument. From the northern end side of the 4027 it’s only 20 minutes to Nai Yang.
The sea views in the northeast are amazing – islands, and limestone karst formations, which you cannot see on the west coast. But the west coast does have all the stunning beaches, and the fact that they are easily accessible is good enough for the people who live in the northeast.
How is the Northeast for Restaurants and Dining?
Thai restaurants catering the local population can be found everywhere in Phuket, and this also applies to the northeast. There are local seafood restaurants tucked down the back roads, or near the shoreline, in amongst the mangroves and the oyster farms.
So you’re not far from some really good food, even in this quieter area of the island. In fact, people from other parts of the island come to the northeast just to visit some of the amazing seafood restaurants on the water.
Western restaurants are another matter – you’ll not find a great concentration of these in the northeast. But the hotels offer some decent dining, as does Mission Hills Golf Club in the Ao Po area. And you will find the occasional European restaurant in the Pakhlok and Yamu areas, as well as a few trendy coffee shops on the main road.
Taste restaurant in Yamu serves some amazing dishes, and gets exceptional ratings. The location is also great with spectacular views to the east looking out to sea.
And because this area has a variety of 5-star resorts dotted around, there’s always a decent choice of places to dine or sip a cocktail.
Como Point Yamu is one of these, with a fantastic Italian restaurant and even has a healthy menu at the Como Shambala Retreat.
If you are up in the Ao Po area then the Chandara Resort is another one with a choice of quality restaurants to choose from.
There are also some good dining choices close to Heroines Monument, and both Royal Phuket Marina and Boat Lagoon have some nice places to eat. Again, it’s only a 20 minute drive into Cherng Talay or Nai Yang from either end of the 4027.
Grocery Shopping and Supermarkets in the Northeast
As you would expect from an area that is sparsely populated, especially with relatively few foreigners, there are not many international supermarkets. But you will find plenty of local Thai markets selling fruit, veggies, seafood, and local herbs and spices.
Makro and Tesco-Lotus can be found (across the street from one another) along the 402 in Thalang, in between the northern and southern ends of the 4027. All your staples can be found here but if you are looking for foods from home, you’ll probably want to try Villa Market at the Boat Lagoon.
Only another 10 minutes heading south on the bypass road, you’ll also find Central Food Hall on ground floor of Central Festival. On your left as you approach Central there is also a Tops Supermarket.
Schools Near Ao Po and Cape Yamu
Although we think of the area as being a little isolated, there is a relatively good selection of both primary and secondary schools in the area.
From the southerly end of the 4027 it’s not far into Kathu to Kajonkiet Internationals School, Headstart and QSI. Even closer is the British International School just across the main 402 highway (Thepkasattri Road).
Residents of Ao Po, or closer to the northern end of the 4027, may prefer the United World College (UWC). UWC is open to all ages.
Nightlife and Entertainment in Ao Po and Cape Yamu
If you like nightlife, and really crave bright lights and music, then this area is not for you. You need a car even to reach the nearest drinking establishment. But don’t forget, Mission Hills has a very nice bar, as do all of the hotels. But if you want the busier tourist destinations, where more people means more choices, you can always head west.
Other Points of Interest in Phuket’s Northeast
There is actually a great deal to do in this area, especially if you love nature. In fact, much of this corner of Phuket is taken up by the Khao Phra Thaeo National Park.
The park contains the Khao Phra Thaeo Wildlife Sanctuary, the Gibbon Rehabilitation Project, the Phuket Elephant Sanctuary, as well as two waterfalls – Ban Pae and Tong Sai.
The park is also home the Cable Jungle Adventure Phuket. With 21 stations – the highest of which is 50 metres – this 2,000m long zip-lining course gives you a 360-degree view of the jungle canopy.
But as the name suggests, it’s about the jungle and the adventure, and with the longest run being 300m – the length 3 football fields – that will surely be enough to get your heart racing.
Another place to get your heart pumping is the Thanyapura Health and Sports Resort, which adjoins the UWC. Here they have some of the best facilities in all of Thailand for almost every sporting discipline.
Thanyapura also offers a variety of treatments and wellness programs. These include (but are by no means limited to) chiropractic medicine, hydrotherapy, nutrition, yoga, Ayurveda and Reiki.
The facilities here are used by professional athletes in training, as well as people who are just trying to improve their own health and wellness.
For golfers there is Mission Hills Golf Club, which offers views out toward Phang Nga Bay. There is also Blue Canyon Country Club, less than 10 minutes from the northern end of the 4027, in the direction of the airport.