There are many interesting things to do in Rawai, besides lounging on the beach. Thanks to a combination of a friendly small-town atmosphere, inexpensive restaurants, and modern amenities, it's where many expats settle down in Phuket. 

    One of Rawai's most popular landmarks, Phromthep Cape, is known for spectacular sunset views. If you want to stay active during your holiday, island-hopping, Thai kickboxing, and horseback riding are some of the best things to do in Rawai. Rawai Beach is also close to many family-friendly beaches, including Laem Ka, Ya Nui and Nai Harn.

    What are the best things to do in Rawai?

    Phromthep Cape offers excellent views of Phuket and the Andaman Sea, making it one of the island's most photographed locations. It gets especially packed in the evening, with large tour buses, scooters and private cars sweeping through Rawai Beach and up the island's southernmost hill in order to watch the sunset at its peak. For those who like dining with a view, head over to Promthep Cape Restaurant for an excellent vista of Ya Nui and Nai Harn beaches.

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    Location: Laem Promthep, Rawai, Muang, Phuket 83100, Thailand

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    Rawai Park offers a waterpark, a semi-indoor playground and an air-conditioned kids' club. Most of the facilities are catered for children between 2 and 14 years old. The 250-square-metre kids' club area has colourful toys, a labyrinth, trampoline, mini-houses, and bicycles. Your kids can also cool down at the water zone, which has a shallow pool, slides, and fountains. There's also a restaurant serving Thai-European fusion dishes at reasonable prices.

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    Location: 58/88 Moo 6, Soi Rouyphad, Rawai, Muang, Phuket, 83130, Thailand

    Open: Monday–Wednesday and Friday–Saturday from 9 am to 8 pm, Thursday and Sunday from 9 am to 9 pm

    Phone: +66 (0)98 396 5369

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    Wat Sawang Arom

    Wat Sawang Arom is a small but ornate temple that serves the Buddhist community of Rawai and nearby villages. Inside, you can see traditional Buddha images and paintings depicting his life. A school is adjacent to the temple – visit in the morning to see local students playing before it's time for class. Dress conservatively as this is a holy place for Buddhist Thais.

    Location: 3/10 Wiset Road, Rawai, Muang, Phuket 83100, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 6 pm

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    Thai cooking classes in Rawai

    If you're looking to join a Thai cooking class in Rawai, popular venues include the Adult Activities Centre at The Vijitt Resort Phuket and Cashew Nut Restaurant in Soi Sai Yuan. A typical cooking class usually starts with a visit to a local market to buy ingredients. Afterwards, you return to the school and learn how to prepare typical Thai dishes at its onsite kitchen. 

    Location: The Vijitt Resort Phuket, 16 Wiset Road, Rawai, Muang, Phuket 83130, Thailand

    Phone: +66 (0)76 363 600

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    Ayurveda Spa at Mangosteen Resort

    Ayurveda Spa at  Mangosteen Ayurveda & Wellness Resort offers a wide range of treatments derived from an ancient Indian way of natural healing. Must-tries include padabhyangam (Ayurvedic foot reflexology) and shirodhara (Indian head treatment). You can also enjoy Asian herbal exfoliation, Swedish massage, European facial and anti-stress massage – all with great views out over the surrounding countryside.

    Location: 99/4 Moo 7 Soi Mangosteen, Rawai, Muang, Phuket 83100, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 8 pm

    Phone: +66 (0)76 289 399

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    Phuket Orchid Farm

    The Phuket Orchid Farm is one of the largest nurseries on the island. This family-run venue lets you admire over 15,000 different species of flowers. Fresh-cut orchids are available for sale – the farm can pack them for international air travel. Entrance fee costs around 300 baht per adult and 100 baht per child (3 to 12 years old), which includes a complimentary bouquet of orchids. You can join a garden tour for around 400 baht per person.

    Location: 67/1 Soi Suksan 1, Viset Road, Chalong, Muang, Phuket 83130, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 5.30 pm

    Phone: +66 (0)76 384 329

    Phuket Seashell Museum displays some of the most valuable seashells in the world. It has 4 main exhibitions, all with information in both English and Thai. You can check out many rarities and odd shells, including the world's largest golden pearl (140 carats), sedimentary rocks containing fossils, and even a shell that weighs 250 kg.

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    Location: 12/2 Moo 2, Wiset Road, Rawai, Muang, Phuket 83130, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 5.30 pm

    Phone: +66 (0)76 613 666

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    Batik painting at Baan Batik Phuket

    Baan Batik Phuket is a long-running boutique where every piece of textile is designed by its in-house artists. You can visit the boutique in Rawai if you're looking for original batik prints. It also offers batik painting classes (by appointment only), where you can learn how to paint unique designs using wax and a spouted tool. 

    Location: 10/15 Wiset Road, Rawai, Phuket 83100, Thailand

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 9 am to 6 pm (closed on Sundays)

    Phone: +66 (0)76 384 061

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    Boat ride around Rawai

    An excellent way to explore Phuket's surroundings is by renting a boat from Rawai. Many taxi-speedboats and longtail boats line the beach, which you can hire a day or half-day to visit nearby islands like Koh Hae, Koh Lone and Koh Racha. You can also charter a yacht at Big A Yachting & Resort, located close to Chalong Circle. 

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    Phuket Sports and Tennis Club

    Phuket Sports and Tennis Club offers a good range of outdoor and indoor sports, including tennis, beach volleyball, badminton, pétanque, croquet, fishing, pool, and darts. This Rawai sports centre also has an onsite restaurant and bar, where you can enjoy reasonably priced Thai and European food. The club has family areas, along with charcoal- and gas-fired BBQ grills. You can either bring your own food or purchase it from the onsite bar. 

    Location: 4/20 Soi Suksan 2 Viset Road, Rawai, Phuket 83130, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 8 am to 9 pm

    Phone: +66 (0)76 289 714

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    Suwit Gym

    Suwit Muay Thai is a Phuket establishment that has been around for over 20 years. It's located on Chalong’s Chao Fa East Road, near Phuket Zoo. The Muay Thai camp has many air-conditioned rooms and a fair-sized swimming pool for you to unwind after training. Twice-daily training classes for differing levels take place 6 days a week. On Fridays, Suwit organises a fight night that's open to the public.

    Location: 15 Moo 1, Chao Fa Road, Chalong, Muang, Phuket 83130, Thailand

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 8 am to 6 pm (closed on Sundays)

    Phone: +66 (0)76 374 313

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    Atsumi Healing Centre

    Atsumi Healing Centre is a wellness retreat where you can improve your health through fasting and detox programs. The centre also includes yoga and meditation classes as well as horseback riding and Thai/Shiatsu massage treatments. Onsite facilities include a swimming pool, herbal steam sauna, and mini gym, all of which are surrounded by lush greenery. 

    Location: 34/18 Moo 4, Soi King Pattana 4, Rawai, Muang, Phuket 83130, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 7 am to 6 pm

    Phone: +66 (0)96 638 7654

    Stephan Audiger | Compulsive Traveller

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