Since I have been using TA extensively to plan my trip to Thailand, I thought I would return the favor by giving back my review for the week I spent in Kamala, Beach. I hope this is ok and I am not incorrectly using this forum. If so, please let me know for future reference.
Arrived in Phuket from Bangkok via Nok Air ( which we used 4 times and all 4 times had delayed departure anywhere from 10-45 minutes - so if you book with them, plan accordingly. Good and cheap airlines, just not very reliable for departure time and we nearly missed a connection).
Taxi fare from Phuket to Kamala is a set price, varying between 600 Bhat to well over 1,000 Bhat. Unlike Bangkok, there are no Taxi Meter - everything is a set price. Make sure you know the price first. Tuk Tuk within Kamala Beach are set at 200 Bhat, no matter where you go.
Kamala Beach is a very small town. The main street is set with restaurant and bars of all sorts. If you stay on an hotel on the main street, it can be noisy due to numerous bars along the streets that plays music until the wee hours. On Wednesday and Saturday night, there is a public market where all kind of vendors sell food, clothing and trinkets. It usually closes by 8:00pm.We stayed at the Royal Embassy (see my comments on this hotel on separate review). There is a Big C (grocery store) that just open a week ago. It is big, has a lot of variety and good price. You can also grab your beer/liquor here and they also have ready-to-go meal, along with a bakery, veggies and lots of fruits selection. If you pick your fish, they will even cook it for you (30 minutes) at no charge. There is also a Tesko Express (grocery store) on the same Main Street that is opened 24 hours a day. It offers less than Big C, but great to have if you need something in the middle of the night. There are two medical clinics in town that are open during the day. Unfortunately, someone in our party was seriously hurt in an accident...so the medical clinic proved beneficial before an ambulance transported him to Patong than to Bangkok Hospital in Phuket.
If you walk away from the Main Street and go toward the sea, you will then come along the streets that has all kind of shops, vendors, massage parlor and restaurant. Very nice street to walk to and minutes to the beach. We tried various restaurant and prices are fairly the same from one to another. Tried few massages place and always received great service (and no surprise - not that we were looking for it!). Massage price are pretty much the same at 300 Bhat for Foot Massage or Thai Massage, both one hour each. There are a lots of various tailor shop, slightly higher price than what we saw in Chiang Mai, but still very good. My hubby had a sports jacket made and 3 sleeveless shirts and is very happy with the result. Amongst the multiple tailors, he chose 'Sew and Cut because' he said ''that is the only guy that did not harass me whenever I passed by, he just smiled'.
We spent a lot of time on the beach and it is a truly beautiful beach, with soft sand on land and in water. You will most likely have to rent beach chair, but we found them fairly cheap and paid 300 Bhat (10$ Canadian) for 4 front-sea chairs for the day. If you wish, you can also ask them to bring beer/food. The beach is about one kilometre long and it is nice to walk. There are jet ski for rent (although I don't know the price) and para sailing to do. There are a lot of little shops along the sea boardwark but their price are much higher than beach vendors. Again, I would strongly suggest bargain as much as you can and we usually ended up paying between 1/3 to 1/2 price of original price. There are many many shops selling 'look-a-like' designer bag (Vuitton, Chanel, G&B...) and they have ridiculously low price. You can also have massage directly on the beach for the same price as in town.
We booked a tour to James Bond Island and paid 5,200 Bhat for 4 adults. Got picked up at our hotel, rode in A/C van to Phuket Pier and got into a nice big boat for a 45 minutes boat ride. Stop at various little island where we got into small 3-persons canoe (2 guests and one Thai paddler) and visited caves with bats and monkeys (bring lots of banana) and various other place where our guide paddlers would bring us around. This was very nice to do and very scenic. Got to James Bond Island with tons of tourists, do the usual pictures poses and en route again to return to the Pier. Along the way, we got a very good lunch and water/pop/juice as much as we wanted. We got back at our hotel around 6:00pm, so it was a full day. Unfortunately, I sat in the sun all day and while I put some sunscreen, I did not have a hat....and got big time heat stroke which made me sick for the next 3 days. I recovered fully, but for anyone wanting a tour boat, please wear hat!
I was supposed to go on Phi-Phi Island Tour but due to sickness, did not do it. Also, was supposed to go to Patong/Karon but because of other person in our party was seriously injured - we did not get to visit those places. So, we stayed mostly at the hotel, which was superb or at the beach.
Supper wise, one restaurant that stick in my mind was 'Oh La La' which is a french/suisse restaurant. Very Very good! Highly recommend, it is on the main street just on the corner where you would turn to go to the side street leading to the beach.
The weather was fabulous while we were there and beside some illness - which everyone fully recovered - we had a blast. However, we all felt that 8 days in Kamala was too much and next time we would divide this time in two separate place. Hope my review was helpful for some, please don't hesitate to ask any question.