One of Phuket’s less known beaches.
Rawai Beach has been well known to the locals for a long time. For as long as I can remember, the Thai residents and Thai tourists will stop at Rawai to visit Laem Promthep and watch the sun slowly sink into the sea at sunset, often stopping for a meal at one of the restaurants along the beach-side. On religious festival days, boat loads of worshippers can be seen heading off to Koh Gaew Island to visit the island temple and pay their respects.
But it is the traditional Phuket culture that can be found blending in with the tourist scene that is one of the nicest things about Rawai Beach. The small fishing village on the north end of the beach where the local ‘Sea Gypsies’ sell their catch along the waterfront, or the area at Bak Bang on the south end of the beach where the local fisherman bring their boats ashore to repair them, are paradise for photographers or anyone that simply wants to see how life goes on.
Sadly Rawai is not ideal for people looking for a beach day as the water is almost completely dry at low tide, and the beach is very close to the road. These factors added to the fact that there are so many boats parked and a lot of rubbish created by boat building, make most tourists head off to one of the nearby islands like Bon Island, to find somewhere more pleasant to swim and sunbath. But all said Rawai makes a great place to spend the day!
A lot of people from many different countries have chosen Rawai as their second home, partly because of its location but mainly because they feel they can live a more Thai style life here as they will be living amongst the locals rather than being surrounded by hotels and tourists. I am one of them, and I remember arriving in Rawai back in 1987 to see rice be grown just 100 meters from the beach! Things have changed over the years, the rice has disappeared but the feeling of the ‘old Thailand’ can still be felt!