Where We Stayed:
PapaCrab Boutique Guesthouse. It’s a tiny (1o room) hotel run by a German guy and his Thai wife and it’s perfect. It’s a 2 minute walk from the beach, right around the corner from some quality restaurants and about 5 minutes away from a bakery. It’s clean, simple and comfortable – exactly what you need for spending maximum time at the beach. It’s also worth mentioning that there’s a little general store in between the hotel and the beach which makes beverage runs quite nice 🙂
We ate at Kokosnuss German Bakery for breakfast, had some street food from the beach for lunch, and Skyla’s and Carbonara’s for dinner. I’d recommend them all to anyone. Breakfast was ham, cheese and homemade bread, costing us somewhere around $5 per day (total) for 3 people. Lunch was usually 3 servings of typical Thai food; Pad Thai, Noodle Soup with Prawns, etc. Each dish cost about 80 thb and whoever went and ordered got to have a beer while they waited. Total for lunch was usually ~300 thb or $10 total for 3 people. Dinner was slightly more expensive but the atmosphere at both places was worth it. At Skyla’s we had Pad Thai, Lettuce Wraps and Spicy Papaya Salad. At Carbonara’s we had pizza. I don’t remember the totals for each place, but they were slightly more expensive (120 thb – 150 thb) per dish.
What We Did:
Mostly stayed at the beach on Kamala. One day we rented a car (~900 thb) and drove up to Banana Beach, which is quiet, secluded and difficult to access. We snorkled, swam, ate food at a tiny “restaurant” on the beach and had a good time. We also went to the Farmer’s Market that happens on Wednesday. It’s a fantastic place to get food of all sorts 🙂
* We didn’t find a single place that accepted credit/debit cards, so carry cash. Not a single bank in Kamala accepted our Kuwait cards, so we had to go to SCB on the main strip to have them charge our American Credit cards. Again – take out LOTS of cash, because plastic won’t work!
* Once you’re in Kamala, plan to stay there. Taxis, Tuk-tuk’s, busses and rental cars are pricey. Scooters are cheap and we thought about renting them but decided against it (and were thankful we did, as it poured that day!) and ended up grabbing a car for the day.
* Buy towels there, and make sure you bargain. I’m a big fan of traveling light, so packing a towel wasn’t going to be something I did. The towels are cheap quality, so don’t pay full price.
* Rent a chair and umbrella every day. They cost about 100 thb per person per day, but they are absolute MUSTS. You have to have a place to escape the sun or you’ll fry. Chairs and umbrellas are plentiful, so don’t pay more than 100 thb per.
* Beer is cheap in Thailand and they’ll open it for you at the store so you can drink it walking out the door. Take advantage of this, as drinks on the beach get pricey fast.