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KNOW BEFORE YOU GO - STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD (foreign office travel advice)

Karon Beach

Karon Beach, Thailand

With the third-longest beach on the island of Phuket, holidays to Karon Beach Thailand naturally revolve around its soft sands and dazzlingly clear-blue waters. Like most holidays to Phuket, you've got a great choice of watersports to choose from, as well as high-quality restaurants, lively nightlife, great shops and beautiful sights. It's a family-friendly resort, so you'll find plenty of activities for visitors of all ages to enjoy.

The town is split into three parts. The main section is Karon Centre, a vibrant area where you'll find lively bars and restaurants, as well as a magnificent temple. Despite its rapid ascent from sleepy fishing village to popular holiday resort, Karon Beach maintains its laid-back vibes.

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Explore Thailand's rich culture

It's hard to go on holidays to Karon Beach without submerging yourself in the town's vivid culture and traditions. Your first stop should be to the Karon Temple, also known as Wat Karon. It's only half a kilometre from the beach, so it's easy to schedule in to your itinerary. The temple dates back to 1895, although there have been major renovations since. There are still monks on site, so it's a fascinating insight into a truly Thai way of life.

Another way to immerse yourself in Thai traditions is by taking a cooking class. There's no denying that the country's cuisine is one of the most popular in the world, so learning to cook authentic dishes is a skill you can take home and show off to your friends.

Quick Tips

  • Buddhism
  • Thai Baht
  • Thai
  • GMT +7

Have fun snorkelling

The main focus of Karon Beach holidays is its gorgeous beach. The sand is soft and white, while the sea is clear and free from rocks. Swimming is popular thanks to the gentle waters, and there's plenty to choose from when it comes to activities – from volleyball to scuba diving.

As Karon Beach is about five kilometres long, you'll never struggle to find a spot even during the busiest season. The beach's north end is usually emptier, so head there if you want more privacy. The southern end is closer to Kata, so you can easily explore the neighbouring town. Rent umbrellas and beach mats from the local shops, and if you fancy some snorkelling, there's usually equipment on offer too.

Karon Beach has a few restaurants nearby, and if you're lucky you might even spot sea turtles on the beach while you're there!

Try your hand at watersports

The sea at Karon Beach changes dramatically depending on the time of year you visit. It's much calmer during high season, whereas waves and riptides pick up during low season. Because of this, the watersports on offer change with the weather.

You can try jet-skiing and parasailing nearly all year round, and plenty of vendors offer tours and rides. Banana boating, waterskiing and wakeboarding are very popular too. One of the best activities to try is windsurfing, thanks to the beach's near-perfect conditions. If it's surfing you're after, there are many other nearby beaches with excellent surf conditions.

Visit some buzzing bars

Karon Beach holidays might seem fairly quiet on the nightlife-front at first, but on closer inspection there's much more going on. It's more sedate than some of the other towns in Phuket, but there's a wide range of bars geared towards different tastes in music and entertainment. Three or four areas in Karon town come to life when the sun sets, from Irish pubs to stylish beach clubs.

Patak Road and Luang Poh Chun Road are the best areas to aim for if you want a good night out, though the general theme tends to be more family-friendly than night-long raves. Karon Beach Square, Coast Beach Club and Karon Plaza are good venues to explore too – you'll find loud bars, delicious tapas and buzzing crowds here.

Indulge in five-star food

Visitors to Karon will love the immense range of restaurants and bars on offer. You'll find a broad spectrum of prices, cuisines and styles. So, whether you want traditional Thai food, Italian pizzas or grilled steaks, you're sure to find it.

Towards the south of Karon Beach are the more high-end gourmet restaurants, while in the north, the venues are more cost-effective, with broader menus. In the middle are a mix of everything, including hotel restaurants and beachfront seafood shacks.

For the best Thai food, Ging is the place to go – think five-star food with large portions and excellent service. Eat Bar and Grill specialises in high-quality meats grilled to perfection, while On the Rock is the perfect setting for a romantic, candlelit evening.

Shoppers are on to a sure thing

Holidays to Karon Beach Phuket aren't complete without a visit to the vibrant Karon Market. Set into the temple grounds in the heart of Karon, the market sells a range of local produce, Thai food and numerous crafts, clothes and jewellery.

There's a lot designed especially for tourists, such as Muay Thai boxing shorts and colourful sarongs, or handbags, watches and sweet-scented carved soaps. You'll also find plenty of virgin coconut-oil products for hair and skincare items.

The market's food is unmissable. Try the Thai street snacks, local delicacies, healthy drinks, fresh exotic fruits and the aromatic curry dishes. Despite being a popular tourist attraction, this picturesque market is very much a staple of local life and gives a colourful insight into long-standing traditions.

So much to Yabba Dabba Do!

You might not associate the tropical destinations in Phuket with mini golf, but the Dino Park is a must-do activity in Karon Beach. It's a fun way to spend a few hours, whether you're with children – or just a big kid at heart!

The park's 18-hole course is set within a realistic Jurassic landscape. Think dense forests, a mock erupting volcano, a lava cave and huge dinosaurs guarding each hole – including an angry T-Rex. Thanks to the clever lighting and fog machines, it's a great place to visit in the evenings, and playing after the sun has set makes the experience all the more enjoyable. Afterwards, enjoy a bite to eat in the Flintstones-themed restaurant.

Karon Beach has plenty on offer its visitors, whether you're a family seeking fun activities or a lone traveller needing a spot of a relaxation on the beach. The beach is a perfect place to spend the day, with a range of sports to try, while the nightlife is lively without being rowdy – the evenings are still geared towards families in a lot of venues. From its diverse cuisine to traditional market, you'll get a taste of true island life on this holiday escape.