Continuing south past Koh Racha Yai, we find Koh Racha Noi, approximately 2 hours from Phuket. Racha Noi is in fact two small, granite islands, separated by a narrow stretch of water.
Koh Racha Noi Information
- Time to dive site: 2.0 hours by dive boat
- Diver level: Beginner to advanced+
- Currents: Mild to moderate, can be strong in the south
- Depth: 5 – 40+ m
Racha Noi has some sheltered dive sites along the east and west coasts, for example Banana Bay on the east side, which likely earned its name due to the mass of banana trees which grow there. This dive site ranges from 5 – 22m, with large boulders in the shallows, and a sandy bottom with hard corals, sloping away to deeper waters. Swim-throughs can be found amongst the rocks, and there are plenty of critters and reef life, including giant morays, sea snakes, trigger fish and black-and-white snapper. Venturing beyond the shallows offers the possibility to see some of the more elusive beauties of Phuket – leopard sharks if you’re lucky!
South Tip, also known as The Zoo amongst the dive community, is a deeper and more challenging dive site, starting at 12m, and extending down to 40+m. Comprising large granite boulders, and a beautiful mix of both hard and soft corals, a huge assortment of marine life, it is often compared with the Similan Islands.
The particularly strong currents which can be experienced at South Tip make the site accessible only for a few days of the lunar month. The current and its deeper drop-offs mean that dive times can be shorter, and only experienced divers should jump in. One of the things that makes this dives site so appealing is that at certain times of the year, these waters can attract some of our larger visitors – elegant manta rays can be spotted visiting the cleaning stations here, as well as leopard sharks and schools of chevron barracuda .