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Racha Islands
Tambon Rawai, Phuket District - Phuket ( Racha Islands )
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Racha Islands

Koh Racha Yai and Koh Racha Noi are two twin islands located 20 km south of the southern tip of Phuket. The locals also appoint them as Koh Raya Yai and Koh Raya Noi. The islands are well known by tourists for their crystal waters, white sandy beaches and some of the best dive sites and snorkelling areas close to Phuket. Koh Racha Yai is the largest of twin islands, about 10 square kilometres, and is the most famous. The island is moderately developed with resident people. There are restaurants, bars and a good selection of accommodation to suit all budgets. The palm covered island has two large stunning beaches surrounded by beautiful coral reefs, and some other small secluded sandy coves. Ao Tawan Tok is the main bay and beach of island. Also known as Patok Beach, it has a horseshoe shaped with powdery white sand with a floating pontoon in the middle of bay. Here moor the speedboats shuttle full of visitors from Phuket. A hilltop viewpoint on the south bay offers a magnificent panorama of the whole Island. The water here is clear and perfect for snorkeling although it is very crowded by many boats at anchor in the bay. The shallow bay contains many coral formations full of small reef fish. There is a track at the back of bay, to the right of Racha Resort, which leads up the hill and then turns left to Ao Siam, or Siam Bay, the other major bay on the island, just 10 minute walk from Patok Bay. Here there is a beautiful long stretch of white sand, absolutely perfect if you want more tranquillity and privacy. On the northern edge of Ao Siam is an artificial reef that the Thai government created in 2006. It consists of giant elephant statues, a Thai temple guarded by a yak and other statues sunk into the sea. On the west side of the island are some small coves with tiny beaches, they are: Lha Bay, Ter Bay and Kon Kare Bay. The beaches of these coves are quiet but are not great for swimming; however they offer the best spots for snorkelling and scuba diving at Koh Racha Yai. Racha Noi is located about 10 kilometers south of Racha Yai, and is the smaller of two. The island is uninhabited and there is any accommodation or facility. Racha Noi is just a long thin strip of granite rock covered with forest; there are more rocks than significant beaches. The island is one of the best locations in the area for game fishing and experienced scuba divers. On the northern tip of Racha Noi will find several bays with sloping reefs, rocks and large boulders full of hard corals and large schools of colourful tropical fish. The marine life here also offers sightings of Sharks Fin Black, Leopard Sharks and Manta Rays.
Get to Racha Islands - To reach the Racha Islands from Phuket you can enjoy a day trip or, in case of overnight stay, take advantage of the boats that leave from Chalong Pier and Rawai Beach. There are lots of agencies that organize group tours ranging to Racha Islands for day trips. The majority of these tours include the transfer by minivan from your hotel, the roundtrip by speedboat from Chalong Pier or Rawai Beach, lunch buffet, snorkeling equipment, tour guide and insurance. Prices of tours range from 1,200 to 1,800 THB depending on the company and eventual options chosen. The agencies also offer packages for those who practice diving. The speedboat trip to Koh Racha Yai takes 35 minutes. To reach Racha Islands individually, or in group, you can hire a speedboat from Chalong Pier and Rawai Beach for around 8,000 THB for whole day. At Chalong Pier, you can also find speedboats running as ferry shuttle to the Racha Islands. A return ticket costs around 1,200 THB per person. You can stay over and catch your return speedboat a day or a few days later.
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