The Racha islands (or Raya Islands), some 12 km south of Phuket, are best known as excellent diving and snorkelling daytrip destinations. Racha Yai, however, is quickly developing into a place to stay on for a while with a number of bungalow and resort operations springing up in recent years. 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 water here is clear and perfect for snorkelling, though the bay gets quite busy with visiting boats in the afternoons. Racha Yai is home to The Racha, a splendid geteway resort. The other large bay, Ao Siam, is a pretty place where lonely strolls in solitude are possible. Racha Noi is uninhabited and has no services or accommodation, but there's some great diving in the area.
Getting to Racha Islands
Long-tail and speedboat transfers may be arranged from Chalong Pier or Rawai, and the trip takes from 45 minutes to more than an hour depending on the boat. All-inclusive day tours for snorkellers or divers are also available.