Kata Beach

Kata Beach

Like Patong lite

Phuket’s famous Kata Beach is actually made up of two main beaches, the Club Med dominated Kata Yai Beach and the Kata Thani dominated Kata Noi Beach.

More on Kata Beach
Around Phuket

Phuket is so big, we’ve split it up into areas, select one of the below for detailed accommodation and food listings in that area. Sights and general overviews for Phuket as a whole can be found via the icons above. Don’t know where to start? Read an overview of Phuket’s different areas.


In both cases the large beachfront hotels dominate the landscape, moreso in the Kata Noi case as the Kata Thani is on the beach side of the road and does a good job of making beach access as difficult as possible — at least Club Med has a road between it and the sand. In both cases though, the beaches themselves are not restricted and there’s plenty enough sand for everyone — once you get onto it!

Of the two beaches, Kata Yai (big Kata) is the better beach with soft, super fine sand meeting turquoise water which swings from a millpond in dry season to a small surf beach in the wet. More protected than Karon Beach to the north, Kata still gets currents and novice swimmers should be careful — if the red "Do not swim" flags are out, do not swim.

For snorkellers on Kata, the best bet is the northern end of the beach, where the rocks host coral and ample sea life. If you’re on Kata Noi, hire a longtail for the trip south to Nui beach -- a sliver of sand that has good snorkelling off both the north and south headland. If you want to do Nui but want to find it yourself, just continue past Karon Viewpoint and head towards Laem Promthep to get to the entrance of Nui.

The dirt road leading 2km down to the beach has seen some improvements in the last few years but is still by no means safe. Pot holes and 60 degree drops in the road are not for the faint-hearted nor inexperienced driver. You can safely park your bike halfway down the road and walk the rest of the way — be sure to bring water with you as the hike back is strenuous. It costs 250B to enter Nui beach but it’s well worth it as you get a beach chair, umbrella, towel and soft drink. The beach is one of the best in Phuket.

Offshore sits Ko Pu, an uninhabited islet that plays no useful role other than to make your sunset photos that little bit more beautiful.

Both beaches have plentiful supply of deckchairs and umbrellas and while Kata Noi is largely shadeless, Kata Yai does have some shade towards its centre but it is often busy with vendors.

Guesthouses and hotels in Kata are clustered in three main areas that we refer to as Kata Centre, Southern Kata and Kata Noi.

Kata Centre sits off the northern end of Kata Yai between Kata and Karon and has traditionally (after Phuket Town) been the best area for budget accommodation, with a bunch of cheap hotels, restaurants and bars running back along Taina Road. While nothing compared to Patong (or more recently Karon), this part of Kata is seeping into sleazydom with a new bar beer complex on Kata Road complementing the rundown and aging joints at the eastern end of Taina Road. We understand that this kind of scene is the appeal for some, but having legions of Thai women shrill "Hey Misterrrrrr", all hours of the day, isn’t a plus. If this is going to bother you, consider staying at the southern end of Kata.

Southern Kata has much of the midrange accommodation and has seen considerable development in recent years — if you’re a mid-range traveller, or especially if you’re on a package, chances are you’ll be at one of the dozen or so properties down this way. This end of Kata also has a growing number of flashpacker places just before the road climbs uphill to the south.

The last area is Kata Noi where the options are really just the Kata Thani and a couple of midrange hotels.

Most of the restaurants in Kata are tourist-focused and quite overpriced. For more authentic (and affordable) Thai food, you’re better off to head to Patak Rd, which runs parallel to the beach but about a kilometre back off the beach. The tourist fare, with a couple of exceptions, is not all that inspired.

Orientation
International access ATMs can be found throughout the Kata area, as can money changers.

Both Kata Centre and southern Kata has a smattering of internet cafes, but free WiFi can also be found in a number of restaurants and cafes.


63 other destinations in Southern Thailand

Learn more about Ko Pha Ngan
Ko Pha Ngan

More to it than Full Moon Parties

Learn more about Khao Sok National Park
Khao Sok National Park

Wise old wilderness

Learn more about Ko Chang Noi
Ko Chang Noi

The other Ko Chang

Learn more about Ko Yao Noi
Ko Yao Noi

Leave the crowds behind

Learn more about Ko Yao Yai
Ko Yao Yai

A bay all to yourself.

Learn more about Ko Lao Liang
Ko Lao Liang

Let’s keep this one a secret

Learn more about Ko Jum
Ko Jum

Ready to relax?

Learn more about Ko Surin
Ko Surin

Breathtaking above and below the water

Learn more about Ko Ra
Ko Ra

Unspoilt island wilderness

Learn more about Ko Phra Thong
Ko Phra Thong

Golden Buddha island

Learn more about Natai
Natai

Fancy pants beach time

Learn more about Ko Rawi
Ko Rawi

Pristine beaches and jungle

Learn more about Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park
Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park

Land of 300 peaks

Learn more about Ko Bulon Lae
Ko Bulon Lae

The tranquility runs deep

Learn more about Phetchaburi
Phetchaburi

Caves, beaches and a palace

Learn more about Ko Samui
Ko Samui

Dozens of beaches to choose from

Learn more about Ko Tao
Ko Tao

A popular spot to learn to dive

Learn more about Krabi
Krabi

Lively gateway to the islands

Learn more about Railay Beach
Railay Beach

Rock climbing paradise

Learn more about Ko Phi Phi
Ko Phi Phi

Popular party island

Learn more about Ko Lanta
Ko Lanta

Where the beaches stretch for miles

Learn more about Ko Muk
Ko Muk

More to it than the Emerald Cave

Learn more about Ko Libong
Ko Libong

Great choice for the quiet life

Learn more about Songkhla
Songkhla

Relax by the sea

Learn more about Ko Phayam
Ko Phayam

One laid-back island

Learn more about Kaeng Krachan National Park
Kaeng Krachan National Park

Thailand‘s largest national park

Learn more about Ko Sukorn
Ko Sukorn

Settle into a slower pace

Learn more about Ko Kradan
Ko Kradan

Great beaches, pricey food

Learn more about Prachuap Khiri Khan
Prachuap Khiri Khan

Mountains to the west, ocean to the east

Learn more about Ban Krut
Ban Krut

Set your internal clock to Thai time

Learn more about Khao Lak
Khao Lak

A family favourite

Learn more about Ko Kho Khao
Ko Kho Khao

No need to leave that beach chair

Learn more about Khanom and Sichon
Khanom and Sichon

Just kick back

Learn more about Similan Islands
Similan Islands

Say hi to the sea turtles

Learn more about Takua Pa
Takua Pa

Crossroad between islands and mountains

Learn more about Ko Rok
Ko Rok

Unspoilt twin islands

Learn more about Hua Hin
Hua Hin

Mainstream tourist hotspot

Learn more about Trang
Trang

Before you hit the islands... Eat!

Learn more about Ko Lipe
Ko Lipe

Welcome to paradise

Learn more about Ko Tarutao
Ko Tarutao

Awesome

Learn more about Ko Adang
Ko Adang

Ko Lipe’s wild neighbour

Learn more about Ranong
Ranong

Wave to Burma

Learn more about Ko Ngai
Ko Ngai

A comfortable island getaway

Learn more about Nakhon Si Thammarat
Nakhon Si Thammarat

Unadulterated Southern Thailand

Learn more about Phuket
Phuket

Thailand’s biggest and busiest island

Learn more about Narathiwat
Narathiwat

Muslim fishing life

Learn more about Bang Saphan Yai
Bang Saphan Yai

Low-key beach town

Learn more about Phattalung
Phattalung

Mountains, lakes and no tourists

Learn more about Ko Si Boya
Ko Si Boya

Take a break from it all

Learn more about Phang Nga Town
Phang Nga Town

Your base for Phang Nga Bay

Learn more about Hat Yai
Hat Yai

Largest city in Southern Thailand

Learn more about Satun
Satun

Don’t miss the local iced tea

Learn more about Cha-am
Cha-am

Like Hua Hin lite

Learn more about Chumphon
Chumphon

Gateway to Ko Tao

Learn more about Ao Nang
Ao Nang

Beach holiday hotspot

Learn more about Betong
Betong

Almost Malaysia

Learn more about Surat Thani
Surat Thani

Gulf coast island gateway

Learn more about Sungai Kolok
Sungai Kolok

Gateway to Malaysia

Learn more about Pattani
Pattani

Once a proud kingdom

Learn more about Khuraburi
Khuraburi

Gateway to little-known islands

Learn more about Pakbara
Pakbara

Gateway to the Satun islands

Learn more about Yala
Yala

Well off the beaten trail

Learn more about Tak Bai
Tak Bai

Historic for more than one reason