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Koh Racha, Phuket Overview

Located 38 km south of Phuket, Koh Racha comprises of two beautiful islands with stunning cottony white sand beaches, peaceful bars, and glorious snorkelling and diving spots. The locals can be heard calling them Koh Raya islands. These pair of islands are known for their clear turquoise water and coral reef that make them an ideal place for divers to visit. The wide range of sea creatures, ocean gibbers, deep water wrecks and coral reefs make Koh Racha the best diving spot in the whole of Thailand.

Koh Racha Yai is the bigger island and Koh Racha Noi the smaller one with the former being more developed. You are also to find a better selection of restaurants, bars, and bread and breakfast options at Koh Racha Yai Island than at Koh Racha Noi. The interior of the island is steep and filled with exotic vegetation. You can trek on the marked paths to get to the flatter areas. Most tourists prefer Koh Racha Yai over Noi as the latter is uninhabited and there are no accommodation options. If you're looking for some quiet time away from the city amidst secluded picturesque beaches, Koh Racha Yai is your place to be.

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Things to Do at Koh Racha Island

Diving and Snorkeling: Nothing is more adventurous than exploring the underwater world. From discovering a lost shipwreck to interacting with the incredible marine species, the Koh Racha Islands have several amazing bays to dive from. The depths at these sites range between 2 to 25 meters. You might not spot the most beautiful corals, but you are bound to find a couple of Eagle rays and Manta rays.

Koh Racha Corals
Fishes and Corals at Koh Racha
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Stargazing: Most of the places on Koh Racha Yai shut down as the sun goes down. Thanks to the low light pollution, the night sky here welcomes you with millions of twinkling stars. Lay down on the sand with a warm blanket to admire nature in its purest form.

Snuba: This unique sport is a mixture of snorkelling and diving for people of age 8 and above. Just like scuba, Snuba also takes place in shallow water but its inculcated with a little diving into the shallow seabed. This new form of activity on the island attracts many tourists.

Kayaking: Kayaking is most definitely everyone’s favourite thing to do on an island. Kayaking in the clear emerald water of Koh Racha around the beautiful small bay will be an experience that will last for a lifetime. Most of the resorts on the island offer kayak on rentals.

Places to Visit

Siam Beach: Located on the other side of the island, this beach lacks tourists so one could send some great time here without any kind of hustle.

Batak Bay: This is an excellent place for snorkelling. The water in the area is warm and shallow. You can also swim peacefully in the calm water or just sit by the water and watch beautiful fishes swimming by.

Koh Racha
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Coral Island: Locally known as Koh Hae, this is a great getaway destination for most people. The two main beaches on this island have a great view where one could enjoy a candlelight dinner while watching the sun go down.

Koh Racha Accommodation

The accommodation facilities on Koh Racha is quite good with decent options to choose from. For instance, you could stay at the Racha Hotel in case you are looking for a luxury place to live. This hotel has everything from private bay to a spa where you could wear off all your fatigue after a long adventurous day. The Rayaburi Resort is for those of you who are looking for a reasonable option with an exquisite view and modern amenities. This resort located on the Siam Bay, the quieter side of the island. Apart from these resorts, there are several privately owned bungalows and villas around Siam Bay and Patok Bay starting at THB 1000.

How to Reach Koh Racha

You can get to Koh Racha Island by getting on a boat from the Rawai beach or Chalong Pier. There are speedboats take only 35 minutes to Racha Island. A boat ride from Chalong Pier costs nearly THB 1200. The longtail boats from Rawai beach take more than an hour to reach Koh Racha island.

Best Time to Visit

Visiting Koh Racha will be fun from November through April. These months are the best for diving and other activities since they yield the best visibility. The low season starting in May that lasts up to October might not be an ideal time to be on the island since heavy rainfall and stormy winds surround the island throughout the season.

What to Eat and Where to Eat

Indulge in the mouth-watering Thai cuisine as you enjoy your laid back day at Koh Racha. Most of the resorts in the area offer a variety of cuisines from Thai to Italian and Chinese too. The three major restaurants in the area are Racha Seafood Restaurant, Sunset Beach Restaurant, Rayaburi On Beach Restaurant. They all offer Asian cuisine and are vegetarian-friendly.

If you wish to get a taste of authentic Thai delicacy then you must visit the village in the middle of Racha Yai Island that has many places serving great Thai cuisine. You must try Tom Kha Kai i.e chicken in coconut soup and Pad Krapow Moo Saap i.e fried basil and pork chops.

Koh Racha
Restaurant by the beach at Koh Racha
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Getting Around Koh Racha Island

Once off the boat, you can explore the whole island on foot. Small concrete paths along the island will take you through some very scenic places including coconut groves and water buffalo grazing. The lush greenery and rocky formation you will come across bring out the true essence of Koh Racha. There are also motorcycles you could rent on a daily basis that might cost you THB 200 to THB 400. In case you are beach hopping, you could probably use boats or kayaks to travel from shore to shore.

Tips

1. While travelling to the Koh Racha Islands, it is best to take a speedboat rather than a longtail boat.
2. Since you might have to walk along while on a trail to explore the island make sure you wear comfortable footwear and apply lotion that helps you protect your skin from harmful UV rays.
3. Do not forget to carry a valid id proof while going for snuba or diving expedition.

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