The Rawai and Naiharn areas are one of the most popular locations of Phuket for expatriates and tourists. Clearly a residential area, you won't find the high density of hotels like in Patong or Kata/Karon, but rather a nice "village-like" atmosphere where people from all over the world live together and enjoy the same good things. Beaches, view points, restaurants and other points of interest are plentiful, as are the number of private pool villas and luxury sea view villas for rent, some of them at exceptional rates. Once you have booked your favorite property, here are the ten places not to miss during your stay.
Voted the third best beach in Asia in 2015 by TripAdvisor, Naiharn Beach is indeed the main attraction of the whole area. The combination of the fine white sand, turquoise waters, surrounded by the beautiful green hills and with some set-back beachfront restaurants make this an amazing place not only to visit but to enjoy thoroughly during your stay.
Beyond Phuket you also have several smaller islands, all within a short distance by boat from Rawai Beach. The nearest to the coast that you can easily see from Rawai Beach is Bon Island, and behind it you have the larger and more popular He Island. Further out there are the famous Racha Islands and Maithon Island, both favorite spots for snorkeling and diving.
The most iconic scene of Rawai is certainly its line of charming beachfront restaurants all along the beach road. These have actually been for a long time one of the favorite spots of the locals to have lunch in family on Sundays, and indeed, the delicious food combined with the sea breeze and the shade of the tall casuarina trees really make it a heavenly spot to enjoy lunch or dinner.
Soi Saiyuan Restaurants
Besides the popular Seafront Restaurants, you have an incredible array of choice of international restaurants all along the Soi Saiyuan, which is the main road passing through the Rawai residential area. This area can also be lively at night with several bars and even a popular night club. You can virtually taste any sort of cuisine of this world: Italian, French, Chinese, Russian, German, Swedish, and more!
Sea Gypsies Seafood Market
One of the most attractive advantages of Phuket Island is the fresh seafood one can find, and one of the best places to buy it is directly from the fishermen at the Sea Gypsies Seafood Market. It's located right next to the Rawai Pier, and it offers the freshest produce of the area. It's better to be there early as the best catches tend to sell out very quickly. There you can also purchase some nice souvenirs made from sea shells and other products from the sea.
Laem Ka Beach
This hidden gem is considered by the locals as one of the best beaches of the island, but mostly overlooked by the tourists. With tall trees lining its back, it offers plenty of natural shade to enjoy the clear waters and fine sands. Next to the sandy areas there are also some large boulders that can be very fun to climb, and spot some wild crabs hiding. The scenic views you can enjoy from this beach are really beautiful.
Sea Shell Museum
Visiting the Sea Shell Museum is a most interesting activity, just off the main road before reaching Rawai Beach. While the whole museum is only about shells, you won't believe their variety until you see it with your own eyes. You can easily spend hours walking inside, and viewing the thousands different sorts of shells, all with intriguing shapes, together with the explanation for their exotic shapes and colors. There is also a small shop offering shell products for sale, perfect for souvenirs.
This large attraction is in fact one of Phuket's best view points, especially for sunsets. The area is very large and is made of a spacious sight seeing area, the "Golden Jubilee Lighthouse" monument, a shrine with a striking variety of elephant shaped statues as offerings, and finally the trekking path to the end of the cape. This is one of the locations you definitely shouldn't miss out during your stay.
Ya Nui Beach
A tiny but beautiful beach on the area's west coast, it quietly sits between the Phromthep cape and Naiharn Beach. It's one of the very few beaches with some coral reefs still near the coast, where you can even spot some exotic fish. The rocky formations are very scenic and perfect for taking some excellent photos during your stay. The waters are very clear and quite calm, perfect for swimming.
Renewable Energy Station View Point
Lesser known, but nevertheless very beautiful, the viewpoint right next to Phuket's Renewable Energy Station is an amazing spot to catch the sunset. It's clearly visible from far away thanks to the large wind turbine that you can even see from the famous Naiharn beach. On the top of the hill there is a small Sala pavilion where you can sit down and enjoy the view of the cliffs and small islands off the coast, an enchanting view.
We hope these ten attractions will make your stay a most enjoyable one, and if you would like to us to mention any activity that you've particularly enjoyed, feel free to let us a small message, thank you!