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Phuket is a tropical island in Southern Thailand. It has it's own International Airport and is the main tourist destination of Thailand. There are many attractions around Phuket to visit and explore. This section will start with the area around Rawai Muay Thai Camp and then explore the surrounding areas of the Phuket.
You can also go the other direction, down Sai Yuan road. From the gym turn right and walk about 100 yards. You will see a Minimart on the right-hand side. Next to the minimart is an internet shop with ADSL and WIFI. Next to that is a hair salon. You can get your hair washed and blow dried for about 150 Baht. You can have your hair braided as well, which is a specialty in Thailand. The smaller the braids the longer it takes though.
Next door is Cashew Nut, a favorite restaurant for Rawai guests. The owner of Cashew Nut is Sai and she is a real sweety. She is very friendly and welcomes her guests with a smile. At Cashew Nut you can eat breakfast, lunch and dinner. Cashew Nut serves Thai food as well as some western dishes like pasta and burgers. Very reasonable prices. They offer a meal plan t our students. 1,800 Baht per week or 6,000 Baht per month. For more information about the meal click here.
You keep going down the road until it ends. Then you can either turn right or left. If you turn right you will pass a small restaurant on your right, the Roti shop. Roti is a specialy here, a thin and delicious pancake. Try it! Keep going up the road and you will see a small hair salon on your left next to a massage shop. Kob does the massage there, and she's fabulous! Next to Kob's shop is Tickle Tattoo. If ink is your thing then this is the place to go. Ask Hehm at the gym for more information about getting a tattoo in Thailand.
Now let's go back and head toward the beach. About 50 meters down from the gym road, on the left-hand side is Coffee @ Home, another coffee shop with internet service, WIFI and travel agency services.
Down the road, and on the right hand side is Ayudhya Bank, or as we like to call it, the yellow bank. Here you can exchange foreign currency and traveller's checks. It also offers wire services by Western Union. There is an ATM machine as well. The Automatic Teller machine accepts debit and credit cards with the following symbols: Cirrus, Visa, Plus, Mastercard, American Express.
Keep going down the road and you'll see on your right-hand side a self service gas station for motorbikes. Easy to use, just follow the picture instructions. You can fill up most motorbikes with 100 Thai Baht. 7-Eleven,one of many in Phuket! You can buy pretty much anything here, from milk, sodas, snacks, to magazines and toiletries. Most 7-Elevens have ATM machines as well. Passing 7-Eleven you will reach a fork in the road. You can either turn right or left. To the right is the road to Kata, Karon and Patong beaches. To the left you go to Naiharn Beach, Rawai Beach and Promthep Cape. Right at the fork there is a nice place to have morning brunch buffet called Chao Khun.
Passing 7-Eleven you will reach a fork in the road. You can either turn right or left. To the right is the road to Kata, Karon and Patong beaches. To the left you go to Naiharn Beach, Yanui Beach, Rawai Beach and Promthep Cape. Right at the fork there is a nice place to have morning brunch buffet called Chao Khun. On Wednesdays and Saturdays they offer Intercontinental Breakfast Brunch Buffet and Twilight Dinner Buffet for only 99 Baht. Coffee or Tea, Orange juice and lots of food, all you can eat. The normal price for the Breakfast Buffet is 150 Baht.
Further down the road you'll see yet another 7-Eleven. Keep going and you'll see a scuba diving shop and a pharmacy. The pharmacist speeks English. Next to the pharmacy is a minimart and a vegetable- fruit shop. Next door down is a travel and tour shop that has cars for rent. And next to them is a hair salon.
And across the street from the hair salon is the now famous Cheap Ass restaurant. Cheap Ass is a favorite hang out for our students as the food is good and inexpensive. The restaurant doesn't have a name as far as I know but one of our very first students, Shalon, came up with Cheap Ass and the name stuck.
Next to Cheap Ass restaurant is the Red gallery where a local artist sells his colorful paintings. There are many galleries in Phuket but few that sell original art. Most sell copies of famous works, so for a couple thousand Baht you can have a Picasso or Renoir masterpiece to take back with you and place in your home.
Further down, on the left hand side of the road you'll see the German Bakery and still a bit further is the very popular Breakfast Hut where you can eat breakfast all day. I love their banana pancakes, sandwiches and pretty much everything on the menu. Both restaurants are favorite spots for our students to hang-out and enjoy good food.
Keep going and you will reach a fork in the road. You can either turn left, toward Rawai Beach or go straight toward Naiharn Lagoon. If you go straight you will see on your right M. M.'s Pizzeria, where you can eat the best pizza in town, run by a couple of Italians who really know what they are doing. The pasta is home-made and I recommend the tiramisu for dessert. Further down the road on your right you will see more restaurants, just as you reach the lagoon: Los Amigos (Mexican food), La Boulangerie (French) and Da Renata (Italian).
The best time to go to the view point is in the afternoons when the sun is beginning to set. It is a romantic and beautiful spot in Phuket and you can sometimes see people parachuting off from here.
Another fun activity is watching the remote control planes flying over the ocean water and the cliff. Bring your camera to take great shots from the view point. There usually is a fruit juice vendor. Try the fresh chilled cononuts. They are refreshing and a natural tonic.
From the view point you follow the coastal road down to Yanui Beach and back up toward Promthep Cape and Promthep view point. There are many little souvenir shops where you can find bargain clothes, crafts and batiks. The place is popular in the evenings, when tourists come to watch the sunset. The restaurant at Promthep cape has a great view and good food. Bring mosquito repellent, though, if you plan to stay for dinner.
You can eat fresh seafood all along Rawai beach. Pictured above is a typical seafood restaurant at Rawai Beach. Just point to what you want to eat and choose steamed or sticky rice to go with it. Also reccommended is the Som Tam, green papaya salad. It's usually spicy so be careful. If you don't want it spicy just say "mai pet".
Rawai Beach Resort is a nice place to stay. The rooms are clean and there is a pool. They have daily and monthly rates, quite resonable. Next to Rawai Beach Resort is Mando Steakhouse. Keep going down the beach and you will see M. M. Pizzeria which for my taste has the best pizza in town. I reccommend the Quattro Stagioni and the home-made ravioli. They also have tiramisu for dessert. And for a fun night out, our students like to hang our at Freedom Bar. When in doubt, head to Freedom! Next to Freedom is yet another 7-Eleven store and a self service gas station. For nightowls, after Freedom students head to Icon night club, which is open for most of the night.
Now the road curves left and we start heading back to the gym. There is bakery/restaurant right at the curve called Flints-One. Pictured above are their daily specials. They have croissants and cakes and nice coffee too. Keep going and you will see yet another 7-Eleven convenience store on your right as well as a purple bank called Siam Commercial Bank. Here you can exchange currencies and withdraw money from their ATM machines. On your left you will see the Phuket Seashell Museum. And across the street from that is the entrance to the Evason Hotel, a five star resort with private beaches, swimming pools, restaurants, and tennis court.
Keep heading up the road and you will see Rawai Hardware, a nice little hardware store close to the gym. They sell plug adapters and electrical surge protectors and power supply converters. And on your left you will see our sign back to the gym. If you make a right on the small street, just before Rawai hardware, you will head towards Ganesha Yoga which offers yoga classes almost every day and is located just 1 KM from the gym. You can check out their class schedule and prices at: Ganesha Yoga. If you don't turn and keep going straight, away from the beach, you will see Darin Bungalows on your right. Rooms are cheap and plain, with air con and close to the gym.
Keep going up the road and on your left you will see Le Piman Resort. This is fast becoming a popular accommdoation option for our students. It has a beautiful swimming pool and lovely rooms. They have daily and monthly rates. They can also offer rates that include daily breakfast. If you want to book accommdoation at Le Piman you can do so through the Rawai Muay Thai website booking form. Further up the hill is another 5 star hotel, The Mangosteen Resort and Spa. For those who can afford it, it is a lovely place to stay. It is set on top of Rawai Hill and has a 360 degree view of the Ocean around Rawai.
Keep heading straight toward Chalong Circle and you will see a large gas station on your left. You can fill-up your scooter here. Usually 100 Baht is enough to fill the tank. Further up, on the right hand side is Tesco Lotus Supermarket. There you will find Black Canyon Coffee, Swensen's Ice Cream and the Pizza Company, as well as some banks, and a bookstore.
Once you reach Chalong Circle you have many choices. You can take the first left and head towards Kata and Karon Beaches, or you can take the second road which goes to Central Festival. The third road goes to Phuket Town and the fourth road heads to Chalong Pier. If you take the first road, you will pass the Phuket Shooting Range. There they also have go karts. Thanks to Cyril for this great photo of Tahlia racing on the go kart.
Near Chalong Circle you can get to the Big Buddha (pictured on the right). Recently finished and the newest landmark of Phuket, the Big Buddha offers a stunning view of the island and its surrounding water. To get there you take the road from Chalong Circle towards Central Festival and turn left at the Big Buddha sign. Then follow the road as it climbs the hill all the way to the top.
Back down the hill you can keep going towards Central Festival and you will pass Chalong Temple (pictured ont he left), the largest buddhist temple in Phuket. It is worth a visit. Once a year the temple sponsors a fair which lasts about 1 week and it seems all Phuket locals gather at night and venture the fair stalls, eating and being merry.
From Chalong Circle you can drive to Central Festival. Central Festival is a shopping center located only 12 km from Rawai Muay Thai Camp. There are restaurants and shops to fit all tastes. My favorites to name a few: Fuji (sushi), Zen (sushi), Sizzler (steaks), Starbuck's Coffee, Au Bon Pain (sanwiches), Sara (clthing), Boots Pharmacy, Cut and Curl (hair salon) and of course Central (clothing). On the third floor is located the movie theater with seven screens (one is the First Class screening room). Watching English speaking movies at Central Festival MEGA shopping complex is a favorite way for many of our students to pass the time when they're not training.
Many tourists never make it to Phuket Town as it is not close to the main beaches. However, Phuket Town is small enough to walk around and sightsee for a day. You can take a look through the Phuket Town treasure map to get an idea of the different sights you can see.
The aquarium is located near Phuket Town. It's not too large and you can see it in about 1 hour. It makes for a fun day's activity with kids. The Aquarium is located in beautiful Cape Panwa.
Near phuket Town you will find the Ratsada pier. From here you can take the ferries that go to Phi Phi Island (pictured on the left). The boat ride takes about 1 hour and a half. The trip to Phi Phi is highliy recommended, especially during the calm weather season, between November and May.
From Phi Phi you can take another boat to Krabi, in the mailand. Krabi is laid back and charming. The hotels are located in Ao Nang. If you are a fan of rock climbing you can take a short boat ride to Riley beach for some feantastic rock climbing with the beautiful view of the Andaman Sea. My favorite island in all of Thailand is located near Krabi. It's called Koh Hong (pictured on the left) and it has an inner lagoon and two lovely half-moon beaches, with white sand. It is a national park so no hotels. You can only take day trips to Koh Hong.