Kata beach Phuket
Popular tourist beach in south Phuket
Kata beach is a favourite Phuket beach at any time of the year. 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 feel closed down like some of the north Phuket beaches do, you can still find plenty of bars and restaurants open.
Kata is also one of Phuket’s best surfing beaches from May to October, especially for anyone wanting to learn to surf. There are surf schools with board hire at the south end of the beach.
Snorkeling and diving at Kata beach
Kata beach has some pretty good snorkeling and shallow scuba dives at the rocky reefs on either end of the beach. They are pretty silted and not that colourful but you can see quite a few fish including parrotfish, razorfish, angelfish, puffers and even the odd blue spotted stingray. Divers occasionally find seahorses and harlequin ghost pipefish. To reach the reef at the northern end of the beach you need to swim out on the surface quite a long way. Be careful of the passing longtail boats and jet skis.
Just off the northern headland is a small island called Koh Poo (Crab island). It’s also good for snorkeling and diving. Visibility is variable and never that good, it’s too close to shore. Negotiate a price with a longtail driver to get there.
Kata beach activties
Other activities on Kata beach include para-sailing, banana boats, SUP or kayaking. Kata is one of the island’s best swimming beaches.
Behind the beach near the car park is the Surfhouse. You can have a go our have a drink and watch.
Kata restaurants and bars
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 all sorts of stuff but they don’t hassle you.
If you need to escape the sun you can find shade under the casuarina trees that line the beach.
Away from 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 are all plentiful. 7Elevens are everywhere. 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 beach is a good Phuket beach for families
Kata is a nice family beach and all in all we recommend it. 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.
There is so much hotel choice that they are good value and bargains can be found if you don’t need to be on the beachfront. 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, it’s not too far from anywhere including Chalong pier, the Big Buddha, Promthep cape, Wat Chalong, Phuket Town or Patong. Most day trip excursions will collect you from your hotel.
Kata beach is convenient for divers doing Phuket local day trips because it’s close to Chalong pier. If you are doing Similan day trips it’s a bad place to stay because you’ll get picked up at 6.15 am and sit in a minibus for two hours.