Phuket’s floating seafood restaurants (‘krachang’ in Thai) are a fun way to dine out and can be found along the east coast of Phuket. The trip involves a fun, brief long-tail boat ride from Laem Hin Pier to the restaurants. It’s a great day out all year round, come rain or shine!
This unique dining concept is there only because about 20 years ago a group of friends from Phuket Town were looking for a more relaxing place to dine and relax. Someone suggested a brilliant idea would be for them to go to a floating fish farm off Laem Hin and ask the fishermen’s family to cook something basic and simple using the seafood they reared. Meanwhile, so the idea went, the group could just hang out, read books or fish away on the farm’s deck (the farms always have a reuan pae or houseboat, where they actually live, connected to it).
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Phuket Floating Restaurants Highlights
Later on, the fish farmers saw an opportunity to establish a floating restaurant business and did just that but all have kept it very much a family operation. Over the years it’s become very popular. Word spread and people kept coming back, usually bringing more friends with them. To cope with such a high demand, the restaurants usually buy fresh seafood from other fishermen and rear the produce until the right time, keeping fish, crabs, prawns and other seafood in floating wood-and-net enclosures. All guests have to do is walk along planks between the enclosures and choose the seafood they want to eat.
A must-try dish here is huge oysters, served with chili, garlic, lime and herbs. They’re delicious! Other classic dishes include stir-fried crab with black peppercorns, fried shrimp with tamarind sauce , deep-fried soft-shell crab with garlic, hot-and-sour soup with garupa, stir-fried crab meat with yellow curry powder, roast shrimp with salt and garlic and the fiery soup tom yam kung. Some seafood items can be expensive such as mantis shrimps, so check prices before ordering.
Good to Know about Phuket's Floating Restaurants
While waiting for the food to arrive, a walk around the krachang might surprise; you’ll see leopard sharks, blowfish, moray eels or even mantis shrimps.
There are several krachang open every day, including Kru Suwit’s (Tel: +66  89 594 0161), Bang Gaan Seafood (Tel: +66  81 788 5593 or +66  89 650 4858) and Bang Mud Laem Hin (+66  81 273 2367 or +66  81 537 4227).
Some of these restaurants don’t sell alcohol but don’t mind if you bring along your own supply (usually at no extra cost but it’s best to ask beforehand.) The best time to go is around 17:30 when the weather is bit cooler. Also, you will have the advantage of a romantic boat ride back under the starry skies. Another important note, they also have parking space for customers with a fee of only 20 baht per car. The boat ride is free.
Phuket's Floating Restaurants
- Opening Hours: Daily usually from 10:00-22:00
- Location: East coast of Phuket