How lucky are you. There's public buses to Phuket but one problem...they don't run back from Phuket after 6pm ish. Along the beach area there are fish stalls where you buy your fish for dinner/lunch, walk across the track to one of the few restaurants to have it cooked. Yum! I'd hire a car (we did). It's about £20 a day, they drive on the left sorta. Get an international driving license before you go. Things to do, James Bond island trip, sarisan bridge with the car and the beach just before the bridge is fabulous. I wouldn't bother with the trip to simollan islands unless you stay overnight. It's about 2 hours from Ranwai then an hour and a half on the boat there. Fab once you get there but a very long day travelling. Buy pearls in Ranwai along the beach area. Best value and beautiful pearls. Enjoy. about 5 years ago
My family and I lived in Rawai for four years and it is our true home. The beach Thai Seafood restaurants along the beach are amazing food for the money and the atmosphere and scenery is amazing. Although it is a boat beach and not a swimming beach, Nai Harn beach is 5 minutes away and voted one of the best beached in the world on TripAdvisor.
There are Elephant rides, ATV treks, all up the road and you can take a speedboat to any of the islands or hire a Longtail boat to go do some snorkeling or fishing.
The Reggae Bar on the way to Nai Harn is an excellent place to chill and buy some leather goods and Chalong just up the road the other way has some goos shopping and western restaurants. There are traditional Thai markets along the roads and they are a great shopping experience which is authentic Thai and not tourist related.
All I can say is enjoy and if you want to check out some of my photos of Phuket and Rawai check this out:
http://picasaweb.google.com/justaskdan about 5 years ago
You can get from Phuket Town to Rawai on a Songtao for 10 Baht or you can rent a motorcycle for 100 baht a day or take a Tuk Tuk for 300 baht or rent a nice car for 1000 baht a day. The only way to see Phuket is to rent a vehicle and drive drive drive!!! about 5 years ago