Kata beach Phuket
Popular tourist beach in south Phuket
Kata beach is a favourite Phuket beach all year round. In the high season it can be quite busy, although not as busy as Patong. In the low season it’s a very good choice because it doesn’t close down so there are still plenty of bars and restaurants to choose from.
It’s also one of Phuket’s best surfing beaches from May to October, especially for anyone wanting to learn to surf. There are surf schools and board rentals at the south end of the beach.
Kata beach is also okay for snorkeling and shallow scuba dives at either end of the beach. The rocky reefs are pretty silted so not that colourful but you can see quite a few fish including parrotfish, razorfish, angelfish, puffers and even the odd blue spotted stingray. To reach the north reef you have to swim out quite a long way, be careful of the passing longtail boats (and drunken tourists on jet skis).
Just off the northern headland is a small island called Koh Poo (Crab island). It’s also good for snorkeling, negotiate a price with a longtail driver to get there.
Other activities on Kata beach include para-sailing, banana boats, SUP or kayaking. Kata is one of the island’s best swimming beaches.
The central beach area of Kata beach is dominated by Club Med. South of Club Med is the Kata Beach Resort and Mom Tri’s Boathouse, both are in beautiful beachfront locations. The boathouse restaurant is excellent and may have the best wine cellar in Phuket. But head a bit further south and the restaurants at the south end of the beach offer delicious Thai food at a much cheaper price. Kata Mama and Kata Seafood are excellent seafood restaurants. Also on the rocks there is the Ska Bar, a little reggae bar perfect for an evening beer.
At the northern end of the beach some restaurant shacks have popped up under the trees.
You can rent umbrellas and mats in certain sections of the beach. The guys renting them will also bring you beers and ice creams, or even a sandwich.
Beach vendors will pass by trying to sell you stuff but they are never a hassle, always friendly.
If you don’t like too much sun you can find shade under the casuarina trees that line the beach.
Behind the beach Kata has turned from a sleepy tourist village into a small tourist town. You’ll find bars and restaurants with menus in multiple languages. ATM’s, massage parlours, tailor shops and pharmacies. 7Elevens are every 100 metres or so along the road. T-shirt and Souvenir shops are also everywhere.
Kata beach has so many hotels and guesthouses that a good deal can be found if you don’t mind being back from the beach a little.
Kata is a nice family beach and all in all we recommend it, except may be in the peak period around Christmas an New Year. The beach itself is beautiful and the area has all the conveniences that you need. You can be as relaxed or as active as you want. Hotels are good value and you can find any type of food you like. There are enough bars and restaurants that you can go to a different place every night, but it’s not in your face like Patong. Kata makes a good base because it’s not too far from anywhere including Chalong pier, the Big Buddha, Promthep cape, Wat Chalong, Phuket Town or Patong.