Koh Racha Yai Diving

Koh Racha Yai Diving (2024)

Do you like diving in warm, azure waters teeming with marine life? If so, Koh Racha Yai Diving is your ultimate destination. Renowned for its exceptional dive sites, Koh Racha Yai stands out among Thailand’s top diving spots, conveniently just a day from mainland Phuket.

Immerse yourself in the vibrant underwater world of Koh Racha Yai, where you’ll discover a kaleidoscope of marine life and stunning coral formations. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced diver, Koh Racha Yai caters to all skill levels, offering everything from gentle reef dives to exhilarating drift dives.

Encounter an array of colourful reef fish, graceful rays, and even elusive leopard sharks as you explore the crystal-clear waters with excellent visibility. My recent dive experience at Koh Racha Yai during the Travel Blog Exchange (TBEX) program in Phuket was truly memorable. As an avid scuba diver, I always make it a point to dedicate a day or two to diving whenever I travel. Koh Racha Yai exceeded all expectations with its pristine conditions and abundant marine life.

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PIN for later reference – Koh Racha Yai Diving

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About Koh Racha Yai

The twin Racha islands are situated approximately 20 kilometres off the southeast coast of Phuket: Koh Racha Yai (translating to big) and Koh Racha Noi (Noi, meaning small). Renowned for their pristine, crystal-clear waters and powdery white sand beaches, these islands are a visitor’s favourite for day trips.

Commonly referred to as the luxurious 5-star resort, The Racha distinguishes Raya Island, Koh Racha Yai. While predominantly home to Muslim farmers and fishermen, the island’s main beach, Ao Bungalow or Ao Tawan Tok, captivates visitors with its stunning beauty and serene ambience.

Also, Read 3 Days in Phuket

One-Day Dive Tour to Koh Racha Yai

Due to its proximity to mainland Phuket, Koh Racha Yai emerges as an ideal destination for a day trip from Phuket. Numerous providers offer convenient one-day diving excursions to Koh Racha Yai, making it easily accessible for those seeking adventure beneath the waves.

Best Time to Dive at Koh Racha Yai

The optimal period for diving in and around Phuket, including Koh Racha Yai, falls between December and February, coinciding with the dry season. During these months, favourable weather conditions prevail, ensuring clear skies and excellent visibility underwater. Conversely, the wet season, spanning the remaining months, is characterized by storms and heavy rains, which can significantly affect diving conditions and visibility.

Despite typically being the wet season, I embarked on my diving adventure in November and was fortunate to encounter favourable weather conditions and good visibility. However, it’s essential to note that heavy rains occurred on other days during my visit, highlighting the unpredictability of weather patterns outside the dry season.

Koh Racha Yai Diving

Koh Racha Yai stands out as a premier destination, renowned for its captivating dive sites enticing scuba divers of all levels. Teeming with abundant marine life, diving in Koh Racha Yai promises an unforgettable and visually stunning experience. The warm, clear waters offer exceptional visibility, creating an ideal underwater exploration environment.

Divers at Koh Racha Yai can choose from various dive sites tailored to suit both beginners and experienced enthusiasts. From vibrant artificial reefs constructed from cement blocks to kaleidoscopic coral gardens, each site offers a unique underwater landscape waiting to be discovered and admired.

Scuba diving tanks - Koh Racha Yai Diving

Dive Sites at Koh Racha Yai

The day excursion to Koh Racha Yai caters exclusively to certified divers.

Bay 1 and 2

My initial dive occurred at Bay 1 and 2, two captivating dive sites renowned for their sandy bottoms and artificial reefs. Perfect for beginners, these sites offer a gradual descent into deeper waters, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for novice divers.

Dive Statistics

  • Suitable for: Certified Divers. Open water and above.
  • Visibility: 15 to 30 metres.
  • Maximum Depth: 35 metres.
Bay 1 Dive Site at Koh Racha Yai

Marine Life

The dive sites boast incredibly vibrant marine ecosystems bustling with diverse aquatic life. The waters teem with various fascinating creatures from graceful dancing starfish (Bushy feather stars) to charismatic pufferfish, parrotfish, and moray eels.

As you explore the underwater wonders, encounter majestic lionfish, sleek barracudas, and colourful butterflyfish. Marvel at bustling colonies of clownfish, watch triggerfish darting among the corals and be captivated by the myriad of other species that call these dive sites home.

Lion fish at Bay 1 dive site
Lionfish at Bay 1 dive site

Harruby Shipwreck

At approximately 20 meters deep lies the Harruby shipwreck, a captivating feature of the underwater landscape. Originally a liveaboard vessel, the wreck now rests with its top accessible at 14 meters. Deliberately sunk to enhance the diving experience and serve as an artificial reef, the Harruby wreck has become a thriving habitat for diverse marine life.

Exploring the wreck reveals an enchanting world inhabited by fascinating fish species, including graceful stingrays and vibrant nudibranchs. This sunken treasure provides an intriguing dive site and contributes to the flourishing ecosystem by attracting and sustaining various marine inhabitants.

Ship wreck at Bay 1 and 2 dive sites
Shipwreck at Bay 1 and 2 dive sites

Bay 4 and 5

Bay 4 and 5 dive sites begin with shallow depths and feature scattered rocks. Despite their shallow beginnings, these sites gradually descend to depths of up to 30 meters, offering divers the opportunity to explore diverse underwater terrain as they venture deeper.

Dive Statistics

  • Suitable for: Certified divers. Open water and above.
  • Visibility: 15 to 30 metres.
  • Maximum Depth: 30 metres and above.
Bay 3 and 4 Dive sites at Koh Racha Yai

Marine Life

Once more, this dive site bursts with activity, boasting abundant marine life. Encounter triggerfish, impressive moray eels, majestic lionfish, graceful rays, and many other captivating creatures as you explore the vibrant underwater world.

Also, Read Learn to Freedive in Phuket

Dive Centre for Koh Racha Yai Diving

As previously mentioned, numerous dive centres in Phuket offer trips to Koh Racha Yai. While many of these centres are affiliated with either PADI or SSI, the quality of the dive centre and its staff can significantly impact your diving experience. For my dives in Koh Racha Yai, I chose Sea Bees Diving.

With over 25 years of diving experience, Sea Bees Diving is renowned as one of the top dive centres in Phuket. Their expertise and professionalism ensure a safe and enjoyable diving experience. Operating multiple dive centres across Thailand, Sea Bees Diving offers scheduled day trips to various islands throughout the week, providing divers with diverse opportunities to explore the underwater wonders of the region.

Ferry to Racha Island

Why Should You Go With Sea Bees Diving?

As I mentioned, choosing a reputable scuba dive centre can make or break your diving experience. For those considering diving in Phuket or Koh Racha Yai, I highly recommend Sea Bees Diving for several compelling reasons:

  • Exceptional Staff: The dive instructors and onboard staff at Sea Bees Diving are friendly, approachable, highly knowledgeable, and competent. Their professionalism ensured a positive and enjoyable diving experience, and I thoroughly enjoyed interacting with them.
  • Well-Maintained Equipment: One of the critical factors in a successful dive is the condition of the equipment. The equipment is meticulously maintained and sanitized at Sea Bees Diving, ensuring reliability and peace of mind throughout the dive. During my two dives, I encountered no issues with the equipment, which was in excellent condition.
  • Luxury Boat: The vessel transporting us to Koh Racha Yai was impressive and luxurious. From its sleek design to its comfortable and clean facilities, the boat provided a premium experience that enhanced the overall enjoyment of the trip.
  • Emphasis on Safety: At Sea Bees Diving, safety is paramount. Before the dives, thorough safety briefings were conducted. Throughout the day, the staff ensured our well-being and adherence to safety protocols, allowing us to dive with confidence and peace of mind.
  • Delicious Food: Onboard, Sea Bees Diving provided delicious meals, including breakfast, lunch, and snacks. The culinary offerings were tasty and varied, catering to diverse preferences and ensuring we were well-fed and energized for our dives.

My experience with Sea Bees Diving was exceptional, and I wholeheartedly recommend them to anyone seeking a memorable and enjoyable scuba diving adventure in Phuket or Koh Racha Yai.

Sea Bees Diving

How Much Does Going on a One-Day Dive Tour to Koh Racha Yai Cost?

The Sea Bees Diving website states that a one-day dive tour to Koh Racha Yai costs 4000 THB (approximately USD 110). This fee covers two guided recreational dives, transportation from the dive centre to the island, and onboard meals. However, it’s important to note that equipment rental is an additional cost, and the price may vary depending on the gear you choose to hire.

Furthermore, the overall price of the dive tour may vary based on the specific island or dive site you plan to visit.

For the most accurate and up-to-date pricing information and availability, visiting the Sea Bees Diving website is recommended. They will provide comprehensive details regarding pricing options and any additional fees that may apply.

Is Scuba Diving at Koh Racha Yai Safe for Solo Female Drivers?

According to Diving 101, always diving with a buddy, even for certified divers, is essential. Additionally, diving at Koh Racha Yai requires travelling by boat. Therefore, I strongly recommend choosing a reputable dive centre that prioritizes safety. My experience diving with Sea Bees Diving was exceptionally safe, and I observed many solo divers onboard who were well taken care of.

Closing Notes

With diving experience in at least seven countries, I can confidently affirm that Koh Racha Yai Diving is among the best dive experiences I’ve encountered worldwide. The dive sites boast stunning beauty, excellent visibility, and diverse marine life, making them a must-visit for your next underwater adventure.

Please note: This post is written in collaboration with Sea Bees Diving dive center. However, the views and opinions are honest and unbiased, reflecting my genuine experience and recommendations.


  • The prices mentioned in the post are valid only at the time of publication. Ensure that you check the booking websites for up-to-date information and prices.
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    PIN for later reference – Koh Racha Yai Diving

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    PIN for later reference – Koh Racha Yai Diving