Karon Beach features the third-longest beach on Phuket Island. Located on the west coast, between Patong to the north and Kata to the south, Karon Beach is the one of the most popular vacation destinations in Phuket. The beach itself has excellent snorkeling and diving spots at its southern end and is wide enough for beach goers to never feel crowded. There are three main areas in Karon that need to be visited. Karon Center, which is a lively small city in which visitors can find a good choice of dining, shopping and nightlife entertainment, as well as a beautiful Buddhist temple hosting a bi-weekly market. Karon Beach Road, which is ideal for evening strolls and is home to several large resorts, as well as restaurants and shops (including the popular Karon Bazaar). The third is centered around Luang Poh Chuan Road, towards the southern end of the beach, which hosts excellent restaurants and the more rowdy nightlife spot of the resort town.
The world famous beach Kata Noi Beach is in Karon. Kata Noi Beach, Karon Thailand is listed as one of the top 20 beaches in the world. Here you can find information on all of the 20 most beautiful beaches of the world. Read our Karon Thailand Travel guide to start planning your vacation to this wonderful beach destination.
Getting to Karon
If coming from Phuket Airport you can pick up a voucher from the airport transportation booth for a flat rate of 750 baht. The drive is just under an hour. Many hotels offer transport from airport to the hotel for 1000 baht. You can also take metered (yellow) taxis which will cost about 650 baht. Fares to other destinations in Phuket cost around 300 baht and up. The rate is what is displayed by the meter plus 100 baht airport fee. The meter will start with a 50 baht display. For those who are price conscious, the transportation booth inside the airport also sells seats on a minibus for 200 baht. The minibus makes several stops along the way to drop off other passengers. For those who want to save even more, take a near-hourly airport bus to Phuket Town for 100 baht. From there, go to the downtown market and catch a public bus (Ssongthaews) to Karon for about 35 baht.
Transport back to Phuket Town is relatively easy, local buses (rather large contraptions with wooden benches in back) run between Phuket and Karon/Kata. The fare is 40 baht per person. 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 center to Phuket Airport. You can also go straight to the airport by Taxi, which will cost you about 1000 baht.
Getting Around Karon
The cheapest and most convenient way to get around is to rent a motorbike. These can be rented at various shops around the island. Typical rates run 150 to 200 Baht. 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. Insurance coverage is not available for motorcycles. You must pay for any damages to the motorbike. Another option to get around is by tuk-tuk or taxi. There are also public buses (Songthaews) which leave from Karon to different places every hour for around 20 baht.
Weather (When to Go)
Average temperatures in Karon vary barely at all. Considering humidity, temperatures feel hot all year with a chance of rain throughout most of the year. If dry weather is what you’re after, the months with the lowest chance of significant precipitation in Karon are December – February. Karon has some very humid months, and above average humidity throughout the year. The least humid month is February (61.6% relative humidity), and the most humid month is October (76.6%). The busiest month for tourism in Karon is January, and then the summer months of July – August. Prices for hotels and flights will be most expensive during these months, though you can save if you purchase well in advance. Tourists are unlikely to visit Karon in May. Those willing to visit at these times will likely find it the least expensive month.
Kata Noi Beach
Kata Noi Beach is a beautiful little bay along Phuket’s west coast, and one of the best beaches on the island. Located just south of the main Kata Beach, it has lovely soft sand and stunning scenery. It is home to some of Phuket’s most luxurious resorts and restaurants. On the hillside road behind the beach, you’ll find some of the best sunset bars available, with stunning views over the sand and out to the horizon, which you can enjoy with a tasty dinner and a refreshing drink.
Phuket Big Buddha
High atop the Nakkerd Hills, northwest of Chalong circle, and visible from half the island, the Big Buddha sits grandly on Phuket’s finest viewpoint. It’s a bit touristy, but tinkling bells and flapping flags mean there’s an energetic pulse. Pay your respects at the tented golden shrine, then step up to the glorious plateau, where you can peer into Kata’s perfect bay, glimpse the shimmering Karon strand and, to the southeast, survey the pebble-sized channel islands of Chalong Bay.
If you want to see the luscious Andaman Sea bend around Phuket, then come here, to the island’s southernmost point. The cape is crowned by a mod lighthouse shaped like a concrete crab, and an evocative elephant shrine, so you’ll want to stay a while. At sunset the hordes descend in luxury buses; if you want privacy, take the fisherman’s trail downhill to the rocky peninsula that reaches into the ocean and watch the sun drop in peace.
Bangla Road is the notorious heart of all Phuket Nightlife, and the battle for night supremacy is raging between Beer Bars, Live Music, Night Clubs and of course: Go Go Bars! Over the years, the center of interest has been moving up and down Bangla road depending on seasons and popularity but the ever changing face of Patong nightlife is definitely worth a look. Of course, wherever you go in Bangla, friendly girls will call you with a big smile and encourage you to have a drink and play few silly bar games, everyone is welcome.
Patong Beach is the heart of Phuket and what makes it so popular to some is often what other people hate most about it. Patong is big, bold, crowded, bright and loud, yet millions people flock there every year like flies on honey. If Bangkok is the Big Mango, then Patong is the Big Durian: you’ll love Patong… or you’ll hate it! The original success and popularity of Patong beach rotates around two things: its amazing beach, and its worry-free wild nightlife. Of course you have great shopping, dining, and foot massages.
Things to Do
Tiger Marine Charter
Beach Parties, Private beach , Big Yacht for up to 50 people, Beach activities include Cricket , football, volleyball, badminton , Frisbies , table tennis , kayaks , water jacuzzis , water slides , and kids camps for outings , BBQs on the beach , tables and chairs and crisp white table cloth. FUN for all ages !!! For more information call 66 (0)81 893 9742, or visit them on the web at Tiger Marine Charter.
Searunner Speedboat Phuket
Taylor made speedboat excursions in Phuket! Rent your private speed boat charters from Phuket Island. Discover Phuket and the Andaman Sea, Phi-Phi Islands, Ao Phang-Nga Marine National Park and Racha Islands on our fast, modern, spacious and comfortable speedboat. Enjoy Phuket excursions with your family or friends or a romantic getaway. For more information call 66 (0)84 849 6509, or visit them on the web at Searunner Speedboat Phuket.
Sea Bees Diving
Welcome to the world of Sea Bees Diving. With more than 23 years of experience, their dive centers in Phuket, Khao Lak, and Pak Meng welcome divers and snorkelers, beginner or experienced, to make the most of the world-renowned dive sites of Southern Thailand on either day trips or live a boards. Join them on their state-of-the-art fleet for fun, relaxation, small dive groups and personalized service. Adventure in good hands! For more information call 66 (0)76 381 765, or visit them on the web at Sea Bees Diving.
Latitude Diving Boat Phuket
They run their boat, MV LATITUDE, for dray trips from Phuket to Racha Yai island. All passengers, divers and non divers, can enjoy many water activities on board (transparent bottom Kayaks, water slide, stand-up paddle, snorkeling) making it a very good day trip for families. Free wifi. Air-conditioned lounge. 2 sundecks. Your day includes, insurance, pick up and drop of at and to your hotel (free for Patong, Kata, Karon, Rawai, Kamala and Chalong areas), breakfast, Thai buffet lunch and snack, fresh fruits, water, tea and coffee. For more information call 66 (0)86 951 6951, or visit them on the web at Latitude Diving Boat Phuket.
Dolphins Bay Phuket
Swimming with dolphins for many of us – is a dream. In Phuket dolphinarium «Nemo» you dream will come true. Their amazing dolphins will help you to find yourself in the world of new sensations. Diving with dolphins – it is double pleasure: exciting diving with a full set of professional equipment + communication with dolphins! For more information call 66 (0)99 313 7666, or visit them on the web at Dolphins Bay Phuket.
Best Rated Restaurants
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$$ – $$$ EAT Bar & Grill
EAT Bar and Grill Phuket is a great option for enjoying some Western-style grill dining. You’ll find a varied menu of meaty favorites, an expansive selection of drinks, and reasonable prices. There’s also excellent service to each and every guest. The Swedish chef combines high-quality imported cuts with fresh local ingredients, putting as much effort into the presentation as the taste. The professional team members are well versed about the various imported meats, and are able to provide quality recommendations. For more information call 66 (0)85 292 5652, or visit them on the web at Eat Bar & Grill.
$$ – $$$ On The Rock
This restaurant is at the end of a rocky promontory in the grounds of the incredibly verdant Marina Phuket Resort right by the sea. Sounds romantic? It is. With good service and a predominantly seafood menu, as well as a broad wine list, On the Rock is an attractive alternative to, well just about anywhere in Kata or Karon. Some dishes, such as the clay pots with seafood in them, are well worth trying out. Reserve a table ahead of time and try for a table for sunset as the colors here are wonderful. For more information call 66 (0)76 33 0625, or visit them on the web at On The Rock.
2gether Restaurant & Bar is one of the most popular diners in Karon Beach on Phuket Island’s west coast. Established in 2005 and under Swedish management, the restaurant has been rewarded by TripAdvisor as the ‘Best Karon Beach restaurant in 2012 and 2013’. The menu is in Swedish and English, and presents a perfect selection for international travelers, with choice dishes from Sweden (the obvious meatballs), Italy (pizza, pasta), French (Chateaubriand Provençal), Australian (beef), and of course Thai choices. For more information call 66 (0)90 280 2239, or visit them on the web at 2Gether.
$$ – $$$ Coast Beach Club
With its breathtaking seafront views, Coast Beach Club at Centara Grand Beach Resort offers a laid back barefoot vibe, featuring a cocktail bar, bar restaurant and the opportunity to host unique private events. Sample some delicious tapas, pizzas and a varied selection of international and local cheeses accentuated by the perfect glass of wine or cocktail. Coast Beach Club is the perfect place to spend a hot Phuket day or delight in the cool breeze of the Andaman Sea as you watch the sun go down across the bay. For more information call 66 (0)76 201 234, or visit them on the web at Coast Beach Club.
$$ – $$$ Ging Restaurant
A very popular Thai restaurant amongst visitors staying around Soi Old Phuket Resort area, Ging keeps things simple and delivers good Thai food with all the old favourites on the menu. An outstanding positive point of this simply designed restaurant is its service: Friendly, warm, and with lots of initiative, the wait staff and management at Ging go the extra mile. Fan-cooled, Ging is open sided with tiled interiors and a décor that won’t exactly remind diners of a five-star, award-winning, world-class restaurant but the important thing is that the food is reasonably priced with generous portions and the service remarkable. For more information call 66 (0)62 592 2361, or visit them on the web at Ging Restaurant.
Coast Beach Club
With its breathtaking seafront views, COAST Beach Club at Centara Grand Beach Resort offers a laidback barefoot vibe, featuring a cocktail bar, bar restaurant and the opportunity to host unique private events. Sample some delicious tapas, pizzas and a varied selection of international and local cheeses accentuated by the perfect glass of wine or cocktail. Plus, enjoy menu items such as the Blue Swimmer Crab and the Three COAST Sliders. Choose to lounge in either the indoor or outdoor section of the club, offering comfortable sofas, the restaurant or simply at the bar. Live music and DJ sets also fill the club on selected evenings. For more information call 66 (0)76 201 234, or visit them on the web at Coast Beach Club.
This Irish pub is one of its kind in Karon – serving international ales, bottled beer and all-day quality and value-for-money pub food, there are no over-flattering girls telling you how handsome you are, and there’s no ear-splitting music but expect plenty of sports on the huge screens and a genuine pub feel to the place along with an international feel to the place. There is also occasional live music and when there is, it’s the place to be in the area as the place rocks. For more information call 66 (0)93 696 1718, or visit them on the web at Angus O’Tool’s.
Karon Aussie Bar
The Karon Aussie Bar, is a popular Aussie sports bar, that is located just over 300 metres from Karon Beach and Traffic Circle. They have a house band called Cold Chilli that plays on stage a wide range of music to suite all tastes. After the band, later at night there is a DJ that plays top dance music. Sports shown include Formula F1, football, rugby, golf, cricket and tennis, shown live. The Karon Aussie Bar has a free to use pool table. It is a fun and friendly place to have a drink at and is not a girlie bar so hassle free. For more information visit them on the web at Karon Aussie Bar.
Walkabout Sports Bar
The Walkabout Sports Bar is a friendly & lively family orientated bar showing the maximum amount of weekly sports we can on our 9 Screens which includes an 80 inch main screen. With as good selection of bottled drinks and Aussie draft beer on tap, they try to cater for all our customers needs. They provide free 6MB Wi-Fi to their customers; just ask the staff for the current password. Try Walkabout Pizzas on a Wednesday and Saturday Nights. So go on a Walk About to Walkabout Sports Bar and enjoy good music, Cold Beer and Live Sports! For more information visit them on the web at Walkabout Sports Bar.
Roadhouse Grill & Bar
The Roadhouse Phuket offers live Blues and Rock 3 nights a week, normally on Sunday, Monday and Friday nights, by a Thai band called “Moody Blues”. It has a sit up bar section, a dining section with tables and chairs, a stage and a small dance floor. The Roadhouse is Aussie owned and provides warm, friendly hospitality and large flat screen TV’s showing the latest international sports events, plus has a free to use pool table. For more information visit them on the web at Roadhouse Grill & Bar.
Best Hotels (Top Customer Choices)
BYD Lofts Boutique Hotel – Patong Beach
Just a 5-minute walk from Patong Beach, BYD Lofts offers stylish serviced apartments surrounded by shopping and nightlife options. It features a rooftop pool and free Wi-Fi in the entire property. Well-furnished, modern apartments at Hotel BYD Lofts feature a separate living area with a 46-inch flat-screen TV, iPod docking station and DVD player. Extras include home theater system, Blu-ray DVD player and internet TV. For convenience, the European kitchen is equipped with cutlery, crockery and pans. An espresso coffee machine is also available in the room. Guests can relax with the massage treatments provided or take a dip in the outdoor rooftop swimming pool. A tour desk provides information on local attractions and car rental service. Enjoy hot meals at Restaurant Bistro and Bar@BYD Lofts. Alternatively, an extensive selection of wines, cold cuts and cheese are available at Wine Connection Deli Shop. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room, visit BYD Lofts Boutique Hotel.
The Chava Resort – Surin Beach
This property is 3 minutes walk from the beach. The Chava Resort is a 2-minute walk from Phuket’s Surin Beach. It offers 5-star service apartments with full kitchen facilities, a dining area and free WiFi. An outdoor pool and restaurant are available. The spacious apartments at The Chava Resort feature modern décor and private balconies. The lounge area is equipped with a flat-screen TV, DVD player and a iPod dock. Bathtubs are included in the private bathroom. Guests can lounge by the 100 feet swimming pool or book a day trip at the tour desk. Chava also provides laundry services and currency exchange. The Chava Bar & Restaurant overlooks the pool and serves authentic Thai dishes, Western delights and refreshing cocktails. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room, visit The Chava Resort.
Trisara – Nai Thon Beach
Set on a private bay, the award-winning Trisara boasts a luxurious spa and free round-trip airport transportation. Its spacious rooms feature private pools and sweeping views of the sea. The elegant rooms at Trisara come with modern décor, a separate living area and outdoor deck. Each well-equipped room is equipped with a flat-screen TV and DVD player. The resort has a wide range of facilities that include a fitness center and tennis court. Guests can also enjoy windsurfing, snorkeling and diving activities. Shaded by tall coconut palm trees, the outdoor dining area offers local, Western and seafood dishes. Trisara Grill serves grilled seafood while light snacks and refreshing beverages can be enjoyed at the Bar. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room, visit Trisara.
Andara Resort Villas – Kamala Beach
This property is 3 minutes walk from the beach. Located on Phuket’s West Coast overlooking Kamala Bay, Andara Resort Villas offers luxurious accommodation with views of the Andaman Sea. The resort features a spa and an outdoor pool. Andara Resort Villas provides villas and suites with free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs and spacious living and dining areas. Each villa features a pavilion for outdoor dining and a private chef. Guests can enjoy a relaxing massage and various treatments at the Andara Spa or workout at the fitness centre. The resort provides a free shuttle service to the Kamala Beach. Traditional Thai and international cuisines are served at the Andara’s Silk Restaurant, which offers indoor and outdoor dining. Drinks including cocktails are served at the bar. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room, visit Andara Resort Villas.
Impiana Private Villas – Kata Noi Beach
This property is 3 minutes walk from the beach. Impiana’s luxurious villas offer a private pool, personal butler service, and beautiful views of the Andaman Sea. The resort features a gym, spa facilities, free Wi-fi and free parking. Impiana’s villas are stylish and have a flat-screen TV with DVD player, iPod docking station and Hi-Fi. They also come with a fully stocked mini bar, espresso coffee maker and safe. Located on Phuket’s quiet Kata Noi Beach, guests can enjoy a sea cruise on a luxurious yacht or relax at the spa with a massage. The Living Room offers outdoor dining and live music entertainment. It offers a blend of Asian and western food. Impiana Private Villas also has a wine cellar and a cigar bar. Impiana Private Villas offers a shuttle service to Patong Beach, a 10-minute drive away and Phuket Town, a 30-minute drive away. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room, visit Impiana Private Villas.