Kamala is a large Muslim village covering a wide area on the west side of Phuket, to the north of Patong Beach and south of Surin Beach. The area covered is roughly circular and extends from just north of Kalim on the south edge to the mountains near the Kathu Waterfall in the east, Laem Sing Viewpoint and Beach in the north and to the edge of the Andaman Sea in the west.
There are three mosques in Kamala, the 'Main Mosque' is the largest one on Khok Yang Road, with a new one being built next to it. The village itself is a Muslim village, with most of the Muslim population living along the surrounding hills. Muslims represent about thirty-percent of the Thai population in Phuket, so you will see their influence in the buildings, dress and food. Many restaurants will not serve pork because they are sensitive to the Muslim diet which forbids it.
The road leading away from north Patong is very scenic and, even if you don’t plan on doing anything in Kamala, you should still drive the road when you get a chance. You’ll pass Kalim, as the road winds up and down small hills and around many bends on its way to Kamala Beach, and go through an area, named 'the millionaire area', full of luxury villas which is recognized as one of the most beautiful area in Phuket.
Further down the road is Kamala Beach and the heart of the town of Kamala.
In the past, Kamala was a very traditional area without any bars and was largely unaffected by the crowds of Patong. In fact, thirteen years ago, the area, though large, was like a quiet village with a few food stands next to the water. Nowadays, the area has changed drastically and you can now find as much as you would in Patong Beach.
Kamala Beach is a family friendly place (a two-kilometer-long beach that faces west and provides great views for the setting sun) and a much quieter sandy beach where you can relax without all the noise of Patong Beach, although some of the beach is filled with shallow sharp rocks which prevents swimming in some areas. On the south end of the road, along the beach, is where most of the restaurants and coffee shops are found. On the middle road is where you will find all the shops for clothes, food, furniture and services of all kinds.
A few restaurants to try in Kamala:
- Lillo Island Restaurant & Bar is set right on Kamala Beach and is the best restaurant around according to reviewers. This is part of the Lillo Resort. They have a menu with Thai food as well as seafood and received great reviews. The food presentation is really nice and it's an excellent place for sunset dinner.
- HQ Beach Lounge is just off the sand, in the trees, but overlooking the beach and water. This is another restaurant worth eating at, on Kamala Beach’s north end. This has an upscale beach bar type feel and is great for romantic dinners. The outdoor seating under the trees makes for a superb atmosphere.
Phuket FantaSea, the cultural theme park with its elaborate and spectacular shows, is located nearby and is a huge tourist draw.
There are also a few nice hotels and resorts in Kamala, such as the Novotel Phuket Kamala Beach and the Swissotel Resort Phuket located on the north side.
There is a large graveyard in Kamala that appears to be taking valuable real-estate, but of course that is of no concern to anyone as this is the final resting place of many Thais who lost their lives in the Boxing Day Tsunami in December of 2004.