Racha Noi Bay is a dive site that is not often dived at Koh Racha Noi. Most Phuket dive trips that go that far south are heading towards the South Tip dive site for a famous manta dive. However, because South Tip is for advanced divers, novice divers jump into the waters at Racha Noi Bay. It also serves as a backup dive, if the conditions don’t allow a safe adventure at South Tip.
Nonetheless, Racha Noi Bay is not a bad dive site by all means!
Racha Noi Bay dive site brief
- Access: From boat
- Maximum depth: 100 feet/ 30 meters (39 ft/12 m in the bay)
- Visibility: 49 – 130 feet / 15 – 40 meters
- Dive time: 45 – 60 minutes
- Certification level: Open Water
- Current: light – medium in the Bay, strong outside the bay
- Type: reef, rock; drift
About Racha Noi Bay dive site in Phuket
Racha Noi Bay is located on the east side of Koh Racha Noi – just next door to the famous South Tip dive site. Characterized by its white sandy beach with an expansive sand stripe that extends to a charming small island during low tide, this dive site offers an array of captivating rocky reefs.
This drift dive takes you around the exterior of this rocky islet, favored for its pristine visibility and snow-white sand that appears to be even more dreamlike underwater.
The dive plan for Racha Noi Bay in Phuket
For a remarkable beginner’s dive experience, check out the expansive soft sand plateau located in the bay. At a depth of 39 feet (12 meters), the coral seascape slowly transitions to an enchanting sandy bottom. Heading east will take you along an exquisite rocky reef and eventually to a sandy bottom that levels out at around 115 feet (35 meters). A small rocky island further south makes for a mesmerizing attraction during your dive. If you decide to explore even more of what this spectacular site has to offer, simply continue towards the south and discover lush reefs featuring depths of up to 100 feet (30 meters). But be aware, at this point, this dive will turn into a drift dive. The currents are quite strong here. Also, take caution so that they don’t drift you too far apart. Stay close to your dive buddy and group. It could be dangerous, and therefore, the drift dive is only suitable for advanced divers. That being said, the drift dive is one of the best Racha Island has to offer.
What’s to see at Racha Noi Bay dive site?
Divers will be astounded by the wealth of creatures that can be discovered underwater. With the common reef fishes, divers may also find scorpionfish, garden eels, eagle rays, and milky fish. Exploring sandy bottoms can reveal hidden cuttlefish, flounder, and pipefish. On tranquil days you could even venture off the rocky reefs into deeper waters to encounter leopard sharks, manta rays, and impressive whale sharks.
What certification is required to dive at Banana Bay on Racha Noi?
The shallow part sheltered by the bay and little islet is great for beginners. However, strong currents outside the bay can steer unsuspecting adventurers on a lengthy journey southward without warning. Therefore, it’s advised that divers remain focused and alert at all times while traversing these waters. In order to take the drift dive journey, divers must obtain the Advanced Open Water certification level.
Related dive sites
If you like drift dives, check out Home Run Reef and Koh Dok Mai. Advanced divers, definitely should consider South Tip, but also Racha Noi North Bay for manta ray encounters. Some of the best dives around Phuket are also the Anemone Reef, King Cruiser Wreck, and Shark Point.