About Karon Beach
Featuring the third longest shore in the island of Phuket, Karon Beach is perhaps also one of the most scenic getaway destinations in the region. It is located on the west coast of the island, and is sandwiched between the Patong island which is located in the north, and the Kata island in the south.Due to its clear blue waters and rich wildlife, the beach is famous among tourists for snorkeling and diving.
Moreover, the southern end of the beach, where both these activities are conducted, is wide enough that you will never feel crowded or congested.There are 3 main areas of the beach and each of them has its own unique selling points. The center of the beach, Karon Center, can be compared to a vibrant city which has a wide range of options for all kinds of activities. Whether you like fine dining or eating on street stalls, shopping for bespoke brands or cheap apparel – the center of the beach has options that will appeal to everyone.
Moreover, there is also a happening nightlife scene here for the party animals to explore. There is also Buddhist temple in the center of the beach where a bi-weekly market is held and you can buy all kinds of knick-knacks and souvenirs here.The second area of the beach is the Karon Beach Road. This place is perfect for lovebirds and couples to take a walk along the pristine shores hand in hand. There are also many beautiful resorts here, almost all of them overlooking the sea. Chic restaurants and expensive shops, along with the famous Karon Bazaar can also be found at the beach road.
The third main area of the beach is located near the Luang Poh Chuan Road, towards the southern side of the beach. Here, you will find some of the most sophisticated and classy restaurants in the city. And for a nightlife lover, this is an unmissable destination – for there are countless bars and discos here where you can dance till dawn.
How to Reach Karon Beach
If you are coming from Phuket Airport, you can take a travel voucher from the transportation booth for 750 THB. The taxi will take you from within the airport and drive you to the beach. The entire journey will be less than an hour. There are also several metered taxis outside the airport that can take you to Karon for around THB 650 or less.
But if you don’t want to spend on a taxi, you can take a minibus from the airport at 200 THB that will also take you to Karon.If you are in Phuket town already, you can take a bus from the downtown market. The Karon Beach is connected to Phuket town via bus between 7.30 am to 6 pm every day.
The bus takes a circuit around the town from Patak Road to North Karon, before heading down to the beach road and then South Karon. The fare for the bus is 35 THB. You can also take a motorbike taxi from here for around THB 40.
Best Time to Visit Karon Beach
The best time to visit Karon Beach is between November and April. This is considered the peak season in Thailand, because the temperatures are lower and the ocean is relatively calm. You will be able to enjoy the beach and all the water activities it has to offer in this weather. However, since it is the peak tourist season, you may have to book your accommodation well in advance.
May to October is monsoon in the region, and Karon beach sees heavy rains at this time. As a result, the ocean is quite unstable, and has powerful waves and dangerous currents. Thus, it is not recommended to go to the beach during this time.
What Not to Miss at Karon Beach
Things to do at Karon Beach
Here are some of the most popular activities you can participate in at Karon Beach:
1. Take a walk on the beach – The white sandy shore is surrounded by lovely green trees and it is pure delight to take a walk near the pristine blue waters. With the sound of waves crashing near you and the cool sea breeze blowing in your face, you will feel disconnected from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Karon Beach has a long shore, so it is perfect for taking a walk. There is even a sidewalk near the beach. If you want to enjoy the serenity, you should stay near the north end of the beach.
2. Watch the sunset – The south end of the beach is a little crowded, but it offers a magnificent view of the orange red sun setting behind the clear blue waters. The contrast creates a rainbow of hues across the sea and the sky – which is simply unmissable.
3. Water Sports – The pristine waters of the beach attract a lot of water sports loving people, and if you a sports baby too – it is worth checking out the activities here. From swimming in the sea, parasailing, snorkeling, kayaking and paddle boarding – you will find all kinds of fun activities worth enjoying here. The sea has a rich biodiversity and colorful sea life – so it’s highly recommended to try snorkeling here.
4. Get a massage - your trip to Thailand will never be complete without a heavenly massage- so why not indulge here? There are several spas parlors overlooking the beach where you can get a relaxing, traditional Thai massage while soaking in the beauty of the sea. You can also pick one of the facial or body therapies, if you feel like indulging yourself.
Places to Visit around Karon BeachHere are some of the most popular places to visit in and around the beach:
1. The northern end of the beach – Most people get off at the southern end of the beach and leave from there. But as you go to the north end, the view gets even more impressive and peaceful. The view of the crystal-clear waters, the bluish hue of the sky reflected in the sea, and the pristine serenity are simply unmissable.
2. Coast Beach Club – Also located on the northern side of the beach, this resort offers some of the most exciting views of the sea. Just sink into one of its lovely sofas on the balcony and soak in the views of the golden sun setting behind the blue waters.Karon park and Khlong Bangla Park – This small park features an artificial lake, and an excellent jogging track where you can enjoy the view of the mountains while running. There are also some free gym machines in the park where you can do some weight training.
3. Hat Karon Noi Beach – Just a little away from the beach is a tiny little hut called Hat Karon Noi with a private beach owned by a nearby resort. If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the public beach, you can hang out here, although you may have to pay some extra fee.
4. Karon View Point – This place is located south of the beach and offers a spectacular view of the 3 beaches nearby - Karon Beach, Kata Noi Beach, and Kata Yai Beach. The view point has some of the most stunning views of the Andaman Sea, and is a popular place for taking photos and selfies.
Other Essential Information About Karon Beach- Location: located on the west coast of Mueang Phuket District, between Patong in the north and Kata in the south, Phuket 83100, Thailand.
- Timing: the beach is open 24 hours and there are no timing restrictions to go here.
Places to Stay in and near Karon Beach
Here are the best places to stay near the beach:
1. Pacific Club Resort – Located on the top of a hill just 10 minutes from the beach, this boutique hotel offers some of the most spectacular views of the sea. The rooms are airy and spacious, with each room having its own balcony. Other amenities include WiFi, flat-screen Cable TV and safety deposit box.
The swimming pool at the beach offers 360-degree views of the beach, and there is also a spa treatment parlor within the resort, along with a well-equipped gym
2. Mandarava Resort and Spa – This magnificent resort features rooms with separate detached areas, each with its own set of balcony and bathroom. The resort itself is encircled by lush greenery and located on a slope of a hill, overlooking the beach. Thus, all the rooms of the resort have a spectacular and spellbinding view of the clear blue waters of the sea.
3. Le Meridien Phuket Beach Resort – The stunning beach resort offers a magnificent view of Karon beach from its lovely outdoor pool and air conditioned rooms. Besides the regular amenities like WiFi, cable TV, tea and coffee making facilities – this place has a variety of health and fitness options, including a gym, a spa and sauna. And what’s more, the hotel is a foodie’s dream come true with its 10 dining and bar options.
4. Movenpick Resort and Spa – Nestled amidst the lush green gardens, just a few minutes away from the pristine sandy beaches of Karon, the resort is ideal for anyone who wants to holiday in style. It has some of the most luxurious rooms in the region, along with 4 swimming pools, a kids zone, and 7 restaurants and bars.
Every room in the resort is a spacious mini-suite on its own. The décor is cozy and sophisticated, and you can enjoy the views of the gardens and the sea from the balcony. You will also get other amenities like WiFi, minibar, a safety deposit box and a refrigerator.
Places to Eat near Karon Beach
Here are the most popular places to eat near the beach:
1. EAT Bar and Grill – If you want to enjoy Western-style grilled food, this is the place to be at. The menu at the bar is designed with tones of meaty dishes, including a wide range of drinks and cocktails – and all of them at a price that won’t burn a hole in your pocket. The chef of the restaurant is Swedish and he specializes in creating high-quality dishes with imported meat cuts combined with local ingredients.
2. On The Rock – Located at the end of a rocky cliff of the beautiful and exotic Marina Phuket Resort, this place has extremely romantic vibes. The service is warm, and the menu is primarily seafood bases. However, you will have to reserve a table here before you go because this place gets quite crowded in the evenings.
3. Gether – This is one of the most popular diners on Karon Beach because of the amazing reviews it has gotten in the last few years. The menu here is a mix of Swedish and English food, and is perfect for people who love international cuisine. Some of the most popular dishes are the Swedish meatballs, Italian pizza, Australian beef and the endless Thai options.
4. Coast Beach Club – Offering a breathtaking view of the sea, this laidback resort has a cozy atmosphere – making it even more relaxing and comforting. Besides the bar restaurant, there is also the cocktail bar where you can get some delicious drinks. Also make sure you sample the delicious tapas and local cheeses here. Coast Beach Club is ideal for people who want to enjoy their meal in front of the calming waters of the Andaman Sea.
Shopping Near Karon Beach
Here are the best shopping centers near the beach:
1. Karon’s Market – Spread in an area of nearly 1200 square meters, the market opens only on Tuesdays and Saturdays and offers some of the widest choices when it comes to local products and food items. If you want to get a glimpse of the local culture, this is the place to be at.
Like most outdoor markets in the city, Karon’s Market opens late in the afternoon and you can find everything from T-shirts to bags, scarves, sarongs and home décor items here.
2. Karon Bazaar – Located near the beach road, the bazaar is essentially a large shopping center with a market-like flavor. It is sandwiched between Woraburi Phuket Resort and Moevenpick Resort.
Its concrete floors and neon lights give it a unique vibe, and you can find a variety of items here at a fraction of prices than the bigger markets – that is, if you know how to haggle. You can find fake bags, apparel, souvenirs, jewelry items and various knick-knacks here. You can also find some delicious local food stalls.
3. Soi Old Phuket – Located near the Old Phuket Resort, this place offers a large selection of colorful beachwear, tropical shirts, bags, souvenirs and whatnot. There are also many boutiques and massage parlors here – if you want to get a relaxing Thai massage. The restaurants in the market offer a variety of Thai and Swedish street foods.
In the afternoon, you can find costume jewelry shops and trinkets sellers at the various stands. All of these pieces are reasonably priced, but you may have to do some bargaining to get a discount.
Travelers' Tip for visiting Karon Beach
Here are some tips that will make your visit to the beach truly unforgettable:
1. Take a taxi from the airport to Phuket town, and then go to the beach from there. It will be cheaper than other options, like if you take a bus or taxi directly from the airport.
2. Use the ATMs wisely. Although they are available everywhere, some regions are notorious for ATM frauds. Make sure no one is looking over your shoulder while you withdraw the money.
3. If you want to book a car, do it in advance. Make sure the car is third party insured.
4. Make sure you carry some local currency. Credit and debit cards are accepted in most hotels and restaurants, but stalls and bazaars only take cash.
5. Do not get into the water if there is a high tide. It can be quite dangerous.