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A Drive round Phuket,Karon Beach, Patak Road, Warika Place, Phuket, Thailand ( 5 )

4y ago


Karon is concentrated around three main areas: The Karon Plaza area on the south end features several budget guesthouses, restaurants and bars. The side Soi's 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 beach is a popular destination for tourists. Generally quieter than neighbouring Patong Beach, it is especially popular among families and couples, and less popular with singles than Patong. It is also especially popular with Scandinavian tourists, with many businesses catering especially to them. Karon Beach was heavily damaged by the tsunamis following the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake, especially in its southern regions, but has since largely recovered and by 2008 showed little evidence of tsunami damage. Karon is the second largest of Phuket's tourist beaches at three km length, some 20 kilometres from town. Not many hotels have direct beach frontage - most are across the road ( which is not a busy one ). Therefore practically the entire beach is public. Large resort complexes line the opposite side of the road from the shoreline, but the long, broad beach itself has no development. The sand is very white, and squeaks audibly when walked on. The southern point has a fine coral reef stretching toward Kata and Bu Island. Also, there is a wide pedestrian / bicycle path on the beach side of the road running the length of the beach. Beware of rip tides at the beach, especially during the summer rainy season — they killed ten people in 2009 alone. Most Restaurants, bars, tour companies and other non-hotel businesses are at the north central end, near the traffic circle, or near the south end, on Bangla road connecting the back road with the beach road. Nightlife is pretty much confined to dining and a few beer bars. The northern third of Karon Beach is undeveloped and flanked by Nong Harn Lake which is the largest beach side park in Phuket offering a nice exercise / jogging / cycling path. North Karon also offers white beach and clear water with no crowds. Karon is arguably the most up-scale of Phuket's beaches. At the south end of Karon a narrow road between Kata and Karon has several small businesses as well as the Dino Park Mini Golf facility. There is a regular daytime bus service to and from Phuket Town. If coming from Phuket Airport you can pick up a voucher from the airport transportation booth for a flat rate of 750 Baht. The drive is just under an hour. Many hotels offer transport from airport to the hotel for 1000 Baht. You can also take metered ( yellow ) taxis - cheaper than from inside at c. 650 Baht. Turn right as you exit the airport building ( ignore the touts ) and you will see a stand at the end of the walkway. You tell your destination to the staff at the stand and they will give you a paper with the taxi driver number for you to keep if you need to report a problem. Fares to other destinations in Phuket cost around 300 Baht and up. The rate is what is displayed by the meter plus 100 Baht airport fee. The meter will start with a 50 Baht display. You may stumble on a freelance taxi driver that will take you from the Airport to Patong for the flat fee of 400 Baht. If the driver is pleasant, you may wish to ask for his mobile number for the return trip later. The same driver can take you from Patong to Phuket Town for 350 to 400 Baht. For those who are price conscious, the transportation booth inside the airport also sells seats on a minibus for 180 Baht. The minibus makes several stops along the way to drop off other passengers. For those who want to save even more, take a near-hourly ( till 20.45 ) airport bus to Phuket Town (85 Baht as of May 2010, one hour). From there, go to the downtown market ( around 1-2 km away, but motorbike taxis will offer you rip-off prices like 40 Baht, bargain or wait for a public songthaew ), then wait for a bus / songthaew ...