Kamala Beach is a popular destination for families and Scandinavian travellers. It used to be a very safe beach with only Phuket Fantasea as a highlight, but its popularity exploded with the opening of the new Cafe Del Mar beach club. Kamala is a beautiful long beach with clear waters during high season, featuring a nice amount of beach restaurants and shopping options, several great hotels including some with direct beach access.
The main road coming down from Patong Beach passes through Kamala, and you might keep on driving (fast) without noticing the small street right at the bottom of the hill. Kamala consists of two villages, the original Muslim town in the very back with not much happening around here, and the touristic part of Kamala built all along the beach.
Where to Eat in Kamala
The dining scene in Kamala seems to be changing faster than the seasons. Kamala was famous for the many small restaurants and bar set all along the beach on a 1 km strip. These restaurants are not always legally built, so they tend to come and go, making it difficult to tell which is open or closed at the time you arrive. However, there are still a few of them to enjoy in the middle area. Those are nice for a slow and cheap continental breakfast by the sea. Recently Cafe Del Mar and HQ Beach club opened at the northern part of the beach next to Novotel Kamala.
Parallel to the beach but behind a line of building is the ‘main street’ where you will find the usual suspects: tailors, conveniences stores, travel agencies, dive shops, bars and restaurants, and even two small shopping alleys, one leading to the beach and one leading to a plaza in the back. Favourite Thai restaurants to eat on this street are Charoen Seafood at Kamala Dream, Blue Manao, and Sala Thai.
For a more sophisticated dining experience there are a few places worth trying, including some with superb panoramic restaurants:
- Silk at Andara Resort Phuket
- Plum Premium Steakhouse at Cape Sienna
- Sunset Grill at Hyatt Regency
- Diavolo at Paresa Resort
- HQ Beach Lounge
Kamala Beach Nightlife
Kamala beach nightlife has evolved a lot since the arrival of Cafe del Mar and HQ Beach club. There is a still a bit of old-fashioned nightlife, and you are still in Phuket after all. Few girls will probably call you by “Hellooooo welcome!” when you walk past their bars, and it is always more fun to have a drink in a smiling company than alone. It is nowhere like Bangla road, but it adds a bit of spice and colour to the street.
What to Do in Kamala Beach
Then, of course, there is Phuket Fantasea Park, a fantastic stage performance involving acrobats and adult elephants. Fantasea is a top-rated show in an immense park full of shops and games in the middle of a village.
The main road of Kamala also has a bit of nightlife too, shops and restaurants and even a Big C Superstore but most interesting is the big fresh local market held all day at the entrance of the village. It’s your chance to see fruits, vegetables like you haven’t seen before and eat fun snacks you will never forget (in a good way).
Besides Fantasea Park, this market and of course the beach itself, there are no real attractions to see or visit. There are a couple of modest beaches (Rayee Beach and Hua Beach) to the south on a tiny long road leading to nowhere. This road was meant to reach Patong, and you do see Patong from the end of it, but someone didn’t agree to sale the last bit of land. This road is nicknamed “The Millionaire Row” home of the beautiful Paresa Resort and a collection of incredible private villas. Almost at the very end, you can even enjoy a drink on a little bar built on top of rock boulders with amazing views on Patong Bay.
Where to Stay in Kamala
Kamala has a wide range of hotels from budget to luxury. All along the south part of the main beach, you will find a row of guest houses at excellent prices, but the sea isn’t very clear around this part. In the centre is the Kamala Beach Resort and in the north end is the Novotel, both with direct beach access. In the top range, try the luxurious Paresa Resort or the Hyatt Regency.
Kamala is a beautiful but often underrated beach. It’s probably why a lot of visitors are returning every year, knowing that the best way to keep your favourite beach to yourself is to keep it low profile!