Kamala

Quiet pleasant beach between Patong and Surin. Everything you need to know before you go - description of the area, infrastructure, accommodation, restaurants, best places and attractions.

Location

Kamala Beach is one of Phuket's charming spots, located on the west coast of the island between Patong and Surin. Relatively quiet compared to the bustling, tourist-filled Patong, Karon and Katha, this beach offers a tranquil environment. At the same time, it is close enough to Phuket's main attractions. Kamala is surrounded by green hills on both sides, making it a picturesque place to relax, especially if you live on the upper floors and have a balcony.

Suitable for

Thanks to its calm atmosphere and comfortable beach, it is suitable for both families with children and couples. The beach is not very famous and not very popular with tourists, so it is not crowded even in season, which is rare for such a popular destination as Phuket.

When to visit

The best time to visit is between November and April, when the weather is less rainy and there are no big waves on the beach. In the rainy season, Kamala almost always has big waves - some people love them, surfing or jumping in the sea foam. But for some people this can be a disadvantage - then it is better to consider beaches in the southern part without waves, such as Naiharn.

Contingent

Kamala Beach is mostly inhabited by locals, which gives your vacation a special atmosphere - you feel like guests rather than hosts. But knowing the Thai kindness and hospitality - this is a plus rather than a minus. Here you can meet fishermen fishing for their morning catch and children playing in the waves. Locals with warm smiles and Thai hospitality give Kamala Beach a special charm. If you live here for 2-3 months, every time you go out on the street you will meet acquaintances and get offers to give you a ride - I know from personal experience. It's always very nice.

Beach overview

The beach infrastructure is quite well developed - you can rent sunbeds and umbrellas. If you want to eat, there are numerous stalls, cafes and restaurants along the beach - both local and European cuisine.

If you look from south to north - from Patong to Surin, the beach can be divided into 4 parts - technical, central, park and premium.

In the northern part of the technical part is a place where the river comes out into the sea, in the water coral field and on the beach itself built a stone embankment. It's not a very popular vacation spot, but you can ride horses there from the nearby stables.

If you go south - after another river you will get to the central part where you can find sunbeds, a few Thai cafes, and moving away from the beach - Thai tents with fresh seafood and a monument to the victims of the tsunami. Following further on, you will find some more expensive restaurants.

In the park area along the beach is an enclosed park. I don't know why it's there or why it's closed, but because of it there's almost nothing there - only Thai massage tents. But thanks to this there are even less people on the sand and in the water.

After the park, the area with good cafes and restaurants starts. I call it premium because at the end there are several good hotels and villas with access to the beach. At night you can watch the fire show there. Also Kamala's main hangout is located there, Cafe Delmar, a very atmospheric place.

Water and beach quality

The water at Kamala is clear and clean in season, making it ideal for swimming. The beach is very gentle - you have to walk quite a long distance to get to the deep water. There are also no rocks or corals on the beach, making it safe for swimming with children. For snorkeling lovers, it is very boring - it is better to visit beaches from our list of best beaches for snorkeling, such as nearby Laem Sing.

Neighborhood overview

The Kamala area boasts a mix of traditional Thai houses, luxury villas and modern condominiums. This fusion of old and new shows that Phuket is evolving while retaining its cultural essence. I love the fact that here you can feel inside Thai culture, see how the locals live, and still have access to all the benefits of civilization.

Markets, stores, shopping malls

The local markets in Kamala offer a variety of goods, from fresh produce to handmade souvenirs. Of course, if you are looking for something more expensive and of high quality, it is better to go to nearby shopping centers where international brands are presented. For example, on Patong or in Phuket Town.

There are only 2 markets - in the northern and southern part. In the southern part it's usually a small fruit market, where there are also a couple of cafes, seafood and vegetables. But sometimes the fair from the northern market comes there and there is more choice.

Next to the southern market is the BigC hypermarket, a fairly large store where you can find everything you need from cheeses and wine to a kettle and bathroom hooks.

There are also several 7-Eleven and Lotus scattered around the neighborhood.

Attractions, entertainment

Have you ever heard of Phuket Fantasea? Located near Kamala Beach, this cultural theme park offers an evening of grand theatrical performances. Dive into Thai mythology and be mesmerized by the vibrant performances.

Restaurants, cafes

Foodies will be in for a treat! The culinary landscape around Kamala Beach is varied, from street stalls offering mouth-watering Pad Thai to upmarket restaurants with gourmet dishes. And for those looking for a relaxed setting with hot tea? The area's cafes with cozy atmospheres are perfect for relaxing.

Co-working centers

Unfortunately there are no full-fledged coworking centers in Kamala, but you can find a few quality cafes or restaurants with good internet and air conditioning. Some condominiums have business areas for work - check when choosing.

Nightlife

Although Kamala doesn't boast of a nightlife as intense as Patong, it too has several options for nighttime entertainment. Let's dive into Kamala's nightlife scene.

Bars on the beach

Café del Mar Phuket - inspired by its Ibiza counterpart, is the perfect place for beach clubbers. The pool, cushioned loungers and beds on the beach overlooking the Andaman Sea are the perfect place to sip a cocktail and listen to music. Sometimes international DJs are invited there and quite a crowd gathers.

Local pubs and bars

Kamala Beergarden: A favorite of locals and tourists alike, this place offers a wide range of beers from local brews to international favorites. Pool tables and sports broadcasts add to the casual, friendly atmosphere.

Aussie Pub Kamala: As the name suggests, this establishment brings a slice of Australia to Kamala. Hearty food, live sports broadcasts and weekly events like trivia nights make this pub a hub of activity and camaraderie.

Live shows

Phuket Fantasea: It's not just a show, it's a whole experience. Combining Thai culture with magical illusions, aerial performances and pyrotechnics is a sight to behold at Phuket Fantasea. Located in Kamala, this cultural theme park offers an evening of both entertainment and learning.

Night Market

Kamala Friday Market: While not exactly nightlife, the weekly Friday market offers a different kind of evening entertainment. As the sun sets, local vendors set up stalls selling everything from delicious street food and fresh produce to handicrafts and souvenirs. It's a delightful mix of aromas, colors and tastes to experience local life.

Secluded dining

For those who prefer quieter evenings, Kamala Beach has several restaurants where you can enjoy a candlelit dinner on the beach. The soft splash of the waves combined with fresh seafood and Thai delicacies will make for a romantic and unforgettable evening.

Kamala's nightlife is a balanced mix of laid-back and lively - you won't be chased by crazy promoters with signs for different shows like on Bangla Road.

The charm is that Kamala offers a break from Phuket's bustling nightlife centers, but still allows guests no shortage of entertainment.

What else to do

If you've already had a swim, gone to a restaurant and fruit market, then be sure to check out a Thai massage in the evening. If you're into diving, nearby dive centers offer trips to the best dive sites in the region. And if you're more of a land-lover, rent a bicycle or bike and head out to explore the neighboring villages.

Interesting places nearby

Phuket offers a huge number of attractions for those who wish to travel beyond Kamala. Let's take a closer look at some of the neighborhoods and points of interest that are close to the area.

Kathu Waterfall

Hidden amongst the rainforests of Phuket is the refreshing Kathu Waterfall. Unlike the rumbling cascades you might imagine, Kathu is more of a series of pools of water droplets, making it the perfect place for a refreshing swim.

The lush greenery surrounding the waterfall and the sound of water flowing over the rocks has a therapeutic effect. The forest canopy provides protection from the scalding Thai sun.

For the adventurous, there is a trail to climb to the top of the waterfall. Although the climb can be difficult during the rainy season due to slippery paths, the view from there is definitely worth the effort.

The best time to visit the waterfall is during the monsoon season when it is in its full splendor. However, don't forget to wear sturdy shoes and always be careful while walking on the wet rocks.

Patong

Patong is synonymous with vibrant nightlife and bustling streets, in stark contrast to the tranquility of Kamala.

Patong Beach has a lively atmosphere, with jet skiing, parasailing and boat trips during the day.

As the sun goes down, Bangla Road comes alive. There are colorful cabaret shows, restaurants, nightclubs, strip joints and beach bars.

The Jungceylon shopping mall and lively street markets offer a mix of branded goods and local creativity.

Surin

Often referred to as the "millionaires' neighborhood", Surin Beach combines luxury and natural beauty.

Less crowded than Patong, Surin Beach offers a more tranquil atmosphere. The azure waters and soft sand are perfect for sunbathing and swimming. Given its reputation, Surin is home to some of the best gourmet restaurants and beach clubs on the island. 

The nearby Wat Surin temple offers a glimpse into Thailand's rich cultural and spiritual world.

Laem Sing

Located between Kamala and Surin, Laem Sing is a gorgeous spot known for its stunning views and almost deserted beach suitable for romantic adventures.

Laem Sing beach can be reached by boat or via a steep path from Surin. The viewpoints around Laem Sing offer panoramic views of the Andaman Sea, making it a favorite spot for photographers and nature lovers.

Keep in mind that due to the secluded nature of the area, you won't find vendors selling refreshments here - only one café on the path 5 minutes from the beach. Ensure you have everything you need for a day at the beach in advance.

Hua Beach

Another little-known spot in Phuket is the tranquil Hua Beach. It is perfect for those seeking privacy.

Surrounded by green hills and rock formations, Hua Beach gives you a feeling of seclusion. The gentle waves make it an ideal place for swimming. The beach offers a mesmerizing view of the sunset. The sky is colored in orange and pink hues, with the skyline serving as a beautiful backdrop.

Accommodation options

When it comes to laying down to rest after a busy day of sun, sand and surf, Kamala Beach provides plenty of options, from budget rooms to luxury beachfront villas.

Budget accommodation

For the budget-minded traveler, Kamala offers many guesthouses and hostels. Most of them have a special Thai charm, wooden furniture and welcoming hosts. They may not have the luxury of five-star hotels, but they make up for it with affordability.

Medium price range

If you're looking for something more comfortable but still gentle on your wallets, mid-range hotels near Kamala are your best bet. Many of them boast amenities such as swimming pools and in-house restaurants. They also often strike the right balance between traditional Thai aesthetics and modern amenities.

Luxury hotels

For those accustomed to the convenience and aesthetic pleasure of a place to stay, Kamala Beach has luxury hotels. Private beachfront villas, ocean-view infinity pools and personalized spa treatments await you. These upscale establishments often offer all-inclusive vacations that include gourmet dining, exclusive excursions and unparalleled service.

Transportation

The most common form of public transportation in and around Kamala is the Songthaew, a local shared cab. It is not only an affordable way to get around, but also an unforgettable experience. Get on and off at the right places and mingle with locals and tourists alike.

For those who prefer more independence, it is advisable to rent scooters or cars. This gives you the opportunity to explore the city at your own pace. However, you should always make sure that you have the necessary licenses and are familiar with Thai traffic rules.

Tuk-tuks are an iconic mode of transportation in Thailand. While they can be a fun way to get from point A to point B, it is important to negotiate the fare before the ride to avoid misunderstandings.

You can also use regular cab apps that offer more comfortable and cost-effective rides, especially for long distances.

Local etiquette

When you come to a new place, it is your responsibility to respect its culture and norms. So, what are some of the things to keep in mind while on Kamala Beach?

Avoid single-use plastic, don't litter, respect the local flora and fauna - then in a few decades your descendants will also be able to enjoy the picturesque beaches of Phuket.

There are no special dress code rules in Phuket - Kamala also has a liberal atmosphere. But naturally you should not go naked, and in the city or store it is better to wear clothes instead of a swimsuit.

Tipping in Thailand is not obligatory, but it is a kind gesture, especially if you are well served. A small amount will help show appreciation.

You can use Thai words to greet locals and thank them - "Sawatdy Kap" to greet them, "Kapun Kap" to say thank you, "Aroi" to say delicious. Women say "Kaaa" at the end, men say "Kap". It has no specific translation, but means something between "Yes", "Thank you", "Dear".

Kamala Beach is a very pleasant place, especially for a permanent residence. You are not disconnected from the rest of the world and civilization, as for example on Maikhao, but at the same time live in a quiet environment and do not see crowds of tourists. You can get to many interesting places within 20-30 minutes.

So I personally love Kamala and recommend it for visiting and living. Have a great vacation!

Read about Kamala