In recent years, the small village of Kamala has expanded quite rapidly, but still retains its essential charm and somewhat relaxed atmosphere that has helped to make it so desirable. The area seems to attract those who enjoy somewhere fairly quiet, but there are nevertheless a few lively bars and pleasant restaurants that are definitely worth seeking out. However, you won’t find hordes of beer guzzling backpackers or tourists prowling around simply for some adult entertainment. Kamala has a chilled out and relaxed scene, but it’s easy to have a very enjoyable night out here.
Kamala offers some great beach bars with an intimate atmosphere and impressive views, as well as some more typical expat and touristy venues located in the village and around the main road. Why not enjoy a few cocktails and lazy hours down at the beach, followed by a good knees up at one of the bars listed below? It’s certainly possible to combine the best of both worlds in Kamala. Try the reggae inspired Freedom Bar on the beach or head over to the superb Skyla’s; you certainly won’t be disappointed.
The following are a few good local nightspots, but not at all an exhaustive list and there are plenty more drinking holes around Kamala. For details about the very popular Phuket FantaSea show, which is located nearby, check out our Cabaret and Shows section.
This tiny reggae themed bar next to Papa Crabs Guesthouse is an internationally known hangout, with walls lovingly festooned with Bob Marley tributes and memorabilia. The Thai owner is very friendly and knowledgable about Phuket and, unsurprisingly, tends to play a lot of Bob Marley records. Following the 2004 tsunami it was in ruins, but has since been rebuilt. It’s about halfway down the beach road (Rim Hat Road). A good place to go to meet people and get some inside information about Kamala.
Open: daily, 2pm to 2 am
Where: north end of Kamala Beach
Charlie’s Bar and Cocktail
A popular bar and restaurant, with the prerequisite pool table and Thai girls. Be careful as they can play well!
Open: daily, 11am to 2am
Where: Kamala Plaza, Beach Road
Kamala Beer Garden
Probably the most popular hangout in town is the Kamala Beer Garden, which has been a local favourite since 2001. It’s a thatched roof place with a cocktail bar and outside dining area that serves great Thai and European food, and puts on regular all-you-can-eat barbecues. Happy hours are long and the drinks are varied and inexpensive. All the usual sporting events are shown on TV and you can challenge the ladies to a game of pool. What more could you want? Definitely recommended on any visit to Kamala.
Long Ma Doo Bar
One of the longest established bars in Kamala and very close to the beach, Long Ma Doo has a cool but cosy atmosphere and some interesting decor. It’s quite a popular local hangout and has regular music and daily happy hours.
Open: daily, 5pm to late
Where: 121 Moo 3, Beach Road
With reasonable drinks prices and a friendly atmosphere, there’s plenty to like about Mayden’s Bar besides the friendly girls. It’s easy to find as it’s on the main road as you’re driving through the village.
Where: On the main road
Skyla’s Beach House Bar
This bijou little bar and restaurant is certainly the nicest on the beach, and made almost entirely from wood with some really funky furnishings. Located at the northern end of the beach, it’s run by two friendly expats and a Thai. They make some very satisfying cocktails, and the prices aren’t too bad either. Perhaps Skyla’s main appeal is the ideal location, the ambience and camaraderie. They also have proper DJ’s and some brilliant parties, as well as BBQ’s just outside on the beach. The owners are keen surfers and frequently give updates about the local surf conditions on their Facebook page, as well as being able to organise all sorts of activities and tours including surfing lessons, Tai Chi, snorkelling, and island tours. Perhaps the essential must-see bar in Kamala.
Tiger Bar is based in a relatively new complex and has a massage area, as well as the bar and lounge. All the usual beer bar attributes are present, such as cheap drinks and rather friendly female bar staff.
Open: daily, 3pm to late
Where: Kamala Plaza, Beach Road
Tel: +66 (0) 878 889 624