Rawai holds the distinction of being the very first tourist beach on Phuket. Years ago, people from Phuket Town would drive the 17km to Rawai on weekends to while away the afternoon underneath the beach's causarina trees rather than risk the (then) dangerous drive over the hill to Phuket's west coast. Nowadays Rawai is a 'working beach' and a launching point for day boat excursions out to Phuket's surrounding islands. Many longtail boats available for hire line its shores, where you can arrange a trip to Coral Island, Koh Lone or Racha Island,or a fishing or snorkel trip. The beach is also used as a mooring point for the many fishermen who live in the area.
Rawai is home to the five-star resorts, Evason and Mangosteen and quite a few of Phuket's foreign expat population live in the area, lending a bohemian and laid-back flavour to the way of life there. Favourite nighttime haunts are Friendship Beach, towards Chalong, and Rawai's beachfront bars.
Promthep Cape The Rawai area is famous for the Promthep Cape viewpoint and a Sea Gypsy village both of which form part of the Thai and Asian tourist trails. The main beach at Rawai is is not great for swimming, but the casuarina tree lined esplanade is perfect for sampling freshly barbequed seafood at the weekend - a favourite with the locals. This is also an excellent starting point for visits to the outlying islands of Ko Hae and Ko Lone and Ko Racha/Raya- longtail boats and speedboats