Located north of infamous Patong Beach, Kamala is a quiet community that many visitors find more appealing than its noisy neighbour. At one time, Kamala was just a fishing village, and it has still retained this atmosphere of quiet village life, along with its unspoilt beach.
In recent years, expensive homes have been built along the cape at the southern end of the beach – to the point where the road along it is now popularly known as ‘millionaires mile’. Resorts include Cape Sienna and Andara, though neither has access to the beach, so both have ‘beach clubs’ set up on Kamala Beach, with shuttle buses.
The narrow lanes leading off Kamala Beach have many local eateries and bars, providing a good selection for visitors. The beach itself is clean and pretty, despite the development in the area.
Accommodation is mainly in small guesthouses and the nightlife at Kamala is relatively quiet and low-key, while Patong Beach is only about 10 minutes away for those who also enjoy action. The most distinctive characteristic of Kamala Beach is the lack of road along most of the beachfront – there’s only a pedestrian lane, with low-rise, small resorts or guest beach-houses. It’s quiet and relaxed and you can eat at simple restaurants and take a dip at will.
Kamala is also home to Phuket’s only theme park, Phuket FantaSea. Although many people shy away from visiting a theme park while on holiday, the show at this one is well worth going to. With a cast of 44 elephants, skilled performers and acrobats, elaborate costumes and pyrotechnics, even trained chickens, it provides a good, if expensive, evening out. The park also has a decent buffet, along with some slighjtly down-at heel games and shops to keep you occupied before and after the show.
Altogether, this beach is a good place to stay if you want to be close to Patong but still be able to get a good night’s sleep when you aren’t out at the bars. Kamala has a well-behaved atmosphere with quiet, friendly pubs.
The beach itself isn’t as long as Patong’s, but is substantial nonetheless, and most of it hasn’t been spoilt by resorts hogging the waterfront. The mid-section has a park and tsunami memorial, while the top section is wild and complete with casuarina trees. In all, Kamala has a pleasant village feel that contrasts with the commercialism of Patong and Karon.