Kata Bay is a lovely community in southern Phuket. It’s very close to Nai Harn, Rawai, and Patong and about an hour from Phuket International Airport. It has a small and relaxed feel with all the amenities you’d need, without the party feel of Patong in particular. It’s a great place to stay if you want easy access to all the fun of the southern part of the island without the constant bustle that is Patong (we’ve also stayed in Nai Harn and would say similar things – it’s a great, relaxed place. Rawai seems similar!)
Ahhh…the blissful relaxation of the Thai massage parlour. They’re not hard to miss – you hear “massage?!” down most roads you turn, beckoning you in. The same parlours offer pedicures and manicures as well. Use your own judgement for non-sketchy places to ensure cleanliness and professionalism. As with any spa visit, watch their handling of tools to ensure sanitation.
Massages on the beach are always a highlight!
2) The beach
Too many beaches…too little time. That basically sums up Phuket! The main beaches are lovely, but don’t be afraid to venture to unpopular territory. Visit www.phuket.com for tips on off-the-beaten-track beaches. We enjoyed Hua Beach, Kamala Beach, and a small inlet beach just 5 minutes from Nai Harn. These 3 were very close to Kata Bay without the swarms of tourists. In fact, at Kamala Beach we were on our own.
3) Motorbiking around to the viewpoints
For less than the price of a taxi ride to one viewpoint you can rent a scooter for the day and see many! And when on a scooter you will discover less known viewpoints that ‘just happen’ to be on the side of the road. Definitely make sure you are out to enjoy the sunset!
4) Cooking Class
See post on how to choose a cooking class for advice on deciding on the right class for you!
5) Eating local
Thailand is known for its delicious cuisine and your only challenge will be waiting long enough to be hungry again for another meal. Pad thai…patong curry…green curry chicken…fried rice…chicken satay…tom yum soup…
Remember the rules of eating local: look for freshly prepared food, proper refrigeration practices, and places filled with other customers.
6) Bar hopping
Phuket is a fun place to be at night! There are no shortage of bars, whether you like the clubbing scene, billiards, or relaxed pubs with boardgames to play. The best advice is to just wander along. Bars are extremely close together so you can see what suits your style and what definitely doesn’t (there will be just as many in the latter, so let your senses be your guide for where you’ll have fun!)
Other tip: get there or get home using a party tuk-tuk – you’ll know them when you see them and hear them (big flashing lights playing disco music). Unless you have a headache, they’re brilliantly fun!
7) Smoothie shakes
Fresh fruit shaken into smoothie bliss. Need I say more?! Look for the little carts on the side of the road with fruit on display for the cheapest, freshest, and most local version!
8) Yoga classes
See my review of Kata Bay yoga for tips.
9) Snorkelling or scuba diving
Kata Bay is a snorkeller and diver’s paradise. There are no shortage of companies to choose from and lots of places offer PADI courses and even free introduction sessions. Check tripadvisor.com for advice on best places to go based on your travelling schedule.
Just like motorbiking, bicycling is a great way to see the country. Though a bit slower than the motorbike, it does offer the opportunity to stay healthy while enjoying those spectacular views. So hop on, hop off, and see the country side in style!