Dreamy pale sands, an endless stretch of tourmaline and cyan waves, frosted with the ripples of a trade wind– this is Karon Beach in Phuket, Thailand. The second largest beach in Thailand, it has well-earned its place in the hearts and memories of those who stroll across the wide, sun-drenched coastline to enjoy the unspoilt beauty of nature, made more glorious only when crowned by a burning sunset or blushed with a sunrise.

Phuket itself is an island and also refers to the thirty-three other islands that make up its combined area; the main island of Phuket connects to Thailand via a bridge. There are many wonderful sights and adventures to undertake all around Phuket, with its amazing beaches culminating as the greatest attractions. Karon beach is famous as a destination for city-weary visitors who desire relaxation and replenishing of mind, body and spirit.

Close by Karon beach, guests of this gorgeous location can find Old Phuket Town, delightfully brimming with shops, local handmade items, hostels, restaurants, and even bars. Old Phuket Town is not the sleepy, boring place a traveler might suspect; instead it’s replete with funky, artsy little hole-in-wall shops, an intricate blend of architectures and preserved detail in Sino-Colonial and Sino-Portuguese styles, museums both public and private, charming cafes, amulet markets, colorful facades, Buddhist temples, and a plethora of other delights await in this historic town. There are also a number of hotels ranging from the most basic to the most luxurious in Asia.

Around the main Phuket Island, like tumblers dropped directly into the Andaman Sea, lie scattered hundreds of tiny islands around which are centred a number of tours and activities. The vast majority of these islands do not have beaches or any kind of coastline around them; they rise like cliffs or spires up from the sea bed. Sea kayaking is popular in this area for exploration and closer inspection of the stalactites that seem to drip from the great underbellies of these massive rock formations. Sea Gypsies can be witnessed fishing here, and a great deal of birdlife claim these islands as home territory. A few of the islands have a shoreline and offer the opportunity to sunbathe or do some trinket buying from the kiosks owned by locals. Some choose to swim in the crystalline waters or enjoy a beer from palm frond-roofed bars that offer their wares in the cooler shade.

Whatever a guest chooses to indulge in, Phuket Island offers a marvelous variety and Karon Beach is the perfect strip of white sand on which to sip a drink and bid farewell to a sun-filled day as evening slowly commandeers the deepening sky.

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David Iwanow

I have been travelling around the world since I was young and travel is in my blood. I've travelled to almost 40 countries around the world and can now be found based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. I've visited over 8,100 places with 16,236 checkins on Foursquare/Swarm and I'm a level 10 Google Local Guide with 911 reviews and having posted 18,571 photos which have been viewed 195 million times.