Jamie's Phuket Blog

Kamala Beach

We used to visit Kamala beach quite often, we had quite a few friends living there, we liked the quiet beach and the little beachside restaurants - we knew a couple of the owners of these restaurants too. But friends who lived there moved away to be closer to the center of Phuket. Kamala beach is a bit off the main road, and it has remained that way. Not a trendy beach, a bit of a backwater, not many bars as it's a Muslim area, and it always seemed to me like a bit of a drive to get there. Somehow, Kamala still has a quiet feel unlike any other area in Phuket and yet has quite a lot of hotels and restaurants.

Kamala Beach

Kamala Beach Hotels - Check at Agoda.com

And then there's what happened on December 26th 2004. Kamala beach was hit quite hard, and took time to recover. But Kamala was not mentioned nearly as much as Patong just down the road. More talk of the tsunami on these pages: Kamala Temple, and 4 Years After the Tsunami. We were all on the beach at Kamala on December 25th 2004. So Kamala has some memories for me. Lots of "what if?" thoughts.

One morning in April 2009, I drove to Kamala in the early morning sunshine for a walk along the beach. The photos on this page are all from that morning. It's about a mile along the beach starting from the temple at the south end passing fishermen and their longtail boats, then the main beach with beach chairs and small restaurants. The northern section is very quiet, as a large part of the land behind the beach is a Muslim graveyard. There are still a few little beachside shacks selling drinks. It's not most people's idea of "busy" Phuket!

I started the walk at the temple...

Kamala Temple

The temple end of Kamala beach is not so good for a swim, as a couple of canals drain into the sea there - all the chairs and hotels are further up the beach. Not far from the temple there were longtail boats and fishermen cleaning their nets. I guess they had already unloaded the catch - you have to wake up really early to catch a fisherman in the act!

Kamala Beach Fisherman

Before 9am the heat is not too bad for walking, and there are patches of shade on the beach, shadows cast by trees, not by tall buildings - you don't see any huge hotels here, even the larger hotels at Kamala are quite low key. Beach chairs were empty, although some of the restaurants were busy serving breakfast.

Kamala Beach, Early Morning

The "main drag" along Kamala beach is a narrow path lined with small restaurants and hotels. The traffic mainly passes through on the main road which is about 500 meters away from the beach. Most of the population of Kamala lives along roads to the east of the main road, rather than near the beach. The school is close to the beach, but if you wanted to see more local life in Kamala you'd have to get off the beach.. much like anywhere else in Phuket! Much of the local population lives inland towards the hills.

Walking street along Kamala beachfront

It's very low key along the beach at Kamala, not flashy or over touristy. Small restaurants, guesthouses, hotels, bars and tour desks, and all kind of holiday related things for sale. No traffic noise, no jet skis and (maybe because it was early) I was not hassled once to buy this, try that, have a drink, massage etc... I enjoyed my little morning walk. Should do it again sometime!

Side Seaing, Contact Hear

Coconuts Oil for sale

A sign helpfully points the way to the beach, just in case you hadn't noticed the sand and the blue ocean right next to you!

To The Beach

Here's one of the little beachside restaurants. Nice. Simple. Unpretentious. On the sand. There must be at least a dozen all looking similar, I can't recommend any particular one, but I would recommend heading to Kamala beach for a sunset one day, a cold beer or a cocktail and an evening meal right by the sea as the sun sets.

Beachfront Restaurant

Cocktails by the beach

Once I reached the north end of the beach near the aforementioned graveyard, the sun was heating up. Not many people up this end but still a few little shacks selling drinks and signs to a restaurant way up at the far end of the beach where you find a shady forested area.

Kamala is like the forgotten beach of Phuket. The local Muslim community kept things quiet for a long time. When we visited friends there 7 years ago it was hard enough to buy a beer in a local shop. There was no 7-11, and the "main" road was a fairly narrow 2 lane street. Things changed a bit when Phuket Fantasea opened - Phuket's largest "tourist attraction" is just at the north end of Kamala, but on the main road, not on the beach. A wider road was needed for all the tours and minibuses coming from Patong. There are now 7-11's and some bars, some new hotels have opened in more recent years, but Kamala is still quiet. Well worth a visit even if you are not staying there, and worth considering for hotels if you want some peace and quiet... and Patong is only about 15 minutes away by car if you do need a crazy night out!

Recommended Kamala Beach Hotels

Aquamarine Resort and Villas
Cape Sienna
Andara Resort
The Palms Hotel
The Trees Club Resort
Kamala Beach Resort
Swissotel Resort (formerly Marriott)
Print Kamala Resort
Layalina Resort
Kamala Beach Estate Hotel


 Kamala Beach  |  Jamie's Phuket Blog


Jamie suggests agoda.com for Phuket hotel booking

  Comments

  Please do add your comment!


Blogger Kat and Kim :

Hey Jamie,
We love your blog. We've spent a bit of time in Thailand, but whenever we're in Phuket we always come to stay at Kamala. It has indeed changed since our first time here in 2006, it almost seems like a mini-metropolis compared to then :)
Just reading through your blog now, hoping to pick somewhere out to eat for our visit to Phuket town.
Kat

April 16, 2009  

Blogger neil :

hi jamie
loved your blog on kamala beach, been coming to phuket since 94, it has changed so much since then. i'm back in oct so will try kamala beach then.
all the best neil

April 27, 2009  

Blogger chris :

Hi Jamie, there are also small guest houses on Kamala like www.kamalathaistyleapartments.com that offer a far more relaxed stay on this wonderful beach.
Any chance to add this one?
Nice reading material.
Cheers,
Chris.

April 14, 2010  

Blogger Jamie Monk in Phuket :

There you go, you've added it yourself... I might also mention the Maphrao Beach Hotel - a small place right by the beach run by some Italians.

April 14, 2010  

Anonymous SoloandPiano :

Hi Jamie
I will be going to Phuket this July 2010.
I go through a few guidebooks, the more I read the most confused I became;about the beaches, especially the hotels that are available.There were so many to choose from. What's worst all beach recommended by some books seem to suggest that all beaches are wonderful. Then I stumbled upon your Blog. Hey! I love it. To hear it from someone [thou a foreigner still] who lived there. Now I have decided to settle in Kamala for a week. My basde to explore the rest of Phuket with a Bike. Those pics just convinced me. Keep up the good work..

June 16, 2010  

Blogger Jamie Monk in Phuket :

You'll like Kamala and good idea to get off and explore, drive safely!

June 16, 2010  

Blogger Steve :

Hi Jamie,

My wife and 2 kids (5 and 2) and I are coming to Kamala in a fortnight, staying at the sunwing resort. We're first timers to Thaliand and very excited to be escaping Melbourne's cold and wet winter.

What are the day trips you'd recommend for us as a family and how much do they cost? Also, re the beachside restaraunts - how expensive are these?

Fantastic website - thanks for all the great (unbiased) information.

Any other tips are welcome!

Thanks

August 11, 2010  

Blogger Jamie Monk in Phuket :

Hi Steve,

Good choice of hotel, huge pools, good fo relaxing with the family. Lots of small restaurants in Kamala, not expensive at all, though some may be closed.. its low season and Kamala is pretty quiet in low season.

Unmissable trips - do something that takes to to Phang Nga Bay, ask Easy Day Thailand about booking trips - they are a travel company run by some friends of mine.

Have a good stay!
Jamie

August 11, 2010  

Anonymous Anonymous :

Hi Jamie
Great blog. We are thinking about visiting Kamala Beach and the beach restaurants. Would it be better to get down to Kamala beach via Kamala 1 down on the south side nearest Patong or go down the road near the north side where Kamala Beach Estate and Andara Resort is located? Thanks.

August 08, 2012  

Blogger Jamie Monk in Phuket :

Well, Kamala beach is less than a mile from end to end, so it doesn't matter to much where you start, it won't be a long walk :)

August 09, 2012  

Anonymous Wesley :

Hi Jamie,

loved reading your blog. I 1st visited Kamala beach in Jan 03 and go back when ever i can. I've been back to S.East Asia half a dozen times and always stay in Kamala. I would reccommed Ice Bungalow on RimHaad Rd and also PapaCrab (close to the school) for places to stay- both are small guesthouses with a lot of charm.

I hope Kamala beach doesn't lose to much of its charm as each time i go back it gets a bit more like Patong

October 18, 2012  

Blogger Jamie Monk in Phuket :

Hi Wesley. Sure Kamala has built up somewhat over the years. We don't go often now, since any friends we had there have moved to a more central location. Kamala still has that slightly out-of-the-way feeling. The Ice is a low budget option, looks to be OK yes.. is that the one you mean?

October 19, 2012  

Anonymous Jit :

Hello Jamie,

Loved your blog and found very useful information from it. I am travelling to Phuket with my wife and 3 yrs kid for the first time in the first week of April. We are staying at Aquamarine resort near Kamala beach. could you please let me know if there is any Indian restaurant/food outlet near to our hotel or kamala beach ?
Thanks,
Jit

March 06, 2013  

Blogger Jamie Monk in Phuket :

I do not know of any Indian restaurants in Kamala Beach. I find that Thai food is the best thing to eat in Thailand. There are a few Indian restaurants in Phuket, you can Google for them. I suggest asking about this on TripAdvisor here : http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowForum-g1379324-i13515-Kamala_Phuket.html :)

March 06, 2013  

Anonymous Anonymous :

There is an Indian Restaurant on the drive to the Swiss Hotel (formerly the Marriott) and it's good.

They're doing their absolute best to destroy any charm Kamala has with the constant building of more Hotel rooms. Particularly galling is the new environmental disaster at the north end of the beach. I wouldn't be surprised if there were another 15% increase in rooms by next season. They will sit empty for most of the year but they continue to build.

March 07, 2013  

Anonymous Anonymous :

Hi Jamie , cool Website .
I will spend 9 days with my wife and One Year Old baby in phuket, we will fly end of August. We are Looking for a quiet Place in terms of Nightlife, but there Should be plently of local Thai Restaurants and Convinient store in walking distance, the Beach Should be close Too, dont Want to Take Taxi a Lot. We are considering to Stay in two different
. After Reading your Blog I was thinking about kamala and kata Beach area. Do you think this is ok? Nö idea which Hotels we Should Book, Should be clean, Not so Old and with a Pool. Thanks a Lot for your advice. Br Raffael

June 20, 2013  

Blogger Jamie Monk in Phuket :

Sure Kata and Kamala are quieter than Patong. Let me think .. hotel near beach and with likelihood of shops and restaurants nearby ... For Kamala hotels, there is a list on this page ... very central and by the beach is Suggested Kata Beach Hotels. Enjoy!

June 21, 2013  

Anonymous Anonymous :

Hi Jamie, love yr blog ! Very useful and practical tips. My hubbt and I are coming 28 to 31 aug this year for my bday.. any suggestions for nearby interesting cafes or nearby good places for food or spa? Thanks!

July 06, 2013  

Blogger Jamie Monk in Phuket :

If you are staying at Kamala beach, it's pretty quiet in low season, quite a few restaurants along the beach area, but I really don't go to Kamala often. There are some good hotels in Kamala, but if you want restaurants that I recommend, you may need to take some drives around the island ... Restaurants that I like :)

July 08, 2013  

Anonymous Anonymous :

Hi Jamie
would you suggest going to Kamala in April? We're planning a trip with our two young boys but are reading mixed weather reports (we were thinking of the first half of the month)
thanks for any info,
Claire

October 06, 2013  

Blogger Jamie Monk in Phuket :

Sure you can visit Phuket in April ... weather will be HOT, it's the hottest time of year especially early April. And on the 13th it's the Songkran Festival :)

October 07, 2013