The two tropical Racha Islands; Koh Racha Yai and Koh Racha Noi, are sometimes called Raya Island or even King Island. BUT the name doesn’t matter as these stunning Phuket tropical islands provide the ideal destination to enjoy nature with some of the best snorkeling reefs in Thailand and quiet, tropical white powdery beaches and crystal-clear turquoise waters.
The Racha Islands are comprised of two islands, Koh Racha Yai and Koh Racha Noi. (Yai means “big” in Thai and, noi means “little”). The islands possess crystal clear waters and white sandy beaches. They are very popular with divers and snorkellers, with challenging dive sites for advanced divers as well as plenty for beginners and snorkellers.
Racha Yai is the closer of the two islands to Phuket. It is also the only Racha island that is inhabited, mostly by Muslim farmers and fishermen and those working at the few resorts and restaurants that are on the island.
Ao Tawan Tok is the main beach, on the island’s northwest coast, and has some of the softest sand that you will ever encounter anywhere in the world. It is almost a snow white colour and has a consistency like talcum powder. There are a few bungalow resorts and restaurants located here, including the 5-star The Racha.
Racha Yai is not as popular with day-trippers from Phuket as some of the other Phuket islands like Khai Islands and of course Maya Bay in Phi Phi, but it can get a little busy in the afternoons but nothing to crazy.
Heading south from Racha Yai is the uninhabited, Racha Noi. The beaches on this island are rockier rather than sandy. There is some really good fishing to be done around Racha Noi, but if you are looking for, a perfect Phuket Island location for your private boat tour then best head to Racha Noi’s big sister Island Racha Yai.
Scuba Diving and Free Diving
Both scuba diving and free diving are hugely popular around Racha. For those wishing to learn either sport, the waters close to the island are perfect, as they are crystal clear and warm and the diving is easy.
As you improve, or want to go deeper, just a short trip further out from the Racha Islands, you get to some very deep water, some very deep clear waters, which are perfect for free diving.
It is so good that Deep Week Thailand takes place here. Deep Week is the world’s premier Freediving education event and the world’s largest freediving festival.
The scuba diving is also ideal around Racha Island as the waters are clear and there are also some great manmade wreaks to dive around and though like a sunken motorbike, so you can take that perfect underwater selfie.
Getting to Racha
A private boat trip to Racha will take around 30 to 40 minutes from the 5 Star Marine Phuket pier at Boat Lagoon Marina. You can also add in a few stops either on the way or on the way back.
Stop on the way at Maiton Island to do some snorkeling and maybe spot a dolphin or 2.
Stop on the way back from Racha at Koh Rang Noi for a sunset BBQ or at the floating restaurants at Laem Hin to enjoy a sunset seafood meal.
Racha Island is a stunning destination for relaxation, fantastic beaches and plenty of snorkelling, and 5 Star Marine Phuket team know exactly where to go for the best bays, quiet beaches and coral reefs in this area, and can also suggest some idyllic restaurants to stop at.
If you want to learn more about the awesome Racha Islands, Raya Islands or King Islands then click here to see the full tour