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Kamala Beach

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After the crass commercialness of Patong, long, sweeping Kamala Beach is a breath of fresh air. Lined by casuarinas, Kamala makes for fine swimming and it's easy to find your own patch of sand. During the short wet season don't be surprised to find the locals (and the occasional tourist) trying to fit in a bit of surfing.

Kamala feels more like a little Thai village than other towns on Phuket. It still has the standard touristy stuff, but you don't need to walk far to find an unaffected place or enjoy an authentic meal at a restaurant that sees more locals than tourists. However, with a number of new resorts and private apartments under construction and even more being planned, Kamala seems destined to eventually lose its small-town charm.

While the beach's far northern end remains mostly undeveloped due to a Muslim cemetery, the mountainous headlands to the south are dotted with cranes and half-built luxury villas. Known as Millionaire's Mile, this area is Phuket's latest hot-spot for exclusive resorts and vacation homes for the rich and famous -- Madonna owns property here.

A paved road runs the length of the beach, but is broken in the middle by the police station and a small park. Cheap guesthouses and a couple mid-range resorts can be found at both ends of the beach. A sandy path along Kamala's northern stretch is popular with joggers, but also used by locals on motorbikes as a short-cut into town.

During the high season activities like windsurfing, water-skiing, banana boats, fishing trips and island hopping all run on a daily basis. But in the low season all signs of watersports vanish, leaving just sun-bleached price-lists tacked to palm trees to linger in the seabreeze.


Kamala Beach was devastated by the 2004 Asian Tsunami and the majority of the beach-side budget guesthouses were destroyed. A monument in the town park commemorates those who lost their lives in this tragic occurrence. The recovery process was slower in Kamala than elsewhere on Phuket, but now seems to have caught up with the rest of the island. The inevitable mega-resorts are moving in and you can expect Kamala to have a very different landscape in the near future.

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Text and/or map last updated on 30th October, 2013.

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