Koh Racha Yai (also spelled Raya or Raja) is the larger of the two islands south of Phuket. Lying about 20kms south of Phuket, the Racha Islands comprise two islands, Koh
Racha Yai and Koh Racha Noi. To confuse matters they are also known as
Koh Raya Yai and Koh Raya Noi.
The better diving is off the east coast where good drifts can be done along the hard coral walls. Many species of coral can be spotted here with staghorn predominating in many places.
The island often attracts some bigger visitors such as barracuda and the odd reef shark as well as the usual array of reef inhabitants. There are several interesting places to dive around Koh Racha Yai including Lucy's Reef where you may come across stonefish and catfish and Marla's Mystery, a wreck that is now home to morays, groupers and lionfish.
Koh Racha Yai's Scuba Diving, known for its easy diving, clear calm water and a good variety of marine life, this beautiful tropical island offers ideal diving conditions and is located just 1hr 15mins from Phuket. The east side has mainly hard coral fringe reefs, and at the northeast tip lies the wreck of the Andaman Explorer. Set in a beautiful sand-fringed bay, the west side of the island offers underwater scenery akin to the north side with arguably better coral growth.
Beginners start their dive in a shallow bay with a sandy bottom, surrounded by colourful coral gardens. Certified divers will be dropped in deeper water (60 feet) and will enjoy exciting drift dives encountering blue-spotted stingray, shoals of barracuda, grouper, colourful reef fish and the unforgettable trigger fish.