How Good is Karon Beach?
Karon is one of the longest beaches in Phuket, ranking 4th on our beach popularity page. It enjoys a vast stretch of white sand with a good choice of dining and nightlife, and never seems to draw crowds of tourists, which is a good thing.
- How Good is Karon Beach?
- What to Do in Karon?
- The Beach
- Karon Temple (Wat Suwan Khirikhet)
- Dino Park Mini Golf
- Spa Treatments
- Where to Eat in Karon?
- On The Rock Restaurant
- EAT Bar & Grill Restaurant
- Karon Beach Square at Movenpick Resort
- Seafood restaurants by the lake
- Karon Nightlife
- Coast Beach Club
- Patak Road Nightlife
- Mini Bangla on Luam Por Chuan Road
- Karon Temple Market
- Shopping in Karon
- Karon Temple Market
- Karon Bazaar
- Where to Stay in Karon?
- Beyond Resort Karon
- Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket
- Mövenpick Resort
- The Geography of Karon
- 1. Karon Center and Patak Rd
- 2. The Lake
- 3. Beach Front Road
- 360 Panorama
- More Photos of Karon Beach
- Useful information
- Karon Beach Map
- FAQs about Karon
The sand of this beach is also known to make a fun squishy sound when walking on it. Karon is best known for its immense beach with big hotels lined across a large frontage road, and the small town of Karon.
What to Do in Karon?
Apart from a fantastic beach, lots of restaurants and bars, there is not so much to do around in terms of landmarks and activities, but Kata and Patong are not far.
Karon Temple (Wat Suwan Khirikhet)
Karon temple, locally called Wat Suwan Khirikhet, is beautifully crafted and open to visitors any day of the week. You can walk around freely, take photos and admire the carvings and paintings, but try to make a small donation, it is always a nice gesture. Twice a week the temple hosts a popular market with lots of food and small things to buy. Keep in mind to dress politely, just like in any temple of Thailand, which means no short skirts, no sleeveless shirts and definitely no topless. Remove caps and shoes if you wish to walk inside the temple itself. (usually, a small sign will inform you).
Parasailing offers a unique birdview of the bay and a bit of adrenaline rush, but it’s somewhat controversial regarding safety issues.
Dino Park is a Jurassic Park inspired mini-golf with dinosaurs and even a volcano. It is technically in Kata beach, but it’s not very far from Karon and is always a good family fun.
Thailand is well-known for massages and aromatherapy, and it would be a shame not to take advantage of the quality and array of treatments available at this price. Spend the end of your beach day with a spa treatment at Centara Grand Beach Phuket or Movenpick Resort, especially on those occasional raining days!
Where to Eat in Karon?
Karon Beach Square is a group of restaurants on the grounds of the Movenpick Resort, mostly known for El Gaucho, serving Brazilian Churrasco and great steaks. For comfort food, Two Chefs and Karon Cafe are trendy.
The best place for a dinner with a sea view is without a doubt On The Rock restaurant, at the south end of the beach. The restaurant serves Thai food and seafood and is part of the Marina Phuket Resort.
Address: Marina Phuket Resort, 47 Karon Road, Karon Beach, Phuket 83100
Hours: 12 am – 11.30 pm
Tel: +66 76 330 625
EAT Bar & Grill Restaurant, on the back road of Karon, is a casual place serving delicious steaks and grilled meats. The restaurant is not very big and is often full, so you should book in advance to save a table.
Address: 250 1 Patak Rd, Karon, Mueang Phuket District, Phuket 83100
Open: 11 am – 10:30 pm (Closed on Sunday)
Tel: 085 292 5652
Karon Beach Square offers plenty of dining and drinking options with great music such as Brazilian Churrasco, Thai Cuisine and a bakery. The many large sofas that look like outdoor beds are perfect to hang after a hard walking day, perfect to enjoy the evening al fresco!
Seafood restaurants by the lake
For seafood or basic Thai food, you can choose one of the many small restaurants in front of the stadium or those by the lake. They are relatively cheap and while they are not serving haute cuisine, they do have a unique exotic charm and a beach view. It would be difficult to recommend one in particular, so walk around and look at the well-illustrated menu always displayed in front. They also serve a decent European breakfast made of eggs or omelette, toasts with butter and jam, sausages and bacon. It’s simple but goes so well with the beach to start the day!
There is a bit of nightlife in Karon beach but it’s nothing like what you will experience in Bangla Walking Street of Patong Beach. Karon nightlife rotates around three areas: the best know is near the Karon Circle, with few bars and live music, a little further is a small alley once called ‘Little Bangla’, and an L-shaped street near Kata Beach where you can enjoy some beer bars.
Coast Beach Club is a good place to enjoy a couple of drinks at the end of the day. The bar is not exactly on the beach but quite near, and is part of the Centara Grand Beach Phuket.
Patak Road Nightlife
Patak road is the main nightlife area, and while it’s rather modest, it’s always fun. Angus O’Tool’s is a long-time Irish pub and the area is full of tiny beer bars such as Clapton Bar, and a great live band bar called The Garage.
Mini Bangla on Luam Por Chuan Road
Further down the beach, just before the hill leading to Kata Beach is an L-Shaped street with a dozen of those old-fashioned beer bars where ladies always loudly invite you for a drink. It’s very easy-going and safe to walk around so it’s ok to stop for a beer.
If live music, alcohol and girlie bars are not your things after dinner, check the Karon Temple Market that opens only twice a week: Tuesdays and Fridays, from 4 pm to 10 pm
Shopping in Karon
Karon Beach has enough shopping options to keep everyone happy, even those who don’t really like shopping but just need convenience stores or forgot something important at home. There are also some markets, bazaars and of course night markets.
Wat Suwan Khirikhet, the temple at the end on Soi Patak in Karon, is an excellent photo opportunity and is famous for the popular night market held every Tuesday and Friday. Never miss a chance to visit it, it’s full of fun things to try, games to play and fun local food. You might even get a chance to try some fried insects and giant water bugs, or at least to take a photo to share back home.
The Karon bazaar is a vast covered market situated just next to the Movenpick Resort. You will mostly find tee-shirts, bags, trousers, beach toys and accessories and cheap souvenirs. It’s fun and colourful but can be quite hot during the day. Most vendors can speak decent English (they are not often Thai actually), so don’t forget to bargain hard!
There are 2 hotels right on the beach you can consider if the price is right for you. Then you have a myriad of smaller hotels all around the place, and you shouldn’t have a problem to find accommodation according to your budget.
Beyond Resort Karon
Beyond Resort Karon is one of the two only hotels in Karon to be really on the beach itself. The rooms are a bit small but the views from the hotel make up for it. It’s a good place to stop for breakfast or lunch with beautiful views.
Centara Grande is one of the only hotels in Karon to offer true beach access. This immense pink resort is packed with facilities and outlets such as a great kids club, a huge fitness centre, several swimming pools and even a beach bar.
Mövenpick is an immense resort with good ratings, with just a street to cross to access the beach.
The Geography of Karon
Did you know? Karon consists of 3 areas: Karon Center (which is the small town), the Lake area and the beachfront road that ends at the hill reaching Kata Beach.
1. Karon Center and Patak Rd
Patak Road is mostly a street going perpendicularly inland from the very fancy and convoluted ‘Karon Circle’ to the temple. It’s small, messy and feels rather old and additionally parking there is impossible. Around here you will find a few long-established restaurants, convenience stores and ‘Hellooooo you want massage‘ parlours and lots and lots of bars in all sizes and shapes. Just like everyone else, walk up and down Patak road and pick one bar, ultimately they are all ‘same same but different‘.
2. The Lake
The Lake near the circle has also been the subject of many attempts to make the area an upmarket zone or even a convention centre. Once in a while, especially during Songkran Festival, the lake hosts one of those popular local funfairs where you can play some typical funfair games, try some local food and even do a bit shopping.
3. Beach Front Road
The beachfront road goes all the way from the lake to Kata Beach, mostly occupied by large resorts with few small hotels squeezed in between. At the beginning of the beach road, you’ll find Karon Beach Square, the 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 a few convenience shops. It’s still a bit quiet but 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 visible). Noticeable around here is the restaurant 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’ (an alley) is called ‘Bangla Plaza’ and has always been here, but nothing to compare with Soi Bangla in Patong Beach nightlife. Not much more than a few beer bars with colourful spotlights and even more colourful staff and plenty of tiny shops and foot massage.
More Photos of Karon Beach
Thai name: หาดกะรน
Beach length: 3.3 km
Nearest airport: Phuket International Airport
Distance from airport: 43 km
Distance from Patong: 7 km
Distance from Phuket city: 16.8 km
Karon Beach Map
FAQs about Karon
a. Karon Beach has a few activities to offer:
a. There are dozens of hotels to choose from, here are some favourites:
a. There are restaurants for all tastes and all budgets here:
a. Karon Beach is 43 km from Phuket International Airport and 2.22 km from Patong Beach.