This fantastic and nearly forgotten island lies at the southtop of Phuket and is because of its location nearly a diving spot all around the year. The monsum-season is here not so bold like at the west-coast of phuket. Only sometimes you´ve very rough sea and so you can´t dive, but mostly at the next day it`s already calmer..
23 KM south of phuket lies Raya Yai with their white sandy beaches and cristallclear water, ideal for swimming, snorkeling, diving and of course just to relax in the sun and enjoy the calmnes. So when you arrive with the speed-boat at Raya, you´ll blendet by the real white sandy beach, it´s really a impression, that you´ll never forget !!! Unfortunately there was build a big and modern resort on this island at the wonderful Batok Bay, so the quality of the island had a  little bit suffered. The new “The Racha” is now finally build and a beautiful and luxurx resort but very untypical for this island and very expensive. Our sweet visited resort the Ban Racha is more budget and so we´ve heard anymore that is always a good choice to stay at this resort. But what ist the very important thing on this island ? Yes - the beautiful diving arround Racha Yai and Racha Noi - it´s one of the best in Thailand.

So, what can you await from the island ?? You can walk across the island with the natural mangroves and Mango- and Tamarind & Cashew-nut trees and see some buffalos in theier natural surroundings. The few residents are friendly and helpful all the times
During the monsum-season from April to September the bays "Batok Bay" & "Siam Bay" are not accessable for the boats. The bays near the Ban Raya Bungalows (located at the eastside of the island and so consequently wind-sheltered)  are possible to dive all arround the  year - mostly the sea is very calm !
In the peak-season from November to February all boats leaves directly from the "Ao Chalong" in Phuket to "Batok Bay”. We prefer to ship with a speedboat and not the cheaper longtails, but it´s up to you !!!!

Accommodation on Racha Yai:
Before opening the new THE RACHA the "Ban Raya" Bungalows was the best accommodation on Racha Yai, directly located at the hill by the Racha-Divers-branch.
The 39 rooms of the Ban Raya Bungalows are very comfortable and natural furnished. They have either a fan or an air-condition. In the middle of the resort is the small restaurant with a fantastic kitchen, where you can get all around the day your breakfast, lunch and dinner - very delicios ! Additionally the restaurant is located on the hill with a beautiful view on the Kon Kare bay and the andaman sea. The own generator from the resort supllies your romms and the restaurant from 6:00 pm until 08:00 am. All rooms have toilett and shower, the most bungalows have a patio with sun-chairs !

Our tip: book in any case the rooms witth A/C, because it comes very hot and humid at night, furthermore you´ve in the deluxe-bungalows and significant beautiful location on the hill with a beautifull view. The Bungalow-resot lies at the east-side of the island near the best coral-reefs of the island. The Ban Raya enacts a 24 Ha private property with two own beaches, ideal for swimming and diving, however you must walk a few minutes to this beaches !
But to the most beautiful beach - the batok bay  - you must walk across the isand, along the buffalos and mangroves arround 15 minutes.
The Ban Raya was until the construction of the 5-Star Deluxe Spa THE RACHA clearly the best accommodation on this island - now i think it´s ranking at the second place!

The staff is very friendly and try to get your stay as comfortable as possible. The restaurant offer Thai- & international delicious food and furthermore a big wine-list. Most dishes are of course cooked by the seafood fresh from the island. An own ice-mashine serves you all the day cool and delicious drinks, cocktails and so on !
Also in the restaurant you can watch TV or rent a music-CDs or read a book from the own library. Also you can surf in the Internet-Cafe for your contact to home !
We hope that our fanastic impressions from 2003 are nearly remained.

Details to the Ban Racha Bungslows and the possibility to book online::

Let´s go diving: Arround Raya Yai you receive the best dive-conditiones in a relaxed atmosphere. They avoid big dive-boats and you only dive in small groups. Due of the base is located not far from the best dive-spots so you hav´nt long trips to your dive-destination, mostly you must drive arround 10-20 minutes or less. At the fabolous batok bay you can also make beach-dives, get your equipment, walk to th beach and get in a really fantastic underwater world with beautiful and colourful coral-reefs and fishes.

So diving from the beach is also possible from different points of the island, here you have a directly connection to the coral-reefs like the above example - but that example is still the best. Beach-Dives are possible daily from 10:00 am until  10:00 pm. At the Ban Raya Bungalows you can get an early morning dive at 7 am or a night-dive of course.

When you get a dive by boat you´ve the choice between 10 dive-locations nearby. The dives themself modify between relaxing corall-reef-dives in shallow water to wreck-dives in 34 meter - but that one are only for advanced divers. Boat-Dives are arranged daily at 10:00 am and at 3:00 pm. Additionally extra-tours or extra qualifications can be arranged also if you want.
Night-Dives are very simple and great, because the dive-spots are not far away from your hotel and mostly you can dive and then swim back to your base. This nightdives take place every evening from one of the beaches near the base, of course you can rent u/w-torches.

The neighbouring island  Raya Noi is famous for exiting dive-spots - mostly with bigger fishes than arround Racha Yai, but the dives are only recommandable for advanced and good divers, because the current and the deepth is very dangerous. But here you can often meet manta-rays.
At this dive trip to Racha Noi you´ve a two tank dive with a small break and a snack on a lonly beach at this island. The dive-trips are of course arranged fromt the perfect Racha Dives.

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