old couple walking along the Karon Beach boardwalk in Phuket at sunset amongst clear skies and palm trees / best things to do in Karon Beach

11 Best Things to Do in Karon Beach, Phuket

Are you planning on staying in Karon, Phuket, and looking for the best things to do in Karon Beach? You’ve come to the right place!

Karon Beach is one of the best beach areas in Phuket for those looking for a more relaxed and laid-back atmosphere.

During the day, there’s plenty to do in the area, including spending the day at the area’s extensive beach shoreline, one of the best beaches in Phuket.

Below, you’ll find the top things to do in Karon Beach and a few mentions outside of the area you can’t miss when visiting Phuket!

For those curious if there are things to do in Karon Beach at night, it’s quite limited; Karon Beach isn’t known for being a lively beach area at night. The nightlife here consists of a few laidback bars, sometimes with live music performances, and that’s about it.

Beach Day

several tourists sunbathing under umbrellas and clear skies, mountainous range in the distance at Karon Beach Phuket

Renowned for its vast size, Karon Beach in Phuket is truly breathtaking. The waters exhibit a range of beautiful turquoise hues, complemented by soft sand and surrounding mountains along the shoreline.

Spanning a length of 4 km, this beach offers relatively calm waters, making it an ideal choice for inexperienced swimmers and families with children.

You can experience many water activities at the beach, including jet skiing, parasailing, snorkeling, and more.

You’ll spot a few vendors selling fresh coconuts to drink and snacks; there’s also a massage area for massage under the shade!

Unlike many other beaches in Phuket that often experience a shortage of beach chair rentals, Karon Beach has plenty of them.

And it’s best if you get one; the sun is no joke. Beach chair rentals are 100 Baht for the full day, and you get an umbrella and beach lounger.

Visit the Big Buddha

the famous tall white big buddha of phuket on a clear sunny day

One of the most famous attractions in Phuket is the white jade, Big Buddha, standing at an impressive height of 45 meters.

Situated atop the Nakkerd hills, a visit to the Big Buddha provides breathtaking panoramic views of Phuket from above.

Hours to visit the Big Buddha are 6:00 AM to 7:00 PM Daily. It’s FREE to visit.

To get to the Big Buddha, you can either hike for two hours by using this trail, take a taxi there, or attend a fun tour, including a visit to the Big Buddha and other viewpoints!

Ensure you cover your knees and shoulder here, or you can’t come in; security won’t let you in. For men, a bit of knee-showing is fine, but for women, it’s not allowed.

The best option is to use a sarong to cover up for women (it’s a tube-length fabric used by Thais). You can purchase one there but do so beforehand, and you will pay less for it!

Remember to be respectful of your surroundings when visiting. This is a place of worship, after all.

Hike to Karon View Point

karon viewpoint swing on a hike on the way to the big buddha

The Karon Viewpoint, also known as Three Beaches Hill, is a must-visit viewpoint in Phuket.

Situated on the road between Nai Harn and Kata Noi beaches, it offers a breathtaking panoramic vista of the Andaman Sea, featuring views of the three beaches, Karon Beach, Kata Beach, and Kata Noi Beach.

The viewpoint is a popular spot for photographers, nature lovers, and romantics seeking a picture-perfect moment. The lush greenery and vibrant flora surrounding the viewpoint add to its charm.

Visitors can relax on the benches provided and soak in the beauty of the turquoise waters and stunning coastal landscape.

It’s an excellent spot to experience a vibrant Phuket sunset! Don’t forget your camera when visiting this Instagram-worthy location!

Karon Temple Market

several tourists walking out and into the Karon Night Market in Karon Beach, Phuket, Thailand

Known as the area’s main night market, the Karon Temple Market in Phuket is a vibrant and bustling night market that offers a unique shopping and cultural experience.

Located in the Karon Temple, this market opens around 5:00 PM on Tuesdays and Fridays, offering a wide array of local products, handicrafts, souvenirs, clothing, and delicious street food.

The market is open on Tuesdays and Fridays, but when there are special Thai holidays, the market sometimes is open on those days as well.

It is a great place to immerse yourself in the local culture and interact with friendly vendors. The market also features live performances of traditional Thai music and dance some nights, adding to the lively atmosphere.

Whether you are looking to shop for souvenirs, indulge in local Thai street food, or soak up the vibrant ambiance of the market, the Karon Temple Market is worth a visit in Karon.

When visiting night markets in Thailand and it’s crowded, watch your pockets for pickpocketing; this is one of many occasional scams in Phuket.

Elephant Sanctuary

two elephants at a sanctuary in the countryside of Chiang Mai, Thailand

Visiting an elephant sanctuary in Phuket is a popular activity where you can observe and learn about these gentle giants. You’ll experience the elephants roaming freely at Khao Phra Thaeo National Park.

It’s important to know that many elephants in Thailand are not properly cared for at most elephant sanctuaries.

The official Phuket Elephant Sanctuary is an ethical sanctuary that properly cares for its elephants. During your visit, you will be educated about the harms of unethical elephant tourism.

Riding or chaining elephants for human amusement is not natural or ethical. The official Phuket Elephant Sanctuary stands out as an ethical sanctuary that provides proper care for its elephants.

Visit Karon Park

sunset being reflected along the pond water at Karon Park in Karon Village Phuket

Karon Park is a charming, beautiful park offering a perfect green space for visitors for strolls, picnics, and outdoor activities. There, you’ll find a large pond to walk around and a large sand area nearby.

The well-maintained pathway winds through gardens, colorful flowers, and tall palm trees around the pond.

The park offers a range of amenities, including a playground for children, outdoor fitness equipment for exercise enthusiasts, and plenty of bench area.

On most nights, you’ll find food vendors set up selling many types of Thai street food. But if you visit the park on weekends, that’s when you’ll find the most vendors!

Lastly, as you can see from the photo above, Karon Park is an excellent place to catch sunsets!

Beach Day in Kata Beach

a busy extensive beach shoreline full of people at Kata Beach and a mountain range in the background in Phuket, Thailand, is Phuket expensive?

Just minutes away from the shoreline in Karon Beach is the neighboring Kata Beach, a stunning and popular beach for those looking to surf, relax, and eat Thai street food.

With its crystal-clear turquoise waters, soft white sand, and stunning backdrop of lush hills, Kata Beach offers a picture-perfect tropical paradise.

From surf lessons to jetskiing and parasailing to paddleboard rentals, Kata Beach offers a range of activities for visitors to enjoy; there is something for everyone.

There are beach chair rentals, but they get rented fast in Kata Beach during the high season, so come early!

Kata Beach is also known for its vibrant beachfront scene, lined with restaurants, bars, and shops, where visitors can indulge in delicious Thai cuisine and shop for souvenirs. Staying in Karon gives you the option to go to Kata or Karon Beach daily!

Phi Phi Islands Day Trip

views of giant limestones and beautiful turquoise waters from a long tail boat on the way to Maya Bay Beach in Thailand

Known as the most popular Phuket day trips, the Phi Phi Islands are something out of a movie!

The many Phi Phi Islands are located in the middle of the Andaman Sea, renowned as one of Thailand’s most famous destinations.

Among its attractions, Maya Bay Beach stands out as one of the world’s most well-known beaches, gaining most of its popularity after being featured in Leonardo Di Caprio’s movie “The Beach.”

On this fun Phi Phi Island tour, you’ll visit Maya Bay Beach, Pi Leh Lagoon, Monkey Beach, and more! This tour allows you to visit all the famous attractions in Phi Phi during the day and return to Phuket by evening.

If time permits, spending a night on Phi Phi Don, the main island, and organizing a tour from there is highly recommended.

Many visitors miss out on exploring the main island due to tour limitations. However, visiting/staying for a night offers a fun and unique experience exploring the main island as it is home to its own tiny town with around 5,000 residents.

Phang Nga Bay Day Trip

the famous James Bond Island standing isolated in the waters of Phang Nga Bay in Thailand

Coming in at a close second regarding the most popular day trips from Phuket is the Phang Nga Bay day trip!

Make sure to prioritize visiting Phang Nga Bay when you’re in Karon. This breathtaking location boasts over 100 majestic rock islands adorned with dense greenery, all enveloped by pristine emerald waters.

One of the most iconic landmarks in the bay is James Bond Island, made famous by the movie “The Man with the Golden Gun.”

Visitors can explore the bay by boat, kayak, or longtail boat, marveling at the unique limestone caves and hidden lagoons. Snorkeling and diving enthusiasts will also be delighted by the bay’s vibrant marine life and coral reefs.

On this Phang Nga Bay tour, you will visit the famous Hong Island, James Bond Island, and get a close-up of the island’s wildlife, swim at Kadu Island, and kayak through the coves. Breakfast/Lunch and transportation are included in the tour price.

Dino Park Mini Golf

mini golf put in action

Dino Park Mini Golf is an exciting mini golf course that combines the fun of mini golf with a dinosaur-themed mini golf course that transports visitors back in time, with life-sized dinosaur sculptures scattered throughout the landscaped course.

The 18-hole course offers a challenging yet enjoyable experience for all ages, with various obstacles and tricky holes to conquer. Located inside is also a restaurant to dine at after playing.

As you make your way through the course, you’ll encounter roaring T-Rexes, towering Brachiosauruses, and other impressive dinosaur replicas.

An evening or afternoon of some minigolf indoors followed by local food, this is one of the best things to do in Phuket when it’s raining!

Visit Old Phuket Town

Several tourists walking on Thalang Rd for the Old Phuket Town Sunday night market

Old Phuket Town is the island’s city center on the eastern side. It’s a vibrant and culturally rich neighborhood that showcases the island’s rich history and architectural heritage.

This charming area is characterized by its well-preserved, colorful Sino-Portuguese buildings and narrow streets lined with quaint boutique shops, cafes, unique bars, and restaurants.

Walking through Old Phuket Town feels like stepping back in time, with its colonial-era buildings and unique blend of Thai, Chinese, and European influences.

Visitors can explore the intricate architecture, admire the beautiful street art, and indulge in local delicacies at the weekend’s bustling night markets.

Phuket Town is home to the best night markets on the island, the Naka Weekend Market, and the famous Phuket Town Sunday Night Market!

The area also boasts an array of boutique hotels and guesthouses, making it a popular destination for those seeking a more authentic and cultural experience on the island. Old Phuket Town is a must-visit when in Phuket!

beautiful bright pink Sino-Portuguese buildings in the streets of Old Phuket Town, Thailand

Where to Stay in Karon Beach

Le Meridien Phuket – 5 Star / A stunning modern 5 Star beachfront resort with many amenities and a private beach area

Sugar Marina Resort – 4 Star / A stylish and contemporary beachfront hotel offering spacious rooms, modern amenities, and stunning ocean views.

JonoX Karon – 4 Star / Ultra modern hotel minutes away from the beach, beautiful rooftop pool, and very well-priced

Memory Karon Resort – 3 Star / Nestled in the lush tropics of Karon Beach area, Memory Resort is located in a quieter area but still nearby restaurants

Best Western Phuket Ocean Resort – 3 Star / In a convenient location just across from Karon Park, the Best Western offers great mid-ranged priced rooms near many restaurants

Karon Sino Hostel — Budget-friendly hostel a short walk away from the beach, next to many restaurants

evening time along Karon Beach with tourist on the beach and mountainous range in the distance

Best Things to Do in Karon Beach – Final Thoughts

There you have it, those are the best things to do in Karon Beach, along with a few just outside of Karon!

Karon Beach is one of the best areas to stay in Phuket; not only is the beach shoreline here extensive and breathtaking, but as noted above, there are a few things to do in the area. Additionally, you’ve got Kata Beach and that entire area right next door!

For those solo travelers looking for a laidback, charming beach area in Phuket, Karon is perfect for you, and it’s also great for couples and families.

If you’d prefer to stay in a beach area with more things to do at night, consider staying in Patong Beach instead!

While Karon Beach is absolutely stunning, you must also visit some other beaches in Phuket during your stay in Karon.

Below, you’ll find a list of the other excellent beaches and how far they’re from Karon!

  • Kata Beach – 5 minutes
  • Kata Noi Beach – 8 minutes
  • Freedom Beach – 15 minutes
  • Nai Harn Beach – 20 minutes
  • Patong Beach – 25 minutes
  • Kamala Beach – 35 minutes
  • Surin Beach – 40 minutes
a stunning sunset setting in with several palm trees and a small statue of a man with a hat in Karon Park Phuket Thailand

Is Karon better than Patong?

Yes, Karon Beach is far superior to Patong’s beach shoreline. Karon Beach is not only one of Phuket’s largest beach shorelines; its water is crystal blue, and its shores are ideal for all swimmers.

Does Karon Beach have nightlife?

The nightlife in Karon Beach consists of a few laidback bars with activities for guests to enjoy; some bars host live music some nights, but that’s the extent of it for nightlife in Karon.

Karon is a laidback beach area, and it’s not known for its nightlife. If you’d rather stay in an area with a lively nightlife, stay in Patong Beach.

Is Karon Beach quiet?

Karon Beach is quiet compared to most beach areas in Phuket. Most visiting the area are couples and families.

How big is Karon Beach?

Karon Beach is approximately 3.3 KM long and is one of Phuket’s largest beaches, with plenty of room for visitors to enjoy their beach day!

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