One of many places to visit in Phuket is Kata Beach. Kata Beach is an idyllic tropical retreat. It offers a great nightlife, exciting attractions year round and set in a picturesque location. Kata Beach is located on the West of Phuket facing the beautiful Andaman Sea. The beach stretches beautifully across 1.5 kilometres of golden sand. It has clear waters and nicely set almond trees as a backdrop.
Kata Beach and Kata Noi
On the southern side of Kata Beach, just over the hill to the east, you will find another beautiful but smaller beach. Subsequently named Kata Noi Beach. Locals sometimes refer to Kata Noi as the hidden away gem. Since its bigger sister taking all the credit from the tourists. It is still a fabulous beach with lush scenery and clear waters.
The area has two parts. One is Kata North (or otherwise known as Kata Centre) and the other side which is Kata South. Kata North is located nearer to Karon. Meanwhile, Kata South is closer to Nai Han/Rawai area if you view it on the map.
Kata Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Phuket. Especially with families, couples and sun seekers flocking to this popular destination during the high season. On another hand surfers alike during the low season. It is a surfers haven during the low season May – October. In low season there are fantastic waves, rip currents. While the layout of the beach is just perfect for surfing. During the high season, Kata Beach entices many visitors due to the pleasant nature of the place as a whole. This beach is one of the most family friendly places in Phuket. It offer many activities for people to enjoy.
Kata Beach Town (Kata Centre)
Behind the Kata Beach lies a wealth of resorts, hotels, bars, restaurants, shops, markets and more. Kata literally has near enough everything you will need in the town itself. From exquisite dining, 5-star resorts, a multitude of stalls where you can buy pretty much anything. As well as, some decent night and day markets to keep you occupied.
Shopping in Kata Beach
There are many shops and outlets spread throughout Kata. Anything from Family Marts, Seven Elevens, quite a few brand named shops selling garments, clothing, fashion accessories, and ready to wear items. You can also find a few tailor made clothing shops to have your own suit made for you out of whatever material you choose.
Kata beach is not short on the shopping front what so ever. At night time you will find a fantastic night market which is literally huge. Selling everything from food products, cosmetics, clothing, toys, beach items, equipment, and souvenirs.
Renting a bike
If you plan to rent out a car, or bike, or bicycle, there are many rental shops in the Southern part of Kata. Therefore it is wise to shop around and haggle for the best deal. One tip if you plan on renting is to never leave your actual passport, but to only leave or take in a copy of your passport.
Things to do in Kata
Depending on your purpose of stay, there is an abundance of tour outlets in the town. Hence, if you plan to go on excursions, adventures and sightseeing trips you can use these. Nonetheless, the prices are usually higher than if you book online. The night life is decent as well, with well-connected streets linking up several bars and open bars. As well as restaurants and some neon lights to add to the flavour.
Kata Beach Nightlife
The nightlife in Kata is not to be missed. If you head away from Kata Beach, the second road down named Kata Road. It runs parallel to the beach, you will find the epicentre of Kata’s nightlife. Cabaret shows, open air bars, girly bars, ex-pat bars, street performers set in neon lights, music and entertainment galore. You could say it is rather a mini compact version of Patong. Of course, if you are after a full steam night of frolics, then Patong is only 10-15 min tuk-tuk drive away from Kata Beach itself.
There are many things to keep you occupied while in your stay at Kata Beach. It all comes down to preference. If you want a day off from the beach side, then head into town. Which is literally a few minutes walk from the beach. Here you can enjoy a soothing, relaxing massage at one of the many traditional Thai massage outlets. They are spread about through the town.
Thai Cooking in Kata
Perhaps learning to cook some Thai cuisine is on your bucket list. There are three good places for this – Phuket Thai Cooking Academy, Kata Thai Cooking Class and Boathouse Oceanfront Cooking Class. The Thais use a multitude of spices in their dishes. Hence you will learn all the ingredients, and more importantly how to cook them.
Phuket Thai Cooking Academy
This cooking school offers a tour around the local market before you get into the real Thai cooking. During the class, you will learn various authentic Thai dishes and if you are a vegetarian you can choose to learn vegetarian or vegan dishes only. The school offers pick-up and drop-off so you don’t need to worry about getting there and trying to find the school. The classes are delivered in one of the three languages: English, Thai or Chinese. All in all, this school is a very good option if you wish to learn Thai cooking hassle free.
Kata Thai Cooking Class
This school provides two classes a day 6 days a week. On Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday you can also join a market tour if you wish. Kata Thai Cooking Class truly offers and endless range of authentic Thai dishes for you to learn. Everything from making green curry paste to more complicated dishes.
Boathouse Oceanfront Cooking Class
In this school the classes take place on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays 10 am to 2 pm. If you would like to book with this school make sure they are open before you book. They tend to close during the low season or if there is not enough interest.
Kata aka Karon Viewpoint
Kata viewpoint is now named Karon Viewpoint due to being in the Karon District. The viewpoint is a great place to view the town from a higher standpoint. Very nice on a clear sunny day where you can see the sunset across the ocean. You will find this place packed with tourists a lot of the time.
Dino Park mini golf
For some fun head down to the Dino Park for a game of mini golf engulfed by prehistoric life-like surroundings. Dino mini golf park features real size dinos and some amazing sets of challenging holes. This mini golf course is suitable for both kids and adults.
Address: Patak Soi 7, Karon, Muang, Phuket 83100, Thailand
Surf House Phuket
Otherwise head over to the Surf House Phuket, which is located literally on the edge of Kata Beach. Surf House Phuket is a great place to test your surfing skills on their automated ride machine (only one in Phuket). They serve up great food here, and great beverages with very good prices. A great time and lots of fun to be had at this place.
Address: 4 Pakbang Road, T. Karon, A.Muang, Phuket 83100 Thailand
Kata Temple (Wat Kittisangkaram)
Something more quiet and traditional to suit your day would be to visit Kata Temple. Set on the Eastern side of Kata, Kata Temple is located at the foot of the mountains. The temple is surrounded by beautiful nature and tropical forest, set in a rather large piece of land. Kata Temple is truly a unique piece of Thailand’s history. It was built in 1832 but kept well persevered as you will see. Don’t forget to take a camera.
When visiting any of the historic sites, please remember to show respect. Sometimes you may be lucky enough to see monks walking around these places, to add to the authenticity.
Kata Beach has some great activities to keep everyone entertained throughout the stay. The waters are very clean and clear and perfect for snorkelling during the day. There is parasailing available during high season, and the use of jet ski’s through some of the beach rental companies.
Surfing in Kata
The many beach huts situated around the beach offer surfboards to rent too, which is usually about 300 baht ($x) for and hour to an hour and a half. However, you can haggle the price if you are going to be renting more than one. You can also take a boat to head further offshore from Kata Beach to do some diving or even spear fishing.
Local vendors roam the beach of a day providing you with a sometimes much-needed service of water top ups, ice creams, fresh coconuts, as well as some homemade crafted items. Near the Almond trees closer to the road side than the ocean, you will find on certain days, beachside massage service. An excellent way to relieve stress, and get rid of those aches and pains that have garnered their way into your body, and they are very good.
Massage on the beach
Near the Almond trees closer to the road side than the ocean, you will find on certain days, beachside massage service. An excellent way to relieve stress, and get rid of those aches and pains that have garnered their way into your body, and they are very good.
One precaution to always notify travellers would be to respect the flags on the beach. If it is red, then simply do not swim in this area. The reason here is that there is a very strong rip current underneath that can potentially pull people away from the shoreline. There are lifeguards on Kata Beach to help prevent these measures, but it’s always worth pointing out, and to stay in the yellow flags.
Accommodation in Kata
Kata’s selection of accommodation is widespread. You will find highly luxurious apartments and villas, to the low-end hostel budget type accommodation.
Located right next to the beachside is the famous Club Med Resort, it’s a compound of its own. The resort offers a decent package within its secure complex.
From Kata Beach itself looking up to your left or right, you will notice on the hillsides some fantastic hotels and resorts overlooking the Andaman Sea. With pretty epic views from each of the rooms facing the open ocean. These places can be perfect for a couples retreat. You will be waking up to the sunrise, listening to the waves crashing on the rocks, and having an all round romantic stay. Prices can vary for these sea-view rooms but are fairly high especially in high season. It is always best to book in advance these type of accommodation.
If you are after 5-star accommodation, then one of the most popular places to stay with ocean views and exquisite rooms is The Shore at Katathani. The hotel is situated at the most southern point of Kata Beach, overlooking to ocean. The rooms are simply stunning, all facing the ocean. The resort has private swimming pool, two tennis courts on site, and a wealth of other amenities included. The price for luxury will set you back around 15,000 baht per night ($420) in high season and slightly less in low season. Katathani on Kata Beach is an adult-only hotel, mainly targeting couples.
The resorts are very nice and offer mid-range to high-end rooms and condos for your stay. Most of the resorts here will have private swimming pools, security gates, sauna and spa services and massage incorporated. Mid-range accommodation is fairly well priced and it offers all the comfort you need. Incorporating air conditioning, good sized rooms, on suite facilities and some offer breakfast on the menu as an inclusive addition to your stay. Usually, with these places, it is good to rent the rooms on a longer term basis than just for one night. Then you will be able to negotiate a better ‘per night’ rate if, for instance, you are planning to stay 1-2 weeks or so.
More mid-range accommodation to suit families would be the likes of Kata Beach Resort. In this resort, you will be looking to spend around 5000 baht per night ($140) high season. Kata Beach Resort faces the beach and has its own private pool, deckchairs by the dozen, and spa.
The lower end of the market if you are on a budget would be something similar to Chanalai Flora Resort, Kata Beach. In here the rooms start from around 2000 baht ($55) per night. Chanalai on Kata Beach still includes decent amenities, air con, and comfortable living spaces. If you are a backpacker, then it’s best to head into town where you will find off the grid housing and rooms available throughout the year. Usually, you can pick up shared rooms from as little as 250-300 baht ($8) per night, and private rooms from around 600 -800 baht ($20) per night.
Dining in Kata
Eating out in Kata, you can just about find anything that suits your taste. Be it Turkish, Mediterranean, Japanese, traditional Thai cuisines and so much more. The selection is fantastic and gives the whole town a very international feel.
At the markets, there is also a great variety of foods. Including fresh fruit, BBQ, more Thai food, Sushi, and if you are brave enough insects on sticks (and off sticks) which are actually very very tasty believe it or not and highly nutritious. If you’re not really hungry but still fascinated by the variety of local fruits, why don’t you try a fruit carving lesson?
A few examples are below to give you an idea of the vast selection of cuisines and dining spots you can expect to find while on your stay at Kata Beach.
The Boathouse, situated in the Southern part of Kata is a beachside restaurant offering amazing gourmet from French to Asian Cuisine with 5-star service is a fantastic way to spend an evening. They also have one of the best wine cellars in Phuket in the Boathouse, offering an amicable selection of wines for you to endure.
Mom Tri Villa Royale
Villa Royale, again set in an amazing location facing the ocean, above the rocks with an extensive range of Thai cuisines and again a decent wine cellar. The Villa Royale is a hot spot for couples. It is a perfect way to spend your dining evening, listening and watching the waves crashing into the rocks beneath. Meanwhile indulging in some of the best Thai food in Phuket.
Kampong Kata Hill is very unique. In fact it is a restaurant, but also a part museum and part gallery. The Asian cuisine here is traditional Thai, set in a fabulous Siamese / Southern Asian atmospheric restaurant. The food here is excellent.
Conclusion of Kata Beach
Kata Beach offers a tremendous amount of things to do, see and eat. There is always something you will find to keep you entertained. All in all, Kata is well rounded tropical retreat. Which is very popular with families and couples throughout the year.
The variety of fine dining, an excellent range of accommodation, as well as the nightlife and activities all round make Kata Beach score very high on Phuket’s hot spot destinations for tourists. Climate year round is tropical in Kata Beach. Meaning that the rainy season and the high season split in two.