SCUBA DIVING KOH RACHA
Koh Racha is located within close proximity to Phuket, but it offers a completely different atmosphere. While Phuket is known for its vibrant party atmosphere and nightlife, Koh Rocha is better suited for those who seek a tropical escape. The island of Koh Racha offers gorgeous white, sandy beaches and plenty of great diving options.
KOH RACHA DIVING
When looking for the best dive destinations near the Andaman Sea, Koh Racha is one of those options. Its location south of Phuket makes it ideal for all types of diving and for all levels of divers.
One of the most notable reasons why avid divers come to Koh Racha is due to the quality of marine life available. The coral reef forest is also rich and thriving. It is an astonishing view to marvel at for diving enthusiasts who come to Koh Racha.
During the diving season, and even during off-season, divers who come to Koh Racha are impressed with what they find. The actual dive center is located on the island of Koh Racha. You can explore rock formations, boulders, coral reefs, and shipwrecks during your dive.
BEST DIVE SITES
The Bungalow Bay is one of the first spots that divers go to in Koh Racha. The great thing about the Bungalow Bay is that it is suitable for those who are still learning how to dive. The reason behind its popularity is due to the great diving conditions, especially during the high season. The site is protected from the easterly weather so you can ensure maximum visibility and stable currents.
This dive site is divided into two main areas: North and South Reef. The North Reef consists of mainly boulders and small rock formations. When it comes to marine life, you will stumble upon cleaner wrasse, barracuda, trigger fish, butterfly fish, and more. As for the South Reef, it is best suited for those divers seeking to obtain their PADI certificate. It is also a popular destination for underwater photography.
This bay is located at the northernmost point of the island of Racha Yai in Koh Racha. It is famous for the rocky edges and sand at the center of the bay that is filled with hard coral patches. As an added attraction, you can also find man-made structures at the center of the bay of two big elephants, along with a giant temple gate.
Because this dive site is located north of the eastern portion of Racha Yai, this site is often the last destination for a diving day trip. In this dive site, you will encounter a lot of marine life including branch, staghorn, and pore coral. This dive site is recommended for divers of all skill level. But you have to be careful when diving this area because the current coming from the north is strong, so extra caution is needed.
This reef dive site is located right in the middle of Bay 2 and Bay 3 in Koh Racha. The dive site is named as such because the underwater sightings in the area consist mainly of Staghorn Coral. But it is also possible to find other types of coral such as pore coral and branch coral. This site offers a maximum dive depth of 20 meters, though some portions can go as deep as 40 meters. Sadly, this site suffered from bleaching in 2010 due to climactic conditions.
Racha Yai Wrecks
There are a total of four shipwrecks that are located in the areas within Bays 1 and 2 of Koh Racha. One of them is a sailboat wreck, which is a great site to go to when you want to marvel at the rich marine life that has thrived here. When exploring the shipwreck, you will find glass fish and snappers. It is also possible to spot giant moray eels and barracudas.
The Harruby Liveboard is another great wreck site to dive in Koh Racha. The dive site is around 20 meters below the surface with the top portion accessible at 14 meters. It is an easy to access site for all types of divers. This wreck site is great for penetration, although you must have completed the PADI specialty course before you can do that.
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BEST TIME TO DIVE
Just like most dive sites in Thailand, the diving conditions in Koh Racha are suitable throughout the year. But if you want the best dive experience, you need to book your dive trip during the optimal season for diving. One thing that you should be wary about when diving from May to October is that the undertow can be strong. This is potentially dangerous.
For maximum water visibility and stable currents, the best time for diving is anywhere from November to April.
HOW TO GET TO KOH RACHA
The closest airport to Koh Racha is the Phuket International Airport. There are many international and domestic flights at this airport, so make sure you book a flight there to get to the island. The island of Koh Racha is about 20 kilometers from Phuket.
To travel by land, you can rent a car or take a taxi from the Phuket International Airport, or any nearby areas from Phuket to get to Koh Racha. Once you reach the Chalong Pier, you must ride a boat to get to the island. This is the only way to access the island as it is not connected by land or there are no airports on the island. Most of the boats that take tourists to Koh Racha are speedboats.
HIGHLIGHTS OF KOH RACHA
Koh Racha is quickly emerging as one of the top tourism destinations in Thailand, especially those seeking an alternative to Phuket. It is a quiet island that has many of the wonderful attractions and natural beauty that you have come to seek. There are many pristine beaches in Koh Racha, such as Siam Beach or Bungalow Bay. These beaches (unlike those you will find in Phuket) are clean and never crowded with tourists.
In an effort to preserve the natural beauty and peace on the island, extreme water sports such as parasailing and jet skiing are banned here. It is best reserved for a relaxing holiday. It is also intended to maintain and preserve the natural environment.
If you come to Koh Racha looking for a relaxing escape, you will definitely find that here. There are many accommodations and resorts to choose from in the area to cater to your needs. These luxurious villas and resorts will provide you with amenities you need while taking advantage of the beautiful scenery of the island. Just as there are many accommodation options, you also have quite a few dining options. From local Thai cuisines to international fares, you are sure to satisfy your cravings with many great restaurants on the island.
WHERE TO STAY
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Koh Rocha consists of twin islands that are located off the southeastern coast of Phuket. These two islands are Koh Racha Yai and Koh Racha Noi. These two islands are popular diving sites in Thailand, but also known for the crystal blue waters and gorgeous idyllic beaches.
Because these islands are not as crowded as Phuket is, they are considered an exclusive paradise for diving enthusiasts. The islands are only accessible by boat, either longtail boats, speedboats, or dive boats.
These two islands have their respective dive site options available. But the diving conditions for each of these islands can be significantly different; hence, it is important to know ahead because some dives are better suited for expert divers.