Kamala, Surin, Bang Tao | Exploring Phuket’s west coast

Sea and sun in Phuket

The last few days, I enjoyed spending some time on some of the west coasts nicest beaches—Sunsetting in Surin and Kamala, and a long beach stride on Bang Tao. Kamala came out as exceptionally memorable. But all three beaches are jewels on Phuket’s west coast. In some ways similar but still not quite the same atmosphere.

Kamala Beach

Kamala Beach is part of the scenic coastal area, also sometimes referred to as the millionaire mile. From all the luxury estates situated with stunning scenery of the Andaman Sea from the south of Kamala down towards Patong Beach. Kamala is roughly 10 kilometres north of Patong Beach on Phuket’s west coast. Kamala is divided into two sections, the original Muslim town and the touristic area built along the beach. The beach is about two kilometres long. What caught my eye was the smashing sunsets here. Just standing on the beach looking at the surfer’s silhouettes with the sound setting in the background was beautiful. In the low season, you could see some people sunbathing, but most people were walking the beach.

Some long term residents with their dogs. What was super neat to see was that the restaurants located along the beach had some decent business. I sat down for a drink and some Toast Skagen at the Boat Bar & Restaurant. Also a great spot for sunsets. With relatively few tourists but still not abandoned I can imagine Kamala becoming a super hit for the upcoming high season in the Phuket Sandbox.

In downtown Kamala I had three inexpensive but amazing dinners at a small green restaurant The English sign is Thai Muslim food. The real name is ก๋วยเตี๋ยวเรือนิคอย/Nicoy Boat Noodle.

They have pretty much everything on the menu but their signature is beef and especially beef noodles.

Spicy beef with chili and hot basil

I went for the stewed beef with basil and chilli. 60 baht and some variation to the seafood. There were quite a few restaurants open in Kamala. Also, some of the bars were open.

Check out this slideshow for some of the magic from sunsetting in Kamala. No filters used that magic evening.

Surin Beach

When I was in Surin, there was even more activity than in Kamala. The atmosphere is slightly different though. There was more of a local touch. Many locals came down to the beach to play beach football and just sit and enjoy picnics. Many local food vendors along the beach and some areas where you could sit down on plastic chairs and enjoy papaya salad and barbecue.

We stayed at Mana Thai Resort in Surin a few years ago during the low season. That was at the time a very nice hotel where you could access the pool directly from the rooms. Anyhow Surin Beach is also surrounded by exclusive real estate and the 1-kilometre beach has a similar touch to Kamala.

Surin Beach Phuket Thailand local vendors
Just after the rain
Surin Beach Phuket Thailand
Beach fun in Surin

Bang Tao Beach

A 6 kilometres long beach that has a lot of new development of the Laguna group surrounding it. The beach is flanked by casuarina trees. One of Phuket longest beaches and at sections quite peaceful and deserted. It is a family-friendly beach though.

Many motorbikes are parked here and the occasional camping chair on the beach. The restaurant area and Boat Avenue makes you feel that you are in a very international environment. I highly enjoyed Bake, a Scandinavian bakery as well as an eatery with wood-fired pizzas and a selection of pasta and more.

Bang Tao beach Phuket
Not the busiest day.

There were also East Mediterranean, Mexican, and newly opened Irish restaurant O Haras just to mention a few. Malls, fast food outlets, Villa Market(for foreign goods), golf courses gives you the feeling that people staying around here probably don’t move around that much. It is all here.

In the small local district of Bang Tao it was full of market life. No sense of the area being shut down.

My photos are all taken during low season and during the Sandbox program. It will look very different in a drier climate and with more people. Still, it was great to get a hint of which areas that are alive and not on Phuket’s west coast.

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