Kamala beach was an underrated beach for long time, mostly loved by Scandinavians who would return year after year. With the opening of 2 beach clubs, the village atmosphere has disappeared but it is still very peaceful and relaxing. Kamala feels ‘relatively’ more Thai than Patong, Kata and Karon.
Bangtao has evolved from an isolated luxury enclave to a fun and lively neighborhood with plenty of choice for all budget. Bangtao has become a very cool place to be if the madness of Patong is not on your list. Nightlife and dining is more sophisticated than anywhere on the Island but still affordable. With a lot of large resort, Bangtao is great for families and couples who want to have everything in one place. The southern part of the beach (near Outrigger) is very young and lively, great for dining by the beach while the north part (around Banyan Tree) has almost not changed with a peaceful beach and small restaurants in the shade of tall trees.
Cape Panwa is a hilly peninsula jutting out among the islands off Phuket’s southeast corner. It has quietly urban, Thai communities with small, broken patches of beach where the many hills fall down to the ocean. Panwa has none of the razzmatazz of Patong Beach nor the tourist numbers of the west coast beaches. It’s quiet, with more ‘sophisticated’ resorts in more natural environments. The atmosphere here is also distinctly more ‘Thai’.
Maikhao is the longest and most peaceful beach of Phuket, part of a national park. It has remained largely untouched and peaceful, making it a perfect romantic weekend escape for those who prefer to stay away from tourist areas. Mai Khao is mostly home to very luxurious hotels and villa resorts, and doesn’t offer much in terms of shopping, or nightlife. The whole areas is a little isolated, so renting a car to explore around is a good option. Maikhao (and Sai Kaew beach in its continuity) has a lot of real local Thai and seafood to enjoy if you take the time to find them.
Phuket Town has a lot of charm and has grown in popularity since it started to be renovated. With a superb Sino-Portuguese architecture, the heart of Phuket town is now a must-see attraction for visitors and a lot of fancy cafes, beautiful restaurants and hotels opened.
It can be busy on weekend, especially with the Sunday walking street market.
Transfer from your Phuket Dive Resort for Scuba Diving: All daily boat diving trips start from Chalong Pier. For the shared diving boat the transfer is free of charge from Kamala Beach. However If you stay north of Kamala Beach or like to dive in a more relaxed and smaller diving boat there is a transfer surcharge. If you have a rental car or motorbike you can do the transfer on your own without a surcharge.