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South East Map

Just south of Phuket Town the island branches in two forming the southeastern cape known as Cape Panwa and the southeastern peninsula known as Chalong.

Because the area is close to the provincial capital, its one of Phuket's more established – meaning there's a good infrastructure, lots of local businesses and housing estates. The roads are quite busy - particularly in peak hour and many motorcycles ply the roadways.

Cape Panwa is the long peninsula that juts down the Southeastern corner of the island. It's far from the major tourist beaches, offering an entirely different ambience and perspective.

The long peninsula stretching to the south of the island is quiet, picturesque and not very touristy. The reason for this is obvious - Phuket's most famous beaches are all down the West coast.

There are few beaches here, although the beach scenery is very lovely.

Cape Panwa offers some small stretches of coastline with sandy bays and coves that are especially pretty, and almost private.

Although there's no typical long tropical beaches along this peninsula, it should not turn everyone back to the West coast, for Panwa offers an entirely different perspective that many visitors simply love. The drive from Phuket Town down this peninsula says a lot, for the road, with little traffic, winds around hills and through coconut and rubber plantations.

Property developers eyeing this area for development are : Sri Panwa – Premier Ocean views Villas only for the Elite with prices commencing from 20 million baht, Bel Air Panwa – Affordable resort lifestyle ocean view condominiums targeted to the Expat executives market at very affordable prices commencing from 3.9 million baht and The Two Villas development, Panwa – Affordable homes with ocean views over Ao Makram and Chalong Bay from 15 million baht.

Cape Panwa

Moving further south of Cape Panwa are the areas of Chalong and Chalong Bay on the eastern half of the island, featuring views over the bay of Chalong where you find many small islands There's an interesting contrast of islands, boats and the ocean scenery which makes a nice change to the sometimes mundane stretches of endless ocean view coastline. One of the really nice smaller luxury villa developments in the area is Tamarind from Bt. 35 million baht being a fusion of Thai Balanese architecture with sea views.

All in all the entire area offers some splendid views of the outer islands giving much more perspective then much of the popular west coast shoreline. One of the most stunning developments in the area taking in much of the views Cape Panwa has to offer is the Sri Panwa property development. Here you'll find prestigious villas on the hillside on both the eastern and western horizon from Bt. 50 million +. Also available is a range of 1 and 2 bedroom pool villas starting from 20 million baht.

As beautiful as the views are there is drawback – the main one being that there are few white sandy beach to really speak of. Also, the seawater tends to be brackish for swimming and at some places the coastline is on the marshy side.

Chalong Bay

Chalong Bay, itself is a popular boat anchorage for boat charter, tour and dive operators who run their businesses to the nearby islands. Consequently you find many local (Thai) westerns living in the area who have their own businesses and who have been in Thailand for years. There are many bars and restaurants here serving the needs of the western locals and one of the main Pubs of popular appeal is the Green man– which is on the road leading to Kata and Karon Beaches.

Driving south down the peninsula to the Chalong Circle there are quite a few local restaurants along the shore offering excellent Thai food and fresh seafood not to mention offering splendid views over the bay. The two famous seafood restaurants are Kan Eang I and II – the island's most popular with locals. There are also some smaller, and interesting, bars and restaurants that one can readily be found along the waterfront. The only hotel here is the Phuket Fishing Lodge, now a little dilapidated, but offering great value.

In the Chalong areas are several lower end value for money condominum apartments to consider, such as the Rawai Palms Resort being developed in the Sai Yuan area, just a short distance to Rawai and Nai Harn beaches in the south of Phuket. The development consists of 5 individual buildings, each with 16 apartment units, set around fountain pools and landscaped gardens. There are full resort facilities including a club house, swimming pool, spa, fitness center, tennis courts, putting green, as well as a bar and restaurant. Apartments range in size from 102 - 218 sqm with 1- to 3-bedrooms. The 3-bedroom penthouses also feature an additional roof garden. The interiors are designed for comfortable modern living with fully equipped western kitchens and bathrooms.

Right at the southern tip of the island is Rawai beach. Rawai is not attractive enough for swimming and although there's really no swimming here, it has not stopped the beach from becoming one of the most popular, most-used stretches of sand on the island. The entire beachfront has been turned into a long, open-air restaurant patronized mainly by the local Thais. Most people sit in the shade on mats right on the sand.

Chalong Pier

Some restaurants at either end of the beach have concrete tables and chairs and run a full menu services from kitchens on the other side of the road. But the simple mats under umbrellas, with vendors grilling simple but tasty seafood over charcoal make for a unique dining experience.

Another development worthy of recommendation is Rawai Villas - located on 18 rai (7 acres) of seaview land overlooking picturesque Rawai beach with its views of the islands beyond. Offered are five villa types ranging from 150 - 450 sq metres under roof area, comprising from two to four bedrooms, swimming pool, separate living, family and dining room, and maid's quarters. Only minutes away from Nai Harn beach and Promthep Cape, and within easy reach of the shopping centres of Phuket Town and the coastal resorts of Kata and Karon, Rawai Villas offers the perfect location for island living.

While this whole southeast corner of the island is not very popular with sun seeking tourists, it has become a major residential enclave for foreign expats. Don's café, run by an interesting, retired American of that name, is one of the favorite expat dining spots here. It is prominent on the road running from Chao Fah Road to the Phuket Yacht Club Hotel

Rawai is the best spot on Phuket for renting either traditional longtail boats or speedboats for day trips off Phuket. Along the beach are signs advertising the availability of longtails. Expect to pay about 1,500 Baht for a full day, fuel included. Take hats, sun cream and water. The fleet of red speedboats is easily found, and except during the peak season when everything can get overbooked, one can usually arrive early and negotiate a boat right on the beach. For details of renting boats, and telephone numbers for advance booking, see our page on Renting Boats.


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