South of lively Patong Beach, Karon Beach is a much quieter town with shops, restaurants and bars that cater specifically to tourists. There is an abundance of good local restaurants, and accommodation ranges from small guesthouses to family resorts. Hotels line the road behind the shoreline, but the long, broad beach itself is free of development. Clothing can be purchased from markets in the main part of town or along the beach front, and there are a number of supermarkets, convenience stores and pharmacies in the area.
Snorkeling is best at Karon’s southern end, which has a coral reef stretching toward Kata and a small offshore island, Boo Island. From November to April, Karon offers perfect conditions, but from May to October swimming can be dangerous because of strong undertows, and visitors are advised to always observe the warning flags.
Restaurants, bars, and tour companies are at the north end, near the traffic circle, and at the south end, on the little road connecting the back road with the beach road. A surprising number of restaurants cater to Scandinavian tastes. Nightlife is much more subdued than in neighboring Karon.
Besides taxis, there is a regular daytime bus service to and from Phuket Town. Probably the cheapest and most convenient way to get around is to rent a motorcycle from one of the many shops around the island.