Rawai Beach, located on the south end of the island Phuket is an ideal spot for relaxation with its beautiful views and great seafood. It only takes a 17 km ride from Phuket Town to reach this tranquil paradise. It has many small islands nearby which has a local peaceful atmosphere. It is not a swimming beach but a great starting point for island hopping.
The left side is the main beach is occupied by fishermen living in perishable houses who make two ends meet by fishing, boat chartering and selling shells. The beach is still a mooring point for many of these fishermen. You can see this area while driving south and it's called the Gypsy Village. There are many longtail boats and speed boats for hire on the shore of Rawai Beach and they will take you to Coral Island, Koh Lone or Racha Island. The right side of the beach is usually occupied by those engaged in kite surfing but only if the wind permits.
The beach has many local seafood restaurants that offer a great taste of their culture at good prices. The best way to have an authentic experience is to eat on mats placed on the floor just like the locals do. One such place is the Aek Rawai Seafood restaurant on the roadside of Rawai Beach.
But if you prefer fine dining, it is recommended to move towards the western edge. You will find Promthep Cape, a tiny street which leads to many small yet posh seafood restaurants.
Rawai beach is now famous for the crowded Rawai Seafood market. The tourists can order any fish or seafood from one side of the market, and on the other side, they can take it to any restaurant to get it cooked for about 100 bahts. Nikita’s and Baan Rimlai are two other restaurants with a beautiful setting under trees and spectacular sights of the nearby island.
Rawai Beach also offers many shopping facilities, particularly at the Gypsy Village Seafront. It sells all kinds of souvenirs from shells to local pearls. The renowned Phuket Shell museum has been the landmark of Rawai Beach for over twenty years and so is the Promthep Cape Viewpoint. With its sugar palm trees and spellbinding sunsets, the Promthep Cape Viewpoint has become a symbol of Phuket Island.
Bon Island is a tiny beautiful island near Rawai Beach and you can get there by longtail boats. Lunch on a nice tropical island would be a great experience and the popular Bon Island restaurant will provide you just that. Not far from Rawai Beach is the Laem Ka Beach. It is a bit tough to find as it is run down but does have a nice local touch to it.