Rawai Seafood Market, located at the southern tip of Phuket, sits beside a beautiful pier popular with the locals as a fishing spot. Right at the mouth of the pier, you’ll spot a commotion down a street running parallel to the beach, on the left hand side. If you are game for a seafood meal that is as fresh as it can be, head down that street!
[IMPORTANT] If you drive, be careful not to follow the GPS location and drive into the busy street. There will be nowhere for you to park and you have only one choice, which is to u-turn and find somewhere else to park. It becomes especially difficult at dinner time when the street will be packed with tourists. So, you will have to find a parking lot at the small round-about at the mouth of the pier. Park alongside the roads with the other cars, and make your way into the street on foot.
We love the raw infrastructure along the street that sets up the ecosystem of fishermen, restaurants, and hungry tourists. A long line of make-shift stores will try to herd you into their store to sell you their fresh seafood. All you need to do is to choose what you want, purchase them by weight, and bring your spoil to the restaurants lined opposite for them to cook up a meal for you.
If you are confused by the number of stalls trying to sell you the same kind of seafood, find the stall in the centre of the market with pink price signages. After visiting twice, we found that the prices here are the fairest and the seafood is the freshest. That being said, there are some kinds of shellfishes that this shop doesn’t sell, so you will still have to walk around a bit.
As for the restaurant that will cook your fresh seafood, we recommend Khun Pha seafood restaurant for it’s quality and price. It’s also where the local Thais love to hang out at! The wait for the food is slightly long due to the long queues but it’s very worth the wait.
The prices of the seafood change daily according to the freshness and the size. For our first meal we had fried squid, shellfish, tiger prawns, and crayfish, and we spent a total of 1,160 baht. 720 baht went to the seafood, 350 baht went to the cooking, and another 90 baht went to a vegetable dish and drinking water.
As for the cooking, the restaurant that we went has a unique way of calculation. The pricing is based on the total weight of your seafood. At the entrance, the waitress will weigh your seafood and calculate the price accordingly. For the first 200g, it’s 100 baht per 100g. For the next few 100g, it’s 75 baht per 100g. Our seafood was 400g, hence the price of 350 baht. 100 + 100 + 75 + 75 = 350 Baht.
Experience @ Rawai Seafood Market
The quality of the seafood and its method of cooking is quite unmatched. Our tiger prawns were sweet and buttery, well cleaned and easily shelled. Shellfishes were stir-fried Chinese style, and we had our crayfish lightly fried. As we stay in Chiang Mai, fresh seafood is hard to come by, and we had our seafood cravings thoroughly satisfied here at Khun Pha.
While walking down the street of shops selling seafood, we saw many Thai tourists picking up the humongous lobsters and taking selfies with them. To many, it’s a fun and almost educational experience just browsing through the variety of seafood. Prices have also dropped due to the pandemic, and the locals are more willing to spend on the more luxurious seafood items.
If you arrive early at the vicinity, take a slow walk down the pier, and enjoy the sunset in the evening before heading for dinner. Perhaps the only thing that was a slight turn-off was the difficulty in finding parking space. Therefore, we recommend you to try to arrive earlier at 5pm, find a convenient lot to park and spend the time enjoying the pier.
It’s blasphemy to visit Phuket without enjoying at least 1 seafood meal. It’s definitely not going to be as cheap as your favourite Pad Thai, so while you are at it, go for the best! One good indicator of awesomeness for Rawai Seafood Pier is the sheer number of Thai tourists flooding to the place. Even the locals cannot resist, and they also find the prices fair.
For us, we will definitely re-visit this place when we are back in Phuket, so we definitely recommend seafood lovers to pay this place a visit. Bring with you an empty stomach but also be aware of your seafood allergies if you have any! If you would like to follow us in our adventure here in Phuket, visit our Phuket Itinerary article here.