The Beach of Kata
Phuket Beach Guide
Kata Beach's 1.5km (1 mile) strip of golden sand is one of the most popular beaches in Phuket due to its combination of beauty, facilities and activities. Hundreds of people come each day to soak up the sun and swim. Often busy but never crowded, this beach is perfect in many ways.
During the north-east monsoon season (November to April) the warm sea is often as flat as a pancake, crystal clear and turquoise in colour.
The south-west monsoon season (May to October) can make for rougher swimming conditions, but it's this time of year that the surfers flock to enjoy the waves. On the days red warning flags are flying you should not enter the water due to dangerous rip tides and swells but on these days you probably wouldn't want to go the beach anyway.
Late in the year as the waters turn calm, Kata Bay fills up with beautiful yachts which arrive from all over the region to compete in December's King's Cup Regatta, Asia's premier sailing event.
Located south of Patong Beach, to get to Kata Beach drive past Le Meridien Phuket Beach Resort and down into Karon Beach. Go straight at the traffic circle along the beach road and once in Kata centre, take the first right down to the beach.
Kata Beach Facilities
Sunbeds are not available on the beach anymore (read more about Phuket Beach Cleanup). It is nevertheless possible for beachgoers to purchase small umbrellas (a few hundred baht in local shops and supermarkets near the beach) and beach mats (at the entrance of the beach, near Kata Beach Resort). The southern end has shops, restaurants and toilets close by.
At the top of the beach, and for most of its length, there's a shaded area, sheltering beach massage parlours and street vendor stalls selling a great variety of snacks (fruits, grilled chicken, and more) and drinks. The far south is ideal for families with small children as it becomes shaded later in the day and is also close to amenities. Wandering vendors roam the beach with ice-creams, fresh fruits, sarongs, sunglasses and beachwear.
Kata Beach Restaurants
Many restaurants serving seafood, Thai and international dishes line the southern part of the beach.
Hawker stalls can be found at both ends of the beach road, particularly in the car park at the southern end next to Kata Beach Resort.
For lunch you don't actually need to leave your sunbed, the sunbed vendors have sandwiches and pizzas (highly recommended) available, amongst other snacks.
Kata Beach Watersports
There's a small island at the north end with good snorkeling around it and kayaks can also be used for exploring. Parasailing is also good here as the reefs at either end can be seen from the air. Windsurfers and Hobie Cats are available for hire by the hour.
Scuba Diving enthusiasts and students are active at the northern end while surfers wait patiently in the mid-year swell when storm-generated waves hit the beach.
For many, the southern and central parts of the beach offer the best surfing in Phuket and this is why Kata can get rather busy at times. The waves are fast but manageable and at times can really buck high at the sandbar.
The south end of the beach is the best place to watch, or join in on the surfing action because there is a beach break there. Rentals are available for those who leave their boards at home or just want to have a try, pay for the day and you can use any of the surfboards or keep switching until you find one you like. The waves are a nice size for beginners, surfing tuition is also available.
Close in to shore the waves have far less power and are perfect for little ones thus boogie boards can be rented for children, this will keep them amused like nothing you've ever seen. Read More...
Kata Beach Activities
Around 16.30 a game of beach soccer begins at the south end of the beach close to Mom Tri's Boathouse and anyone can join in. At about the same time volleyball starts at the nets halfway along the beach.
Many joggers can be seen running up and down the length of the beach in the morning and evening. To round the day off there's a great beach bar on the rocks right at the south end of the beach, perfect for a beer and Bob Marley while the sun goes down.
Kata is quite popular with beach vendors, they must do well here. Walking up and down in the heat all day they try to sell you their wares including silks, crafts, jewellery and beachwear. For many they're a welcome distraction from doing nothing.
A polite 'no thank you' is all that's required if you are not interested. Should you wish to look at something on offer you're not obliged to make a purchase.
When actually buying something you'll need to use your bartering skills to get a good price and bartering should always be conducted in a warm friendly manner with a smile on your face (the smile is the most important part).