Karon Beach (Phuket)

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 holiday destinations in Phuket. The beach itself has excellent snorkelling (and even diving) spots at its southern end and is wide enough for beachgoers to never feel crowded. Karon features three main areas, each with their own assets: Karon Centre 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 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 main area of Karon is centred around Luang Poh Chuan Road, towards the southern end of the beach, which hosts excellent restaurants and the more raucous nightlife spot of the resort town. If you are planning your first time in Karon Beach, it can seem like quite a limited destination. It has a fantastic (and very long) beach, lined with some first-rate hotels, but is that all there is? Well, if you take a look at our guide below, you will find that there is a lot more to see and do here. Away from the beach, Karon has an impressive array of restaurants and even a modest nightlife to enjoy while Wat Karon and its weekly market are major attractions for locals and visitors alike.

Karon Beach is a good place whether you are looking for peace and quiet or a little bit of excitement. It is such a big place that it can easily accommodate both sorts of setting without one overwhelming the other.Karon is probably the most family-friendly part of Phuket. It has a very long beach with plenty of activities, a great choice of family resorts, nice restaurants and a modest nightlife. There are also lots of little shopping arcades, selling all of your essential holiday supplies. Those looking for a relaxing break and a good suntan certainly won’t be disappointed. The main thing to do in Karon is to hit the beach – it’s a really nice beach! One of Phuket’s longest, the sand is soft, white and squeaks when you walk on it. The sea is clear and there are no rocks or obstructions near the shore, so taking a cooling dip is easy. Other than the beach, Karon is particularly good for families, with a choice of sports and activities available and several good budget shopping areas for the grown-ups. The dining scene is Karon contains a lot of variety. You’ll find the best options on the rocky headland at the southern end and lots of international places around the northern end. There are many seafood venues in Karon Centre, the busiest part of the otherwise quiet town. Along Beach Road, your choices go from great hotel restaurants to cheap local joints. If you have to pick a restaurant for your stay, here are two places we would recommend.

On the Rock is one of the oldest established restaurants in Phuket and is rightly regarded as an institution on the island – a place where families, lovers and friends can count on eating spanking-fresh seafood in a great setting. As the name suggests, the restaurant is at the end of a rocky promontory in the grounds of Marina Phuket Resort, which feted its 25th anniversary in 2010. On the Rock is situated at the far, northern end of the cape jutting out between Kata and Karon beaches. There is ample parking space and security staff in the resort’s grounds. Just follow the signposts through the Marina Phuket Resort (on the Karon Beach Road) along exotic walkways and bridges and through the almost Disney-green gardens. Head northwest and listen out for the sound of the surf and you’ll find your destination. Romantic dining personified. Who wouldn’t feel special, dining out with a fresh sea breeze rippling the table cloth and the ebb and the flow of the Andaman Sea hissing and bubbling through huge granite boulders three metres below? More than this; On the Rock commands a sweeping northerly facing view of Karon Beach and the sparsely lit hills beyond. For this reason alone it is a great location by day or by night but especially at sunset. At night, table lamps underline the personal touch even though the restaurant is bustling (120 covers) and is one of the more popular eateries in Kata/Karon. Of course, seaward tables are in great demand and in high season you’ll have to book at least two days in advance to obtain one (see contact numbers below). Diners inside are cooled by overhead fans while prerecorded background music meanders from the extremely tasteful to the somewhat bland, nonetheless it is never overbearing in volume. The clientele is mostly European and family orientated. Dress code; casual but smart.

EAT Bar and Grill Phuket is a great option for enjoying some Western-style grill dining. You’ll find a varied menu of meaty favourites, 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. You’ll find EAT Bar and Grill on Thanon Patak, just a short walk from Karon Beach. Start with a classic bruschetta, inject a little taste of Scandinavia into your appetizer with the avocado and crab fish skagen, or opt for the imaginative lobster cappuccino. Popular mains include the Black Angus beef burger, served with a crisp side salad, for 199 THB, with the option to double up on your burger for 299 THB. True meat lovers can sink their teeth into the mixed grill platter (2,700 THB), or go all out with a Wagyu deluxe grill platter, including ribeye, tenderloin, and flank steak with sausages, corn, garlic potatoes, and varied sauces (4,590 THB). Pork, chicken, pasta, and salads also feature on the menu, and you can watch as your food is prepared in the open kitchen. If you still have room left, there’s homemade ice cream or cheesecake. It’s wise to book a table at EAT Bar and Grill in advance to avoid disappointment, especially in high season.