An Ultimate Guide to Koh Racha Islands Diving Day Trip

Koh Racha Noi is an approximately two-hour and fifteen-minute journey from Chalong Bay onboard our dive boat, MV Mermaid. About twenty-five kilometers south of Phuket, Koh Racha Noi lies south of its sister island, Racha Yai.

Scuba diving with manta rays in thailand
manta rays thailand

Both are majestic islands; Koh Racha Noi is uninhabited and covered in rich foliage, surrounded by sandy beaches that resemble paradise with transparent, inviting waters. The island’s name translates into Little King, Noi means Little, Racha translates into King, while its neighboring island translates into Big King, with Yai meaning Big. Both are worthy of their regal names as they offer experiences beyond expectation. 

Racha Noi South Tip:

As you can assume, it is situated at the southernmost point of the island. Granite boulders make up the underwater seascape, starting at around the depth of twelve meters and dropping to over forty – fifty meters.

You will find a good mix of soft and hard corals, with the walls hosting a flourish of purples, reds, and Sea Whips. Gorgonian sea fans dancing in the current make beautiful underwater scenery.

Racha Noi South Tip is home to the only Manta cleaning station in the region, thus known as the best dive spot amongst all of Phuket to see Giant Manta, which can grow to an impressive seven meters. Visibility at Racha Noi South Tip is often excellent, with visibility beyond thirty meters, allowing you a perfect chance of seeing any Oceanic Manta nearby. 

Scuba diving day trip Phuket
New growth - staghorn coral - Koh racha yai

The deep waters and the cleaning station naturally attract bigger marine life, for if nothing else but looking for food. Eagle Rays and Whale Sharks like to swim up from the deep drops while they sift through the Plankton.

Big schools of Black Fin Barracuda and Yellow Fin, up to a meter long, can be seen along with Giant Trevally, Hunting Jacks, and Tunas that speed through the water and use the current to propel themselves. Unicorn Fish, Surgeon Fish, Parrot Fish, White Tip reef Sharks, Blue Ringed Angel Fish can also be spotted here, along with many other marine life species. 

scuba diving at Koh Racha Noi Islands - Phuket
Lionfish scuba diving racha islands phuket

The currents at Racha Noi South Tip can be powerful as they come from both sides of the island, hitting the boulders and taking on new directions with force. On other days it is calm and peaceful. Some divers like to make a negative entry, descending to take cover using the boulders, but it is not always necessary. Along with the potential complex currents, open sea, and depths, Racha Noi South Tip is a challenging multi-level dive site where only the experienced diver is recommended. 

Thailand Divers provides you with a three-dive location package that includes Racha Noi on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. You can step onboard our dive boat MV Mermaid from Chalong Bay. To maintain our high safety standards, we ask for certified divers only and a maximum of four divers per group. We depart at 7.30 am and will provide breakfast and lunch onboard. We will aim to arrive back to shore at 5.30 pm and provide you with a return hotel transfer, allowing you a stress-free finish to your day. 

Artifical reef Koh Racha Yai Phuket
and relax - scuba diving - racha yai phuket

Racha Noi Bay

Racha Noi Bay resembles most people’s idea of paradise. The Bay is located southeast of the island and is easily recognised by the tiny islet, which at low tide reveals a connecting ridge to the mainland. It is our second dive site within our ‘three dive day trip’ on MV Mermaid. Crystal clear waters on top of white sandy seabeds make it a stunning and inviting dive site, particularly for beginners and novice divers. 

To the north and south of the islet, you will discover shallow hard corals and staghorn coral which eventually gives way to a sandy plateau at about fifteen meters. Continue south to follow a rocky reef dropping to over thirty meters, where you can explore Sea Whips and Sea Fans, Nudibranchs, and Sea Cumbers.

Cuttlefish scuba diving Koh Racha Islands
Hawksbill turtle diving - koh racha yai

An abundance of sea life awaits you, with possible sightings of Scorpion Fish, Milky Fish, Garden Eels, Eagle Rays, Sweetlips, Angelfish, and Octopus. Be sure to explore the seabeds to spot Cuttle Fish, who like to camouflage themselves against the white sand, along with Pipe Fish and Flounder. In calm conditions, take time to investigate the deep blue depths, and you may be fortunate to see Eagle Rays, Leopard Sharks, and possibly Whale Sharks. 

Racha Noi Bay is an excellent dive site, with often superb underwater visibility of fifteen to forty meters and a temperature of approximately 29°C/84°F all year round. Be aware at times if the current is powerful, as it will flow to the south and take you a long way if you are not mindful. Equally, it can provide the conditions for a good drift dive if you are an experienced scuba diver. 

Discover the enchanted and stunning images Racha Noi Bay has to offer on board our MV Mermaid on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. It is the second dive site of our three dive site day trips, each location offering a unique experience.

You can enjoy breakfast and lunch throughout the day after you step on board at 7.30 am, and we then return at 5.30 pm, at which we will provide you with a return hotel transfer. You can then reflect on your unforgettable day and the memories you have created in your hotel’s comfort. 

featherstars Koh Racha Islands
Corals at Koh Racha Islands

Racha Yai Island

Racha Yai Island is a dive site enjoyed by many as it is suitable for all diving abilities thanks to its shallow bays and reefs stretching down to over twenty-five meters. While not a big island ( 3.5km long and 1.5km wide), it is big enough to provide shelter on stormy days, usually in the low season when winds pick up from the west, thus adding to its appeal. You can also dive here generally all year round. It is Located just around fifteen kilometers south of Chalong Bay and boasts multiple dive spots. 

Racha Yai translates into Big King and is the third destination in our three-dive day trip. An inhabited island where it is breathtakingly beautiful above and below sea level, you will no doubt be eager to explore the diverse marine life thanks to the nutrient-rich waters. 

Table coral phuket koh racha islands
Staghorn coral reef - Koh Racha Yai

Racha Yai offers a variety of dive locations, mainly along the island’s eastern side, but many are dotted all the way around. Each underwater seascape provides a different dive experience ranging from investigating large schools of tropical fish along the coral reefs, sloping wall dives, wreck diving, or drift diving. It may be worth checking with your dive captain about which site you will be visiting. 

You will undoubtedly be in awe of the sights you witness at this versatile diving location. Soft corals, Gorgonian fan corals, and Sponges add colour to the reefs, while there are also hard corals such as Elkhorn and star coral. There are also areas of Staghorn coral that house thousands of Damsel Fish. Various Reef fish, such as Parrotfish, Angelfish, Snapper, Butterflyfish, grouper, and Basslets, live in these waters.

underwater racing - Koh Racha yai

You may be fortunate to witness Trumpetfish swimming alongside Groupers or Moray Eels hiding within the coral or rocks. You may wish to dive down to explore the sandy seabed to catch a glimpse of potential Eagle Rays or small Blue Dot stingrays.

If you are fortunate to dive down to one of the wrecks, you can expect to see large schools of Chevron Barracuda and giant Batfish that take up residence there. Such experiences leave you feeling humbled and honoured to have been part of their environment, even for a short time.

Visibility is excellent here at Racha Yai, ranging from fifteen meters to thirty meters in crystal clear waters; a moderate current makes the ideal dive spot for all abilities who can experience a range of diving depths. Understandably, scuba divers return here time after time. 

Discover scuba diving Koh Racha Yai
Amazing underwater visability - Racha islands Phuket

Racha Yai island is our day trip’s third and final dive site found within our Three Dive Day trip program. You can share our breathtaking experiences by joining us on MV Mermaid, where we depart Chalong Bay each Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday at 7.30 am. You can enjoy breakfast and lunch, which will be provided, and a return hotel transfer when we arrive back at the harbourside at 5.30 pm, ensuring your day ends in a relaxed, enjoyable manner.

Here at Thailand Divers, we take every precaution to ensure your safety; consequently, we limit groups to a maximum of four and ask for certified divers only. By doing this, we can keep to our high safety standards and ensure everyone’s needs are met.

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