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Diving in Koh Racha

Close to Phuket but miles away in atmosphere, Koh Racha is a great island escape for those wanting peace, beautiful white sandy beaches and some excellent diving options.

Diving in Koh Racha

Quick facts

You don’t have to stay on Koh Racha to enjoy the diving here. Dive operators in Phuket do visit Koh Racha too. If you choose accommodation on the island, apart from having a more blissful experience, shore diving will be available to you. Boat diving will zip you around the island’s bays to discover its underwater gems. Conditions, on the whole, are bright and clear with some gentle drift diving possible too. Sites are suitable for all levels. Koh Racha Noi offers diving for the more experienced but do be aware that this is around an hour away if you are diving from a traditional longtail boat. Longtail boats are like large rowing boats but powered instead by a propeller attached to a long metal rod sticking out of the end of the boat. Some boats have shade but maybe aren’t so comfortable for an hour particularly if seas are a little choppy.

When to go

Rain and temperature

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Water temperature

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What to see

You can be lucky at Koh Racha Noi with whale shark and manta ray sightings. The waters boast diverse and colourful reef inhabitants and hard and soft corals. There’s a possibility of seeing a turtle but expect parrotfish, butterflyfish and wrasse as well as the ever graceful Moorish idol. For Nemo hunters, there’s plenty of variety of anemone fish. The smaller yellowtail barracuda school above the reef. Look in the sand for garden eels and flounder and keep an eye out for a variety of rays.


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Most likely sightingsPossible sightings


Two islands make up Koh Racha; Koh Racha Yai (large) and Koh Racha Noi (small). To further complicate life, they are often referred to as Koh Raya Yai and Noi respectively too. Whatever you call them, they lie 12 miles (20km) south of Phuket and offer the beautiful white sandy beaches that are synonymous with Thailand. The islands are 6 miles (10km) apart; the larger island is where you will stay and the smaller one is uninhabited.

The island is well-liked for sailing as well as diving, snorkelling and relaxing and can get quite busy with those wanting to escape Phuket’s frenzy. The island is small, and there are no roads, only tracks. There are motorbikes for rent, but you don’t need them, the pathways are bumpy and walking from one beach to another takes just a 10 minutes.

Other attractions

Koh Racha is all about relaxing, so activities centre around snorkelling, diving and chilling on the beach. Of course, you could head over to Phuket if you were missing the noise, hustle and bustle.

Getting there

Koh Racha’s closest airport is Phuket. From the airport, it’s an hour’s transfer via road to the pier at Chalong. The crossing to Koh Racha takes around half an hour. Some accommodations have their own transfers to make this easier for you but do check.


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Calling code

220-240 V

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Main airport
Note - Travel to any destination may be adversely affected by conditions including (but not limited) to security, entry and exit requirements, health conditions, local laws and culture, natural disasters and climate. Regardless of your destination, check your local travel advisory board or department for travel advice about that location when planning your trip and again shortly before you leave.

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