One of the most popular dive sites in the region with a diverse range of marine life which is accessible to all levels of divers!
The Racha Islands Group, located to the south of Phuket, consist of two Islands: the north island is called Racha Yai (Yai means big), and the south island is called Racha Noi (Noi means small). Both islands (or Raya Islands), some 12 km south of Phuket, are best known as excellent diving and snorkelling day-trip destinations. Often dived in conjunction with day trips to Racha Yai, Racha Noi is available for all levels of divers except for the southern tip which is for more experienced divers due to the depth and strong currents. It is not unusual to have visibility around 30 metres up here!
There are several dive sites here. Banana Bay is probably the most dived because it has a shallow bay with depths from 3 – 10 meters, making it great for first-time divers. Outside the bay, a gently sloping reef reaches about 25 meters depth. You may find schools of snappers, small barracudas, moray eels, triggerfish, butterfly and bannerfish. This site is on the east coast and mostly dived in our “low season” when prevailing winds are from the west. Another bay further south is called “Racha Noi Bay” close to the southern tip. It may be possible to drop experienced divers at the south tip and let the newer divers dive here in the bay. The South Tip itself is right at the south of Racha Noi, and you see some substantial granite boulders here which make the site look very similar to some locations in the Similan islands. There’s an excellent display of hard and soft corals, and the usual reef fishes are present in reasonable quantities.
Currents: no currents to mild ones
Certificate needed: OWD