Rawai beach Phuket
Seafood restaurants and boats to the islands
Rawai beach is one beach in Rawai district. When people talk about Rawai they can be referring to the general area of south Phuket that starts just south of Chalong circle and includes Naiharn beach, Yanui beach and Promthep cape (viewpoint).
Rawai is a beautiful district although Rawai beach is not the best beach in Rawai district. No one goes to Rawai beach for a swim because it’s full of moored up long tail boats and speedboats. Rawai beach also turns into mud flats at low tide, with rocks and coral exposed above the waterline.
The reason to visit Rawai beach is because it’s a wonderful place to dine. Local restaurants along the beach road set up tables and chairs under the trees along the sea front. It’s the perfect place for a leisurely lunch or dinner and is very popular with locals, especially at weekends. The food is mostly Thai Esaan and seafood. Ideally go in a group so you can choose several of dishes and share. Beer is served in big bottles with glasses and a bucket of ice, it goes perfectly with spicy food.
To get to Rawai beach drive south from Chalong circle. When you get to the end of the road you’ve reached Rawai pier. The seafront restaurants are to the right. To the left are some seafood market stalls where sea gypsies (who made Rawai their home years ago) sell their catch.
In the evening Rawai has quite a few bars to choose from. Nikita’s is a popular bar and restaurant on the seafront, a cool place to relax. There are also lots of girly bars scattered around. Rawai has quite a large community of older expats who moved to Rawai when Patong got too much for them. The girls followed.
The Rawai area away from the beach doesn’t really have a centre. It’s a bit of a maze of streets and easy to get confused while driving around. It can be fun to hire a motorbike or bicycle and explore.
Rawai is also home to a younger expat group into sports, fitness, yoga and the like. Muay Thai training camps are springing up all over the place.
Long tail boats can take you from Rawai to the islands that you can see from the beach, like Koh Bon or Koh Lon. You’ll have to negotiate a price, it can be good value if you are a group.
For swimming near Rawai head 5 minutes away to Yanui beach or Naiharn beach.