Kamala Beach is located five minutes south of Surin beach and about fifteen minutes north of Patong. If you approach Kamala from Patong the road winds its way up through the hills to the Khao Phanthurat pass, 303 m (990 ft) above sea level, offering magnificent views in both directions, including Patong Bay and Kamala Bay. The Bay itself is about 2.5 km north to south and is lined by casuarinas trees on the northern half and coconut palms and sugar palms on the southern half. Over the last two to three years, the landscape of Kamala has changed significantly due to the popularity of the place as a residential community and seaside holiday resort. Many new (smaller) resorts and hotels have opened along the beach road, and more in the secluded areas on the smaller southern beach..
From a property perspective, Kamala Beach is very popular residential community. Many foreign investors have bought free-standing homes in Kamala ranging in price from 2 million to 30 million baht. Kamala has a lot to offer because the area has always been owned by local villages and their release of land for development has been sporadic and in smaller lots. As the land has gradually been sold most of the development has been for residential purposes.
As consequence, the area remains relatively quite and not exposed to the commercialization of other districts witnessing major tourism growth such as Patong or for that matter Karon and Kata.
There is a lot to choose from in Kamala between do it yourself housing to those within a gated communities. Take your pick between: ocean views / plantation views / estate views or lake views its all in Kamala. Property projects include: the Plantation, Cape Sol Phuket, L' Ochidee Residence / Kamala Hills / Andara and Cool Water to name but a few.
In spite of the large entertainment Park in the north - Phuket Fantasea, the valley even today retains its small fishing village atmosphere.
If you live here you can expect a relaxed pace, shop from mom and pop general stores, enjoy local restaurants and bars.
Does anyone familiar with Phuket need an introduction to Patong?
Patong has a unique character all its own. It is the most commercially developed spots on the island. Patong Beach is really set-up as a holiday town with many hotels, resorts and guesthouses. Traffic and road congestion are commonplace and the whole feel is more commercial. Most locals have an agenda and business is what's on their mind.
Do you want to invest here? This of course depends on your priorities and what you are looking for from a real estate perspective. If you want to be close to the action and want something you can rent out during the high season or year-round, (a resort home) then yes, Patong should be considered.
But rates here tend to be middle of the road due to the types of property that have been built and the amenities they offer. Homes are not of the calibre of Cherngtalay or Surin Beach and building and construction quality is more circumspect. In spite of this, there are some very attractive deals around and it pays to do a little research before making that commitment to buy.
Few property developers have completed projects in the area and there are many individual owners now advertising a resale at prices ranging from 1 - 20 million baht. Expect to find apartments, condominiums, duplex homes, town homes and to a lesser extent freestanding houses. If you're looking for a good price the Patong Condominium - the big building smack bang in centre of Patong will at some point have a condominium available for sale or even the Phuket Palace Condominiums, on the T junction road heading out of Patong to Karon.
Newer property projects include: Villa Santi – large Villa style homes with ocean views; the Sunset Residence on Kalim beach – offering 2 and 3 bedroom apartments and condominiums; Phuket Sunset Villas – 3 and 4 bedroom luxurious sea view homes with pools on the hillside above Kalim beach; Piyalai Villas just south of Patong Beach proper and Phuket Forest Hills.
For those not familiar with Patong Beach - it is the one of the most famous of Phuket's beaches and attracts the highest concentration of tourists. Located on the west coast of Phuket, it extends 4 km north to south. The bay itself is crescent shaped and the beach it quite well protected being situated a long way from the headland. The entire area is surrounded by lush green mountains all around. The beach offers many spots to suntan and the sand is powdery and the water quite clean in spite of the fact that it is one of the most trafficked beaches on the island.
Hotels, resorts, guesthouses, restaurants, shops and bars appealing to all tastes line the promenade on beach road. This beach is not recommended for those in search of solitude, but definitely suitable for the young or the middle aged looking for a lively place to hang out, shop or even party. There are a wide variety of Beer bars, Tech Clubs, Cabaret shows and go-go bars. Patong also has a very lively gay scene, concentrated near the Paradise complex of Rath-U-thit Road in front of Royal Paradise Hotel.
Karon sits in a valley between Patong in the north and Kata in the south - and is surrounded by rolling hills and mountains. The beach itself is the second longest in Phuket, with white sands but does not offer very much in terms of shade. If you can imagine a sand dune beach – you can imagine something of Karon.
In places the swimming here is best during high season from November through May when the sea is claim. Caution is advised during the low season and it is not recommended to swim, as there are strong currents, high seas and tidal rips just off the shoreline. The beach promenade is set back about 300 meters and runs parallel with the road, offering an invigorating morning or evening walk. At the southern end of the beach you can snorkel around the rocks and gradually make your way around the headland. There is also good snorkelling, in the far north, past the village of Karon.
If you are looking for uninterrupted ocean views, Karon beach is the place for you.
Over the last few years, Karon has been developed as a tourism area with many hotels, resorts, guesthouses and the like. Although it is not nearly as busy as Patong - it still has a lot to offer holidaymakers in terms of restaurants, local corner stores and souvenir shops. The central focus where you can find a much commercialization is at either end of the beach (north or south) although lately more people have set up shop near the newly branded Hilton Phuket Arcadia Hotel.
From a property perspective the area is not that popular because its lies in-between Patong and Kata and is difficult to get to Phuket town or other parts of the island, because the roads windy, small and the traffic flows quite slowly. In spite of this the two developments which do offer property for sale or re-sale include Central Waterfront Apartments and Prima Villas - Karon
Of Phuket's highly developed beaches (Patong, Karon and Kata), Kata is probably the quietest. Palms and rocket trees line the beachfront promenade providing a very relaxing shady area. Swimming is very good here especially in the high season and the waters are calm and clear.
When sitting on the beach, the views around you are quite spectacular over the surrounding bay and headland. Club Med Resort occupies the entire beachfront and in some ways preserves the ascetics of the environment due to its low-rise buildings and beachfront location. Along the beach you won’t find a mish mash orgy of hotels, resorts and guesthouses - making this an attractive area to relax and enjoy.
Kata beach is safe for swimming because the waters are shallow and one can splash around quite a ways out, before being in any danger. The middle section of the beach is the most prone to riptides in low season, so should be approached with care.
During high season, windsurfing at Kata can be positively electrifying, although beware of the ubiquitous long tail tour boats that ply the waters. At both ends of the beach you'll find a variety of restaurants, bars and souvenir shops and believe it or not - Indian tailors, ever ready to cut a suit right on the beachfront!
From a real estate perspective, Kata has a lot to offer just by virtue of the fact that it's smaller and more private. Pockets of development that have taken place are at either ends of the beach including "the Breakers" in the north - a luxurious condominium development and the Katamanda in the south - offering high-end luxury villas. Also in the south between Kata and Kata Noi are "Baan Kata" - a high-end villa development, which has since been sold with re-sale offers available, other include luxurious apartments from one of Thailand's most renown developers Raiman Land - such as Kata Gardens – moderately priced 2 and 3 bedroom apartments modern apartments situated on the southern headland.
One of Phuket's most beautiful beaches spanning approx. 4 kms North to South, offers shallow clear waters that are ideal for swimming almost throughout the year, except during the rainy season of July – October when high waves and strong currents prevail.
Around the beachfront you can find a number of small restaurants serving cold drinks and great Thai food at very reasonable prices.
For yachts this is the perfect anchorage (for most of the year) being a protected bay affording spectacular scenery and calm seas. It’s here that the King's Cup yearly Regatta takes place. During this time you can see the boats competing against each other and also have a chance to take a closer look at them. (Bring your binoculars)
Not too many international property developers situate themselves here. Partly due to the fact that villagers own most of the land in much of Nai Harn. The property development boom that’s taken place here of late mirrors much of that which has taken place in Kamala. That said, here is an excellent development with town homes and reputation to consider known as Onyx Town homes.
You can find many individual (freestanding) homes built for residential purposes, as it is an ideal residential community against a backdrop of shady green rubber trees. Many westerns have made their homes in the area attracted by the quite and village atmosphere. Property prices range anywhere between 5 - 25 million baht, some catering to western standards some not.
Property developments in the area include The Sands – a completed apartment/condominium project and Nai Harn Baan Bua - offering large 3 – 5 bedroom residential homes and pool in an estate community.