Karon Beach on the island of Phuket in Thailand essentially encapsulates much of what vacationing in this part of Southeast Asia is all about. An almost-unimaginably beautiful stretch of coastline that’s bordered by the most invitingly warm and clear water, Karon Beach Phuket is simply a tropical idyll. Phuket in general is well established on the tourist map, and Karon Beach is consequently the focus of much attention, which means that not only is this a gorgeous slice of heaven on earth, it’s also pretty easy to organize a vacation here—there are plenty of facilities in place for the incoming tourist, from Karon Beach hotels to restaurants and tour operators.
While Karon Beach is undeniably impressive, both in size and appearance, it’s actually considered Phuket’s second beach destination, after the ever-popular Patong Beach. As beautiful as both beaches are, there exists a marked difference between them, for while Patong Beach is renowned for its party spirit and backpacker outlook, Karon Beach Phuket is memorable more for its laid-back take on life. Consequently, a divide tends to occur between visitors here, with solo travelers (and especially solo backpackers) heading to Patong, and families heading to Karon Beach Thailand. The divide, of course, is not exact, and you don’t have to be traveling with kids in tow to book a stay in the Karon Beach hotels, but it does serve as a helpful guideline: If you’re looking for a bit of peace and quiet, Karon Beach is probably the place for you in Phuket.
There's a wide variety of Karon Beach hotels, from backpacker hangouts to salubrious up-market accommodations, and once installed in one of the many excellent hotels, the first thing you’ll probably want to do is hit the beach. And what a beach it is too! Stretching for three miles long, you’ll find few better places in Thailand for a gentle swim followed by happy hours of sunbathing.
If lying around all day isn’t quite your thing, there are plenty of activities available on Karon Beach Phuket to keep you occupied. Shopping, oddly enough, is one of them. The beach is dotted with wooden huts and hawkers peddling their wares—not enough to become an annoyance, as may be the case on, say, Chaweng Beach in Koh Samui, but just enough to lend the beach a bit of color. These huts sell anything from clothes to food; some also offer traditional Thai massage.
Other popular activities here are snorkeling and diving. A number of popular spots dot the seas just off the coast of the beach, and there are plenty of operators at hand to facilitate a trip if you're interested in exploring these areas. Many of the Karon Beach resorts will help you organize a diving trip should you so desire.
Aside form the beach itself, Karon Beach also refers to the small village that sits adjacent to the shoreline. Quiet and easygoing, it’s a great place to stay, especially if you enjoy being somewhat away from the crowds when on vacation.