Rawai Beach is located in Southern Phuket and is often ignored by visitors to the island, meaning that it’s less crowded and more peaceful than some of the other Phuket beaches. Rawai used to be one of the most popular Phuket beaches, but since improvement to Phuket’s road network, Rawai Beach has gradually slid down the order of merit, which is usually a sign that a beach is worth visiting.
Rawai Beach is well shaded, but is perhaps not the best place for swimming, given the large number of boats just off the coast. The water is shallow at best and leaves mud flats and rocks when the tide is low.
For a real glimpse of Thai culture, Rawai Beach is a great place to mingle with the local community and check out the Sea Gypsies. The area is chilled and has enough restaurants and shops.
There aren’t many sun loungers at Rawai Beach and watersports aren’t popular in the area. It is, however, possible to catch a boat to one of the nearby islands or other beaches.
The seafood market and Sea Gypsy village at the east end of Rawai Beach are an experience and there are lots of places to grab a bite to eat and watch the world breeze by. The food is generally superior and cheaper when compared with places such as Patong Beach and Karon Beach.
There is a walkway along the beach where restaurants and vendors serve food. Rawai Beach is still popular among Thai families out for a picnic.
Although Rawai Beach isn’t ideal for sunbathing and regular beach activities, it is interesting to sit back and watch the seafaring side of Thai life getting on with its business. Thankfully, there isn’t a banana boat in sight.