Coming out of Covid, there is a buzz in the air with many tourists returning to Phuket after a 2 year absence. While covid has put a dampener on all of our lives, one of the few benefits has been the opportunity to allow the natural habitat to recover. This means previously hot tourist destinations have not looked this good in years!

The Gorgeous Raya Island

Raya Island, also known as Racha island, is one of these rejuvenated islands in the Andaman sea. This small island is located about 12 kilometers south of Phuket. Whether you are a tourist or a local, everyone needs a break sometimes. Well, what better place to get away from it all than on this small piece of paradise?

Intrigued? Here is all you need to know about the island.

Racha Island has two smaller islands – Koh Racha Yai and Koh Racha Noi. These two also go by the names Koh Raya Yai and Koh Raya Noi respectively. So to distinguish which is which, ‘Yai’ in Thai means ‘Big’ whereas Noi means ‘little’. Both small islands have crystal clear waters and white sandy beaches. These islands are infamous for being excellent diving and snorkeling spots in Thailand because they are host to challenging diving sites which are very popular with advanced divers. Beginners are also welcome here since one will also find plenty of diving spots suitable for them.

Racha Yai island

a birds eye view of raya islands as with boats anchored in the light blue waters

This small little island is the closest to Phuket. Most people who stay here are Muslim farmers and fishermen. Now if you are planning on staying overnight at Raya Island Thailand, this is where you will find all the resorts.

Located in a u-shaped bay is the Ao Tawan Tok (Ao Bungalow) which is the main beach on the island. It’s a beautiful beach with snow white sand that is as uniform and fine as talcum powder. Its clear waters and shallow water coral reefs make it an excellent snorkeling spot.

Being so small, it only hosts 3 resorts namely, The Racha Phuket Resort, Baan Raya Resort and Bungalow Raya Resort. Of the three, in terms of luxury, The Racha Phuket Resort prides itself as a real 5-star luxury hideaway. And if you are going for modesty, then Bungalow Raya Resort is your choice. So in case you plan on staying overnight, you are covered.

Just like the other islands in the area, the Racha Yai is also popular with day trips. More often than not the bay gets quite busy in the afternoon hours with visitors coming in boats. But at night, it’s pretty serene as it only hosts a few bars and restaurants.

Well, there are no bright lights on this island making it a great island for stargazing especially on the beach. There is also the larger bay, Ao Siam, which is perfect for quiet strolls. There is a lot of nature to see, making it excellent for photographers and wildlife enthusiasts.

Racha Noi island

Located to the south of Racha Yai is the smaller of the two islands which is inhabited. Here, you will find more rocks than beaches. This tiny island has small bay on its west coast that is popular with fishermen. Besides diving, that’s pretty much all you can do here.

Activities to partake in in Racha

Activities that happen on Racha Island and mainly scuba diving and snorkeling. If you are looking for a fine dining spot, then you better head on to the bay on the east coast of Koh Racha Yai.

As for the smaller Racha Noi, diving does happen here. It is more suited for advanced divers because this small island has deeper diving spots. You can also spot larger water creatures like the mantra ray in some spots.

How to get to the Raya Island Thailand

Getting to these two islands from Phuket is easy. Usually, tour operators and travel agents organize all-inclusive day trips. People charter long-tail and speedboats from Rawai or Chalong Pier. It takes about 2 hours via a long tail boat whereas speedboats take an hour.

Make sure you check the availability and the conditions of the island before booking. And if you are planning on snorkeling Phuket remember to carry things like sunglasses, sunscreen, towel and sun cap. You need not worry much about the mask and snorkel as they are provided at no fee. You can also lease fins at 100 thb.

Interested in a Private Charter Boat Phuket tour to some of the finest Islands like Raya? Book with Simba Sea Trips and experience Phuket the proper way!