Rawai (หาดราไวย์ Hat Rawai) is a seafront village in Phuket. The north part of Rawai is known as Hat Mittraphap (หาดมิตรภาพ), and has some beachfront, while the southern portion is the urban area and a port called Laem Ka (แหลมกา).
Rawai is located at the southern tip of Phuket. It is much less touristy than nearby Kata and Patong beaches and an excellent place to experience some real Thai culture. This palm-fringed beach is best known for sea gypsies, a formerly nomadic fishing minority believed to be of Melanesian descent.
To get here, take a songteow from Phuket Town (see where the beach songteows run from in that section). Will cost about B40 to get there.
Along with Chalong, Rawai is one of Phuket’s two main ports and has connections to many of Phuket’s islands.
Rawai is quite spread out and a scooter is highly recommended. The longer your hire period, the cheaper it becomes and is possible to hire one for around 120 baht/day. Otherwise expect to pay 150-200 baht/day depending on the type of scooter.
- Phuket Sea Shell Museum (พิพิธภัณฑ์เปลือกหอยภูเก็ต). The emphasis is on shells from Thai waters, which are among the most sought-after by collectors, however shells from every part of the world are featured. There are numerous rarities and freaks including the world’s largest golden pearl (140 karats), large sections of sedimentary rock containing shell fossils, and a shell that weighs 250 kilograms.
- Laem Ka (หาดแหลมกา) Just south of the Phuket Island Resort Hotel and north of Rawai Beach is a small rocky bay, popular with Thais at the weekend.
- Ko Kaeo (เกาะแก้ว) Ko Kaeo is an offshore isle about 3 kilometres out from Rawai beach and can be reached in 30 minutes by boat. It offers picturesque beaches and underwater scenery. There is also a replica of the Holy Footprint on the island.
- Prom Thep Cape, Tambon Rawai. 24 hours. Literally translated as “God’s Cape”, the Prom Thep Cape is one of the islands most notable natural landmarks and lies to the far south, around 2 km/1.5 mi from Rawai Beach. With high cliffs and uninterrupted views, Prom Thep is most famous for its dramatic sunsets, which regularly attract crowds. Close to the cape’s peak you will find a small and interesting shrine, which features a number of wooden elephants. There is a fine Thai restaurant not far away from this.