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).
Situated 20 kilometres from town, beautiful Kata (pronounced “Ga dta”, both syllables with a low tone) is a scenic gem, its clear water flanked by hills, and picturesque Pu Island sits offshore. Kata retains a village feel at its northern and southern ends and is perhaps more family-oriented, its one-kilometer long beach more peaceful than Patong.
The main road runs from Kata center at the end near Karon Beach all the way to Kata Noi Beach. In Kata center you can find many shops that sell tourist gifts. These shops can be grouped into Gift, Suit, Music and Massage. Restaurants are well priced and food is good. Bars start further on down the road towards Kata beach.
There are more hotels than meet the eye and walking around for a couple of days you will find even more guest houses. This does not mean that Kata is packed with tall hotels.
Kata beach has safe swimming and does not have any dropoffs. It is safe for children and non-swimmers. But 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 Poo (crab) Island. Sitting on the beach and looking right you may see local fishermen on the rocks trying to catch their supper.
Situated 20 kilometres from town or less than 1km 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 beach-less shoreline stretching south.
There are some great waves for simply body surfing on. Lots of fun.
The local market which is on Thursdays just off the main Kata road. Here you will find the locals buying their fish and spices. A very interesting place for the first time traveller to Thailand. Beware 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 and 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 sometimes. The sauna can be found on the right, about 10 minutes 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.
There are many bars along the road from Kata centre to Kata Noi. No doubt you will hear the words “Hello Welcome” in most of them as you walk by.