Venture out to this small village to glimpse the lifestyle of the Moken, a tribe of "sea gypsies". They have roots in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and have remained staunchly committed to their own beliefs and customs. Some live by the sea and others choose a semi-nomadic life on land. Any attempts by the Thai government to integrate them have failed. The men of the village work mostly as fishermen and sometimes also as guides for sea trips.
Rawai itself has a small fishing harbor and a beach covered with coconut palms and swamp oaks. Boats can be rented here to sail to offshore islands. The beaches of Nai Harn (with the Phuket Yacht Club Hotel), Kata Noi, Kata, Karon, Karon Noi and, finally, the main beach, Patong Beach, lie south of Rawai Beach (Hat Rawai) and further north along the west coast.