Racha Yai is a granite island which means the water is always clear and the many shallow, protected bays all around the island make it an ideal diving day trip at any time of the year. It is a favorite of Phuket dive boats due to its close proximity. Racha Yai is the perfect place to learn scuba diving in Phuket, for snorkeling, and for divers who have not been in the water for a while. Local residents in the coral gardens and staghorn reef include titan triggerfish, moray eels, cuttlefish, octopus, and giant pufferfish.
Racha Yai island, around 12km south of Phuket, generally offers easy diving with good conditions and is a popular destination for those taking SCUBA diving courses or for divers with family/friends who would like to snorkel on the same trip.
During the green season (usually May to October) most of the diving takes place around the handful of hard coral bays or rocky reefs that run the length of the eastern coastline
In high season, diving tends to move to the reefs bordering Bungalow Bay or Siam Bay on the North East of the island, although the east coastline is still preferred if prevailing wind/waves permit. At peak tides, currents can be strong and so provide an excellent drift dive experience (boat pickup).
With lots of sandy areas, the hard coral bays are perfect for courses and inexperienced divers, with access to some simple wrecks just a short swim away from bay 1 at depths of 18-25m for the more experienced. There is a good variety of marine life on the shallow hard coral reefs, the rocky reefs between the bays or around the artificial reefs (hollow concrete cubes) that range from 12m to 30m depth.
Octopus and cuttlefish, punching mantis shrimp, many types of morays, banded sea snakes, blue-spotted Kuhl’s stingrays, flounders, and striped shrimpfish can be included among the regular reef fish that frequent the shallows. Also on occasion, Racha Yai gets flybys from manta rays and even visits from whale sharks!
Racha Yai is either done as a 2 tank dive day trip or in combination with Racha Noi
on a 3 tank day trip.