What to Do at the Sarasin Bridge
The Sarasin Bridge connects Phuket island to Phang Nga province on the mainland of Thailand. The original 600 meters bridge was built in 1967 and was known to be the scene of some sad love story, the way bridges often do.
At the time the bridge wasn’t very high and for many years it was a problem for large boats that had to go all around the island to reach the Andaman Sea. In 2010, a new higher double lane bridge was built parallel to the old one, allowing more road traffic above, and bigger ships to pass below.
At the contrary of what we thought, the old bridge wasn’t demolished. Instead, they transformed into a smart pedestrian bridge with an elevated central section, allowing beautiful photos of the bay and special events to be held.
Where to Eat at Sarasin Bridge?
Thanoon seafood is large and recent, with concrete roofs and a large kitchen. The restaurant is quiet during the day but past 5 pm several speedboats arrive and offload a crowd of tourists. Fortunately, this loud crowd stays in the far building so your dinner is not spoiled.
Rimpan Seafood is a lot more fun and very local. It is literally hidden on a tiny beach next to the bridge, on the Phuket side. Here you can sit in those old fashion bamboo huts by the sea and admire the channel that separates Phuket from the mainland. The restaurant is on the beach in the shade of trees and serves some great seafood at a very good price.
What to do near the Bridge?
Past the bridge, on the mainland, is a line of local roadside stalls, the way they like to do in Thailand. Each stall sells basically the same things, which here is mostly those famous Phuket Pineapples and those huge scary-looking coconut crabs. It’s fun to stop by for a photo.
Natai Beach and Pilai Beach
Just past the bridge are Natai beach and Pilai beach, two fantastic beaches with no one on them but you.
Before the bridge, on the Phuket side, you could stop at the ‘Phuket Gateway’, a small shopping village erected at the wrong place, hoping that people would stop on the way in or out of the island. Just as you can expect, no one stops there: if you just arrive in Phuket, you just want to reach your destination. If you are leaving the island, you are on your way to somewhere and it would take something a little more impressive to stop you.
Exploring the small beaches next to the bridge is also fun. The first small one is home to the Rimpan Seafood as mentioned earlier. The second, called Pak Phra Beach is where people wash and bathe in… jellyfish!
A little further is the fantastic and deserted Sai Kaew beach. it’s a bit of walk but it’s so worth it.