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Dec 15, 2021

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).

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Kata Beach

Twenty kilometres from Phuket town, beautiful Kata is a scenic gem, its clear water flanked by hills, and picturesque Ko Pu sits offshore. Kata retains a village feel at its northern and southern ends and is perhaps more family-oriented, its one-kilometre long beach more peaceful than Patong.

The main road runs from Kata at the end near Karon Beach all the way to Kata Noi Beach. In Kata centre you can find many shops that sell tourist gifts. These shops can be grouped into gift, tailor, music, and massage. Restaurants are well-priced and food is good. Bars start further on down the road towards Kata Beach.

Kata Beach has safe swimming and does not have any drop offs. It is safe for children and non-swimmers. 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 Ko Pu (Crab Island). Sitting on the beach and looking right you may see local fishermen on the rocks trying to catch their supper.

One kilometre 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 shoreline stretching south.

  • From the airport, you can take a minibus to Kata Beach for about 180 baht. See the Phuket section for details.
  • From Phuket Town, you can take a small open air bus (larger than a songthaew) to Kata for 30-40 baht. Buses leave from the municipal bus terminal, and from the backpacker area of Ranong St (just west of the traffic circle). Note that these buses will initially pass Kata Beach and make their first stop in nearby Karon. They then wind back through Kata and drop you near the beach where many hotels are located.

Map of Kata

To get to Kata Noi, take the narrow beach road up over the hill from Kata Yai.

The local market (Thursdays) is just off the main Kata Rd. Here you will find the locals buying their fish and spices. A very interesting place for the first-time traveller to Thailand. Beware of 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 to 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. The sauna can be found on the right, about 10 min 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 Snorkelling There is a great shallow snorkelling and diving location on the north side of the bay. Information and equipment is available from several dive centres in the Kata area.
  • 7.823121165714898.3006215095521 Rumble Fish Adventure, 98/79 Kata New Rd, inside Beach Centre (on Kata New Rd, connecting Patak Rd and Kata Rd (running behind Club Med). Look for Dome Bungalow Resort as a land mark. Beach Centre is on the same side as Dome Bungalow & Plaza), +66 86 0924887. Daily, 10:00-18:00. A PADI 5 Star full-service facility is owned and managed by a team of PADI pros from Thailand, USA, & Japan. Courses available year-round (as young as 8 years old), from beginner to divemaster and instructor levels. from 200 baht. 
  • Surfing: In the rainy season, Apr-Sep. Mostly fast, mushy beach breaks and short rides. You can rent surfboards from Phuket Surf at the far south end of the beach. Kata Noi is a typical beach break that works best on low tides.

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