KARON BEACH PHUKET THAILAND
Karon, featuring an incredibly long stretch of squeaky white sand, is less hectic than Patong but it still offers a full range of facilities, dining and activities. While it's a fast-growing area, Karon is nicely spread out and rarely feels crowded.
At 3km, Karon is one of Phuket's longest beaches. Although there are a few large resorts and hotels, they are spread out and the area feels very relaxed. As in Patong, the hotels are separated from the beach by a road. However, unlike Patong, the beach is always fairly quiet. The beach itself is quite exposed, with little or no natural shade. The sand is so fine and powdery that it squeaks when you walk on it.
Karon Beach is the second largest of Phuket's tourist beaches, some 20 kilometers from Phuket old town. Large resort complexes line the road behind of the shoreline, but the long. The sand is very white, and squeaks audibly when walked upon. The southern point has a fine coral reef stretching toward Kata and Boo Island.
Fine accommodations, Restaurants, bars, tour companies and other non-hotel businesses are at the north end, near the traffic circle, and at the south end, on the little road connecting the back road with the beach road. The narrow road between Kata and Karon has a number of small businesses. Karon is arguably the most up-scale of Phuket's beaches. There is a regular daytime bus service to and from Phuket Town and different places in Phuket area.
Karon offers visitors a nice long quiet stretch of sand, with plenty of beach umbrellas available for rent. Facing west, it gives a beautiful view of the sunset.
Similarly, there are plenty of eating options. The resorts have some nice restaurants, there are steakhouses, there is seafood galore and also many small family restaurants for Thai food. If you want good, cheap local food get off the beach road and look along "Patak Road", where you can find where the locals eat.. yes, there are locals here - fishing folk mostly, and you still see fishermen at the beach, or longtails going out fishing. These days, many of the local families now run guesthouses or restaurants rather than relying on fishing for a living.
Karon Circle at the north end of the beach road features a large statue depicting local people involved in the four main traditional industries of Phuket - farming, rubber, fishing and tin mining. Tin made Phuket rich, fishing continues to be important (I suggest you check out the fishing port on the east side of Phuket town on the way to Koh Sirey) and many areas of Phuket are still covered with rubber plantations, including the hills above Karon - you can see some photos
Karon Beach is a nice place to stay. Developed, yes, but it has been done quite neatly, certainly if compared to Patong. Accommodation for everyone from luxury seekers to backpackers, and a great base for exploring Phuket. Lots of cars and bikes for rent enabling you to go and check out other beaches nearby (Kata, Naiharn, Rawai) or places like Kata Viewpoint (from where you can see Karon - see below), Phromthep Cape, Chalong Temple and much more!
Karon is concentrated around three main areas. In the Karon Plaza area on the south end there a number of budget guesthouses, restaurants and bars. The side sois are worth exploring, particularly the one that leads to a small art community, where some budding Thai painters have built a complex of huts, pubs and art galleries in which they live and work. Nearby, on the beach road leading to Kata, is the newly opened football stadium, which hosts both local and international sporting events. Houses, a range of nice handicraft shops, good restaurants and cafes, a few bars and a hotel modeled after the Sino-Portuguese architecture of Old Phuket. The nice, wide avenue is ideal for taking an evening stroll and doing some shopping.
Unlike Patong Beach, big-name restaurants and fast food chains have yet to arrive in Karon, but it is by no means lacking in dining options. The restaurants of the larger resorts offer gorgeous settings and fine food, while the streets are clogged with a range of seafood, Thai and Western restaurants. For a spectacular sunset view, drive just a few minutes' north of the beach and stop in at one of the cliff side restaurants up the hill.
Karon Beach is located 40 Kilometers from Phuket International Airport, 30 Kilometers away from Bangkok Hospital Phuket ; 3.2 kilometers away from Kalong Kotha; 4.9 kilometers away from 4029; 5 kilometers away from Ko Pu; 5.6 kilometers away from Mountain Track; Ocean Plaza Shopping Centre 3.4km, New Jatujak Market 9.6km, Lotus Tesco shopping mall10.7km, Robinsons Phuket City shopping mall 12.6km, Phuket Fruit Market 12.9km, Cheewa Thai craft Centre 15.4km, Native Handicraft Centre 15.6km, are places to shop (shopping mall, shop houses) located near Karon Beach.
British Curriculum International School, Phuket 13.7km, are places of learning (school, college, university) located near Karon Beach.
Kata Beach 5.2km, Ao Sane Beach 9.9km, Orchid Garden 12.1km, Ko Kala 18.3km, Khao Phra Thaeonational Park 20.3km, Nai Yang Beach 24.9km, Sirinat National Park 35.6km, are parks, playgrounds, open fields or commons located near Karon Beach.
Karon Beach Overview:
If coming from Phuket International Airport you can pick up a voucher from the airport transportation booth in side the airport, just in case if you have no transfer reservation with your destination hotel. The drive is just under an hour. Many hotels offer transport from airport or different area to the hotel.
Getting Around Karon Beach:
Probably the cheapest and most convenient way to get around is to rent a motorbike for yourself which is suitable for one or two people. These can be rented at various shops around the island, with one located a few hundred meters to the east of the traffic circle on Patak Road (East). Typical rates run 150(non-automatic) to 250 Baht for automatic shift models. This would allow you to get around anywhere on the island for one flat rate for 24 hours. Be careful with this though as driving up and down the winding mountain roads is not necessarily for the first time driver.
Another option to get around is by tuk-tuk or taxi, which are mostly needed to go to other parts of the beach or nearby towns. To get to Phuket Town taxis are available and cost around 500-700 baht. There are also public buses(Songthaews) which leave from Karon to different places every hour for around 20 baht.
Karon Beach - Patong Beach will cost you around 200-250 baht per tuk-tuk ride. From Patong - Karon Beach should be cheaper as there are a lot more tuk-tuk trying to pick up passengers.
KARON BEACH ACTIVITIES:
Karon Beach Money and Shopping:
Bars, tailors and clothing markets are plentiful at Karon, either in the main part of town or along the beach front. There are also a number of supermarkets, convenience stores, money exchange and pharmacies; there's not much you need to travel elsewhere for.
Karon is about an 45 min from the airport, 5 minutes from Patong or 10 minutes from Chalong Jetty. If you like a quiet beach, but some nightlife, Karon is ideal - you can head into Patong in the night - Karon has a few bars, but nothing serious. It does tend to be more of a family beach, and the accommodation reflects this. Most of the beach road is taken up with many resorts and hotels. But off the beach road there is a profusion of small hotels and guesthouses Guesthouse - many, many options and all just a few minutes from the beach. Just about any kind of room you want is here - from 590 Baht fan rooms to 5 star luxury.
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Eating / Drinking In Karon Beach:
Karon has a variety of restaurants to choose from including a surprising number catering to international tastes. Most restaurants are lined along the beach front road. In generally, restaurant open 09:00-Midnight, all day breakfasts. Pub has Live Music available, and a kind of families is welcome.
Near by destination to Karon Beach:
Transport relatively easy, local buses (rather large contraptions with wooden benches in back) run between Phuket and Karon/Kata Beaches. The fare is around 30 baht per person ( Fare is subject to change) . From Phuket Town, connections to buses to Bangkok or other destinations on the Thai Mainland are available, as are shuttles, taxis and/or minibuses to transport you from the city centre to Phuket Airport.
Alternately, you can go straight to the airport by Taxi, which would be more expensive (unless travelling in a sizable group) running about 700 baht.
Phuket Fanta Sea - Don't miss it!
Phuket FantaSea is a Vegas-style spectacular with a cultural theme set in a newly constructed theater at Kamala Beach, 20 minutes from Patong Beach. Illusions for this production range from flying scarves, to disappearing elephants and appearing tigers. You can buy the full package which includes the show (approx. 1,5 hour) and an excellent buffet dinner served in the biggest buffet dining room in the world (4,000 seats).
The biggest transvestite cabaret show on Phuket Island and one of the best in Thailand. Located on the way to Karon Beach (100/6-8 Muu 4), not so far away from Safari. There are entrance fee for Economy class, and for VIP seats. Shows at 19.30 hrs. and 21.30. hrs. www.phuket-simoncabaret.com/p>
Patong Gokart Racing
Paint ball and shooting
Phuket Shooting Range, where located on the way to Chalong bay.
Intelligent Elephants in Thailand are now enable to serve tourists. You will find trekking possibilities along the entire west coast of Phuket Island.
Many sites for good snorkeling on almost every beach on Phuket, but the best snorkeling is found on one of the islands surrounding Phuket Island. Coral Island and Phi Phi Island (pronounced Pee Pee) offers crystal clear warm waters.
Phuket is one of the world's top 10 spots for scuba diving. The most famous sites are out in the Andaman Sea, near Similan Islands.
Yacht charters in Phuket Big range of bareboats and crewed yachts available.
You can hire boats everywhere around the Island. It might be a so called long tail boat (old fishing boat) that can be chartered for the day or a couple of hours. There are also speed boats available along with cruise ships doing tours to Phang Nga bay and other exciting destinations.
Karon Art Community - the small community of emerging Thai artists have built a complex of huts, art galleries and pubs where they work and live. Buy original art work at good prices.
Karon Circle - located on the north end of Karon it has a commemorative sculpture of workers in the tin-mining and agricultural industries.
The Kata view pointThe Kata view point - wonderful panoramic views of Kata Noi, Kata Karon beaches as well as the Andaman sea. Also called Khao Sam Haad or Three Beach Hill.
Phang Nga Bay and James Bond Island - take a boat out to the island where the Bond movie, The Man with the Golden Gun was filmed.
Things to do in Phuket and near by
There are so a lot more activities on day time and night time to do in Karon and In Towns near by . you will take few minutes away, Staying in Karon is about the middle of everywhere that doesn't take much time to travel and not far away from a night life place like Patong.
Traditional Thai massage, Foot reflexology and Herbal sauna
Discos and Pubs
Most bars and pubs are located along or near Bangla Road and Soi Sunset. Gay venues are located near Royal Paradise Hotel in the area called Paradise Complex.
Banana Disco Beach Road, near Patong Beach Hotel
The islands biggest, partly outdoor, nigh club with 5 bars, restaurant, live music and a love garden.On the hilltop between Karon Beach.
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Dino Park Mini Golf at Karon Beach.
Butterfly Farm and Phuket Aquarium
Cape Panwa, Amphur Muang, Phuket.
A very small zoo located between Phuket Town and Chalong bay.
Sea Gypsy Village
Avoid the two gypsy villages on Phuket! The people living in these villages has lost their traditional way of living and are now living in something that easiest is described as zoo-like villages.
Gibbon Rehabilitation Project
This project is very much worth visiting. They are trying to rehabilitate gibbons (the smallest species of ape) kept in captivity. Their location is in the middle of the tropical jungle, close to Bang Pae Waterfall (marked on all Phuket maps). Worth supporting. Do that by adopting your own gibbon or give a donation.
At the stadium at the crossing of Bangla Road and Rath-U-Thit Road. There is also a stadium in Phuket Town. Buy your tickets from any travel agency in Patong.
There are shopping malls and local market spreads around in Phuket
Tours and Trips
A wide variety of day trips available. This is a selection of trips that you can consider being among the best.
Hang Nga Bay and James Bond Island - Don't miss it!
This is where the James Bond movie "The man with the golden gun" was filmed. Visit James Bond Island and watch the spectacular nature with impressive limestone cliffs and mangrove marsh, along with visiting a Muslim village during this trip.
Phi Phi Islands (actually pronounced Pee Pee)
The two islands are called "The paradise island" The islands are crowded during high season but their beauty makes them still worth visiting.
Similan Island Excellent diving site!
Coral Island Good snorkeling!
Koh Kai A small undeveloped island.
You all are always invited to experience to GO Karon !! , Phuket