Karon Beach - Baan Karon
Nestled on west coast, Karon is the second most popular holiday destination in Phuket Island, after Patong setting 6 km to the north. The small coastal town is situated about 40 km south of International Airport and 20 km from Phuket Town. Karon boasts the island's third longest beach at 3 km length. Surrounded by clear blue waters, the long strip of white sand is very wide and so, although rather busy throughout the high season, you will never feel as if it is too crowded. The quiet water is great for swimming from November through to April, while from May to October the beach can be very dangerous and unsuitable for swimming. A wide pedestrian / bicycle path runs along the entire length of the beach. Generally quieter than the noisy nearby Patong Beach, Karon is particularly popular among families and couples, especially with Scandinavian and French tourists. Karon Beach was hit hard by the tsunami caused by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake. The waves caused a great deal of destruction, especially in its southern regions, but Karon has been quickly recovered and nowadays there is no evidence of tsunami damage.
Accommodation & Restaurants - There is a wide selection of restaurants and accommodations to stay at Karon, including budget guesthouses, family friendly hotels and resorts, as well as a couple of luxury five star hotels. Most hotels and restaurants are located across the road from the beach or within the small town set behind the Karon Beach Roundabout, only a couple of hotels are situated directly on the beach. The far northern end of beach is the quieter area and houses only the Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket. The beachfront luxurious hotel is also home of a beautiful beach club. A couple of high-end resorts are located behind the Wiset Road overlooking Andaman Sea and the Nong Han Lake. The lake is one of the most popular destinations during the Loi Krathong Festival in November. Karon Center is a small lively city that develops inland from roundabout and offers good choice of dining, shopping, and nightlife entertainment opportunities, as well as plenty of cheap guesthouses, small hotels, houses and rooms for rent. Offering Thai, International and seafood dishes, the majority of restaurants are lined up along the roundabout and the Patak Road leading to the pretty Wat Suwan Khirikhet and then to Chalong. Most of beachfront road is occupied by large resorts and restaurants.They offer a great selection of fresh seafood and Thai cuisine with picturesque views. Karon's third major area develops around Luang Poh Chuan Road and the Karon Stadium, towards the southern end of the beach, which houses several budget hotels, family friendly hotels, excellent restaurants and the more lively nightlife spot of Karon. Located just near the stadium, is set a row of Thai style restaurants offering seafood dishes at reasonably price. They also have some western dishes.
Shopping - Karon offers a great selection of shopping opportunities with plenty of shops and boutiques, either in the center of town or along the beachfront, several bazaar and a few weekly markets. There are also supermarkets, convenience stores, pharmacies and many tailors. Located on Wat Suwan Khirikhet's grounds, Karon Temple Market is the most popular and largest weekly market in Karon Beach. The market takes place twice a week, every Tuesday and Friday, and covers approximately 12,000sqm. Just like most outdoor markets, the market begins in the late afternoon when temperatures become more pleasant. Strolling amidst the labyrinth of stalls, you will find the usual touristy offerings, like fluorescent T-shirts, bright hues clothes, bags, scarves, sarongs, swimsuits, flower-shaped soap carvings, Muay Thai shorts, body care items and handmade souvenirs. The market's food section is located toward the temple’s main entrance and hosts a great choice of local delicacies, Thai street foods, fruit shakes, sushi, desserts, and, of course, fried insects. Karon Bazaar is large covered market, like a shopping centre, set in the central area of Karon Beach Road, right between Moevenpick Resort and Woraburi Phuket Resort. Covering a 6,000sqm area, the bazaar is filled with plenty of stalls open from 10:00am until late in the night. Most of the stalls and shops sell fashion and clothes, T-shirts, beachwear, shoes and intimates, as well as accessories like bracelets, necklaces, earrings and sunglasses. Only a few shops are air-conditioned. Karon Bazaar offers more than just shopping, within the centre you will find the Bird Tattoo studio and a small massage parlour performing Foot massage, Thai massage, Thai hot herb massage, as well as manicure and pedicure service. Right in front of the bazaar there are a few bars and snack stalls.
Nightlife - Although a lot quieter, the nightlife around Karon is similar to that of Patong. There are several bars and pubs offering live music like Karma Lounge set on the corner of Luang Poh Chuan and Patak Road. Angus & Arfur O'Tools Irish Pub is another great place to go for a relaxing night out and enjoy international beers, bottled beer and pub food. Karon has also its own smaller version of Patong's Bangla Road with a quite large numbers of little beer bars. Most of the nightlife in Karon can be found off Patak Road, near the Karon Beach Roundabout, and at south end of Beach Road, right off Luang Poh Chuan Road, where you will find the majority of beer bars with Thai girls. More