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Rawai

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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.

What to See in Rawai

  • 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. The museum is open daily from 08:00 till 17:30. Admission is 200 baht for adults and 100 baht for children. Tel: 0 7661 3666, 0 7661 3777, 0 7661 3678
  • 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.

Rawai Beach itself is only used to moor fishing boats, long tail boats and speed boats, used for snorkelling and sightseeing trips to Phuket’s neighboring islands. In mid-2007 the new pier opened. It is not used for boats, but makes a nice walking/fishing pier.

There is a Sea Gypsy Village just north of the pier with shops and longtail boats for rent, and lots of seafood restaurants on the waterfront. This is where Phuket Town comes on the weekend for a beach party. There are a few popular cocktail bars on the beach for a limited but fun night life.

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