Rawai Beach, at the south end of Phuket island, is not a beach suitable for swimming, but it offers beautiful views on the nearby islands and has a peaceful local atmosphere. It’s a great place to enjoy some excellent seafood by the ocean, and a good starting point to do some island hopping.
As you drive south of Chalong, you will reach the Rawai Pier. To the left side of the pier is the remaining of the old ‘Gypsy Village’, where long-established fishermen in rather precarious houses still make a living off fishing, boat chartering and selling shells. Now it’s mostly famous for the crowded Rawai Seafood Market where tourists buy fish, lobsters and crabs directly from the local fishermen and ask the nearby restaurants to cook it for them
On the right side of the pier is a long beach road where locals anchor dozens of longtails boats and speedboats. The place has changed a lot in recent years and now has many bars, convenience shops, massage, fitness clubs and of course a few hotels. Thankfully, despite the many changes, there are still a few excellent local restaurants by the sea.Rawai has a discreet charm with more things to do than most people think. There are a couple of superb beaches nearby, and you get easy access to many islands nearby.
Rawai itself doesn’t seem to really have a beach for sunbathing or swimming, however, local kids swim at each end while parents enjoy a picnic in the shade of trees. If you have booked in this part of the island, you still can find a decent sunbathing spot at the east end of the beach. It’s not as neat as on the west coast, but it’s right there.