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Posts tagged “rawai beach

Phuket Snapshots: Rawai’s Sea Gypsy Village

Curving along the south-eastern tip of Phuket, the northern shore of Rawai beach is the home of sea gypsies known as Chao Lay. The sea is their life and livelihood.

Children splash and shriek floating on plastic ice box lids and pieces of broken board alongside long-tail boats anchored to the beach by long lines, bobbing lazily in turquoise waters.

Rickety wooden stalls hug the beach, facing stores and seafood restaurants across the dirt road dividing beachfront from village. Long strings of varying hued pearls dangle with displays of shell handicrafts blowing in the salty, fish-scented breeze.

A rainbow of freshly caught fish lie lifelessly on metal counters alongside plastic trays packed with shellfish on ice. Over-sized, water-filled tubs placed on the ground in front of stalls crawl with live crabs and crayfish.

Locals and tourists browse and buy seafood then cross the road to one of the open-fronted restaurants where, for a small fee, the kitchen serves it up in the dish of choice.

Check out my post Phuket Snapshots: Rawai Beach and Local Life at Rawai Beach on the informative Jamie’s Phuket Blog.

Also, read the eye-opening article Tourism imperils way of life for Thai sea gypsies to learn about the plight of the Chao Lay.

Children playing in the sea at the Sea Gypsy village, Rawai, Phuket, Thailand

Sea Gypsy children playing in the sea

Children playing in the sea at the Sea Gypsy village, Rawai, Phuket, Thailand

Sea Gypsy children playing in the sea with ice box lids and pieces of broken board

Beachside vegetable stall at the Sea Gypsy village, Rawai, Phuket, Thailand

Beachside vegetable stall

Beachside fish stall at the Sea Gypsy village, Rawai, Phuket, Thailand

Beachside fish stall

Beachside fish stall at the Sea Gypsy village, Rawai, Phuket, Thailand

Close up of colorful fish

Beachside fish stall at the Sea Gypsy village, Rawai, Phuket, Thailand

Another fish close up

Litle girl's feet show size of giant lobster at the Sea Gypsy village, Rawai, Phuket, Thailand

A little girl’s feet show the size of lobster swimming in a tub at a seafood stall

Beachside fish stall at the Sea Gypsy village, Rawai, Phuket, Thailand

Array of fish at a beachside stall

Beachside fish stall at the Sea Gypsy village, Rawai, Phuket, Thailand

Close up

Beachside fish stall at the Sea Gypsy village, Rawai, Phuket, Thailand

Freshly caught fish on ice

Beachside fish stall at the Sea Gypsy village, Rawai, Phuket, Thailand

More fish

Beachside fish stall at the Sea Gypsy village, Rawai, Phuket, Thailand

Beachside shellfish stall. Prices are in Thai baht per kilo

Children playing at the Sea Gypsy village, Rawai, Phuket, Thailand

Children playing behind the stalls

Beachside seafood stall at the Sea Gypsy village, Rawai, Phuket, Thailand

Beachside shellfish stall

Beachside seafood stall at the Sea Gypsy village, Rawai, Phuket, Thailand

Close up

Fish trap on the beach at the Sea Gypsy village, Rawai, Phuket, Thailand

Fish trap on the beach

Old house at the Sea Gypsy village, Rawai, Phuket, Thailand

Old house near the Sea Gypsy village

Long-tail boats moored off the beach at the Sea Gypsy village, Rawai, Phuket, Thailand

Long-tail boats (“ruea hang yao” in Thai) moored off the beach

Dead puffer fish stabbed on long-tail boat engine shaft on the beach near the Sea Gypsy village, Rawai, Phuket, Thailand

Dead puffer fish stabbed on the shaft of a long-tail boat engine

Close up of dead puffer fish stabbed on long tail boat engine shaft on the beach near the Sea Gypsy village, Rawai, Phuket, Thailand

Close up of dead puffer fish

Beachside shrine at the Sea Gypsy village, Rawai, Phuket, Thailand

Beachside shrine under a tree. Offerings include bottles of red Fanta soda and a model ship to protect the fishermen

Long-tail boats moored off the beach at the Sea Gypsy village, Rawai, Phuket, Thailand

Long-tail boats moored off the beach

Fish traps by the beach & long tail boats moored offshore at the Sea Gypsy village, Rawai, Phuket, Thailand

Fish traps by the beach

Beached long-tail boats & sleeping fisherman near the Sea Gypsy village, Rawai, Phuket, Thailand

Sleeping fisherman next to beached long-tail boats

Long-tail boats moored off the beach at the Sea Gypsy village, Rawai, Phuket, Thailand

Long-tail boats moored off the beach and children playing in the water


Phuket Snapshots: Rawai Beach

Just around the southern tip of Phuket on the east coast sprawls Rawai beach, a more local scene than the touristy swimming beaches of Kata and Karon.

At low tide long-tail boats, fishing boats and speedboats used for island sightseeing trips, lie stranded on expanses of sand, tethered to the shore by long ropes attached to stakes while locals forage for shellfish in pools among exposed rocks.

Along the southern shore, fishermen mend nets and repair or build boats. At the northern end beyond the pier in a sea gypsy fishing village, stalls sell pearls, shells and a medley of freshly caught seafood. Here you can buy mackerel, snapper, lobster, crab, prawns, mussels, squid… then take to one of the nearby restaurants to prepare your dish of choice.

Restaurants, many just rustic eateries seating customers Thai style on woven mats, spread along most of Rawai beach offering an array of mouth-watering seafood dishes. Popular with locals and visitors to Phuket they fill up quickly with families on public holidays and weekends.

Long-tail boats (ruea hang yao), Rawai beach, Phuket, Thailand Long-tail boats (ruea hang yao), Rawai beach, Phuket, Thailand Long-tail boats (ruea hang yao), Rawai beach, Phuket, Thailand Boat on beach, Rawai beach, Phuket, Thailand Boats, low tide, Rawai beach, Phuket, Thailand Fishing nets, Rawai beach, Phuket, Thailand Fishing nets, Rawai beach, Phuket, Thailand Long-tail boats (ruea hang yao), low tide, Rawai beach, Phuket, Thailand Long-tail boats (ruea hang yao), low tide, Rawai beach, Phuket, Thailand Long-tail boats (ruea hang yao), low tide, Rawai beach, Phuket, Thailand Boat building, Rawai beach, Phuket, Thailand Boat building, Rawai beach, Phuket, Thailand Long-tail boats (ruea hang yao), Rawai beach, Phuket, Thailand Long-tail boats (ruea hang yao), Rawai beach, Phuket, Thailand Long-tail boats (ruea hang yao), Rawai beach, Phuket, Thailand Old boat, fish traps, Rawai beach, Phuket, Thailand Tsunami hazard zone sign, Rawai beach, Phuket, Thailand Long-tail boats (ruea hang yao), Thai flag, Rawai beach, Phuket, Thailand