Karon Beach

Considered one of the finest beaches in the world, Karon Beach is a popular holiday destination for couples and families. At three kilometers long, it is the second longest uninterrupted stretch of sand on Phuket Island. The wide, uncrowded swath of crystalline sand has very little natural shade. It is an ideal location for relaxing on the beach during the day and romantic strolls set against the scenic backdrop of a colorful Andaman Sea sunset in the evening. Unlike beaches with gritty sand that crunches underfoot, the fine powdery sand is so soft that it squeaks when you step on it. The northern third of the beach is flanked by Nong Harn Lake, a beachside park that features jogging, cycling and exercise paths. There is also a beachside pedestrian and bike path. Just offshore in the warm translucent water are some of the island’s best snorkeling and diving locations. The coral reef at the southern end of the beach stretches toward Kata and Bu Island. Guests also enjoy surfing, sea canoeing, and inland treks atop elephants as well as boat tours to James Bond Island, the filming location for the movie “The Man with the Golden Gun.”

Situated away from the beach, shops, restaurants and hotels are concentrated near the north end traffic circle and Karon Plaza at the southern end of the beach. These locations enhance Karon’s quiet atmosphere of the community. The circle is the setting for a large statue depicting figures farming and fishing as well as rubber and tin mining, the four main industries on Phuket. In addition to accommodations for no frills backpackers, there are lavish resorts for discerning travelers and everything in between. Karon Centre is a lively, small city featuring shopping, dining and exciting nightlife. In addition to the beautiful Wat Suwan Khiri Khet Buddhist temple and its weekly market, there is the 6,000-square meter Karon Bazaar shopping center. Karon Plaza is home to an up-and-coming Thai arts community with studios, galleries and handicraft shops dispersed throughout the area. Dining options range from stalls serving traditional street food to upscale restaurants featuring international cuisines. When the colors of the spectacular sunset fade, the bars, pubs and live entertainment venues spring to life. With all that Karon Beach has to offer, it remains a hidden jewel on the western shore of Phuket.

Photo: