Kathu is the smallest of the three districts that make up Phuket. It covers the central part of the island from the west of Phuket Town to Patong and Kamala Beaches. The old village of Kathu is located roughly mid way between Patong Beach and Phuket Town and comes across as a small, communal town markedly less commercial than most areas on the island. It is home to a handful attractions and recreations such as Kathu Waterfall (great in rainy season), Loch Palm and Red Mountain Golf Clubs, Phuket Country Club and Phuket Wake Park (Formerly Phuket Cable Ski). A nice way to enjoy Kathu and mingle with the locals is to visit its fresh markets that have just about everything on the offer, from food to clothes and household items. There are a few Buddhist monasteries in Kathu including Wat Kathu and the Kathu Chinese Shrine is the most important religious site for villagers as it’s where the famous Phuket Vegetarian Festival originated from.
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What to Do in Kathu:
The village of Kathu itself is not really impressive, except maybe for a couple of temples, a few mural paintings and an annual festival. The street is lined with small little shops and administrative buildings. The location just away from the main road kept it relatively tranquil, but chances are, you will go to Kathu without knowing it.
Kathu is a surprisingly rich part of Phuket island, full of things worth exploring, trying or eating. You will find plenty of golf, museums, treetops zip-line, wakeboarding, bungy jump, wakeboard park and the list goes one.
The waterfalls itself is divided into two areas. The one on the left is not much more than a stream of water creating a natural pool where kids love to play. The real falls are on the right from the parking, past a small bridge and up a 130 meters staircase.
This first level of Kathu Waterfall is beautiful during the rainy season; a nice steady flow of water cascading down the rocks creates a large sandy pool. But don’t stop there, the second level still accessible via a concrete path is smaller but more natural. Teens love to hang around this one, picnicking and having a good time.
Flying Hanuman Phuket:
Flying Hanuman Phuket is an immense zipline adventure in the jungle above Kathu village, somewhere between Phuket town and Patong. If you need a break from your lazy day on the beach and if you travel with friends, this is an unforgettable adventure. It’s a perfect way to spend a cloudy day with a good laugh and some fantastic stories and photos to take home.
It’s incredibly impressive and slightly intimidating. And yet, it’s easy, fun and of course very safe. The setting itself is superb. Your minivan will drive up a hill of Kathu and drop you at the reception. Here, all the houses: reception, office and bar are beautifully designed with natural materials in the middle of gigantic trees. There are four courses per day, so if you are a little early and finished your registration, relax and enjoy the bar under the large trees.
Buntai Night Market in Kathu:
Buntai Night Market is the latest market in Phuket just halfway between Phuket Town and Patong Beach. This Kathu Night Market is still a very young market but it shows a lot of potential. You can find a lot of very good local food at low prices, a bit of shopping, mostly accessories, a few bars and a live band.
Food at Buntai Night Market range from the classic som tum (spicy papaya salad), some delicious fried chicken, tilapia fish barbecued in a salt crust, kanom jeen (rice noodle with curry), that very popular pork knuckle called ka-moo and the list goes on and on so just let your appetite and nose guide you. There are a lot of sweets to choose from too: buy what you like and bring it to one of the tables to enjoy. It’s that simple (and cheap!).
Wakeboarding at Phuket Wake Park:
Phuket Wake Park is a lake in Kathu equipped with a 700 m long cable running counter clockwise at 30 km/h. It has been in Kathu for a long time, but we only started this thrilling sport in recent years. Wakeboard is much easier to enjoy than one would imagine! You will be surprised how fast you can succeed and how much pleasure you will get for each little step done.
Wakeboarding is expensive, starting at 750 Baht per hour, but they have some cheaper options. They do have longer and less costly options, but if it’s your first time, you won’t survive one hour of this intense sport, even kneeboard is exhausting and will leave you panting, but happy. Oh, you better plan a spa or at least a beach massage after that that next day will be painful!
Phuket Wake Park also has a shop and an open-air roofed bar and a restaurant, so you can comfortably stay the whole day and see who does better than you, but already look down with a condescending smile at the guy crashing on his first attempt.