After spending a few days on a SCUBA diving boat out near the Similan Islands, we chose to spend the next few days relaxing at the beachside town of Kamala Beach. Though we had only been to a few other towns in Thailand up until this point of the trip, Kamala Beach was beautiful, and completely different than anything we had expected. And over the next few days, we fell in love with this small beach town and how memorable it was.
Kamala Beach, located on the western coast of the Phuket island, is just one town north of the popular party destination of Patong, but couldn’t be more opposite in every way. Kamala beach, like the other costal tourist destinations, is situated that all of the hotels are on the edge of the beach, separated from the ocean a row of restaurants, vendors, and bars. During the day, the beaches fill up with tourists from all over the world (primarily Russian) enjoying the sunny, white sandy beach and warm, clear ocean. During the high (rainy) season, the beach is a surfing destination, but unfortunately for us, we didn’t see a single wave worth paddling out for. But that didn’t stop us from enjoying everything else Kamala Beach had to offer.
We stayed at the Novotel, situated on the north end of the cove that shapes the beach of Kamala Beach. We decided to splurge at this portion of our trip and got a Villa room with an incredible ocean view. Needless to say, this was the fanciest room we’d ever stayed in up until this point in our lives. The entire front wall was a window that provided unobstructed views of the jungle above the stunning blue waters of the town. Each day, we’d do some combination of walking the beach in the morning, stop by the restaurant for the delicious (and included ) breakfast, get drinks at the pool bar, and sit and relax on the beach. I even made it down to the gym one morning to hit the rowing machine that was positioned perfectly to look out over the ocean as well. This hotel was absolutely stunning, and far enough away from the business of the center of the town beach, but close enough that everything was a quick walk to within 5 to 20 minutes.
As I mentioned before, the beach is lined with restaurants, vendors, and bars, which we tried to visit as many as possible. Food and drinks vary in price, but are all less than most prices in the states. For cocktails, appetizers, and two main courses, we would regularly spend 600-700 Baht, which is only $20! We’d go for walks up and down the beach, picking out the best happy hours (Boat Bar had the best). Mixed in with the restaurants were countless vendors selling beach toys, surfing lessons and rentals, Thai clothing, long-boat tours to the islands, jet ski rentals, and even parasailing trips. If you want it on vacation, you can find it along the beach. But to be honest, the best vendor on the beach are the Thai Massage tents. For only 400 Baht ($12) each, my wife and I were able to get a 1 hour, full body, Thai massage on the beach, hearing the ocean waves crashing off in the distance. It was the most relaxed I’ve been in years, all for less than a 6-pack of beer back home.
The town itself is rather quiet at night, with only a few restaurants turning into clubs at night like Cafe Moar. But nobody is coming to Kamala beach for the nightlife, that is what Patong is for! Patong is only a 15 minute taxi ride that will drop you off into a different world! My wife’s friend, who has lived in Thailand for the past 5 years, picked us up for the night and took us around to experience this party town of sin and lust. Starting out slow, we went to a relaxing club called A Blanket and Pillow which is a club built into the side of a hill that I can only attempt to describe as a treehouse. Steep steps land you on different platforms to view the DJ and the ocean at the same time. And all the platforms had giant beanbag chairs to relax on. But that was the warm-up, before heading down Bangla Road which is like Vega’s Strip, New Orleans’s Bourbon Street, and an amusement Park all tied into one street. A street lined with open bars, random tourist shops, amazing nightclubs, and of course, all the infamous sex shows. Yup, this place has street vendors out hassling tourists, attempting to drag them into viewing a sex show or strip club. Needless to say, we were able to make our way through the crowds to reach at top 10 club in the world, Illuzion Phuket. The venue was awesome, with a DJ playing music all night. But in reality, the three of us spent most of the time people watching the crowds from all over the world. But if you’re looking to party, this street is where it can be found, especially for only a few dollars.
Overall, even though we spent 3 days in Kamala Beach, we really could have spent so much longer here! The beach was amazing, the beachside restaurants and bars were all incredible, and the experience in this town was unforgettable. This part of our trip will be some of the most memorable on our Thailand Honeymoon, and really makes me want to go back sooner then later!
Hi there, my name is Zachary Kenney and I’m an adventure filmmaker & photographer. My passion is to tell stories that will hopefully motivate you to go live a more adventurous life. Whether that is to experience the view from the summit of a mountain, or wandering through a new town on a road trip. Currently based out of Park City, UT.