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).
Situated 20 kilometres from town, beautiful Kata (pronounced "Ga dta", both syllables with a low tone) is a scenic gem, its clear water flanked by hills, and picturesque Pu Island sits offshore. Kata retains a village feel at its northern and southern ends and is perhaps more family-oriented, its one-kilometer long beach more peaceful than Patong.
The main road runs from Kata center at the end near Karon Beach all the way to Kata Noi Beach. In Kata center you can find many shops that sell tourist gifts. These shops can be grouped into Gift, Suit, Music and Massage. Restaurants 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 swimming 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.
Situated 20 kilometres from town or less than 1km 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 beach-less shoreline stretching south.
There are some great waves for simply body surfing on. Lots of fun.
- From the airport, you can take a minibus to Kata Beach for 200 baht (feb 2017), though it will take up to 4 hours to arrive. See the Phuket section for details.
- You can also book a private car to go from the airport to Kata/Karon (price around 700 baht, duration around 1 hour depending on traffic). See Get Out section for more details.
- From Phuket Town, you can take a small open air bus (larger than a songthaew) to Kata for 40 baht (as of 30/04/2017). Buses now leave from the old bus terminal number one, and also from west of the Day Market on Ranong St (just west of the traffic/Fountain circle). Note that these buses will initially pass Kata Beach (but far away) and make their first stop in nearby Karon Beach. They then wind back down to Kata and drop you near the beach where many hotels are located. Be warned that the last public transit bus from Kata Beach to Phuket Town departs at 16:40, and from Phuket Town to Kata Beach at 18:00.
- To get to Kata Noi, take the narrow beach road up over the hill from Kata Yai.
- The phone app Grab is a good alternative to book metered taxis. It works like Uber, but allows you to pay also directly to the driver.
- You will also find in front of the hotels a lot of TukTuks stationed with quite high price lists (even more expensive than metered taxies). For example Kata to Karon 200 baht, Kata to Patong 500 baht. Kata to Airport 1200 baht. These prices are the maximum rates that the Tuktuk can charge legally, you can try to bargain them down or simply book a metered Grab taxi.
- Frequent buses between Kata Beach and Karon to Phuket Town. Cost is 40 baht per trip.
Duration: around 1 hour 15 minute from Kata Beach.
Times: Kata to Phuket Town from 05:40 to 16:40.
Phuket Town to Kata from 07:00 to 18:00. (05/2017)
Timetable of the Kata - Phuket Town - Kata bus
Itinerary of the Kata - Phuket Town bus
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.
There is a small shopping area called KT Plaza (next to Black Canyon Coffee); selling souvenirs and apparel.
- 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 several divecenters in the Kata area.
- Phuket Dive Tours, ☎ 0870225356 ([email protected]), . Phuket Best Priced Scuba Diving & Snorkeling, Day Trip Tours to Phi Phi, Racha Yai, and Similan Island. Try Scuba Diving 1,900 THB. edit
- Surfing: In the rainy season, April to September. Mostly fast, mushy beach breaks and short rides. You can rent surfboards from Phuket Surf at the far southern end of the Beach. Kata Noi is a typical beach break that works best on low tides.
- Dive with Rumblefish Adventure, 98/79 Kata Road, inside Beach Center (Beach Center is located on Kata Bypass Road, connecting Patak Road and Kata Road (running behind ClubMed). Look for Beach Height and Dome Bungalow Resorts as a land marks. Beach Center is on the same side as Dome Bungalow & Plaza), ☎ +66 954418665 ([email protected]), . Daily 9am-7pm. A PADI 5 Star full service facility is owned & managed by a team of PADI Pros from Thailand, USA & Japan. It is located inside the safe, quiet and very clean Beach Center, in central Kata Beach. PADI Courses & Discover programs from 900 THB available year-round (start as young as 8 years old), from beginner to divemaster and instructor levels. Retails & wholesales diving equipment and a very popular hostel with backpackers dorm rate from 200 THB. (7.82312116571483,98.300621509552) edit
- Monty's Rich Collection, 100/65, Kata New Road, Karon, A.Muang, ☎ +66 950 764 010, . 10:00AM to 11:00PM. Monty's Rich Collection Phuket’s one of the best known Tailor since 1985 edit
- Japal Tailor Kata beach, 98/1 Karon Rd,T.Karon A.Muang Phuket 83100, ☎ 076344922, . 11;00AM to 11:00PM. Located near Karon Stadium, near Dino Park Mini Golf Kata edit
- Don's Gym (kata beach fitness), 18/5 Ket Kwan, ☎ 0896522331, . 8 am - 9 pm. A local gym frequented by tourists, expats and locals alike. 200 Baht /day. edit
- Summer Coffee House, 184/1 Khoktanod Rd, Kata Beach, Thailand (On the road between Kata Yai and Kata Noi). 9AM-10PM. Nice air conditioned cafe with internet stations and wifi. Purchase of a drink gets you 15 free minutes of internet access. Has good pastries and desserts. edit
- Dino Park, Kata Beach Rd, . 10. edit
- The Tube, Koktanod Rd (across from 7-Eleven, walk east on Koktanod Rd, away from the beach and main road). From 7:30PM. Excellent all-you-can-eat BBQ. Chicken, pork chops, ribs, salad bar, bread, and baked potatoes. Try the delicious chili sauce. Watch surf movies while you eat. Owners are super cool. 259 baht. edit
- Le Gran Prix, (On Taina Rd). Casual little French restaurant. Food is good and prices are reasonable. Entrees 150-300 baht. edit
- The Red Chair Cafe, (On Koktanod Rd). 11AM-10PM. A great place for Thai food. Food is cheap, service is good, seems clean. Popular with locals and expats. Entrees 70-120. edit
- Red Chair Plus, (On Koktanod Rd). Recently (2010) opened by the owners of Red Chair Cafe, this restaurant is more upscale, and serves a variety of Western and Thai food. It's a good value compared to other upscale restaurants in Kata. Try the excellent fajitas. Entrees 200+ baht. edit
- La Gondola (italian restaurant), Thaina Road (200 mt from Kata Center). "Trattoria" style Italian restaurant with a wide menu of classic Italian dishes, Pizza and Seafood. Full portions at reasonable prices. edit
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.
- Ska Bar, (At the very southern 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 friday nights. Expats, tourists, and locals all hang out here. It's one of the main social centers of Kata Yai. Open day and night, seven days a week. edit
- 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. Entrees 100-350 baht. edit
- 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. edit
- MJ Fresh Coffee, Patak 196, Ban Kata (On mainroad, close to gasstation), ☎ 0805254551, . 08:00-22:00. Is a cheap coffee shop with a nice owner. Serving hot and cold drinks. Good price on alcohol and soft driks. Have free wifi and 2 pc. edit
- Fantasy Hill Bungalows, 8 / 1 Karon Road, Kathu, Phuket 83100, . Fantasy Hill is your best budget option in Kata. Located near the north beach entrance right off the main tourist street, this property consists of basic but comfortable and clean fan and a/c bungalows and rooms set in a tropical garden on a small hill, offering a quiet escape from the noisy streets below. Call 66 (076 330 106)or email [email protected] (preferred) to reserve. 450 - 1,000 baht. edit
- Kata Palm Resort, just off the main road. Has two large swimming pools. There are rooms in the new section that have steps into the pool, very nice !
- Kata Poolside Resort, 36, 38 Kata Rd, Kata Beach, ☎ +66763331779, . checkin: 14.00; checkout: 12.00. Breakfast buffet cost 200 baht, although the resort is surrounded by restaurants and convenience stores, so you can probably find something cheaper. The rooms are clean, the staff is nice (05/2017) and it has a large swimming pool (around 25 meters). The swimming pool view rooms have a terrace and steps into the pool. I would stay there again. 888 - 3,900 baht. edit
- Kata beach hotel is right on the beach.
- Peach Hill Hotel, 13 Karon Road, Kata Beach, , on a small hill between Karon and Kata Yai beaches, 400 metres from Kata Yai beach.
- Boomerang Village Resort, patak road 9/11-13 soi 10 Kata 83100, ☎ 076284480, . checkin: 14.00; checkout: 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 metres above sea level,the beach is about 900 mt. ,being virtually dipped in the nature of a tropical garden. 1,550 -4,440 baht. (7.829099925618314,98.30281019210815) edit
- Rico's, (on the main Kata road, 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. Doubles 1500 baht. edit
- Tasanee Penthouse - Villa 469, Kata Beach, Phuket, ☎ +62 361 869 1881, . Luxury private Penthouse with infinity plunge pool overlooking Kata Beach. Located within a modern, new boutique style condominium building which is walking distance to the beach, boutique shops, famous restaurants, and Kata’s nightlife. With a total of three bedrooms and four bathrooms, Tasanee Penthouse can easily accommodate six adults. Satellite TV on four flat screen TV’s, DVD, CD, and a Bose i-Pod Docking station, remote controlled climate control in all bedrooms and living areas are provided for your comfort convenience. Free Daily maid service, linen, & towels are provided. From US$475/night. edit
Go directly to Karon, Kata or Kata Noi beaches and have a look around. If you prefer a more hectic atmosphere go to Patong. At least this way you can see what you prefer and you would be able to negotiate prices then. For example along the southern end of Kata Beach there are many bungalow establishments with lovely views overlooking the sea. The establishment owners do not book in advance as most of them prefer to deal on a first come first served basis. Also most of them do not have websites and do not book over the net. Prices from 1000 baht per day depending on your requirements.
If you are looking for budget guesthouse/backpacker accommodation then head to kata central. About a 3-5min walk from the beach. You will pick up a room for 300-700 baht depending on when and where you go.
Other similar establishments in the area are the Da Bungalows (ask or Mr Da), Coolbreeze, Friendship and Flamingo bungalows. If you prefer to go to a quieter area - go for Kata Noi and look up 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 Road (Tel: 0 7633 0194, 0 7628 4025), 20 rooms: 450-1,000 baht
- Kata Rock Inn Seaview. Aircon rooms with bathroom and toilet en suite, hot water, refrigerator, satellite TV, daily cleaning services, stunning views and 2 minutes from the beach. Prices about 800 baht per day, excellent value for money.
- Kata Thani Phuket Beach Resort (กะตะธานี ภูเก็ต บีช รีสอร์ท) 71 Kata Noi Road (Tel: 0 7633 0124-6 Bangkok Tel: 0 22675213-4 , 400 rooms: US $190. 4.5 star spa resort with great deals to be enjoyed during low season.
- The Shore by Kata Thani Kata Noi Road (Tel: 0 7633 0124-6 Bangkok Tel: 0 22675213-4 , 38 private pool villas: US $320+. 5+ star spa and boutique private pool villa resort with impressive pads. Famous for its gourmet cuisine and wine at The Harbor restaurant.
- Mom Tri’s Villa Royale (หม่อมตรี วิลล่า รอยัล) 12 Kata Noi Tel: 0 7633 3569 , 63 rooms: 14,000-25,000 baht
- Villa Amanzi, Kata Noi Road, ☎ 0 887 475 838, . a magnificent 5 bedroom pool villa niched high up on Kata Noi hill, overlooking directly the splendid Kata Noi beach, from US$1400/night. edit
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 400-500 baht (these prices may be outdated). Negotiate the price before leaving.
Another alternative is to book a private car through a travel agency. I had a good experience with this one Kata to airport 700 baht per trip. (05/2017)
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