PHUKET being an island, one thing travelers expect to find is delicious, fresh seafood. While there is a plethora of seafood restaurants available at every beach town, I always suggest my friends visiting from Bangkok to spend the night at the Sea Gypsy Village, in Rawai, in the most Southwestern part of the island.
The Sea Gypsies have been living on the island for centuries and their traditions always revolve around the food provided by the sea. Every morning, the fishermen will leave the coast with their boats and catch the freshest seafood there is to eat in Phuket.
The entrance of the village is next to Rawai’s pier, and you will be welcomed by a fresh market that sells sea-related products, such as cute souvenirs to bring back home.
On the right-hand side of the market, facing the sea, you will find the catches of the day, ranging from fish, mussels to delicious prawns.
Three restaurants are located within the market and each of them offers a BBQ service, where they will cook to your liking the seafood you just bought from the market. It cannot get any fresher than that!
The restaurants will incur a small fee, usually 100-150 baht per kilo, for the preparation of your dishes and the wonderful sauces that accompany the food. Pro-tip: it seems that the first restaurant on the left-hand side is packed rather quickly, so it is best to book a table in advance, such as the day before.
Not only will you be pleased with your relaxed dinner facing the Andaman Sea, but you will also contribute to the development of the village, as the restaurants belong to the community as well. As always, let us know in the comments section if you already had a trip there and if you had the chance to talk with the fishermen yourself.
Top: Some of the Sea Gypsy fishermen at a beach in Phuket.
First in-text: Shells on a fisherman’s net.
Second in-text: A delicious seafood dish prepared at the Sea Gypsy village.
By Nattha Thepbamrung