Karon is concentrated around three main areas: The Karon Plaza area on the south end features a number of budget guesthouses, restaurants and bars. The side sois are worth exploring, particularly the one that leads to a small art community, where some budding Thai painters have built a complex of huts, pubs and art galleries in which they live and work.
The sprawling grounds of Thavorn Palm Beach Resort and the Hilton Phuket Arcadia dominate much of the central part of Karon. Just north of these is Aroona Plaza which houses a range of handicraft shops, good restaurants and cafes, a few bars and a hotel modeled on the Sino-Portuguese architecture of Old Phuket. The wide beachside avenue is ideal for taking an evening stroll and doing some shopping.
The pleasant bay of Kata, just a few minutes south of Karon Beach, entices and charms many visitors with its white sands and clear waters. Very popular with families, Kata is an all round favourite due to its spectacular palm-lined beach, great restaurants, lively but not raucous nightlife and varied accommodation options – all close to the beach. From May to October surfers flock to catch Kata’s waves and from November to April the beach is alive with sunseekers.
Kata is split into two focal areas: Kata Centre, which is at the northern end close to Karon and Kata South, home to several resorts. Visitors will find an abundance of shops to browse in, from souvenir and ready-to-wear outlets, to 7-Elevens and local mini-marts, to name-brand fashion stores.