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What to Do in Rawai Beach?

Rawai Beach, at the south end of Phuket island, is not a beach suitable for swimming, but it offers beautiful views of 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 island hopping.

Rawai Beach Video

As you drive south of Chalong, you will reach the Rawai Pier. To the left side of the pier is the remaining old ‘Gypsy Village’, where long-established fishermen in rather precarious houses still live 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 them.

Rawai Beach

On the right side of the pier is a long beach road where locals anchor dozens of longtail boats and speedboats. The place has changed a lot in recent years and now has many bars, convenience shops, massage, fitness clubs, and a few hotels. Thankfully, despite the many changes, there are still a few excellent local restaurants by the sea.

Can you swim in Rawai Beach?

Unfortunately, Rawai is not a swimming beach as there are way too many longtail boats and speedboats parked at any time of the day. However, if you walk to the east end, passed the large Rawai Seafood Market, you will find a reasonable swimming spot.

Rawai Beach


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.

The Beach

Rawai itself doesn’t seem to 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 can still 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.

Promthep Cape View Point

Promthep Cape

Promthep Cape View Point is famous for striking sunsets framed by iconic sugar palm trees. It is such a symbolic landmark of Phuket island that you can recognise it on the Phuket car plates with a ‘lucky plate number’.

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Bon Island

Bon Island - Lunch at Bon Island Restaurant

From Rawai Beach, you can take a longtail to the nearby Bon Island and spend the day snorkelling, relaxing and enjoy a tropical lunch in this little-known hideaway.

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Buddha Island (Koh Kaeo)

Koh Kaeo

Koh Kaeo, also called Buddha Island, can be reached by longtail boats from Rawai. It’s a tiny island with two large golden Buddhas, one sitting and one standing, and a small temple on top of the hill.

Coral Island

Coral Island

Coral island is just 15 minutes away by longtail boats from Rawai. It consists of 2 beautiful beaches: Banana Beach, which can be rather crowded with tourists, and long beach, where the Coral Island Resort offers beach bungalows.

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Rawai Park Kids Club

Rawai Park Phuket

If you come as a family, you can spend the afternoon at the Rawai Park Kids Club. The Kids Club features a lot of games plus a vast, colourful swimming pool.

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Nai Harn Beach

Nai Harn Beach Phuket

Rawai is not good for swimming, but the magnificent Nai Harn Beach is just 2 kilometres away.

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Windmill Viewpoint

Windmill Viewpoint in Phuket

Just 2 kilometres east of Rawai, the Windmill Viewpoint offers a beautiful panoramic view of Ya Nui Beach and Nai Harn.

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Ya Nui Beach

Ya Nui Beach

Ya Nui is a small but much-loved sandy cove located below the Windmill Viewpoint mentioned earlier, only 2 kilometres west of Rawai.

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Phuket Art Village

Phuket Art Village in Rawai

Phuket Art Village is a small art gallery and artist community hidden at the end of a small lane on the way to Rawai Beach, south of Phuket Island. The place is surprising and fun to explore, consisting of several little galleries, each with its style and artist.

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Rawai Beach has always been very popular among the many seafood restaurants all along the waterfront. The best way to enjoy this unique experience is to sit on floor mats and eat at low tables placed on the sidewalk, just as locals do. It’s fun, and the food is often better than in tourist restaurants. It’s a more memorable experience and a beautiful photo to take home.

Aek Seafood

Aek Seafood restaurant in Rawai, Phuket

Aek Rawai Seafood Restaurant is one of the few local restaurants along the roadside of Rawai. This small place doesn’t have any particular sign and may not attract a mass of hungry tourists, but this is where we love to go for a real seafood lunch or dinner. The setting is typical of local restaurants here: the kitchen is on one side of the road and the dining area on the opposite side’s floor, which makes the staff have to cross back and forth with trays of food!

Address: 22/9 Wiset Road, Tambon Rawai
Phone: 086 948 1551
Price: Affordable

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Nikita’s Beach Restaurant

Nikita's Beach Restaurant Phuket

For over 20 years, Nikita’s Beach Restaurant has been a favourite spot among expats and returning visitors. Set by the sea in the shade of huge trees near the Rawai pier, Nikita’s serves good Thai food and seafood at an excellent price. Read more

Address: 44 Viset Road Rawai Beach, Rawai, Phuket
Open: 9:30 am – 11:30 pm
: 076 288 703
Price: Affordable

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Rawai View Cafe

Rawai View Cafe Phuket

Rawai View Cafe is a charming little restaurant and bar with a beautiful wooden terrace overlooking Rawai Beach’s bay, in the very south of Phuket island. It’s well hidden and not on the tourist roads but with such a superb setting; it is quickly growing in popularity. This restaurant is a perfect place for lunch in the shade of trees or for a romantic dinner by the sea. Read more

Address: 96/6 Moo.6 Soi Laem PromThep 1 Viset Road
Open: 2 pm – 10 pm (closed Monday)
Tel: 088 768 3340
Price: Affordable

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Bon Island Restaurant


Bon Island restaurant is a little hidden gem on the small island you can see when standing on Rawai Beach. The restaurant serves local seafood and Thai food in a thatched-roofed restaurant by the beach.

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Baan Rimlay


Baan Rimlay is a small rustic Thai restaurant with a pleasant atmosphere where locals like to go for dinner or a party. The restaurant is under the trees by the sea, not far from the pier.

Address: 44, Rawai, Mueang Phuket District, Phuket 83100
Phone: 091 789 3292
Open: 10 am – 10 pm

Rawai Seafood Market

Rawai Seafood Market

As mentioned earlier, the Rawai Seafood Market is very popular. You order any fish or seafood you like from one side of the road and take it to the restaurants just opposite to have it cooked for 100 baht per kilo. It’s also fun, but since everywhere tourist tends to flock, prices go up instantly.

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Not many hotels are available in the Rawai neighbourhood, maybe because people prefer the west coast, but some noticeable hotels are the Serenity Resort and its amazing views. More inland is the Golden Tulip Mangosteen Resort on top of a nearby hill and Coconut Paradise Villas with its private pool villas, popular for peace seekers and families. Rawai Beach is not your usual beach destination but offers a unique local feel and is perfect if you prefer a quiet and peaceful holiday with a lot of delicious seafood!



Fast facts about Rawai

⛱️ Beach condition:Not swimmable
📷 Thing to do nearby:Promthep Cape
🏝️ Island nearby:Bon Island
🏝️ Island further:Coral Island
🍴 Best restaurant:Nikita's Beach Restaurant
🍴Best seafood restaurant:Aek Seafood
🛎️ Best hotel nearby: The Nai Harn
🛏️ Best budget hotel:Lotus Bleu Resort
✈️ Distance from Phuket International Airport:46 km

Rawai Beach Map

Get the directions on your phone: https://goo.gl/maps/3Kk5XTi4nD8a9qcEA

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What’s Around?

Rawai Seafood Market in Phuket

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FAQs about Rawai Beach

a. Rawai itself doesn’t have much to offer, but there are a lot of amazing beaches nearby:
The Beach
Promthep Cape Viewpoint
Bon Island
Coral Island
Nai Harn Beach
Windmill Viewpoint
Ya Nui Beach

a. Here are some popular hotels in the Rawai area:
The Nai Harn Phuket
Serenity Resort
The Vijitt Resort Phuket
Golden Tulip Mangosteen Resort
Coconut Paradise Villas

a. Rawai is 46 km from Phuket International Airport and 16 km from Phuket Town.