Kata is one of the most beautiful and scenic beaches on the Phuket’s west coast. A bit more crowded than its neighbor Karon, Kata is still pretty laidback and is a good choice for families and active travelers.
As 90% of the land on the beach road is occupied by Club Med resort, most of the hotels, shops and restaurants on Kata are located a bit behind that, on the second road.
Kata Center in the northern part of the beach is full of souvenir shops, cheap hotels and restaurants, with some bars further down the road; it’s the oldest part of town, which seems like it didn’t change much in a decade - if you ignore the Starbucks. Recently though, southern end of the beach has become more active in the evening, with it’s number of international restaurants, food stalls and a food market.
The area has some sporting facilities, including mini-golf and a flowrider. Surfing is a popular pastime during low season (May-October), although waves aren’t particularly big.
Popular Karon viewpoint is located (despite the name) between Kata Noi and Nai Harn beaches, with some seaview restaurants and bars lining up the road.
Kata actually consists of 2 beaches: main Kata and smaller and more secluded Kata Noi. While Kata is dominated by Club Med, almost the entirety of Kata Noi is occupied by Kata Thani. While Kata Thani makes access to the beach for non-guests a bit awkward, it’s well worth the visit.
Kata has seen its share of luxury villas built, with number of developments including the iconic Kata Rocks standing on the small cape between Kata and Kata Noi, however recently it showed limited activity. Most of the land above the developed part of Kata Noi has been zoned as natural reserve.