Family Beaches in Phuket
Kata Beach is one of Phuket’s most popular family beaches, and with good reason. Just a little bit south of Karon Beach, Kata offers natural beauty straight out of a postcard. The area is also home to some fantastic seafood restaurants and a wide variety of charming accommodation options, ranging from opulent resorts to quaint beachfront bungalows. In addition to dining and accommodation, Kata has some excellent shopping, allowing visitors to enjoy great prices on name brands and one-of-a-kind items alike.
The Kata area is actually split into two different beaches, Kata Yai (Big Kata) and Kata Noi (Small Kata). The main Kata Beach, also known as Kata Yai, is located about 20 kilometres away from Phuket Town, meaning it's easily reachable by car or taxi for a half day or full day trip. To find the smaller Kata Noi, just follow the road south for about 1 kilometre and you'll be rewarded with some incredible white sand and crystal clear water. Kata Noi is particularly good for snorkelling as many fish gather around the abundance of coral found near the beachhead. If you don't have your own equipment then don't worry - you'll find goggles, snorkels and masks available to rent on both Kata Yai and Kata Noi.
The bigger Kata Yai stretch is where many head to shop. At Kata Centre there are many shops selling brand names, tailor-made shirts and suits, shoes and souvenirs. Most of the area's restaurants are also found within the centre, or at least in close proximity to it.
Watersports at Kata Beach
The weather here is fantastic all year round, but those looking to surf or sail will find the waters especially suitable from May to October.Along the beachfront, you'll also find a couple of centres offering full of half day diving tours, starting at around 2,000 Baht. If one day isn't enough, you could always fully commit yourself to doing a PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) over the course of a few days. Some package deals are available and include full accommodation, meals, equipment hire, full underwater training and a certificate at the end.
When the sun goes down, rather than being spoilt for choice in terms of nightlife, you'll find only a select number of places to wind down from a long hard day of beach-life. Most have a relaxed hippy vibe to them, offering a good choice of food and drinks as well as the usual hippy beach soundtrack of reggae, ska and minimal house.
Getting to Kata Beach
For access to Kata, there are minibuses going to Kata straight from the airport (200-300 Baht or 400-500 for a taxi). There are also incredibly cheap public buses which leave from Phuket Town. Kata is one of several of the stops which they make on their round trip, so be sure to ask the driver to tell you when you have to get off. You can catch the bus back too - just make sure you check what time the last one leaves (around 4-5pm).