Shopping in Kata is a little spread out with the nucleus being around Kata’s three-way intersection in the centre of things and the main shopping plazas and bazaars located opposite the Club Med grounds but all the same it’s a more relaxed affair than hard-sell Patong and is definitely more family friendly. Shoppers in Kata tend to come out after their evening meal and if you decide to go on a shopping expedition during the day you’ll have the shops pretty much to yourself.
There are several quality boutiques, lots of walk-in-walk-out street stalls, and many places where prices can be negotiated in a cheerful manner so it’s a shoppers’ market in more ways than one. Kata Expo manages to combine two fun pastimes in that it has lots of bars right next door so after a few beers you may just end up with a rude T-shirt or two.
Kata Plaza (aka K Plaza) nowadays is in fact two distinct shopping malls with a bazaar-like feel to them located nearby Kata Palace Hotel and Club Med along Kata Road running parallel to the Beach Road in Kata Beach. The newer of the two is flanked by tailor shops, a pharmacy, and a cosy fan-cooled café at the entrance along with a minimart and the inevitable optician’s shop.
The two-lane plaza really is a one-stop destination for all your holiday souvenirs and is certainly not the place to make practical purchases such as baby diapers or rice. What you see is what you get at Kata Plaza and that means hundreds of holiday souvenirs and lots of elephant-themed paraphernalia. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 10:00 – 22:30
- Location: Kata Road near Club Med
Located right on the T-junction, Udomagg is a fixed-price store selling handbags, luggage and briefcases and the shop's main selling point is shoes. There’s lots of footwear for sale, along with Mafiosi-like pointed-toe footwear as well as leather sandals and formal shoes. The air conditioning in Udomagg would make an Eskimo freeze but is a welcome change from the outside heat and humidity.
Udomagg also does a nice line in wooden handicrafts and children’s toys. Upstairs here you will find a lot of ‘exotic’ stuff such as crocodile, yes crocodile sandals and shoes as well as snakeskin footwear. There are even leather jackets upstairs at reasonable enough prices and entirely unsuitable for Thailand’s tropical climate but ideal for back home – that is if you’re from northern regions.
- Opening Hours: 11:00 – 23:00
- Location: Kata Centre T-junction
Findig has much in common with Udomag and even sells the same brand names (Findig is a brand name in itself). Leatherwork, bags, and souvenirs are its main selling points and like its neighbour it is Arctic-cold inside the shop. Findig is a very European-style setup and you’ll feel right at home here; the basic difference being that in Thailand shop assistants are much more proactive and so you will certainly be approached but a polite disinclination of the head will be understood and you’ll be left alone.
Useless but ‘have to have’ souvenirs such as oddly-shaped backscratchers abound here but some real bargains such as men’s fashion shoes are a good ideas to check out. Findig also stocks rolling luggage.
- Opening Hours: 10:00 - 22:00
- Location: Just north of Kata Centre T-junction and diagonally opposite Re Ka Ta Beach Club in Kata South
A better than average souvenir outlet with a large range of exotic home ornaments, attractive knick-knacks for your walls, and generally has a better selection of items that you would find in a shopping mall or a bazaar – albeit at higher prices – and it is surprising how much quality is on display in such a medium-sized boutique.
As if that weren’t enough, Siam Handicrafts also has a colourful and attractive selection of ladies’ and gents’ belts, hats, and some striking shoes that you won’t be able to buy back home. Siam Handicraft also sells hemp bags, silk and pashmina, and handmade silver.
- Opening Hours: 10:00 – 21:00
- Location: Diagonally opposite Phuket Marina Resort
Kata Leather House and Kata Bootery
Kata leather House is an attractive boutique offering truly well-crafted handmade leather goods. Air conditioned and up some stairs, Kata Leather House is a tasty little shopping nook that holds some surprises and it’s nice to know that bargaining is acceptable here. Just round the corner at the beginning of Karon Road at the three-way intersection stands Kata Bootery selling almost the same items but, as the name suggests, specializing in boots.
As well as having a very handsome collection of handmade shoes, boots and leatherwear for sale, Kata Bootery also specialises in copying originals so if you have a favourite pair of footwear take them along and the copies will be ready in three days. Obviously, bargaining is a must and the more you order the cheaper things get. Both shops are part of the same company.
- Opening Hours: 10:00 – 22:00
- Location: Patak Road and Karon Road
Kata Fresh Market (aka Kata Porpeang Market) is located on Kata Road opposite the Chaba Phuket Resort – the one of the roads connecting Patak ‘top’ road with the Club Med road. Roughly speaking, it’s a large L-shaped market on a piece of unused land with plenty of parking space to the side.
Don’t wear your best white clothes to come shopping here as it is muddy when wet and dusty when dry and remember to dress light as it gets pretty hot and only cools down after the sun has set. Kata Fresh Market is a riot of colours, scents, and sights with a happy and jokey crowd of vendors selling just about everything from secondhand clothes to fresh fruit to costume jewelry. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Mondays and Thursdays 12:00 – 21:00
- Location: Opposite Chaba Resort on Kata Road
This is an attractive shop located diagonally opposite Phuket Marina Resort on the road out to Karon from Kata centre. Air conditioned and colourful, Parin Waris sells home spa products, handmade soap bars and other attractive soap arrangements, aromatherapy products, Thai herbal products, virgin coconut oil for external and internal use, herbal teas, and all manner of organic products – all made in Thailand from Thai products.
Parin Waris is run by personable staff members and as it is so compact you will have a pleasant time choosing the right health and organic products here.
- Opening Hours: 10:00 – 22:00
- Location: Diagonally opposite Phuket Marina Resort
This fashion and swimwear boutique is a unique little gem located opposite Marina Phuket Resort. Baru has chic clothes designs and high-quality beachwear as well as summer clothes, hats, handbags and accessories. They are known to have a big stock of imported bikinis, many from Brazil and Australia, and retail brands such as Vanilla Addiction; Marco Polo; Waylog; Suma Lifestyle, and Fashion Wows.
This is shopping in style and with parquet floors, ice-cold air conditioning, clever lighting, and friendly shop assistants; Baru Boutique stands out in Kata as a quality shopping location.
- Opening Hours: 10:00 - 23:00
- Location: Opposite Marina Phuket Resort
Dino Plaza flanks the left-hand side of the road heading out from Kata to Karon. As the name suggest, it is near Dino Park and is basically a series of shop stalls neighbouring each other and selling trinkets, souvenirs, knock-off electronic goods, carved wooden objects such as mini Buddha images, back scratchers, jewelry boxes, and DVDs, as well as clocks.
The ‘Plaza’ opens mid afternoon and is mostly run by English-speaking Nepalese so it’s easy to communicate with them. Always try to bargain prices down and never accept the asking price.
- Opening Hours: 15:00 – 23:00
- Location: Next to Dino Park
Kata Expo flanks the girlie bars near to Kata centre’s three-way junction. Mostly run by Nepalese storekeepers, Kata Expo is similar to its neighbour Kata Plaza as it sells pretty much identical goods such as beachwear, hats, wooden souvenirs, electronic goods, textiles, tablecloths, pillow cases, bed sheets, and cushion covers.
You’ll also find a good selection of provocative slogan T-shirts, lots of Bob Marley memorabilia, suitcases and rolling luggage, tote bags, children’s clothes, and just about everything you could possibly imagine. Like Kata Plaza, Expo is not air conditioned and you should dress light. Al the same, Kata Expo is a little more fun and racy due to it being right next door to all the girlie ‘action.’
- Opening Hours: 10:00 – 23:00
- Location: Near Wine Connection on Patak Road