Rawai Review 🏝for Digital Nomads (Phuket, Thailand)
Thailand Travel Guides

Rawai Review 🏝for Digital Nomads (Phuket, Thailand)

Rawai impressions

  • It’s like a mini Canggu!
  • Rawai is the Canggu of Phuket.
  • I think it will develop to me be the CANGGU of PHUKET / THAILAND… it’s like 5-10 years behind Canggu
  • it is a top nomad spot in Thailand next to Chiang Mai, BKK, Koh Phangan.

Phuket Island

  • Phuket island is the most popular tourist destination in Thailand (and the world). It’s where most tourists arrive and spend the most time.
  • Bali island is 10x the size of Phuket.. which doesn’t really matter. But Phuket is basically a coastal town because you can drive to Bangkok.
  • Phuket Old Town is cool to explore with lots of cool cafes and night market

Nomad community

  • plenty of nomads / remote entrepreneurs
  • many BKK nomads came here since covid… and many say they will ‘stay’!

Expat community

  • Plenty of young remote workers, expats families, and retirees. I think Rawai started as a sleepy ol’ retired expat area. Now developing into the nomad spot.

Cost of Living

  • Like anywhere in Thailand / SE Asia, cost of living is 2-4x less than in the USA for comparable things.
  • As always it depends on where you stay & what you do
  • I spend around $3-4k a month. Nice villa or condo, motorbike, gym, eating at popular restaurants, party on the weekends.
  • As always in SEA you could live like a local for $1,000-$1,500 a month. Perhaps not as cheap as Chiang Mai.
  • I wouldn’t recommend a budget of less than $2,000 a month.

Co-working spaces

  • Project Hub

  • Let’s Work

  • Nai Harn Space

  • ‘Social events like Kohub?’ Not sure.


  • Nai Harn Gym – most popular

  • Stay Fit – nicest gym ever, HIIT classes

  • Action Point – full gym w/ cross-training classes

  • Muay Thai
    • Phuket is the Muay Thai capital of the WORLD! Many professionals train/base here.Powerhouse – in heart of RawaiTiger Muay ThaiPhuket Fight Club (w/ CrossFit Siam, BJJ)a million others

CrossFit Siam

CrossFit Phuket


  • as in all Southeast Asia, beautiful and sunny, average mid-80’s β˜€οΈ
  • as in any tropical place, there is a ‘rainy season’ with more frequent showers, but still sunny.


  • Nai Harn Beach – main hotspot in Rawai. Everyone is there for sunset. Great beach for surfing, chill, running, volleyball, football, swimming.
  • Kata Beach – next closest, popular, great beach, 15 min shoot.
  • Karon beach – next next closest, another great one.

Work Cafes / Coffeeshops

  • Rustic & Blue πŸ”₯
  • BOOST Cafe πŸ”₯
  • Gallery Cafe πŸ”₯
  • Cannelle πŸ”₯
  • Wilsons
  • We Cafe
  • Macan Cafe

Nice Restaurants

  • Plenty!
  • Grills
  • Zen Eats
  • Fresca
  • Kata Rocks (epic sunset spot)

Town layout

  • It’s got a surf town feel, similar to Canggu.
  • How is the traffic – not really. Roads are paved & easy.
  • Walkability – Rawai is very walkable, bicycle-able. Everyone scoots on motorbikes of course. Nai Harn lake is packed with walkers
  • Distance to things – close to anything you need.


  • Rawai has plenty of bars, sports bars, girl bars, but no ‘nightclubs’ that I know of.
  • Patong has EPIC nightlife
    • just a 20-30 taxi from Rawai
    • Bangla road / walking street is party central – has it all. It’s like a Khao San road. Endless bars, clubs, girl bars, strip clubs, street entertainment, etc.
    • ILLUZION club is the biggest superclub in Thailand. Big names come through. We’ve seen Tiesto & Steve Aoki there and it was epic.
    • Sugar Hip Hop club

Touristy Stuff

  • ALL the things
  • Zip-lining, river rafting, elephant riding, boat trips, SUP, jet skis, go-karting, golf, tiger kingdom, scuba diving
  • Rent a catamaran or small yacht for the day with friends. $1,000 a day for an epic boat, 10-20 people.
  • Boat to some islands
    • Coconut Island. Island Escape Resort.
    • Phi Phi islands
    • Island hopping day trips with scuba or snorkel
  • 1-hr flight to
    • Koh Samui – perhaps the 2nd most popular Thai island. I have done several weeks here, a great spot.Koh Phangan – short boat from Samui. Nomad hotspot.Koh Tao – a small island, short boat from Phangan

Villas / Accommodation

  • Tons of epic villas
  • Look on Airbnb & Facebook Marketplace
  • For hotels I tend to use Booking and Agoda
  • STAY Fitness Resort: $50-$200 a night. Sandbox approved

Travel / Visa / Quarantine Situation

  • any tourist with vaxx card can visit
  • Phuket (and Samui) ‘Sandbox’ is now only 7-days. So you just gotta stay on Phuket island for 7-days, then be free to roam the country. It’s NOT a hotel quarantine!
  • the standard tourist entry ‘visa-exempt on arrival’ is 45-days (for US citizens) and can be extended once for another 45-days. I just did it and have done it dozens of times over the years.
  • During covid, there’s a new form that allows you to extend more times ‘because of covid’. From my understanding, many people have already done this several times.
  • in November 2021 it’s been published that they plan to start a Bangkok Sandbox. As of October Bangkok has a 7-day hotel quarantine.
  • October 8 updated article on Sandbox Program: https://www.traveldailymedia.com/thailand-is-open-a-travel-update-from-the-tourism-authority-of-thailand/
      • It also partially addresses the so-called digital nomads – people wanting to conduct their online businesses whilst living in Thailand…
      • The third target group are the digital nomads or employees of foreign companies who want to work remotely from Thailand. They will need to have at least 5 years’ relevant work experience, a salary of at least US$40,000 a year.”

Instagram Questions

  • English – as in any popular place in the world, no issue.
  • Hospital – yes.

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