The first two weeks of my trip I followed a particularly strict route with pre-determined touchdown points and dates. Once I reached Koh Lipe I realized what a fool I’ve been. The purpose of my journey was to discover new places and to give in to the beauty and the mystery, not to mark destinations which many others have ticked before. I decided to forget about the initial itinerary and enjoy whatever Thailand has to offer.
Early morning on my twentieth day on the road I really had to leave Koh Lipe. I picked up Unirea from the parking lot and headed to Trang. No plans, no string attached. Halfway to the destination I noticed a sign pointing to the left: Rawai Beach. The name did not ring any bells, so I obviously turned left. The road, almost ten kilometers long, went through a forest, passed several bridges and culverts until it finally reached the shore. I stopped. I was in shock. I knew this beach! I had dreamt about it one month before the trip. I saw (in my dream) the approximate location, even – somewhere between Satun and Trang. Everything fitted; this was the beach in my dream!
Rawai Beach is the kind of site you either love or hate and you can tell that from the first glance. The water is shallow to somewhere truly far offshore, no chance of swimming. Instead, you can walk for miles into the sea. They say if you are fast enough you can reach Koh Petra before the tide rises. The sand, while fine-grained, is a bit oozy due to the river flowing into the sea on the Northern end of the beach. On the other hand, Rawai is a treasure for those into beach-combing. It felt like the Andaman Sea was still alive, swarming with snails and clams. Plus a battalion of crabs made the sand look as if it was moving by itself.
The sand – a mixture of black, reddish and golden, the wilderness and the breathtaking view on Koh Petra National Park are the main reasons I loved Rawai beach. I loved it so much I could scream because of so much beauty!
Apart from a small local restaurant and three wretched bungalows there is no other facility on Rawai Beach. The chances are high not to see any humans on the five kilometers long beach for a whole day.
Accommodation: Lalita Resort
Rawai continues on the other side of the river towards Ban Toong Sa Boh. Five more kilometers of tranquility and beauty. There’s also a fair accommodation in this area. Concealed by Casuarina trees and overrun by flowers and birds, Lalita Homestay Resort pleasantly contrasts with the cruel beauty of the beach. It belongs to a local family. The granddaughter is in charge of the reception, and the food is deliciously prepared by an aunt. The manager is the owner’s daughter and her name is, you guessed it right, Lalita. Her English is excellent. Rooms are tastefully decorated and sparkling clean. There’s also a small swimming pool facing the beach – particularly useful and enjoyable given the sea is a bit too shallow. Prices start at 800 thb per room per night. The restaurant is also affordable.
UPDATE June 2013: Lalita has moved to Australia with her boyfriend. I do not know if the resort is still open. The website I knew just disappeared.