Koh Racha (Raya Island)

Koh Racha (Raya) Island near Phuket

Explore the new gem of Phuket, Koh Racha

Koh Racha so-called Raya Island is one of the famous islands in Phuket that distinct with its super soft white sand beach. And also, it is a source of the magnificent corals that appeal a lot of people to come to the island. Another charm of the place is tranquil and peaceful ambience which is ideal to relax or honeymoon trip. Racha Island divided into 2 main parts which are Racha Yai and Racha Noi

Racha Yai Island

Racha (Raya) Yai Island in Phuket Thailannd

It is a tourism center of the Racha island with its perfect sandy beach. A beach in the west is similar to a horseshoe named ‘Ao Pa Tok’ features the smooth and white sand beach with crystal-clear water identical to the ones in Similan islands in the south. Racha Island situates about 15 km distance from Phuket with 3,000 sq.km of its capacity included the flatland and low hill. The local preempted the space to do the coconut farm, orchard, and residence. There are approximately 16 households on the island. And the area next to the sea, the villagers and investors developed some part to be the accommodations and restaurants to facilitate the tourist.  

5 Beautiful Bays in Koh Racha Yai

Racha Yai Island features 5 beautiful bays which are very attractive to sightsee.

1.The Sunset Bay or Ao Pa Tok

Patok Beach in Raya Yai Island

The most beautiful bay on Racha Island. The soft white sand beach lining along the shore presents the right place to enjoy the sea view, sunbathe, and relax. And it is a site of the luxury resorts “The Racha” and “Raya Resort”.

2. Ao Siam   

Siam Bay is on Racha Island, southeast of Phuket, Thailand.

This is the most extended bay of the island with only 5 minutes’ walk from Ao Pa Tok. The site locates in the north of the island with a quiet and less of people. The wind is strong at all time so that the wave here is quite high and the water is turbid. However, it is not less to welcome the group of tourists to enjoy the diving here since it is another right spot for snorkeling that can see the coral or the ridge even standing on the shore. This because when the tide is lowest more than half of the corals here bursting out of the sea water.

3. Ao Khon Kae

It is another location of the beautiful and abundant coral reef. It features the soft coral and staghorn coral that is hard to see in common.

4. Ao Tue

A small bay with the proper size of beach locates in the east of Koh Racha.

5. Ao La

Lah Bay

A small beach just 10-15 m of its length where the best diving spot of the Racha Island.

All five bays are connectable to each other.

What to See on Koh Racha Yai

People who are snorkelling at raya island in Phuket Thailand

Racha Yai Island features many beaches for water activities: The front beach is the Sunset Beach long and curvy coast with shallow water that safe for swimming. It is famous among the foreigners to sunbathe. The end of the beach is the viewpoint presenting the top view of the island. And from the Sunset Beach to the backward of the island, there are two more beaches which are Ao Siam and Ao Khon Kae which are the snorkelling location of Racha Yai fearing various corals such as Brunch coral, Disc coral, and Cauliflower Coral. For the fish to be found here mostly are small fish, i.e. butterfly fish, grouper, etc.

The diving spot at Racha Yai is Ao Khon Kae, Ao La (the most beautiful one), and Ao Siam. The plan for diving operated by the tour agent depends on the length of time. Currently, Racha Yai island becomes a famous spot in diving in the Andaman Sea since the clear water around the island, and the abundant coral reef including rare species of the sea fish such as Sea eels, Ray, Blowfish, Octopus, etc. 

Touring around the Racha Yai Island

Racha Day Trip

It is so convenient to take the tour around the island with the walkway to stroll around the area that makes time about a half day. If the tourist comes to the place during the high season (November-April) can start at Ao Pa Tok and keep walking pass Ao Siam and continue to Ao Tue. At Ao Tue, there is a beautiful sunrise viewpoint and also can see Phi Phi Island from that place as well. And from Ao Tue, you continue to Ao Khon Kae and finally back to Ao Pa Tok again.

The Activities on Racha Yai Island

  • Scuba: There are 15 scuba spots around the island including to Racha Noi island nearby.
  • Snorkeling
  • Fishing and squid fishing
  • Nature trail and watching the view

Racha Noi Island

Bird eye view sitting on top of Racha Noi island in Phuket

A small isle is about 6 km from Koh Racha Yai which maintains its pure nature, beautiful white sand beach, and clear azure water. The island is low hill and ridge, and when the tide is low, the sea is separated which allows the people to walk to another side. Regularly, the Racha Yai island is better known among the tourists, while Racha Noi that locates further less in its fame. Thence, the island is still productive in its marine resources included various corals –  Mountain coral, Disc coral, Soft coral, sponge, and Coralline algae. Besides, there is some survey that found the sea ells and small shark here, too. Around the island is plenty of ridges and fish that is a favorite spot for the fishermen.

The island welcomes the visitors all year round; however, there is no any accommodation, source of fresh water and facility on the island. The trip to the isle mostly is one-day-trip which operated by Discover Catamaran only. The catamaran features the trip to watch the dolphin at the front of Maiton Island and then heads to Racha Noi. The service included the kayak boat for the passenger to enjoy and end up the day with a nice dinner with a stunning panoramic scene of the sunset at Phrom Thep Cape.

The Racha Noi Island has only 2 beaches which are Ao Prao and Ao Rang Gai.

Things to Know about the Racha island

Bird Eye View of The Racha Island, Phuket, Thailand
  • Regularly, scuba diving needs to present the license before dive. However, there is a service called ‘Try Scuba Diving’ at Racha Island. So, anyone without the license can try the scuba diving by the service that the instructor will teach about the equipment and any necessary techniques.
  • If you would like to watch the top view, you can walk to Raya Resort. It is an excellent viewpoint there provides the lovely scene of the entire Ao Pa Tok that is worthwhile to check-in.
  •  For snorkeling activity, Ao Tue, Ao Siam, and Ao Khon Kae are the favored locations for snorkeling featuring the rich coral reef – soft coral, brain coral, Coralline algae, Disc coral, Staghorn coral, Branch Coral, Cauliflower Coral, and lots of species of the sea fish that can spot in general in the Andaman Sea. Besides, there is an interesting snorkelling spot at “Reun Rim Talay” a restaurant inside Raya Resort. The highlight of the place is when the sea is peaceful it is the most transparent water spot; however, it is not suitable for the swim since the numbers of rocks scattered around the space.
  • Anyone seeks for the romantic spot of the Racha islandwe recommend “Ao Pa Tok” because it is a wonderful sunset viewpoint in particular during the tourist season there is a lot of couples, family, and friends take their seat on the beach and watch the sun is moving down to the endless sea.
  • For the sunrise, Ao La is the right place for you. The visitors can enjoy the sunrise with the crystal-clear water as its background and also Ao Tue from a distance.
  • The high season of the Racha islandis between November – April annually.

Travel to Racha Island

Travel to Racha Island

There are many options for the tourists to travel to Phuket – car, bus, train, ship, and plane since Phuket is the remarkable city of Thailand apart from Bangkok.


Buy a one-day-trip package at Ao Chalong Pier otherwise, the charter service with the price follows to the number of passenger per engine for example 10-15 persons per 1 engine is THB6,000-7,000, 16-30 persons per 2 engines are THB10,000-12,000. It is approximately 30-40 minutes for the trip. The long-tail boat costs about 2,000-3,000 and takes time about 1-1.30 hours. The tourist can get the boat at Ao Chalong or Rawai Beach.  

Stay the Night

For the tourist who stays overnight at Racha Island needs to travel round trip by the boat operated by the tour agent or resorts.

Popularly, the tourists take the one-day-trip with the program to travel many islands surround Phuket including Racha Yai Island. Stay the night on the island is also excellent but needs to deal with the tour agent in advance including to the cost. 

Rich in its natural beauty, so it is unsurprisingly that Racha Island becomes one of the destination lists for the sea lover.  


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