My hotel, Andamantra Resort and Villa, is north of Patong Beach but belongs to Kalim beach/bay. This is a more quiet section of the west coast. The rocky beach is inviting for surfers, anglers and people collection shells in the evening. Not that suitable for swimming but still you see some people swim there.
The Thai Touch of Kalim Beach
Just outside the hotel, there is a small Muslim community with a school and a kindergarten. Also, a minaret makes itself heard now and then. At first, I wasn’t sure what I thought about this area, but now I love it.
Kalim Beach is low key, close to the action of Patong if that’s what you need, but first and foremost, it is home to some fantastic small restaurants and local vendors. The small car park with street vendors cuts the beach into two parts.
On Sunday night, people come and sit by this narrow promenade and order noodle soups, papaya – salad, kebabs and barbecue from the vendors.
At the opposite of the street vendors, there is also a Muslim lady selling Southern Curries on rice in the morning and up to lunch. Eating curry on rice for breakfast, especially the southern version, is something that might take some time to get used to. But it is delicious and inexpensive. The lady also has some Farang adapted- Thai food on the menu.
In this section, just before climbing the hill, you also encounter the Patong Bazaar. A few colourful food stalls, mostly with locals sitting around. I had a seafood, dry curry plate there for dinner tonight. I promised one vendor already yesterday to return today. After a brief conversation, she told me that she and her daughter ran the restaurant; the rest of the family sitting there had all been laid off from their works due to Covid. My 60 baht meal could hardly make a difference, but at least they had some customers and yes, the food was delicious.
In the morning, I walked through Kalim Bay Area because I wanted to see the beach in high tide. Indeed the sea was rough. A pleasant surprise was that I got caught in the rain and walked into a restaurant, actually with the intent only to have a cup of coffee and wait out the rain. However, it turned out to be an eatery with a dim sum breakfast/brunch. So I couldn’t stay away from some tempting dim sums. Pantai Restaurant delivered. Ice coffee, dim sums and Seaview. Not to forget, reasonable protection from the rain!
Fine Dining in Kalim Bay
Kalim is not only for local food. You find fine-dining venues here as well. A top-ranked French restaurant with a rooftop bar, L’ Arôme by the sea. They claim to have a “modern and innovative menu combining local elements” with a mastery of French culinary techniques.
The restaurant has a fantastic maximum score of 5,0 from 86 reviews by Google local guides. So, I dropped by for some exclusive pastry.
Prefer Italian? Well, then you have the almost equally highly rated Aqua nearby. During the Covid situation, they are open Friday, Saturday and Sundays from 5 pm. Check with their website for further updates.
Another partly Italian option would be the Sea Salt lounge and grill. I enjoyed their special pasta/pizza promotion from 12-5 pm. Beautiful views of the sea, a light breeze and for 199++ baht, you get one appetiser, one pizza or pasta and also a soft drink. Currently, they do steaks for 699++ in the evening. Sea Salt is on the southern part of Kalim, just bordering Patong Beach.
So many good places within walking distance
One clear advantage of Andamantra’s location is also the proximity to 7/11. There is one just outside the entrance. Moreover, every night the local banana roti maker stops just outside.
If you have sore feet after too much walking, there is also a small massage shop next to 7/11. When I went, they had a promotion for 200 baht for a one-hour foot massage. Very reasonable for Phuket. It turned out that the masseuse was married to a Swedish man in Örebro. She was actually from Hua Hin and had moved to Phuket for work. After the Covid pandemic is over, she will move to Sweden. She said that she and her husband’s dream were to retire in Hua Hin later.
Another advantage of the hotel is plenty of laundry shops in the vicinity—places where you can hand in your laundry for 50 baht per kg. Pick up the next day.