Koh Racha Yai day tour
Racha Yai day trip with snorkeling
Popular day trip by speedboat to an island close to Phuket
- Good value for money. Cheap tour!
- Only 30 minutes from Chalong bay Phuket
- Boat and beach snorkeling
- Spend all day in the water or just relax on the beach
- Walk inland to look for monitor lizards
- Note this is not the Raya Princess (over crowded) tour
Every day all year round.
7.30-8.30 hrs: You will be picked up from your hotel and transferred by air con minibus to Chalong Bay. Exact pick up time depends on your hotel location.
9.00-9.30 hrs: On arrival in Chalong check in and wait until everyone has arrived. Tea and coffee is available while you wait. Meet your guide and briefing for the day before boarding the speedboat.
9.30-10.00 hrs: The speedboat takes about 30 minutes to reach Racha Yai Island.
Nov-Apr: The speedboat will arrives at Patok bay, north west Racha Yai
May to October: The speedboat arrives at Ter Bay, east Racha Yai.
10.00-10.05 hrs: The speedboat docks at the jetty to unload supplies. any passengers who prefer to skip the snorkeling excursion can disembark here.
10.05-11.15 hrs: One hour snorkeling excursion by speedboat. From November to April this will be at Siam bay or Patok bay. From May to October it will be on an east coast reef.
11.15-12.00 hrs: Transfer to Patok bay where you can swim and enjoy the beach until lunch time.
12.00-13.00 hrs: Tasty buffet lunch at Raya seafood restaurant on the rocks in Patok bay. Food is Thai (not too spicy). Plus fresh fruit, tea. coffee and drinking water. There is a bar where beers and soft drinks can be purchased. The restaurant also has complimentary shower facilities. A short walk above the restaurant is a lovely view point, great for photos of the bay.
13.00-15.30 hrs: The afternoon is free and easy time. You can swim at Patok beach or just enjoy the beach. You can also snorkel (unguided) at either end of the beach, just swim a short way out to find the reefs. Your guide will stay with you at the beach until it is time to depart. Or you can walk inland to look for monitor lizards or water buffalo in the islands interior.
15.30-16.00 hrs: Back to Chalong bay by speedboat. Then transfer back to your hotel.
*This is a sample itinerary and can change subject to tides, weather and unforeseen events.
2,500 1,600 baht per adult / 1,200 baht per child (3-10 years)
Price includes: English speaking guide, life jacket, mask and snorkel (fins can be rented for 100 baht extra if required), lunch, fresh fruits, drinking water, round trip hotel transfers*
*Hotel pick up and transfer:Free transfers by shared minivan service are provided from hotels in Kamala, Kata, Karon, Patong, Rawai, Naiharn, Chalong and Phuket Town.
Transfer fees apply from other areas.
Transfers cannot be provided from private addresses / Airbnb’s.
What to take: Sunglasses, sunhat, sun lotion, bathing suit.
Restrictions: Speedboat tours are not suitable for infants 3 years old and under, or for pregnant women and the elderly over 70 years of age.
– 7 days or more prior to the package or tour date: full refund less bank fees.
– 3-6 days prior to the package or tour date: 30% of total price
– Within 72 hours of the package or tour date, or no show: 100% of total price.
Weather Policy: This is an all weather tour and still runs if it’s raining in the morning. Tours are cancelled if rough sea unsafe for small boats is forecast. The decision to cancel is made on the morning of the tour by the boat captain and the harbour master. If a trip is cancelled due to bad weather you choose to reschedule or take a full refund.
What to expect
Koh Racha Yai (Racha Yai Island, also sometimes called Koh Raya) is about 13 nautical miles south of Phuket Island, just 30 minutes by speedboat. It is a granite island with palm fringed bays dotted around it’s shoreline. All around the island are shallow hard coral reefs ideal for snorkeling and swimming.
We like this tour because it includes plenty of time on the island for those who prefer not to spend all day on the speedboat.
The time of year that you do this tour determines which location around the island’s coast you will snorkel at. The best reefs are accessed from May to October on the sheltered east coast. This is also the less busy time of year and the best time to do the tour.
From November to April snorkeling is on the west coast bays at Patok bay and Siam bay. These bays are a little less fishy but there is still plenty to see. November to April is also the busy season when there are more tourists visiting Racha.
Who is this Racha Yai tour for?
If you are an experienced snorkeler who has been to the Red Sea, Maldives or GBR then you may be somewhat underwhelmed by the reefs at Racha Yai. The photos below give a realistic expectation of what you can see. You will not see sharks. You will see lots of different tropical reef fish of the smaller varieties such as Sergeant Majors, pufferfish, porcupine fish, anemone fish, surgeonfish, rabbit fish, lionfish and parrotfish, to name a few. With a bit of luck you’ll also see moray eels, scorpionfish, nudibranchs and pipefish.
Racha Yai normally has clear water but on occasion it can be a bit green. Strong tides or an overnight storm can also cloud the water a bit. The sea in Thailand is not as clear as the Caribbean.
It’s also worth highlighting that this Racha Yai day trip has just one supervised snorkeling session in the morning. The afternoon is free and easy time because many guests prefer to relax on the beach, swim from shore or walk into the island interior. If you want to snorkel all day you can do so from shore by yourself in the afternoon.
You can also stay overnight at Racha Island staying at either Ban Raya resort or the cheaper Raya Resort. We highly recommend an overnight stay, Racha Yai is even more beautiful after 3pm when all the day trippers have left. Racha is becoming a popular destination and accommodation is limited so early booking is required in high season.