[Phuket] ~ Strangely Sad of a Beach in Kamala

Most beautiful sunset and sunrise in a rather gloomy place – beach with character indeed.  04-04.15

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Among the beaches, Kamala Beach has got to be where I had the strangest feelings. I arrived just right before an unexpectedly beautiful sunset with just the right amount of crowd (including photoshoot of to-be-wed couples) yet the place had some gloom I could not quite explain that I could barely finished a bottle of beer on my night there. That sadness may have been reason why it was only until this beach that it started to sink on me that this country has had this tsunami almost a decade ago and for some strange reason, I was having these dead people and town thoughts before going to bed.

Nonetheless still had good memories of that distinctly round sun, not only during sunset but surprisingly, also during sunrise and this quick chat with a Filipino (finally! not just some locals who I happened to look alike with) in this restaurant where I enjoyed a spicy fruit salad.

There is a first anywhere; and I have always believed that only good feelings happen when I am at the beach. But in this beach, I was just strangely sad. Quite a turnaround from the high at Phi Phi but each place has got to leave its mark, right? Or maybe I should have stayed longer.

It’s easy to equate Phuket with the overcrowded beaches so for this trip to that big island, I made sure to go to the quieter beaches. I originally intended to stay at Nai Yang but I thought I should try the beaches nearer the busiest ones so on the last minute, I booked a backpacker hostel in Kamala.

I had no point of comparison in person but based on photos of Patong and Karon, I think Kamala is far from busy. This I learned as soon as I checked in my hostel as I was the seemingly the sole guest there. I was initially in panic but the helpful receptionist gave some relief at least.

20150404_164936When light meets darkness

(An odd photo at the transport van on the way to Kamala Beach)

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Again a pink hostel

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At a restaurant near my hostel. Hmm that second phrase confused me

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Baan Kamala Backpacker Hostel was roughly a 5- to 10-minute walk to the beach, probably the farthest so far on this trip. At the beach, it was far from crowd but at least there was less of the ghost town feel I had when I earlier arrived. It was seemingly a combination of tourists and locals who were getting their last play with the sea and sand. Nonetheless, the place had its feel of isolation which could be coming from the strip being enclosed by mountains on both ends.

I immediately tried the sea which had  waves but a relatively stable sand bed so a lot less scary than Klong Nin . It was a quick wade for me though because the sun started setting… and to such a lovely surprise at that!

I could not remember whether it was consideration for choosing this beach so it was a lovely surprise how the beach had one of the most beautiful sunsets, with the sun was in its best distinct circle and most intense orange.

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 People at the park doing their late afternoon exercise

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This has got to be one of simplest yet most confusing maps I have seen. Or maybe I just do not get the special zones

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But who cares given this sunset, right?

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If you have been reading my posts, you could have known this shot to be mandatory

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In between capture of the sunset are attempts of capturing people who were also busily capturing this sunset whether professionally  (as in a wedding photoshoot) or like me, ‘just because’.

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Just like those figurines on a wedding cake

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IMG_0346Clearly, the sun is round

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Never too late for playtime

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Setting stage

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Time of day when they were all parked

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Was that the North Star?

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IMG_0400” This is how I watch the sun set”, says the dog

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When it was dark, I walked along the beach just looking at the beachside restaurants that line the shore. I did not feel like eating or drinking so it was all walking. On my exit, I discovered this interesting piece of art which made me learn that the town was one of the badly hit areas during the 2004 tsunami.

Apparently called Mind Universe by Udon Jiraksa, this artpiece could be found at the Tsunami Monument Plaza. Artist beautifully explained it as follows:

Natural disaster is caused by a shift of nature to obtain equilibrium of the earth. Motions and forces of nature are inseparable. Its dynamism includes connecting, flowing, and changing things ranging from atomic structure, physical chemistry, human behavior to inner universe as a cycle of life linking everything to one. Based on the theory of substance, I create a sculpture memorial using lines in the form of sphere to connect the inner oval that represent the axis and the rotation of the world around itself and the sun in relevant to magnetic fields in the universe. Inside the circle, there are layers of forms which are interlinked. I use wave lines to present what people called Tsunami Disaster. Everything happens for a reason (Ituppujjayataeven loss of lives or others. At last, something rises to replace that loss.

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Symbolizes the optimistic spirit the community needs after nature’s way of maintaining equilibrium

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I did more walking at busy road near to beach wherein I killed time looking at possible finds for myself or as take-home. I lost track of where I was going and when it was time to go back to my hostel I then went back to my hostel to change clothes before searching for a chill place to drink. I however got lazy and ended up sneaking a bottle of Chang on my hostel room (and yes, I even had to buy a bottle opener for that!)

I was halfway my bottle though when I felt like going out. I then walked along the busy main road but still ended up unsuccessful finding a place to spend the rest of my wake hours that night. I found this small restaurant on a hidden area but instead of getting beer, I found myself getting curious with a spicy fruit mix.

The cashier at the restaurant happened to be curious about me too and asked whether I am Filipino. It turned out he (or she) is too! We had a quick chat on where I was staying in the Philippines and whether I was there working or on vacation.

IMG_0420 One of the many restaurants at the main road 

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Not a paradise for shoppers but their closest to a shopping strip

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Surprisingly yummy spicy mixed fruit salad

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I went back to my hostel right after that salad then finished remaining half of my beer before calling it a night. It took me some time to finally sleep because I was feeling sad for some vague reason which I eventually declared to be I was seemingly feeling how the place used to experience something tragic.

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 Interesting decor at the bar attached to my hostel

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The following morning promised some sort of lightness as I went to do my early morning beach walk. There were much less people compared to previous, most of them walking or jogging. It was then I noticed too that there were tourists there who seemed to have been staying there long-term. (As I was writing this, I read some articles about the beach and true enough, beach is rather known for long-term visitors).

It was my feet that felt the water that morning. especially with that equally lovely early morning sun. While sustaining its distinct circle, it was in stark contrast with the previous day’s intensity, that is, more spoke of calm that is perfect in the morning.

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These beach dogs which I thought to be friendly

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Still as beautiful in the morning

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In its wide when morning comes

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Little by distance

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When done with the photos, I went back to look for my slippers only to find out that one piece was missing! I knew it. Those dogs who seemed to be friendly earlier at the park were actually naughty dogs. It was a blessing that one of the joggers sort of told me (sort of because I did not really understand her words but I got what she was trying to say when she pointed out someplace on the south end of the beach). Maybe this ‘stealing’ happens quite often in this place that the regulars no longer finds that new. Okay, so while the dogs are not that friendly, at least the people there are.

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Uh-oh. Someone stole a piece

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Morning jog

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One of these could be culprit to my lost a piece from a pair

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It was a little before 8 in the morning when I came back to hostel to pack my bags so I can commute my way to my next and final stop for this trip – at Nai Yang!

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Lots of great food in there but I wanted junk from the convenience store 😀

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Hmm. Look at those colors

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Offerings to the Higher Ones

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My hostel apparently sandwiched between Popeye’s and Olive’s

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Unflattering shot on my way to Nai Yang.

That lady at the back a friendly Filipina!

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True. It was the beach where I had the strangest feelings. Could be an invite though for another visit.

HOW I GOT THERE: 

I rode a ferry from Phi Phi Don which I booked online via Phuket Ferry for USD 17.64. For convenience, I chose the option for transport service for a minimal fee. Phuket is a big island so I suppose there are other transport options from the pier but if you wanted to be more on the sure side, I suggest booking with the ferry.

My next stop, Nai Yang was on the northern part of the island nearer the airport. To get there, I rode a songthaew then waited for another one that could take me there (so sorry but I would have to check my trip notes for the exact places). From a stopover, I rented a motorcycle who took me to my next beach destination.

Sharing with you my TripAdvisor review of Baan Kamala Backpacker Hostel here.

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