The Racha Islands (or Raya Islands) are best known as among the best diving and snorkeling destinations in Thailand. Located some 12 km south of Phuket, Racha Noi is uninhabited, but there's some great diving in the area. Racha Yai has several bungalows and resorts if you want to stay on the island for a day or more.

Racha Yai reveals itself in splendid fashion, with most arrivals landing onto a strip of fine white sand tucked deep into the long, U-shaped main bay, called Ao Tawan Tok or Ao Bungalow. The waters are clear and excellent for snorkeling, though the bay gets quite busy with visiting boats in the afternoons. Racha Yai is home to The Racha, a splendid getaway resort. The other large bay, Ao Siam, is a pretty place that's great for peaceful strolls.

Racha Islands - one of the highlights of 9 Best Islands Around Phuket (Read all about Phuket Province here)

photo by Glen MacLarty (CC BY 2.0) modified

Getting to Racha Islands

It's very easy to get to the Racha Islands from Phuket. Long-tail and speedboat transfers can be arranged from Chalong Pier or Rawai. Depending on the boat, a one-way trip takes from around 45 minutes to over 1 hour. All-inclusive day tours for snorkelers and divers are also available.

Racha Islands

Stephan Audiger | Compulsive Traveler