Racha Noi dive sites
Racha Noi is the smaller of the two Racha Islands (Racha Yai is bigger). Koh Racha (or Raya) Noi is located about 30-40 minutes boat ride south of Racha Yai, about 2 hours from Phuket’s Chalong pier.
Racha Noi is dived either as a two dive day trip or, more typically, as a three dive day trip with two dives at Racha Noi and the third dive at Racha Yai on the way home. It is an uninhabited island that gets far fewer visitors than Racha Yai. Racha Yai is plagued by day trip speedboats but most of them do not go as far as Racha Noi.
Diving is available all year round subject to weather and sea conditions.
While Racha Noi has dive sites suitable for all levels of diver it also has a couple of strong current sites that are only suitable for experienced divers.
Racha Noi offers far superior diving to Racha Yai. The water is clearer and the fish bigger. You have more chance of seeing manta rays and schools of chevron barracuda.
Racha Noi southern pinnacle
A submerged rock pinnacle just off the south tip of Racha Noi, this is a dive site that can only be dived when currents are favourable. You have the best chance of seeing manta rays here but you’ve got to get down to the rocks before the surface current sweeps you away. Negative descents are the order of the day here.
Racha Noi North Point
This is another dive site that can have strong currents if you don’t know where to go. Currents can actually push you down here, and spit you out some distance from the island. Follow your guide as they weave in the current shadow. Look for mantas and barracuda.
Racha Noi East Coast
The long curved bay shaped like a banana is imaginatively called Banana bay. It’s an easy dive site, really relaxing in very clear water. The coral is mostly hard coral of the staghorn variety. So it’s not a super colourful reef but it’s full of life. Look for moray eels, lionfish, scorpionfish, blue spotted stingrays, garden eels, parrotfish, bannerfish and much more.
Racha Noi West Coast
The most popular dive site of the rugged west coast is Marita’s Rock. It’s another easy dive site with plenty to keep you interested including a big swim through. Hard corals are complimented with gorgonian sea fans and barrel sponges. We have also seen manta rays in the bay here.