Rawai; Beach Bars, Empty Beaches, My New Paradise

The beach at Rawaii.  There are worst views at 8am.....
The beach at Rawai. There are worst views at 8am…..

Rawai is probably one of the most picturesque places that I have ever been. It may seem like a bit of an overstatement but I am serious. Rawai is a little sleepy town on the very southern tip of Phuket in Thailand and from the Phuket international airport it took us only a half hour to forty five minutes to drive there. When Alex, Christopher and I arrived in Rawai we had a wonderful little adventure trying to find our beach house. We had rented a beach house through AirBnB and unfortunately our directions were not quite accurate. We spent about an hour driving up and down the same streets and asking random Thais for directions or just confirmation our street actually existed. Eventually some helpful French expats with an iPad and very little English were able to locate our street and we finally arrived at our beach house.

The view of Rawaii from the Beach Bar; I could stay here forever really
The view of Rawaii from the Beach Bar; I could stay here forever really

After arriving, we promptly placed our bottles of Jameson and gin in the freezer for my birthday celebration later and decided to head down to the beach bar at the end of our street. The bar was placed, as promised, on the beach and we grabbed seats in the sand and settled down to drink as many Singhas as possible. While sitting there and watching the sun set we also decided to grab some snacks and ordered spring rolls, a delicious green curry and of course French fries because you can’t have beer without fries in my opinion (this is why Belgium wins).  Alex, Christopher and I all struck up a conversation with the girls working at the bar and we were told they liked us because we were young. I guess in Rawai there are only old expats and all the young people go to Phuket Town and Patong. After promising that we would be back the next day we headed back up to the beach house to drink Jameson and watch This Is The End. Happy birthday to me!

The groundskeeper of our beach house brought us fresh coconuts from the palm trees on the property.  He wielded that machete so casually
The groundskeeper of our beach house brought us fresh coconuts from the palm trees on the property. He wielded that machete so casually
Fresh coconut makes the hangover go away and if it doesn't you can always pour a little rum in it......
Fresh coconut makes the hangover go away and if it doesn’t you can always pour a little rum in it……

The next day we all woke up insanely early around 6am, which is completely unheard of for me. After dawdling around the beach house for a part of the morning and possibly partaking in some hair of the dog and fresh coconut from the palm tree in our backyard; we set out to find breakfast and more importantly coffee. We found this little eclectic beach house in town across from the water that promised eggs and bacon. We sat down outside where it was already 95• and helped ourselves to breakfast sandwiches and coffee and a few friendly games of Connect 4. Life was made instantly better after this meal.

Alex and Christopher tackle an intense game of Connect 4 while at breakfast our first morning in Rawaii.  Thank you jet lag for the 6am wake up call!
Alex and Christopher tackle an intense game of Connect 4 while at breakfast our first morning in Rawai. Thank you jet lag for the 6am wake up call!
Much needed coffee after the birthday shennanigans the night before
Much needed coffee after the birthday shennanigans the night before
Coffee helped and then an English Breakfast was our savior the morning after!  Not traditional Thai, we know, but sorely needed
Coffee helped and then an English Breakfast was our savior the morning after! Not traditional Thai, we know, but sorely needed

We decided that since we were up, we should grab some breezers and hit up the beach. There is not an extensive beach in Rawai but what there is of it is soft powdery sand and crystal water and nobody else. We sort of planted ourselves between a few of the long tail boats and spent the next few hours just relaxing and swimming.

Morning dip at the insanely empty beach
Morning dip at the insanely empty beach
This was our favorite restaurant in Rawaii, Chaylay Seafood Beach Bar.  We literally spent at least 5 hours here the first day for lunch and then came back for dinner as well.
This was our favorite restaurant in Rawai, Chaylay Seafood Beach Bar. We literally spent at least 5 hours here the first day for lunch and then came back for dinner as well.

This was exactly what I wanted out of the beach and Rawai. Relaxing, eating, drinking, and talking to locals was just what we needed. For such a touristy island I was shocked to find a place that we could really have to our own. We were only in Rawai for three days but I easily could have spent weeks here just relaxing, eating some of the best Thai food and seafood I have ever had and swimming in the perfect water.

Spring Rolls, the perfect midmorning beer accompaniment.
Spring Rolls, the perfect midmorning beer accompaniment.
This restaurant has two of my favorite curries in the world, this Penang Curry and their Green Curry.  Never has curry tasted so good and I am not just saying that based on the amount of Singhas we consumed
This restaurant has two of my favorite curries in the world, this Penang Curry and their Green Curry. Never has curry tasted so good and I am not just saying that based on the amount of Singhas we consumed
I will allow you to pet me silly humans if you give me fish..... We had someone crash our lunch.
I will allow you to pet me silly humans if you give me fish…..
We had someone crash our lunch.
And the kitty cat helped himself to our leftover fish and then he jumped on the table and stole the whole fish head.  Give cats an inch and they will walk all over you.
And the kitty cat helped himself to our leftover fish and then he jumped on the table and stole the whole fish head. Give cats an inch and they will walk all over you.

We slipped into a routine in Rawai in just three days. It was pretty remarkable. We would go to breakfast at our little beach shack, then go for a swim. We would then go to the best restaurant we found on our trip and would eat and drink beers for a few hours. Then we would either nap, swim or keep drinking. I’m not sure what your definition of paradise is but this is pretty close to mine.

So we were at the Beach Bar often enough that they allowed Alex to play with their iguana.  Needless to say Alex was overjoyed
So we were at the Beach Bar often enough that they allowed Alex to play with their iguana. Needless to say Alex was overjoyed

I never have seen myself as a traveler who will just spend weeks at the beach but after Rawai I may be changing that. Goodbye cities, hello beaches and peace!  (Well maybe I won’t give up the cities but I definitely will be incorporating more relaxing beach time into my trips).  I will definitely be making the trip back to Rawai to spend a few weeks. I know I won’t regret it, I’ll have to swim enough though to keep off the beer weight (always a concern). But really how could I not go back to paradise?

 

Check out our other posts from our Southeast Asia trip in November

Kuala Lumpur, The Land of a Thousand Malls Where Alex discovered Durian ice cream
Kuala Lumpur, The Land of a Thousand Malls
Where Alex discovered Durian ice cream
The Hunt for Curry in Bangkok
The Hunt for Curry in Bangkok

 

 

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