Tonsai West is the quieter, more contemplative sister of brash and bold Tonsai East and the village itself.
If you pass the pier and keep walking past the hospital and towards the limestone hills you’ll notice that things get a lot quieter and peaceful in this section of the island.
Several large resorts line the path, serving late afternoon cocktails, some feeding the many day tours that arrive en masse late morning but you won’t find original stand-alone restaurants here – only a few sandwich vendors and snack peddlers where you can buy fruit shakes and pancakes. However towards the end of the beachside path you'll come across a small bar called the Deaf Gecko - this is a friendly place to stop off for a beer. Right at the end of the path is Mama's Beach Residence - a resort with a classy bar that is worth the walk.
However, you can rent kayaks to explore along the island’s sensational western promontory and several intrepid visitors have even paddled out to Phi Phi Leh! The area is great for snorkeling too and a lot less busy than Loh Dalum.
As for nightlife, Tonsai West hasn’t much, unless you count sitting on the beach counting the stars and listening to the distant boom-boom-boom bass lines coming across the bay from Tonsai East. There are just the Deaf Gecko and The Cliff bar at Mama's Beach Residence.
As for shopping, halfway along the path, just past the hospital there is a convenience store with pretty inconvenient, that’s to say, elevated prices.
Tonsai West Restaurants & Dining
Deaf Gecko Bar
On the beachside path leading to Mama’s Beach residence you’ll stumble across what appears to be a private party by the beach. This is the Deaf Gecko bar run by a jovial Irishman and it’s definitely worth stopping by for a beer or ten. There’s only seating for a few drinkers so the scene is automatically intimate. The Deaf Gecko’s main thrust of business is rock climbing so expect to hear a lot about ropes and bolts.
- Opening Hours: Early – late
- Location: Beachside walking path halfway from the pier to Mama Beach Residence
The Cliff Bar & Restaurant
It’s a 750-metre stroll from Tonsai Pier to Mama Beach Residence at the western end of Tonsai Bay but it’s most definitely worth it as here is where you’ll find The Cliff Bar & Restaurant. In an idyllic beach setting and sheltered by the towering and prolific limestone cliffs that mark the edge of the bay, sunset dining here is nothing short of magnificent. But just about any time of day is memorable here and what with the setting, an attractive design, good cocktails and super-friendly service, everything adds up to a place that pretty much sums up tropical beach dining and drinking.
- Opening Hours: 11:30 - 23:00
- Location: Western end of Tonsai Bay, at Mama Beach Residence