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.
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 - cheaper than from inside at c. 650 baht. Turn right as you exit the airport building (ignore the touts) and you'll see a stand at the end of the walkway. You tell your destination to the staff at the stand and they will give you a paper with the taxi driver number for you to keep in case you need to report a problem. 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. You may stumble upon a freelance taxi driver that will take you from the Airport to Patong for the flat fee of 400 baht. If the driver is pleasant, you may wish to ask for his mobile number for the return trip later. The same driver can take you from Patong to Phuket Town for 350 to 400 baht.
For those who are price conscious, the transportation booth inside the airport also sells seats on a minibus for 200 baht (Apr 2015). 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 (see Phuket Town "Airport" listing for actual times) airport bus to Phuket Town (100 baht as of 2015, 1 hour). From there, go to the downtown market (around 1-2 km away, but motorbike taxis will offer prices around 40 baht), then wait for a songthaew to Karon beach. Cost is about B35 each way.
Probably the cheapest and most convenient way to get around is to rent a motorbike for yourself which is suitable for one or two people. These can be rented at various shops around the island, with one located a few hundred meters to the east of the traffic circle on Patak Road (East). Typical rates run 150(non-automatic) to 200 Baht for automatic shift models. 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. Although all sizes of motorcycles are readily available for rental at reasonable pries, it is not always advisable to do so. Insurance coverage is not available for motorcycles. You must pay for any damages along with any medical bills. If you do choose to rent a motorcycle, please drive carefully. Last year in Phuket alone there were more than 10,000 injuries sustained in motorcycle accidents, with 179 people killed.
Another option to get around is by tuk-tuk or taxi, which are mostly needed to go to other parts of the beach or nearby towns. To get to Phuket Town taxis are available and cost around 400 baht. There are also public buses(Songthaews) which leave from Karon to different places every hour for around 20 baht.
Karon - Patong will cost you 300 baht per tuk-tuk ride - though if you keep moving through the drivers you will eventually find one for 250. (The local tuk tuk mafia seem to have stitched up the prices.) From Patong - Karon Beach should be cheaper as there are a lot more tuk-tuk trying to pick up passengers.
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
- Big Buddha: White Marble Buddha statue on the top of Naka Kerd Mountain. Birds eye view over Phuket east coast.
- Dinos Park Mini Golf (ไดโนปาร์คมินิกอล์ฟ) Dinos Park Mini Golf is located beside the Marina Phuket Resort, Hat Karon. This 18-hole mini-golf course in a primitive atmosphere uses the light and sound techniques to feature dinosaurs and an erupting volcano. It is open daily from 10.00 a.m. – 12.00 p.m. Admission is 120 Baht. Green fees are 240 Baht for adults and 180 Baht for children. Tel. 0 7633 0625, Fax: 0 7633 0516.
- There are some nice snorkeling and diving sites located off Karon beach. Always seek local information before diving and snorkeling in Phuket. There can be dangerous currents present at certain times of the year. Sunrise Divers are based at Karon Beach.
- Sunrise Divers PADI 5 Star Dive Resort, Karon Beach (Tel: 076 398 040) 
- Mantra Herbal Steam Sauna and Spa Located at Pacific Club Resort, Herbal Sauna in garden atmosphere open 16:00 - 23:00 only 100 baht/person, spa treaments and massage available. Karon Beach (Tel: 076 398 350) 
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.
- Angus O'Tool's International Menu ~ All Day Breakfast, Big Juicy Steaks, Sunday Roasts Open 10:00AM-Midnight, Karon Beach (Tel: 076 398 262) 
- Karon Cafe Steak N Ribs, 526/17 Patak Road, Established in 1989, the oldest foreign owned restaurant in Karon Beach 
- Las Margaritas Mexican Tropical Cuisine, 528/7 Patak Road 
- "The Dining Room" located at Pacific Club Resort 16 Patak Road Soi 24 
- Harry's Restaurant & Pub, 15/5 Luangpohchuan Road (opposite Phuket Orchid Resort) +66 7639-8258 
- Sawasdee Thai cuisine 38 Katekwan Rd, Karon Beach (Tel: 0 76330979) 
- Angus O'Tool's Irish Pub, (opposite Centara Karon Resort), ☎ +66 (0)76 39 82 62, . 10:00-Drunk. Restaurant open 10:00-Midnight, all day breakfasts. Pub has Live Music & Sports on two big screens, and families are welcome. Draught Guinness, Kilkenny, Magners & Heineken. Free Internet & Wifi. Also has air-con rooms from 600 baht. edit
- Angus O'Tool's,  Clean , Cool, Comfortable & Secure, two minutes walk to Karon Beach, Free Tea, Coffee & Water. Hot & Cold Power Showers, DVD/CD/MP3 Player. Free Wi-Fi & Internet From 600 Baht/Room/Night.
- Karon Cafe' Inn,  Serving budget travelers since 1989, now with free WiFi, located only two minutes walk from Karon Beach in the center of Karon Village. Good clean fully equipped rooms at rock bottom prices. Fine budget accommodation only 2 minutes walk from Karon Beach
- Divers Inn, , is a friendly, cosy little hotel located centrally at Karon Beach, Phuket, Thailand. The hotel is on a quiet street only a few minutes walking distance to the beach, shopping, restaurants and nightlife. You have the choice of sea view or mountain view. A find for Budget travellers.
- Pang & Pum questhouse is a very friendly place for people on a tight budget. It is located exact opposite of Karon View Resort. Room rates are about 10$ per night depending if your visiting in a tourist season. They have about 10 rooms in different sizes.
- Jor Guest House (จอ เกสต์เฮาส์) 102/11 Mu 3 Patak Road (Tel: 0 7639 6546, 0 7628 6256), 9 rooms: 300-500 baht
- Legends Guest House 516/6 Patak Road Karon Beach. it is a hostel but you have your own room with AC, TV, free tea,coffee water, and private bathroom. Only a few minutes from the beach, with plenty of bars close by. It is almost staying at a hotel.
- Greenisland Guesthouse. Clean, central, friendly & cheap.
- Honey Resort, 100/69 Kata Rd, Muang, ☎ +66 (0) 76 330 938-9, . Deluxe Rooms with pool access, Air-conditioning, Cable TV and Mini-bar. Facilities and services are Swimming pool, Restaurant and High-speed Internet access From THB 800.00. edit
- Lae Lay Suites, 214/18 Patak Road, Karon Beach, A. Muang, ☎ +66 (0)76-284 635-6, . All rooms are equipped with personal digital safety box, air condition, wireless internet, satellite television, IDD phone, refrigerator with mini bar and private balcony. Some of its facilities and services are outdoor swimming pool, restaurant, pool bar, garden, car parking area, room service, laundry service, car rental and taxi service. Rates start at 699.00 THB. edit
- Ban Karon Hill Phuket (บ้านกะรน น้อย) 8/3 Mu 1, Patak Road (Tel: 0 7628 6233 Fax: 0 7628 6209) 19 rooms: 1,800 baht
- Paradise Inn Phuket Modern economical accommodation, 2 minutes walk from Karon Beach. Free WiFi. Low rates, nice rooms - with friendly service in a laid back atmosphere. Book with the owner --> 
- Baan Karon Resort (บ้านกะรน รีสอร์ท) 213 Patak Road (Tel: 0 7628 6215-8 ) 45 rooms: 800-1,900 baht
- Baan Karonburi Resort (บ้านกะรนบุรี รีสอร์ท) 194/1 Karon Road (Tel: 0 7628 6481-2, 0 7639 6778-9 ), 48 rooms: 1,800-4,500 baht
- Centara Villa Phuket (เซ็นทารา วิลล่า ภูเก็ต) 701 Patak Road (Tel: 0 7639 8195 Fax: 0 7628 6276 ), 72 Villas: 2,200-7,180 baht
- Karon Living Room . Very clean and friendly hotel with new room furnishing and a\c rooms, friendly service, about 10 minutes walk from the beach. From 1400 (when booked locally).
- Karon Butterfly, ☎ +66 0 76 32 31 28 (email@example.com), . Modern 1 & 2 bedroom apartments decorated with a blend of Thai and Italian design. Fully-equipped kitchen and separate living room. Pool area with separate Jacuzzi. Beach, restaurants and shopping all nearby. edit
- Sunset Plaza, ☎ +66 0 76 32 31 28 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Modern 1 - 4 bedroom apartments with elevated views of Karon Beach. All apartments have fully-equipped kitchens, cable TV and high speed internet access. Some apartments have roof terraces with Jacuzzi. Infinity pool and lounge area. Drinks, light meals and snacks are served here throughout the day. edit
- Access Resort & Spa (แอกเซส รีสอร์ท แอนด์ สปา) 459/2 Patak Road (Tel: 0 7639 8489 . 129 Deluxe Pool rooms,3 Deluxe Family rooms, 8 Pool Villas Suites rooms: 4,500-15,000 baht
- Pacific Club Resort, Voted #1 Resort in Karon Beach on TripAdvisor six years running, Peaceful quiet location with spectacular views, only ten minutes walk from Karon Beach, +66-(0)76-398-350, more info and book instantly on the owner's website just click here --> . May-Oct 1,500 baht up and Nov-Apr 2,500 baht up with FREE WiFi.
- Andaman Seaview Hotel (อันดามัน ซีวิว) 127/35 Patak Road, Tel: 0 7639 8111, 0 7639 8156-69 Bangkok Tel: 0 2719 9911-2 . 161 rooms: 5,900-8,800 baht
- Centara Karon Resort,  - formerly the Central Resort. Modern mid-rise 316 room resort with panoramic views. From 3000 baht.
- Hilton Phuket Arcadia, , large hotel complex located on the main Patak Road and popular with Asian tourists. The hotel has a Caffe Cino, similar to the one in Hilton's Petaling Jaya hotel (Malaysia). From 3400 baht.
- Karon Hill Phuket,  346 Patak Road (Tel: (0)76 396138, +66(0) 83 173 9696), 200 meters from Karon Beach in an exotic garden with spectacular sea views and modern design. From 2800 to 5100 baht
- Le Meridian Phuket (เลอเมอริเดียน ภูเก็ต บีช รีสอร์ท) 8/5 Tambon Karon Noi (Tel: 0 7634 0480-5 Fax: 0 7634 0479, Bangkok Tel: 0 2256 0767-8 Fax: 0 2256 0766 . 470 rooms: US$ 290-1,250
- Mövenpick Resort and Spa, , is a Swiss-run resort located in the center of Karon town and is just across the road from the beach. From 3600 baht.
- Ramada Resort Karon Beach  - formerly the Felix Karon. A short drive from the main town, especially designed for kids and young families featuring the first and only magic castle of Phuket, the longest waterslide and the most diversified Kidsclub under the umbrella of the Siam Adventure Club. From US$48.
- Thavorn Palm Beach, , is next-door to the Hilton Arcadia and is distinctly more traditional as compared with its more modernistic-design neighbor. Features 209 contemporary Thai-style furnished rooms in 3 interconnecting low-rise buildings, and five swimming pools in exotic landscaped gardens.
- Woraburi Phuket Resort & Spa .
- Horizon Karon Beach Hotel , Soi 2, Karon District, Phuket. Tel :+66(0)76 284 555, Features 90 rooms in 3 & 4 storey buildings. The resort is surrounded by nature and is spread over 16,000 square meters. Also, its elevated position ensures great views and privacy.
- Phunawa Resort & Spa , 16/1 Patak Road Soi 24, Amphur Muang, Phuket 83110 . Tel :+66 76 363 000,Phunawa karon beach resort & spa is nestled in a picturesque environment of lavish greenery and a huge pool area overlooking the magnificent Karon Beach in Phuket Thailand.
Beware of rip tides at the beach, especially during the summer rainy season — they killed 10 people in 2009 alone.
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 30 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 centre to Phuket Airport.
Alternately, you can go straight to the airport by Taxi, which would be more expensive (unless travelling in a sizable group) running about 1000 (if lucky 900) baht. Phone number for the Phuket International Airport Taxi is 086-478-1234.
|This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!