Local Life

Footprints on the beach!

For anyone who has ever wondered what these shell like objects are, here is your answer! They are known scientifically as 'Operculum' and are the 'door' or 'lid' of a shellfish known scientifically as 'Gastropod Mollusca'.

There are many varieties, so for anyone that wants to know a bit more go to the following website    http://www.nansaidh.us/operc/index1.html
where you can see photographs of different species and learn more on their research page. Each image, when clicked on, will open a new window with a larger image, place your cursor over the image and you can see the type of shell that the lid has come from.

Wikipedia also has some information here: 

Low tide

Everyday low water will change by about 40 minutes (see our Tide table link for more info), therefore occurring at different times of the day. When low tide is close to sunset the locals can be seen searching for crabs, fish and other marine life either to sell or to take home to be prepared for their evening meal. 

It is a great place to explore and observe marine life as well as the way of life of the local fishermen and their different methods of catching small octopus and other seafood. Here are a few of the creatures that can be found.

Fresh Fish

Fishing was, and still is, a very important part of life in Rawai and whilst the tourists were out on Deep-Sea Fishing trips with expensive equipment, the locals could, and still can be seen, wading out into the sea with the simplest of fishing rods, or even just a fishing line wound around an empty water bottle.

Close to Rawai Beach on the way to Bon Island, the local 'Chao Lay' fisherman pull up their fish trap. Seeing the little fish jumping around inside we decided to stop and get some fresh fish. Good fun was had by all the girls who boarded the boat to choose the fish. Certainly beats the local market!

Here's a music video about the fisherman


The local 'Chao Lay' or sea people (often referred to as sea gypsies) make a living from the sea. Their boats are usually constructed from old jet skis, canoes or simply a piece of foam big enough to sit on. Starting early in the morning they fish for squid and other small fish along the coastline, bringing the catch into the village in the late afternoon to be sold on street-side stalls. The profit of which will be (partly) used for a bottle of local whiskey! See more about the Sea Gypsies at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moken

Kanom Jak

Kanom Jak is a sweet made from grated coconut and palm sugar, wrapped in the 'jak' leaves and baked on a small charcoal grill. 'Bai Jak' is the leaf of the Nypa palm and is used for roofing, cigarette paper as well as a wrapping for food.

You can see more information on the following Wikipedia links:

th.wikipedia.org/wiki/%e0%b8%82%e0%b8%99%e0%b8%a1%e0%b8%8... (Thai)

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nypa_fruticans (English)

Boat Building

Take a walk along Rawai beach to the southern end of the beach and you will find long-tail boats being built and repaired. Most boats will come up onto the hard for repairs once a year, maybe just for a coat of paint or for more substantial repairs such as replacing planks of wood.

Getting the boats up onto the hard is quite a job in itself and the local boat owners join together and help each other. It takes a lot of strength to get the boat moving!