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Beaches: Karon, Squeaky Clean and Spacious

Beaches: Karon, Squeaky Clean and Spacious

Saturday, January 19, 2008
SIZE distinguishes Karon from the other southern beaches. It's big, three kilometres long and about 100 metres wide, with squeaky sand that makes a noise underfoot and isn't quite so adhesive as the large grains can be.

Just as the sand is distinctive, so is the character of the beach. Where the big resorts front the beach road, the character is a little more international and cosmopolitan.

At the northern end, the Thai flavor takes over. It's quiet and relaxed. At the southern end, there's more of a European deckchair ambience.

Along the middle stretches the klong, a decorative canal set among some low-lying sand dunes that do not rise to great heights.

Where the beach road curls right away from the sand to go on to Patong, there's a road going straight on to the quieter end of the beach.

A group of seafood restaurants sit just on the right, and the further you go, the quieter the beach becomes.

The local administrators have developed some fine facilities, with clean toilets and showers and a pretty lake that caters for walkers. Oddly, though, the new Karon Municipality offices are at nearby Kata beach.

Karon has grown rapidly over the past few years, spreading back from the sea along lanes that mostly go through to connect with the main island road.

A couple of large resorts, the Hilton Arcadia and the Moevenpick, occupy the middle of the beach road stretch. The Centara brand, recently renamed (it was Central) and relaunched, also graces several resorts in the district.

At the northern end, where the lagoon stretches neatly in the sunshine, you won't have trouble finding a spot to call your own even if the centre of the beach is crowded.

There's a collection of low-priced beachside restaurants here, too.

On the sand in the low season, it's best to note the flag system and only swim when the green flag is flying, and within sight of the beach guards.


PHUKETWAN FILE


The water: High season is delightful at Karon but the beach can be turbulent out of season so best not to venture beyond paddling distance unless the green flag is flying and the beach patrol is on duty.

Weather: Great for sunning, swimming and walking. Karon beach is beautiful because it can be whatever you want to make it. The sand never gets as crowded here as in other destinations because the beach is so big. If you don't mind carrying an umbrella or scurrying for shelter if the sky suddenly clouds over, the low season can be fun here, too.

Atmosphere: Extensive in both distance and in style, Karon offers accommodation to suit any budget.

Fish and coral: Some coral at either end of the beach and there's more to be found around Ko Pu (Crab Island) at the southern end. Lots of locals happy to take you there in a longtail.

By night: Improving fast as a nightlife centre but it doesn't have quite the same anything-goes feel of Patong. Locals don't want that here. But there are restaurants to suit every price range.

THINGS TO DO

Dino Park offers mini-golf in a prehistoric setting, with plenty of adventure for the kids and adults as well. You'll find it on the road between Karon and Kata.

The restaurant sets the tone for Flintstone fun.

It's kitsch but once you enter the holiday spirit, people say it's very entertaining. Dino Park is open from 10am to midnight. Details: 076-330625.

Look for more in this Phuketwan series.

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Wednesday February 21, 2024
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa

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