Where is Koh Bon Island?
Bon Island (or Koh Bon) is located just south of Rawai Beach in Phuket and is just a short longtail boat ride away. A few sandy beaches pepper the coast of this tiny island, and despite being so close to Phuket, it hasn’t been invaded yet.
There are only two real beaches on Koh Bon (In Thai, islands are ‘Koh’). One was the landing spot of the now-closed Evason Resort Phuket, and the other is the hideaway restaurant of ‘Dawn’ a now well-known English lady who made Phuket her home more than two decades ago. The island of Bon is not as impressive as Coral Island or Similan island, but it is so close to Phuket island, it’s a fun escape for lunch. With thatched roofs and a wooden restaurant, it has a little ‘castaway’ feel to it.
Note that Bon Island is not related to James Bond island! It’s not even in the same area, but it seems that people confuse them sometimes.
Of course, you won’t be alone on Koh Bon during the high season as no restaurant would survive with just a couple of guests. Just like some other travellers in search of a hidden spot will land here for lunch, often repeaters who fell in love with the place, plus a couple of speedboats stopping over for lunch on their way to some other Phuket attractions. Once those speedboats are gone the beach is yours to play with: snorkelling, kayaking or just hang here watching yachts and sailing boats passing by with a local beer or a freshly opened coconut in hand.
Apparently, Dawn lives a life most of us would see as heaven on earth: a small white sandy beach with palm trees swaying in the summer breeze and little clouds gently drifting in a bright blue sky. They are living in a Phuket postcard. Every day, enough customers make the effort of crossing the sea to enjoy her legendary pepper prawns (280 baht) or Tamarin prawns (also 280 Baht), and all seems to be idyllic and perfect. But these are the good days, the life of an islander running a restaurant is not all fun and sun as Phuket does have a monsoon with nasty winds and heavy rains.
Now think about it, every day she has to go to the local fresh market in Phuket Town some 20 kilometres away to buy everything she ‘might’ need for travellers who ‘might or might not come’… then drive to Rawai Beach, load all this on a boat and disembark it on Bon Island and so on, every single day. Living on a paradise can be a hell of a job! So if you are around Rawai Beach, cross the sea and have lunch at Dawn’s, she is a great person to be around 🙂
What to Order
- Deep Fried ‘Tempura’ Chicken – 240 Baht
- Garlic Prawns – 280 Baht
- Tamarind Fish – 370 Baht
- Pineapple Fried Rice Prawn – 240 Baht
- Chicken and Cashew Nuts – 260 Baht
- Papaya (Somtam) or Cucumber Thai Salad – 120 Baht
- Chicken with Basil over Rice and Fried Egg – 240 Baht
- Fried Fillet of Fish with Sweet Chilli Sauce (plah rahd prik) – 370 Baht
- Sweet and Sour Chicken – 240 Baht
- Prawn Fried Rice – 180 Baht
How to Get to Bon Island
The best way to get to Bon Island is to ride one of the longtail boats always standing-by on Rawai Beach. Make sure you first agree on the price, which usually is 1,300 baht per boat for a round trip. Prices may vary a bit with seasons, demand, or the number of passengers, but this should give you a ballpark to bargain. Note that you just pay the boat fare on the way back. Any agency or driver would add their commission to this price.
Note also that while Koh Bon seems to be nearby, it would be extremely dangerous to consider swimming across the channel!
Note that during low season it is recommended to check it the restaurant is open as weather sometimes doesn’t allow boats to cross. You can call 081 892 1156 or check directly on their Facebook page.
- Open: daily 10 am – 5 pm (closed in case of bad weather)
- Phone: 081 892 1156
Photos of Bon Island
Bon Island Map
FAQs about Bon Island
a. Bon Island is 2 km from Rawai Beach in south Phuket, only 10 to 15 minutes by longtail boat.
a. You can just show up in Rawai Beach and get a longtail boat. The ride costs about 1,000 baht for a full boat, including return.
a. You can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, snorkelling and enjoy a lunch at Bon Island restaurant.
a. Koh Bon is 1.2km at its longest and 500m at its widest.