Recommendations: Kata Beach

Choosing which Thai beach we wanted to head too was hard enough but then when we landed on Phuket, we had to decide which part of the island we wanted to stay on.  After a few hours of research, we decided on Kata Beach given it seemed to be a little less touristy thus less crowded beaches.   After visiting a few other parts of the island, we knew we made the right choice - that said, it still wasn't the remote Thai island you read about.  Either way, if you are going to be staying in Phuket, I can’t recommend Kata Beach enough, specifically Kata Noi.  Here are a few recommendations for that part of the island. 

View from Kata  Yai Beach

Where to Eat: 

Mom Tris: Known as of the best restaurants in Phuket, this cliff side eatery is perfect for lunch and dinner (we walked in for lunch but made a reservation for dinner).  While this won’t be your cheapest option on the island, it won’t break you budget and the food and views are fantastic.  A feww recommendations include the vegetable or duck spring rolls, blue crab curry, and the soft-shell crab sandwich.

Spring rolls at Mom Tris

Ta Restaurant: When you’re at a beach destination, you always look for the affordable go to place where you can have more than one meal; that’s Ta.  We ate lunch here twice (and some of us three times) because it was that good and that affordable; not to mention great service.  The pad-thai, spring rolls and Pina coladas are a must but I also enjoyed the Panag beef curry. 

Our Pina Coladas at Ta

Pad Thai at Ta 

Boathouse: One of my favorite things to do on vacation is eat a big breakfast on the beach - that’s boathouse.  I ate here for three mornings and got the buffet twice and the roti chicken curry another morning.  It’s right on the beach, really good and not too pricey.  If you are hungry, I would get the buffet otherwise there are plenty of cheaper options to choose from. 

The view from Boathouse

Roti chicken curry at Boathouse

Private Chef: Given we had our own villa, we decided to have a private chef cook us a meal on our last night- recommended by our AirBnB host. While this will be one of the more expensive options, it was absolutely worth it given we loved our villa and this was a home made meal.  We opted for the seafood menu which included everything from crab, mussels, grilled fish and prawns. 

Grilled fish from our private chef

What to Do: 

Kata Noi: You come to Phuket for the beach but there are a lot of options, and a lot of tourists.  As I mentioned, I heard Kata was the nicest beach on the island but there are actually two beaches in Kata.  Kata Yai, the bigger one, is packed with mainly Russian tourists. It’s a lovely beach and perfect for a run but you will be surrounded come 10AM.  Luckily we saw that in advance so for the three days we went to the beach, we always ended up back at Kata Noi.  It’s a beautiful white sandy beach that only has one road in and one major resort.  We tried other beaches recommended by locals like Nai Harn and Yanui but Kata Noi was easily my favorite and would be the only one I recommend to others. 

Kata Noi beach 

After Beach Bar: There’s nothing like a low key beach bar, especially one where you can watch the sun go down.  Up the hill between Kata Yai and Kata Noi is After Beach Bar that has a rasta vibes and a perfect view of the Andaman Coast for watching the sun go down.  

Pina Coladas at sunset

The Pad Thai at After Beach Bar is a perfect sunset dish

Phang Nga Bay/Private Boat Tour: When we decided on Phuket, we knew we were going to rent a private boat for a day; that part was easy. But where we wanted to go was the much harder part. We first thought we wanted to go to Ko Phi Phi because it’s some of the most beautiful Thai islands and it’s also where the movie The Beach was filmed.  But after much back and forth, we landed on Phang Nga Bay because we opted for a more scenic day over a beautiful beach.  

Our boat

And after talking with our captain Dennis, we decided not even to go to the famed James Bond Island as we wanted to stay away from tourists - this ended up being a phenomenal choice.  Dennis brought us all over Phang Nga Bay and at times we had our own private islands yet the best part of the trip was the Hong.  

An island to ourself 

For our last stop, Dennis took us to an island where we had to squeeze our way through a hidden cave.  On the other end were mangroves encapsulated by Karstsl we were surronded by scenic silence. As we entered into the Hong, we were alone and there was a light rain; as Dennis stated, it was a near religious experienence. If you are going to do a boat tour, the private tour is worth the money and so is the better boat so use Epic Charters and ask for Dennis. 

Going through the cave

The mangroves when you get through the cave 

When you look up in the hong

Thai Massages: What’s going to Thailand without getting a few Thai massages.  In Kata, you will have plenty of options.  There will be a massage parlor every which way you turn on the street and for there will also be women with tents set up on the beach.  I think I got 3 or 4 massages while we were in Kata; all for only 300 Baht or less than $10 for an hour. 

The view of your massage on the beach 

Where to Stay: 

AirBnB at Kata Gardens: Given we were traveling with a group of six of us, we figured it would be cheaper to look into an AirBnB over a hotel.  We found a great option at Kata Gardens with a rooftop pool overlooking the beach and the location was great because it was basically on Kata Noi. 

The pool and our view at our AirBnB

Katathani Beach Resort: Katathani is a massive five star resort that is on Kata Noi beach.  While we didn't stay here, we walked amongst the grounds and laid out on the beach just outside of it.  I'm generally not a fan of huge resorts but the grounds were beautiful and the tourists didn't seem too over-bearing.  It's also the best beach in Phuket, at least in my opinion. 

Katathani Resort

Mom Tris: One the better spots to eat also seems to be one of the better places to stay.  If it was just Samantha and I, we most likely would have ended up here as this is a luxury boutique resort which is much more my speed.  Overlooking Kata Noi beach, the rooms are nestled into the cliff side providing picture perfect views for coffee in the morning and glasses of wine at sunset. 

The view from Mom Tris Resort

A few more pictures from our time in Kata:

Getting ready to go in the caves in the hong 

Downtown Kata 

If you need to get around in Kata, just hop in the back of a van or Tuk Tuk

Shrimp appetizer from our private chef 

Samantha and I in Phang Nga Bay 


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