Jamie's Phuket Blog

Kruvit Floating Restaurant at Coconut Island

The east coast of Phuket is very much under-rated, far less touched by tourism than the sandy beaches on the west coast and far less visited by visitors. Quite a few of my favourite places and favourite restaurants are on the east side. If you head north from Phuket Town, on the main airport road there is a small side road heading to Laem Hin, a fishing community where you find the very popular Laem Hin Seafood restaurant. A new jetty was built at Laem Hin a few years ago to serve Coconut Island and allow larger boats to dock in the area. On Coconut Island (Koh Maphrao) you find a very nice resort called The Village. And in the water just off the island there are several floating restaurants. We've been before and somehow I have never blogged anything about these places. The day when we went recently was not such a perfect sunny day, guess we will go again soon with blue skies for better photos.

There are several restaurants to choose from - Kruvit, Bang Mud and Kru Suwit. To reach them, you need to get a longtail boat from Laem Hin - boats depart from a wooden jetty with shallow muddy water all around, and longtail boats jammed in like sardines in a can! The deal with the boats.. something like.. if you spend a certain amount at the restaurant you don't pay the boat .. I don't know the amount .. but don't be worried, I think the idea is just to stop people trying to get free rides to drink a coke :)

Longtail boats at Laem Hin

On the way out to Koh Maphrao (only takes 5 minutes) there are fishermen's huts floating in the water too. Is this the same Phuket as the west coast? Things tend to be more traditional here. Fishing, prawn farms (you pass some on the road down to Laem Hin), it's the old way of life here (oh yeh, and the resort on Coconut Island). The restaurants have been here for a long time. I think first time I went there was about 2002. Very popular with locals at the weekends.

Floating fishermens huts off the coast of Phuket

We chose to eat at Kruvit restaurant (full name "Kruvit Raft") - my wife had been recently to Bang Mud with some friends and says that's good too. Even on a grey day, quite a few tables were occupied (all local people, although I did see one "farang" arrive later with a Thai lady). I realise that places like this are not so easy to reach for the average tourist, but .. go for it! Explore! We were met by a friendly boatman who held the longtail steady so we (especially my Mum, who cracked a rib on a longtail last year!) could step off easily. Nothing to worry about really, the sea over here is always calm, it's very sheltered.

Boatman at the floating restaurant

The Kruvit Raft probably has space for a couple of hundred people. There are tables with benches and tables which allow people to sit on the floor, for those that enjoy such things. I like chairs. We found our table near the fish tanks ... lots of live seafood is kept in large enclosed pools built into the raft. Fish and more .. I actually have to say I was not happy to see a leopard shark. I guess for decoration, not for eating. It's a thin line, I know.. I am not vegetarian, happily eat fish, and yet get upset to see a shark in a "cage" ...

Leopard Shark in captivity

We ate very well too - but with a restaurant like this, eating is only part of the experience! The boat ride, the view, the fresh air, getting away from the crowds ... good food is almost a bonus. I ordered my favourite - Yam Gung Siap, a salad made with smoked, dried shrimp .. it's quite spicy and is quite a local delicacy, really only found in Phuket and Phang Nga. I love it! My wife had some "Hoi Wan" - shellfish cooked with basil and sweet chili paste (not so spicy). There was plenty more too, but sometimes when I am hungry I forget to take photos of the food!

Hoy Wan

Yam Gung Siap

Food washed down nicely with a couple of beers (with ice). Rest assured that the bill was very reasonable (we don't do expensive food!). We'll go again sometime soon, maybe try one of the other floating restaurants. We do eat at Laem Hin Seafood now and then and maybe the food there is better, but hey, you don't get that floating feeling or the boat ride :)

Floating Restaurants - Location Map


View Floating Restaurants at Coconut Island, Phuket in a larger map


 Kruvit Floating Restaurant at Coconut Island  |  Jamie's Phuket Blog


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Anonymous Martyn :

Jamie the food looks excellent and the experience a wonderful one too. Getting off the beaten track, or boat in this case, can be very worthwhile, and not only for the value that these kind of places offer but also because getting in among the locals is a very refreshing adventure as well.

December 24, 2011  

Anonymous Anonymous :

Is Laem Hin in the mainland and the other floating restaurants in coconut island?
Is it wworth spending an afternoon in the island, say if we go to the island at noon, have lunch in one of the floating restaurants, see the island in the afternoon, then come back to mainland to Laem Hin for evening meal. Does that sound OK? Is there anything to see/do in coconut island?
Thanks.

December 31, 2011  

Blogger Jamie Monk in Phuket :

Hello - you just gave me an idea for a blog post! Laem Hin is on the mainland, yes.. and the floating restaurants are offshore close to Coconut Island (Koh Maphrao). Aside from The Village there are no resorts on Coconut Island, but I do believe, if you want to, you can ask a longtail driver to drop you there - maybe explore the local village, sit on the beach... maybe I'll do that one day soon. We did stop on the island many years ago - there's a photo of me on the beach at Coconut Island here - was taken in 2003 I think, or 2004. My advice - go and explore and write a blog page about it for me :)

December 31, 2011  

Anonymous Ron :

Hi Jamie,

What time do these close in the evening?
I am envisaging early lunch at Samchongs, hire a longtail boat for Panyi and James Bond islands trip and then come back to here for evening meal which probably will be around 8pm. Is that feasible?

January 05, 2012  

Anonymous Ron :

Or should we do it another day so as to catch the sunset while eating?

January 05, 2012  

Blogger Jamie Monk in Phuket :

These places are open until 10pm, but for sure I'd rather eat there when there's a view!

January 06, 2012  

Anonymous GG :

Just read your blog on the floating restaurant. I will be going to this coconut island next week... Wish me luck.

Thanks for sharing nice info on your blog. I will come back to share on my experience too. Wish all readers a beautiful day

September 07, 2012  

Anonymous Mark :

I like your style, Jamie. I was just surfing a little and stumbled upon your blog and this reference to Kruwit Raft. I just got home from a couple of weeks in Phuket and we found Kruwit Raft after some advice from a local. You describe the experience so well - even down to the Yam Gung Siap. Except we had a sunny day which made it so easy to order another couple of crabs and bottle of beer.

February 06, 2013  

Blogger Jamie Monk in Phuket :

Hi Mark, Thanks for stopping by. We also tried the Bang Mud Seafood restaurant recently, also floating near Kruwit. Another called "Black Crab" is yet to be tried. Next time I want to eat there around sunset time.

February 07, 2013  

Anonymous MeghanIvy :

Hi Jamie,
Great blog! We haven't been to Phuket for almost 9 years, so am a bit rusty.
We leave for Patong beach this week and would love to see and eat at the floating restaurants, however do you organise a private driver to drop you to the long tail boats or taxi it there?
Also, we have children aged 7 and 9, would it be suitable for them? They love seafood and would hate to miss out!
I read somewhere that you can BYO beers as well.
Thanks

December 29, 2013  

Blogger Jamie Monk in Phuket :

It's a fair drive from Patong, about 15km away to Laem Hin. A taxi will take you, but beware of unscrupulous taxi drivers who will tell you they know a better place, and this place will prove to be expensive because the driver gets commission. If driver tells you he does not know where Laem Hin is, or suggests another place, use another driver. or rent a car, it's cheaper than 2 taxi rides any way! Yes trip and restaurant suitable for kids, I have 2 kids myself. This particular restaurant sells beer, so don't BYO. There is another floating restaurant almost next door called Bang Mud which is Muslim run and they don't sell beer, but you can BYO :)

December 30, 2013