Racha Noi diving
Koh Raya Noi
Racha Noi island is Racha Yai’s smaller twin located about 40 minutes boat ride further south of Racha Yai island. The diving at Racha Noi is far superior to Racha Yai, it is arguably the best of the local Phuket dive sites. However Racha Noi diving can involve strong currents, even down currents at times.
Corals are very healthy and fish are bigger at Racha Noi. It definitely has the best visibility and is the best Phuket dive site to see Manta Rays.
Racha Noi is a long thin granite island covered in dense jungle and is uninhabited. There is a range of diving here for experienced and inexperienced divers. Plus some excellent snorkeling opportunities.
Racha Noi pinnacle
Racha Noi South Pinnacle is a submerged rock formation off the southern tip of Racha Noi island. It drops down to beyond 40m. This can be an extreme dive when the currents are strong, which they often are. A negative entry and quick free descent are necessary to reach the dive site without getting swept away.
Once on the pinnacle, divers can us the rocks to shelter from the currents. Dive here for the chance to see Manta Rays which love to feed in the current. Barracuda and large schools of jacks are also common. Bluefin tuna can be seen hunting for smaller fish and reef sharks can sometimes be spotted in deeper water. It is also possible to dive around the south point of the island, where the large boulder formations are reminiscent of the Similan Islands.
Racha Noi North Point
North Point also gets it’s fair share of manta ray visits as well as schools of chevron barracuda. Currents are equally strong here with some wicked down currents making this site undiveable at certain times of the month. Deep divers will find temptation here as they look down at the rocks that slope down beyond 70m depth. Leopard sharks are often in the sand on deeper sections of the dive.
There is a small bay on the north of the island which has some very nice hard coral formations full of marine life including octopus and several species of moray eel.
Racha Noi East Coast
On the east coast of Racha Noi is a long curved bay called Banana Bay which is a much easier dive site. It’s suitable for all levels of diver and is also very nice for snorkelers. It’s shallow and the water is very clear.
The white sand sea bed is scattered with patches of coral, mainly staghorn, with green sheet coral and bubble coral mixed in. There are lots of schools of fish like snapper and fusiliers, plus lionfish, moray eels, parrotfish, trumpet fish to name just a few.
Racha Noi West Coast
On the west side of Racha Noi is Marita’s Rock, named after a local divemaster. It’s covered in soft corals and gorgonian seafans. Most of the west side is more rugged than the east coast, with boulder formations creating swim-thoughs and small caverns to explore.
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