Offering a slower, family-friendly alternative to its party-loving neighbors, this beach is something of a hidden gem.
More of a fishing village than a nightclub hotspot, Kamala Beach is characterized by its long stretches of empty sand surrounded by lush forested hills and a chilled-out atmosphere.
The enclosed bay offers safe swimming all year round. The ocean is completely calm November through April, with the occasional swell May through October. The absence of many of the activities found at other, busier beaches means it’s perfect for families with small children. Watch the kids as they paddle freely without the risk of running into a surfboard, while you sit back and catch some sun. For activity, check out the snorkelling off the north end of the beach November through April.
Relaxing is the name of the game here. Rent a sun lounger, available near the center of town at the south end of the beach, or throw down a towel and enjoy a wide stretch of sand entirely to yourself. There aren’t any public restrooms, but facilities are available at any of the hotels dotted along the beachfront – just ask. These are also the places to go for a sit-down lunch. If you want to stay on the sand, try one of the street stalls selling traditional Thai dishes such as salads, curries and chicken satay.
The main part of town is just a few streets back from the glistening water. Here the streets are lined with shops and street stalls. On Friday nights explore the popular village market selling fresh produce, as well as clothes, DVDs and handicrafts. Locals flock to a twice-weekly market on Kamala Main Road. Head here to sample delicious fresh Thai food and soak up the atmosphere.
The town comes alive at night thanks to Phuket Fantasea, the island’s biggest Vegas-style spectacular. This theme park has hundreds of performers in elaborate traditional costumes, trapeze artists, performing elephants and a carnival atmosphere, with shopping and dining.
Kamala Beach is on the west coast of Phuket Island, it is five miles (eight kilometers) to the north of Patong Beach, or about a half-hour journey from the International Airport.