Kata Yai Beach is approximately 1 km long. Much smaller and less crowded than Patong Beach. The main road runs from Kata center at the end near Karon Beach all the way to Kata Noi. In Kata center you can find many shops that sell tourist gifts. These shops can be grouped into Gift, Suit, Music and Massage. Reastaurants are well priced and food is good. Bars start further on down the road towards Kata beach.
There are more hotels than meet the eye and walking around for a couple of days you will find even more guest houses. This does not mean that Kata is packed with tall hotels.
Kata beach has safe swiming and does not have any dropoffs. It is safe for children and non swimmers. But 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 Poo (crab) Island. Sitting on the beach and looking right you may see local fishermen on the rocks trying to catch their supper.
Taxi and Tuk Tuk cost around the same price.
The local market which is on Thursdays just off the main Kata road. Here you will find the locals buying their fish and spices. A very interesting place for the first time traveler to Thailand. Beware 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 and 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 sometimes. The sauna can be found on the right, about 10 minutes walk at the south end of Kata along the road that takes you to chalong bay.
Diving and Snorkeling
There is a great shallow snorkeling and diving location on the North side of the bay. Information and equipment is available from Patong-Diver. They also provide SNUBA diving, which lets people try diving without much time or expense and it is reportedly safer than scuba diving.
Fantastic surfing. In the rainy season.
There are many Bars along the road from Kata centre to Kata Noi. No doubt you will hear the words "Hello Welcome" in most of them as you walk by.
Kata Palm Resort is just off the main road and has two large swimming pools. There are rooms in the new section that have steps into the pool, very nice !
Kata beach hotel is right on the beach.