Rawai Beach

Where local life can still be seen !

Rawai Beach, Phuket, Thailand

Rawai Beach is not a tourist beach, by that I mean it's not a place to laze away your hours swimming and sunbathing, but it is a great place to explore.

Rawai has been famous with the local people for a long time. The Thais will come to take a candlelit beach side dinner, watch the sunset from Laem Promthep, pay their respects at the island temple of Koh Kaew or simply go fishing.

Fishing is one of the original ways of making a living in Rawai but now many of the boats have turned to the tourist industry by offering island excursions or fishing trips. However when the low season comes, many of the boat owners return to fishing to make a living. It can be fun to walk along to the southern end of the beach, near the Rawai Municipality Office (Or Bor Tor), and watch the locals buying and selling fish early in the morning. Walk on a bit further to 'Bak Bang' to see the longtail boats being repaired on the hard by the beach. At low tide many of the locals will come out to the shallow waters of Rawai Beach to catch the small marine life stranded in the rock pools, this is a great time to explore with lots of good opportunities for photos!

Bak Bang, Rawai Beach, Phuket, Thailand

As you walk along the beach road look out for the stall selling 'Kanom Jack' a traditional Thai sweet made from grated coconut and palm sugar. Try some they are really quite tasty!

Street Vendor. Rawai Beach, Phuket, Thailand

All the way along Rawai's beach-front road you will find small restaurants and bars that offer reasonably priced food served at low tables under the pine trees.

Beach-side Restaurant. Rawai Beach, Phuket, Thailand

At the northern end of the beach is the Chao Leh (Sea Gypsy) Village. These people are sea nomads that have been in Thailand for hundreds of years. There are different tribes, known as Moken, an Austronesian ethnic group, that have their own language coming from a Malayo-Polonesian dialect. In the past the Moken people survived by fishing, but in recent years many have turned to other occupations as they have been brought in to the 'system' given Thai nationality and the right to education. Many have suffered land disputes and in certain areas have had to be relocated away from fishing areas. In Rawai these Sea people still live off the sea, fishing and diving for shell fish.

Restaurant. Rawai Beach, Phuket, Thailand

Exploring the village you will see different fishing activities and equipment as well as the Seafood Market where they put their catch for sale. As the area has developed with the increase of tourism, several restaurants have opened to offer a cooking service. Just buy your fish or seafood and ask the restaurant to cook it the way you like it!

Seashells are one of the other highlights of Rawai, take a visit to the Rawai Seashell Museum or explore the shell souvenirs on sale in the Chao Leh Village.

Shell Shops. Rawai Beach, Phuket, Thailand

Visit my Rawai Blog for more photos and information.