Kata Yai (หาดกะตะใหญ่ Hat Kata Yai) and Kata Noi (หาดกะตะน้อย Hat Kata Noi) are two adjacent beaches on the west coast of Phuket, directly south of Karon. Kata Yai is sometimes called simply Kata Beach (หาดกะตะ Hat Kata).
Twenty kilometres from Phuket town, beautiful Kata is a scenic gem, its clear water flanked by hills, and picturesque Ko Pu sits offshore. Kata retains a village feel at its northern and southern ends and is perhaps more family-oriented, its one-kilometre long beach more peaceful than Patong.
The main road runs from Kata at the end near Karon Beach all the way to Kata Noi Beach. In Kata centre you can find many shops that sell tourist gifts. These shops can be grouped into gift, tailor, music, and massage. Restaurants are well-priced and food is good. Bars start further on down the road towards Kata Beach.
Kata Beach has safe swimming and does not have any drop offs. It is safe for children and non-swimmers. Always take notice of the flags that fly, they will let you know if it is not safe to swim. There is a coral reef on the right hand side of the beach that goes out to Ko Pu (Crab Island). Sitting on the beach and looking right you may see local fishermen on the rocks trying to catch their supper.
One kilometre south of Kata Yai is Kata Noi, a smaller beach with fewer hotels and less development. The beach is superb. Many fish inhabit the rocks and corals along the shoreline stretching south.
- From the airport, you can take a minibus to Kata Beach for about 180 baht. See the Phuket section for details.
- From Phuket Town, you can take a small open air bus (larger than a songthaew) to Kata for 30-40 baht. Buses leave from the municipal bus terminal, and from the backpacker area of Ranong St (just west of the traffic circle). Note that these buses will initially pass Kata Beach and make their first stop in nearby Karon. They then wind back through Kata and drop you near the beach where many hotels are located.
To get to Kata Noi, take the narrow beach road up over the hill from Kata Yai.
The local market (Thursdays) is just off the main Kata Rd. Here you will find the locals buying their fish and spices. A very interesting place for the first-time traveller to Thailand. Beware of the shrimp paste. At one end of the market near the main road to Chalong you might just see an old man shelling coconuts with a very old, and dangerous looking machine.
Try to find the sauna in the jungle. It has an old copper water boiler that looks like a kettle, there is a cafe there and a plunge pool. They put tree bark in the water to make the steam smell like menthol. The sauna can be found on the right, about 10 min walk at the south end of Kata along the road that takes you to Chalong Bay.
There is a small shopping area called KT Plaza (next to Black Canyon Coffee); selling souvenirs and apparel.
- Diving and Snorkelling There is a great shallow snorkelling and diving location on the north side of the bay. Information and equipment is available from several dive centres in the Kata area.
- 1 Rumble Fish Adventure, 98/79 Kata New Rd, inside Beach Centre (on Kata New Rd, connecting Patak Rd and Kata Rd (running behind Club Med). Look for Dome Bungalow Resort as a land mark. Beach Centre is on the same side as Dome Bungalow & Plaza), ☎ . Daily, 10:00-18:00. A PADI 5 Star full-service facility is owned and managed by a team of PADI pros from Thailand, USA, & Japan. Courses available year-round (as young as 8 years old), from beginner to divemaster and instructor levels. from 200 baht.
- Surfing: In the rainy season, Apr-Sep. Mostly fast, mushy beach breaks and short rides. You can rent surfboards from Phuket Surf at the far south end of the beach. Kata Noi is a typical beach break that works best on low tides.
- La Gondola, Taina Rd (200 m from Kata Centre). Trattoria-style Italian restaurant with a wide menu of classic Italian dishes. Pizza and seafood. Large portions at reasonable prices.
- Le Gran Prix (on Taina Rd). Casual little French restaurant. Food is good and prices are reasonable.
- The Red Chair Cafe (Koktanod Rd). 11:00-22:00. A great place for Thai food. Food is cheap, service is good, seems clean. Popular with locals and expats. 70-120 baht.
- Red Chair Plus (Koktanod Rd). Up-scale, serves Western and Thai food. Try the excellent fajitas. 200+ baht.
- Summer Coffee House, 184/1 Khoktanod Rd (road between Kata Yai and Kata Noi). 09:00-22:00. Nice air conditioned cafe with Internet stations and free Wi-Fi. Purchase of a drink gets you 15 free minutes of Internet access. Has good pastries and desserts.
- The Tube, Koktanod Rd (across from 7-11, walk east on Koktanod Rd, away from the beach and main road). 19:30-?. Excellent all-you-can-eat BBQ. Chicken, pork chops, ribs, salad bar, bread, and baked potatoes. Try the delicious chili. Watch surf movies while you eat. Owners are super cool. 199 baht.
- After Beach Bar and Restaurant (on the hill overlooking Kata Noi Beach). A large, cool restaurant/bar with a fantastic view of the ocean. They play reggae and other good music, and have a bar to hang out at. A fun place to take a larger group to eat, or can work as a nice date spot too. 100-350 baht.
- 75 Bar (ask the locals, or take a taxi, not easy to find). Fun, casual reggae bar popular with expats and locals. Live bands on Sunday nights.
- Ska Bar (south end of Kata Yai Beach). A funky ska/reggae-oriented beach bar, right on the sand. They play good music, and have fire dancing shows on Fridays. Expats, tourists, and locals all hang out here. It's one of the main social centres of Kata Yai. Open day and night, seven days a week.
- 1 Beyond Resort Kata, 1 Pakbang Road Karon Muang Phuket, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 14.00, check-out: 12.00. 275 rooms and suites on Kata Yai Beach. 3 restaurants and bars, spa, car park. 200$.
- 2 Boomerang Village Resort, Patak Rd 9/11-13 Soi 10, ☎ . Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Externally similar to mountain chalets, the cottages are furnished in Thai-style, offering a very congenial and relaxing ambience. The property boasts panoramic views of Kata Beach and is located approximately 80 m above sea level. The beach is about 900 m distant. 1,550-4,440 baht.
- 3 CC's Hideaway (CC Blooms), 84/21 Patak Road Soi 10, Tambon Karon, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. 42-room hotel nestled in the hills of Kata overlooking the Andaman Sea. Has breathtaking views and modern accommodations infused with traditional and authentic Thai furnishings.
- Peach Hill Hotel, 13 Karon Rd. On a small hill between Karon and Kata Yai beaches, 400 m from Kata Yai Beach.
- Rico's (on the main Kata Rd, big sign is hard to miss). Clean, mid-range hotel. Rooms are all ground floor, and surround the pool. Bathrooms are tiny, but clean. Free Internet in the lobby. 1,500 baht.
|This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:|
|Budget||Under 1,000 baht|
|Mid-range||1,000 baht to 2,500 baht|
|Splurge||Over 2,500 baht|
Go directly to Karon, Kata, or Kata Noi beaches and have a look around. If you prefer more of a party atmosphere, go to Patong. Along the south end of Kata Beach there are many bungalows with lovely views overlooking the sea. Prices range from 200-1,000 baht per day depending on your requirements.
Similar establishments in the area are the Da Bungalows (ask for Mr Da), Coolbreeze, Friendship and Flamingo bungalows. If you prefer a quieter area, go for Kata Noi and look for Tap Kaew Bungalows at the end of the street on the hillside overlooking Kata Noi Beach.
- Kata Noi Club Bungalow (กะตะน้อย คลับ บังกะโล), 3/25 Patak Rd, ☎ , . 20 rooms. 450-1,000 baht.
- Kata Rock Inn Seaview. Air-con rooms with bath and toilet en suite, hot water, refrigerator, satellite TV, daily cleaning services, stunning views, and 2 minutes from the beach. Excellent value for money. 800+ baht.
- Kata Thani Phuket Beach Resort (กะตะธานี ภูเก็ต บีช รีสอร์ท), 71 Kata Noi Rd, ☎ , (Bangkok). 400 rooms. Resort with great deals to be enjoyed during low season. 5,665 baht.
- Mom Tri’s Villa Royale (หม่อมตรี วิลล่า รอยัล), 12 Kata Noi, ☎ . 63 rooms. 14,000-25,000 baht.
- The Shore by Kata Thani (Kata Noi Rd), ☎ , (Bangkok). 38 private pool villas. Gourmet cuisine and wine at The Harbor Restaurant. 9,541 baht.
A mini-bus to the airport can be booked in advance at most travel agents. There are several on the main Kata road. Cost is about 250 baht. The bus will pick you up at your hotel.
Taxis to the airport cost 800-1,000 baht. Negotiate the price before leaving.