Karon Beach is the second longest beach in Phuket, enjoying a very wide stretch of superb white sand with a decent choice of dining and nightlife. Yet it never seems to draw crowds of tourists which might actually be a good thing. The beach is also known to make a fun squishy sound when walking on the sand. Karon is divided in three areas: Karon Center, the Lake and the Beachfront Road.
Set around ‘Patak Road’, Karon Center is mostly a street going perpendicularly inland from the very fancy and convoluted ‘Karon Circle’ to the Karon temple. It’s small, messy and feels rather old and additionally parking there is impossible. Around here you will find few long established restaurants such as Karon Cafe (Steak house) and Margaritas (Mexican) and the ever popular Two Chefs.
Nightlife: Angus O’Tool is also a long time Irish pub and the area is peppered with tiny beer bars such as Clapton Bar, and a small ‘Soi Bangla‘ type or alley. Nothing really exciting, but the place is very lively.
The Lake near the circle has also been the subject of many attempts to make the area an upmarket zone or even a convention center. Once in a while it hosts a local fun fair which it’s fun, fair and crowded, but ultimately not really upmarket.
Karon Beachfront Road goes all the way from the lake to Kata Beach and is mostly occupied by massive resorts with few small hotels squeezed in between. At the beginning of the beach road you’ll find then Karon Night Bazaar, a temporary roofed market selling mostly tee-shirts and beach toys, including all the usual fake brands. More interesting is Soi Aroonson, a small street in the middle of the beach road. Some good restaurants have opened here as well as lots of massage and few convenience shops. It’s still a bit quiet, but on the other hand it doesn’t feel as messy as Karon Center.
Then you’ll reach the end of the Beach Road, when a small hill leads to Kata Beach (boundaries have never been very clear). Noticeable around here is the restaurant really built on the beach, a football stadium (also used for cricket competitions) and one of the two nightlife areas around. This very narrow and hard to spot soi is called ‘Bangla Plaza‘ and has always been here, but nothing too compare with Soi Bangla in Patong Beach nightlife. Not much more than few beer bars with colorful spotlights and even more colorful staff. Plenty of tiny shops and foot massage as well.
Karon Beach Temple at the end on Soi Patak is nice and often has local fun fairs and markets. Never miss a chance to visit these, they are full of photo opportunities and fun thing to try, games to play and weird food to buy (You might not want to eat giant water bugs, but I bet you’ll want to take a photo).
Karon Beach on Phuket Map