Karon Beach, located on the south west coast of Phuket, is one of the island’s most popular beach resorts and also home to one of the most outstanding white sand beaches. In many cases, this kind of popularity can often spoil the natural ambience of a beach such as this, but having spent a great deal of time here over the last few months, I have realised just how much of a gem Karon Beach really is.
At a time when the headlines are reporting the rampant commercialism, greed and corruption taking place on other Phuket beaches, Karon Beach is a shining example of a beach that is managing to maintain it’s charm and allure, even during the busy peak season months.
If you are planning on visiting Thailand for a relaxing beach holiday, then carry on reading as Karon Beach, Phuket may well prove to be the perfect fit for that laid back destination of your dreams.
Uncrowded, unspoiled ambience
It becomes quickly apparent as you step out on to the ‘squeaky white’ sand of Karon Beach that this stunning beach front paradise on the Andaman island of Phuket manages to maintain an uncrowded ambience, even during the peak season months (Nov – Feb), that is the envy of well known beach destinations throughout South East Asia.
As Thailand’s Premier Island Destination, Phuket is often thought to be both overdeveloped and overcrowded and if you have ever visited Patong Beach, the island’s entertainment and nightlife capital, then you will know that this is grossly understating it. Patong has an infamous reputation enjoyed by the likes of Kuta Beach in Bali or Chaweng in Koh Samui, but to dismiss the whole of Phuket island as being the same hedonistic tourist trap would be to miss out on the stunning beachscape that await you at Karon Beach.
As you breath in the fresh sea air and gaze out over meticulously clean white sands and clear turquoise waters, you can’t help but wonder how you have uncovered such a precious gem that was laying in plain sight of everyone. It is refreshing to find such a well known and popular beach destination that has largely prohibited developments encroaching upon the beach and miraculously maintained a tranquil and peaceful ambience.
It must be noted, that this is in part down to the sheer length of the beach, over 5KM, which makes this the longest stretch of ‘tourist beach’ in Phuket. Other vast, deserted beaches such as Layan and Mai Khao in the north of the island , have so far largely resisted the urge to develop heavily on their prime beach front real estate.
Yet even though Karon Beach has sunloungers and umbrellas stretching as far as the eye can see, you never really feel like you are packed in like sardines and you can usually find your own sunbed completely undisturbed by other sun worshipers. The middle section of the beach in front of our Thavorn Palm Beach Resort rarely gets crowded and has a lovely relaxing vibe as the gentle breeze blows across the white sand and grassy banks.
As you can see from this picture, it feels like you have almost complete privacy on these sunloungers. Even if you crave some solitude and there are other people occupying the sunbeds either side of you, just take a short walk in either direction and you are sure to find a quiet spot that is perfect for you.
It seems that the only areas of this vast 5km beach that do get a little busy are the southern point, next to the hill leading to Kata Beach and at the northern end where there is a bustling village community around the Northern Circle.
Another reason that Karon Beach can enjoy and maintain this unspoiled and peaceful ambience is the grassy bank area that runs behind the beach. With it’s shady trees, ferns and palm trees dotted throughout, it runs along virtually the whole length of the beach and is a welcome addition to ensure a naturalistic ambience prevails over the beach.
This greenbelt of grassy land is vital to create the sense of space that can be lacking on other beaches, where resort developments, restaurants and other beach encroachments seem to pen in and restrict the beach on all sides. Most of the resorts along the beachfront at Karon are separated by a single road and comprise of low rise buildings, which helps them to blend in with the tree line and natural surroundings.
Have you enjoyed the natural ambience of Karon Beach in Phuket, Thailand?
Roger Gibson | Marketing & Communications Manager
Thavorn Hotels & Resorts, Phuket, Thailand
Disclaimer – Opinions expressed in this article are my own and do not reflect the views and opinions of the owners and management of Thavorn Hotels and Resorts (THR) Phuket, Thailand