Karon Beach is one of the longest on the west coast of Phuket. It is surrounded with luxury hotels and restaurants. The beach is clean and well kept, with lush vegetation along the shore.
The crisp quartz sand touched with a golden color looks like cane sugar. It is very pleasant to walk on but too hot in the midday sun. The water temperature throughout the year is over 20 °C which is and comfortable for swimming.
How to get to Karon Beach
By rented car or taxi you can get there from Phuket Airport less than in an hour. By rented bike or tuk-tuk the way takes a bit longer but much cheaper. Choose a vehicle according to your budget and preferences.
We marked the way from Phuket Airport to Karon Beach on the map:
Actually, there are two ways from Phuket Airport to Karon Beach: along the seashore and the main road to Phuket Town. The road along the west coast of Phuket is very picturesque, but you have to drive through all the popular places, including Patong Beach, so there is a chance to get stuck in a jam. In the peak season, this way takes at least half an hour longer than the other one.
The dry season and the rainy season
There are practically no waves on Karon Beach at the dry season (from November till April) which makes beach holiday quite comfortable. At this time the sea is calm and the water is crystal clear: you can enjoy snorkeling and scuba diving. The southern part of the beach, near the Beyond Resort Karon Hotel, suits for snorkeling best of all: there the sandy beach interrupts the rocky bottom of a small cape where bright tropical fishes live in great numbers.
At the rainy season (from May till October) waves are quite high, and the powerful undercurrent becomes dangerous for swimming. This is a period when the signs warning of the sea dangers appear on the beach. No matter how good you can swim, do not ignore the warnings and do not swim far. Every year the sea takes away someone`s life, and it is sad.
Karon Beach facilities
The beach showers are paid and not very good. But there are lots of nice attractions: parasailing, jet skiing and exotic animals to take photo with. The beach is not crowded and quite comfortable. Due to its impressive size there is always areas to stay in privacy. A walk by the beach took us 30 minutes each way.
From Karon Beach you can see Big Buddha Temple, one of the main attractions of Phuket, it is on the Nakaked mountain in the southern part of the island. It is a great place to see the island from a bird's-eye view. We recommend you to visit it!
There are plenty of cafes, restaurants, bars, massage parlors and souvenir shops along the road near the beach. The popular 7-Eleven store is closer to the northern part of the beach, we went there occasionally for food and juices. There you can buy a tourist SIM-card for calls and the Internet access.
There is a small promontory between the Karon and Kata beaches with the Karon Beach gorgeous view restaurant called On The Rock. They serve there great Thai food, fresh seafood and fresh juices of local tropical fruit. It was nice to walk through the nearby tropical gardens sheltering from the hot midday sun after delicious lunch.
Karon Beach Hotels
Almost all the hotels are placed across the street from the beach. There are hotels and apartments meeting any tourist’s tastes: the modest budget rooms to the luxury hotels the most famous of which are:
- Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort & Spa
- Le Meridien Phuket Beach Resort
- Mövenpick Villas & Spa Karon Beach Phuket
In the southern part of Karon Beach there is a small cove where Beyond Resort Karon Hotel is located, and we stayed there. It was the only hotel on the beach with direct access to the sea and a beautiful view of it:
That was, in our opinion, the safest and most enjoyable access to water, there were practically no waves and just a few people. We spent mornings on the hotel beach, swam in the clear blue sea. It was good to swim a little farther to the coral reef where we were greeted by pods of incredibly cute fishes of various colors and sizes.
The ebb started at the dinner time, we climbed the rocks to lie in the sun. On our way we ever and again saw poor fishes in isolated puddles, they failed to swim away with the outgoing water. The water was leaving quickly. We tried to save some fishes, collected them into our mask and brought back to the sea. Of course, not all were saved; a lot went for crabs’ and birds’ lunch.
It's nice that are no nightspots on the beach, and all night pleasure seekers moved across the street. At night tourists left the beach and it became incredibly quiet. In the evening we took two bottles of beer, some snacks and went to the beach to listen to the wash, to fed crabs with dried fish and tried to make friends with them. Only once we saw over the sea stormy clouds in the distance which let out lightning into the lead waves.
Karon Beach pros and cons
- The beach is not overcrowded and comfortable
- Great length
- Clean and clear water
- Hotels and cafes meet any taste and budget
- A good place for snorkeling
- There are undercurrents and big waves at the rainy season
- Sometimes there can be jellyfishes