Anyone breakfasting, lunching, or dining at Chalong’s The Lighthouse does so surrounded by history.
For over two decades The Lighthouse has witnessed wild parties, boozy wakes, raucous marriages, whispered threats of divorce, both clandestine and open romances, fights, love-ins, great live music, absolutely awful live music, stars, nobodies and many, many yacht lovers. It’s that sort of place.
Originally built by American expat Jimmy Pearson, his amiable and welcoming personality was the main reason people became regulars here and there were several 'shifts' each day of breakfast, lunch and dinner regulars. To this day this restaurant/bar is sometimes referred to as 'Jimmy's Lighthouse'.
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And how to describe this Phuket landmark? Well, for a start, despite its tall lighthouse tower and ‘beacon’ it’s not, and has never been, a lighthouse. A popular meeting place for expats and foreign passers through, The Lighthouse has an entire open side facing out to Chalong Bay with its colourful yachts, pleasure boats, speedboats and long-tails. In the distance looms the bulk of Lone Island and the minimalist ‘Hamburger Island’ (no one knows its real name – if indeed it has one.)
The heavy teak tables and wooden floors here could do with a lick of varnish but they bear testimony to a rich and varied culinary legacy of predominantly western food such as pastas, Thai-style pizzas (try the Penang sauce chicken pizza for an unusual combination), all-day finger food and a hearty selection of Thai dishes – all at prices higher than local options but with good-sized portions. Lighthouse also offers a good range of beers and an eight-label wine list at reasonable prices.
We stick to simplicity with fried rice and chicken (khao phad gai) and a club sandwich. Even though the sandwich’s French fries are straight out of the freezer they’re surprisingly good and the khao phad is full of fresh, chopped vegetables, making it easily the healthiest version of this dish in Chalong. The atmosphere here, even at lunchtime, is one in which you’ll be tempted to spin a nautical yarn or two – and believe me there are many who do. At night things can get rather sleepy except when there’s a regatta or an event on, in which case The Lighthouse is the place to be.
Do try to get a window seat as the views and breezes round off a very enjoyable experience at one of Phuket’s most established restaurant/bars. There’s ample parking out back and along the seafront and the restaurant has free Wi-Fi. To find The Lighthouse head down to Chalong pier, turn left and follow the seaside road. You can’t miss the distinctive white lighthouse tower.
- Opening Hours: 08:00 – 24:00 Daily
- Address: 45/33 Chao Fa Road East, Moo 9, Ao Chalong, Phuket
- Tel: 076 381 709
- How to get there: From the Chalong traffic circle make a turn toward the pier and turn left at the pier passing the public car park, carry on until almost the end of the road and you will notice this striking white lighthouse .