Kata Beach is the second most popular beach destination in Phuket, Thailand. Though it is not as crowded as the ever popular Patong Beach, it’s a surfer’s haven because of its clear blue waters, amicable weather and unpredictable waves. It is becoming a popular family vacation destination because of the increasing number of its dining choices, active nightlife, unique tourist attractions, surfing and shopping. It is also home to a lot of temples, so if you would like a tranquil and religious retreat, Kata should be at the top of your list.
Kata Beach is located on the west coast of Phuket Island. If you want to have a memorable vacation retreat in Asia, where the sand and sea meet, then Kata must be on your itinerary. Here is a list of things you definitely must do, (or at least try), while you are visiting Kata Beach.
1. Be a Beach bum at Kata Beach
Imagine a long stretch of white sand, crystal clear water and a clear blue sky. Kata beach is different from all the other beaches around the world. It is also one of the most beautiful you will find in Phuket. The sandy shore stretches for 1.5 km (.9 miles), making it one of the longest in Thailand. The shore has a beautiful tropical landscape, with almond trees and Pandanus, that provide you shade while you are sunbathing or just lounging around the beach, in a hammock or lounge chair. The deep blue waters of the bay have a distinct, small islet, called Koh Pu or Crab Island which is its trademark and sets it apart from other beaches.
There are a lot of water sports activities you can do at this beach but the most popular among them is surfing. The south side of the beach has several restaurants and shops. During the low season is when the surfing hype starts. The northern end of the beach is where you can go diving or kayaking. But among all these activities, what’s the best thing to do on the beach? Just bum around and wait until sundown. You will witness one of the most picturesque sunsets on the planet, that is truly Instagram worthy.
2. Indulge in the local Thai Cuisine
Thai cuisine is one of the world’s best cuisines and, with your visit to Thailand, you’ll be lucky to taste in its original form. It has distinct, strong, aromatic flavours, which excite every part of your taste buds, with its blend of sour, salty, sweet, spicy and bitter flavours. It is a combination of colourful and flavorful ingredients, making it visually enticing.
The list of Thai cuisine is endless and several dishes have made it to the Western world, becoming standard favourites. The mere mention of these three dishes will already bring Thailand to your mind. You have the Tom Yung Goong or Spicy Shrimp Soup, which is a blend of chilli, lime leaves, shallots, lemongrass, fish sauce, lime juice and shrimp. It’s the kind of soup, with a unique blend of hot-spicy-sour taste, that will keep you eating and wanting for more. Then there is Pad Thai, which is made of glass noodles, mixed with a variety of condiments like fish sauce, sugar, ground peanuts and chilli. It’s like a do-it-yourself dish, where you can mix practically anything with it, like chicken, pork, beef and veggies, like bean sprouts. Lastly, we have Khao Mun Kai, which is Thailand’s version of the Singaporean dish, Hainanese Chicken.
You can level up your gastronomical experience one notch higher, by learning how to cook these exotic dishes! A hotel right beside the beach gives cooking lessons to its visitors. You will have to sign up for the lessons in advance because they are held on specific dates and times. But, imagine the experience of learning how to cook a dish or two while in Thailand! It is something you can take back home with you and it will make your trip truly unforgettable.
Boathouse Oceanfront Cooking Class
Address: 182 Koktanode Road Kata Beach, Phuket, Kata, 83100, Thailand
Contact: +66 763 300 15
Website: Boathouse Oceanfront Cooking Class
3. Surfing anyone?- Surf House Phuket
Kata is the only place on the planet where you can surf from sunrise until midnight. And you don’t even have to surf at this beach! Surf House, in Phuket, is a popular tourist destination where you can eat, drink, dance and surf! This unique location features an outdoor wave pool, where you can learn and practice how to surf on artificial waves. If you are a neophyte to the sport, there are trainers here to help you learn. If you just want to watch the would-be surfers tumbling on the waves, you can, while indulging on their delicious bar chow and original drink concoctions.
Popular bands and DJs provide the dance music, so it’s literally a party, all day long, until the wee hours of the morning. Surf House lives up to Phuket’s reputation, as the ideal surfing ground and the place for wild parties.
Address: Kata Beach Road (4 Pakbang Road), Ban Kata, T. Karon, A. Muang, Phuket, 83100, Thailand
Price: from 29.37 USD
Opening Hours: Everyday 10AM – 2PM / Saturday to Monday hours may differ during observation of Vassa / Asalha Puja
Contact: +66 819 797 737
Website: Surf House
4. Golf with the dinosaurs at Dino Park
Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing
The Dino Park is a unique family friendly tourist attraction that features a mini-golf course in prehistoric environment. The 18-hole mini-golf course provides an amusing entertainment for family and friends that will keep all of you mesmerized with your surroundings while waiting for your turn to play golf. You will see life-size replicas of various types of dinosaurs in a lush, tropical landscape that looks like a scene in the movie Jurassic Park or the Land Before Time. The park also features a 12 meter waterfall, lighting and sound effects to make the prehistoric vibe more realistic, a swamp and a lava cave with a roaring and moving T-rex. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know how to play golf. You’d be busy just the same taking those selfies with the dinosaurs. After an hour of playing golf, you can have your snacks or dinner at the in-house bar and restaurant with interiors that looks like a scene from Flintstones. Don’t worry, their dishes are not made from dinosaur meat!
Address: .828126, 98.295378, Patak Soi 7, Karon, Muang, Phuket 83100, Thailand
Price: from 7 USD
Opening Hours: Everyday 10 AM to 11 PM (Hours may vary on Saturday to Monday during Asalha Puja and Vassa)
Duration: around 1 hour required.
Contact: +66 76 330 625
Website: Dino Park
5. Learn kickboxing the thai way
Thais are popular for their unique fighting style. Muay Thai is the art of self-defense and mostly uses your legs and joints to hit your opponent. Before leaving Thailand, at least try to learn a thing or two about Muay Thai. It might even come in handy someday. You can take Muay Thai lessons for up to 3 hours a day. The gym has two sessions, so you can choose to go either in the morning or in the afternoon. The prices vary, depending on if you are taking the lessons on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.
The coaches control the lessons, so every training session varies. It begins with jumping rope or running for warm-up, then you are made to do what is included in the program. You either do shadow boxing, pads, melee technique, work with the bag, warm-up, sparring, stretching and weight training. From newbies to the professionals, this is what they go through until they become Nakmuay Thais (fighters).
Muay Thai Camp
Address: 116/19 Tanod Road, Kata Beach-Phuket Thailand
Price: from 11.75 USD
Opening Hours: Mondays to Saturdays: Morning: 8 am – 11 am / Afternoon: 4 pm – 7 pm
Duration: around 3 hours required.
Access: Take Patak Road heading to Chalong on the East Coast. Over the crest of the hill on Chalong side, you will see the huge blue sign of the club.
Contact: +66 7 628 4090
Website: Chang Gym
6. Visit a temple and have a spiritual retreat
Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing
Thailand is known for its amazing temples and often tourists visit the country for its ancient appeal. Each town has its own distinct temple. Kata’s temple, or Wat Kittisankaram, is the nearest one to Kata Beach and is located on a vast piece of land at the base of a mountain. It is surrounded on Kata’s eastern side by a tropical forest. It is named after Wat Kata, the name of the village where it is located and was built in 1832. After 80 years, its name was changed to Wat Kittisankaram.
Though the temple was built during ancient times, it is still well-maintained and constantly being renovated. Its aesthetic design is truly impressive, with its white coloured walls, intricate façade and signature pointed, red decorated rooftops. It features a lovely ordination hall, where you will find the most peaceful looking Buddha. It also has the monk’s dormitories, the monastery’s pavilion, and the local primary school on the same property. If you would like to be in a quiet place to do some soul searching, please visit this temple, but wear the appropriate clothing.
Address: Patak Road, 1 kilometer (.6 miles) from the beach
Website: Phuket Temples
7. Keeping it private at Kata Noi
Kata Noi is located on the south end of Kata Beach, around 1 km (.6 miles) from the centre. It is a smaller stretch of sandy beach and has fewer beach resorts and hotels. Kata Noi offers a bit more privacy and is a great place to learn surfing because the waves are tamer. It is ideal for snorkelling, simple body surfing or starting the basics of surfing. There are also several viewpoints in Kata Noi where you will have a complete view of the entire Kata Beach.
8. Shopping at the Night Market!
Photo is only for illustrative purposes
Phuket is also famous for its night markets. You will find a lot of them all over Phuket, as it seems like every district has its own night market laid out on the streets. It’s the best place to go for souvenir shopping and a taste of the local street food. There’s a festive vibe to them and the moment the sun goes down, hawkers lay out their wares, with a lot of music and street dancing in the background. It draws in a lot of tourist attention because here you will find unique and amazing items, like their local handicrafts that are world class quality.
You haven’t totally experienced Phuket unless you made a visit to one of their night markets. There is one in Kata, on Patak Road. It’s a kaleidoscope of colours, smells, textures and tastes, that will leave an imprint in your memory.
Kata Night Market
Address: Patak Rd, Mueang Phuket, Amphoe Mueang Phuket, Chang Wat Phuket 83100, Thailand
Opening Hours: Friday to Thursday 2 pm to 9 pm
Website: Phuket Night Markets
9. Ride with the tide
Popular as one of the surfer havens of Asia, Phuket offers more than rolling blue waves for your surfing experience. There are surfing camps a plenty on Kata’s shores, so you can sign up for lessons and begin learning the basics of how to ride the waves. You can also try wakeboarding, parasailing and kite surfing in these waters. You’ll have to stay in Kata for at least 3 days to fully grasp the lessons on how to surf if you really want to get serious about it.
What makes Kata Beach and Kata Noi a surfer’s haven? It’s one of the best seafronts you will find in Indochina. The location has perfect weather conditions for at least 6 months out of the year, which means little chance of rain and swells that reach around 2 to 3 meters (6.6 to 9.8 feet). The sand is soft, without any rocks and the water is tepid. It is also the location where the annual Quicksilver contest is being held.
Kata Beach Sport Guide
Website: Surfing Information
Where to book surfing lessons in Kata
Website: Surf Camps in Kata Beach
10. Share the viewpoint of Kata
If you want to experience what it is like to feel on top of the world, try visiting the Karon Viewpoint. One of the most visited locations in Phuket, it was renamed three times over. It was once called Khao Saam Haad, (meaning Three Beaches Hill), then Kata Viewpoint and finally Karon Viewpoint. This location is found between the Kata Noi beaches and Nai Harn. It offers you a spectacular view of all 3 beaches – Kata Noi, Kata Yai and Karon. It also includes the panorama of Phuket’s lush wildlife and the resorts and buildings that play hide and seek among the foliage. It’s a breathtaking view that can lift your spirits high.
Address: 4233, Tambon Karon, Amphoe Mueang Phuket, Chang Wat Phuket 83100, Thailand
Website: Karon Viewpoint in Phuket
Where surfing is life!
In a country where surfing is a way of life, there are a still lot of things you can do in Kata aside from riding the tides. It is a total thrill for all of your senses, from the taste of the food, the feel of the water, the colourful sights of the market and the calming view of the beach, on top of a hill, the sound of street dancing, and the salty smells of the beach air, contrasting with the sour and spicy smell of their cuisine.
It’s truly an exciting experience once you visit this part of Phuket. That’s why surfing aficionados arrive in droves, to enjoy the waters. Kata also offers calm and relief, after a whole day of rolling with the waves.
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