Karon Beach is, at 5 km in length, the third longest in Phuket, with fine white sand that squeaks when you walk on it throughout its entire length. At the north end, in front of the lake, the beach is usually deserted, making it a great spot to go if you want the beach to yourself. The southern end, close to Kata, tends to be busier but, being such a huge beach, it isn't that hard to find a nice spot for yourself.
During the high season (November to April), there are very few waves and the water becomes crystal clear. In the Southwest monsoon season (May to October) there can be dangerous swells and riptides and, while there are lifeguards on station, it is best to take note of warning flags and be very careful.
Sea turtles are occasional nocturnal visitors, laying their eggs in the sand at night time. If you see any turtles or their tracks you should let your hotel know and they'll contact Phuket Marine Biological Centre who will incubate the eggs in safety.
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- Phi Phi Islands Tour with Express Boat
- James Bond Island Full-Day Tour via Big Boat
- Coral & Racha Islands Full-Day Tour
- Whitewater Rafting & 4-Wheel-Drive Adventure
- Sea Kayaking at Ang Thong Marine Park
- Flying Hanuman Ziplining Experience
- Canoeing Excursion in Phang Nga Bay with Thai Buffet Lunch
- Introduction to City Tour
- John Gray's Cave Canoeing Tour in Phang Nga Bay
Karon Beach Facilities
There aren't any public toilets along the length of Karon Beach, but many restaurants across the road from the beach will let you use their facilities, sometimes for a charge of a few baht. Wandering vendors roam the beach, mostly towards its southern end and in the area in front of Karon circle.
Visitors can easily purchase small umbrellas and beach mats at most of the local shops and supermarkets near the beach for prices ranging from 300 to 600 baht (according to their size).
Karon Beach Restaurants and Food
Apart from the long-established Ruen Thep Seafood and @Beach Restaurant in Beyond Karon Resort, there is no ‘right on the beach’ restaurant along Karon Beach. There is a good choice of Thai seafood restaurants immediately to the north of Karon circle - between the beach and Karon Lake - and a lot of dining options along the beach road between Karon and Kata centres.
These dining options include resort restaurants – Ciao Bistro at Thavorn Palm Beach Resort and El Gaucho at Moevenpick Resort & Spa, for instance – and stand alone quality restaurants including a good choice of popular venues serving Thai and international cuisine set in Aroona Plaza, a small soi off the beach road.
Watersports in Karon Beach
Jet ski and parasailing operators walk up and down the beach looking for customers. With fewer jet skis than Patong, there's more room to operate. Exercise caution and wear a lifejacket when participating in motorised watersports - some jet skis have 'no insurance' stickers on them and there have been many tales of accidents and scams.
Also popular are the banana boats, waterskiing and wakeboarding. Windsurfing is very popular on Karon Beach as it has some of the best conditions in Phuket and plenty of space in which to maneuver. Hobie cats and sea kayaks are also available.
Karon Beach is not so popular with surfers as it is very open to conditions. With constantly shifting sandbanks, it is not a reliable location and just about anywhere else is better. However, you can surf when there are small swells and no wind. Karon's shifting sandbanks mean swell from all directions. Winds are light and changeable and waves are up to 2 metres. (Read more about surfing)
Karon Beach Activities
Some good snorkeling can be found by the rocks at the south end of the beach. Equipment can be rented on the beach. Volleyball is popular when the sun begins to go down, with nets and courts available at roughly the mid-point.