Karon Beach (หาดกะรน Hat Karon) is on the west coast of Phuket, south of Patong and north of Kata.
Karon is the second largest of Phuket’s tourist beaches at 3 km length, some 20 kilometres from town, and is pronounced “Garon”. Not many hotels have direct beach frontage – most are across the road (which is not a busy one). Therefore practically the entire beach is public. Large resort complexes line the opposite side of the road from the shoreline, but the long, broad beach itself has no development. The sand is very white, and squeaks audibly when walked upon. The southern point has a fine coral reef stretching toward Kata and Bu Island. Also, there is a wide pedestrian / bicycle path on the beachside of the road running the length of the beach.
Most Restaurants, bars, tour companies and other non-hotel businesses are at the north central end, near the traffic circle, or near the south end, on Bangla road connecting the back road with the beach road. Nightlife is pretty much confined to dining and a few beer bars.
The northern third of Karon Beach is essentially undeveloped and flanked by Nong Harn Lake which is the largest beach side park in Phuket offering a nice exercise/jogging/cycling path. North Karon also offers white beach and clear water with no crowds. Karon is arguably the most up-scale of Phuket’s beaches.
At the south end of Karon a narrow road between Kata and Karon has a number of small businesses as well as the Dino Park Mini Golf facility. There is a regular daytime bus service to and from Phuket Town.
Unlike the bigger, busier, and noisier Patong further north, 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.
At the roundabout at the northern end there is a Tin Miner’s statue that is rather large and worth a quick look.
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 and pharmacies; there’s not much you need to travel elsewhere for.
Karon has a variety of restaurants to choose from including a surprising number catering to Scandinavian tastes. Most restaurants are lined along the beach front road.